Canisius Professor and Administrator Mark Harrington, EdD, Receives Ignatian Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Jesuit Student Affairs

September 24, 2020

Buffalo, NY – The Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA) awarded its 2020 Ignatian Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Jesuit Student Affairs to Mark R. Harrington, EdD.  Harrington is assistant vice president for student success at Canisius, director of the college’s master’s program in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration (HESAA), and an assistant professor in the Department of Graduate Education and Leadership.  

JASPA’s award for outstanding achievement in student affairs is conferred to an administrator who has made significant accomplishments in the profession. Ignatian Medal recipients may have successfully resolved particularly difficult problems or issues, have achieved recognition as a national expert in a particular area of knowledge, and have provided outstanding leadership at the campus or regional level. This award is given annually to an administrator who embodies the above achievements within a Jesuit student affairs framework.

Comments from those who nominated Harrington highlight his dedication to ensuring student achievement during their time at the college: 

“Dr. Harrington has improved student success through his vision and direction, utilization of best practices in student affairs, and constant efforts to better the Canisius University community. He has the unique ability to look at a situation and provide creative approaches to solving problems, all the while making sure that staff members have a voice, and ensuring we are doing what is best for our students. As a leader, Dr. Harrington is approachable, inspiring and knowledgeable, and we all continue to learn from him every day.”  

 “In his roles as a manager, leader, professor, mentor, colleague and friend, Mark lives and embodies the Jesuit values of magis and cura personalis. He consistently goes the extra mile to ensure excellence in all his endeavors.”

“He has proven to be a thoughtful, strategic, and compassionate leader who embraces our Jesuit values and ideals in all that he does."

In his role as assistant vice president, Harrington oversees student success and retention efforts with oversight of the following areas: academic achievement, career development, tutoring services, study centers, success and career coaching, veteran affairs, student accessibility services, NCAA Division I student-athlete academic affairs, first-generation student initiatives, and the Steven A. Leonard Jr. ’07 Academic Mentoring Center. He also is responsible for care management through the Cura Personalis Team and serves as co-chair of the university-wide Retention Committee.  

Since joining the community, Harrington has implemented research-based, high-impact practices to better serve Canisius students; this includes implementation of a proactive model of academic support, creating student success teams for undergraduate and graduate students, adding programming and initiatives for first generation students, reviving and administering student outcomes analyses, and rethinking retention to help employ effective strategies for academic, financial and engagement student success. In addition to his role as assistant vice president, Harrington is director of the master’s program in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration (HESAA) where he oversees all internship experiences and teaches courses related to leadership, counseling, advising, strategic planning and administration.

Prior to joining the Canisius community in 2018, Harrington served in administrative and faculty positions for a decade in higher education. Most recently he was a student affairs dean and first year seminar faculty member at Regis College and an instructor of higher education at Merrimack College. 

Harrington earned his bachelor’s degree from Emmanuel College in counseling and health psychology, a master’s degree in college student personnel administration from Canisius University and a doctorate in higher education leadership from Regis College. 

The Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administration was founded in 1954. The JASPA Annual Awards of Excellence recognize the accomplishments of leaders across Jesuit higher education and their impact on creating a transformational student experience. 

One of 27 Jesuit universities, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary during the 2019-20 academic year, marking 150 years of Jesuit education and leadership in the city of Buffalo and Western New York. Visit for more information about Canisius’ milestones and celebratory events.