Canisius College Alumni Association Confers Distinguished Faculty Award Upon Shawn O’Rourke, Phd

April 26, 2022

Buffalo, NY – The Canisius College Alumni Association will recognize associate professor Shawn O’Rourke, PhD, with its 2022 Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award, during Awards Convocation on Friday, May 20.  The annual award recognizes a Canisius professor who demonstrates teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the academic world.

O’Rourke developed and is director of the undergraduate program in sport management, and graduate programs in sport administration and sport product development, which was one of only two in the country when it launched in 2018.  All three programs are consistently ranked among the best in the nation and produce graduates who secure successful careers at the intercollegiate, amateur and professional sports as well as facility and event management.  

               O’Rourke has 25-plus years of experience teaching sport management and administration in Canada, the United States and Europe, and is revered by students for his “professional, pragmatic and creative” approach in the classroom.  They evenly commend O’Rourke for “empowering them to act as servant leaders” in the ever-evolving and volatile business of sports. With a diverse network of sport industry professionals worldwide, it’s estimated that O’Rourke has placed more than 800 Canisius students with practicums and internships in the sport industry, including the Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Sabres and the Triple A Buffalo Bisons.  

O’Rourke is a published author in peer reviewed journals and books.  Key areas of expertise and interest include:  online education, quality management and leadership, branding and economic growth strategies.  He has given scholarship presentations and proceedings delivered around the world, including Japan, Portugal and Spain.   

Aside from his current role as director of undergraduate and graduate sport programs, O’Rourke is co-chair of the Kinesiology Department.  

Canisius College is one of 27 Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.