Archive: May 2018

  1. Letter from the Chair (Spring 2018 Edition)

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    Spring brings graduation and that always spawns a fit of nostalgia for me.

    I’m happy for those of you who worked, studied, shared and survived the last four years. I’m a little sad to see you leave. I’m happy to finish classes, but unhappy that I never quite feel I did enough, or did enough right. I think back fondly on other graduations and fresh faces; many that I now view as friends. I share your angst in what lies ahead, but I live as an optimist, so I’m going to expect things to turn out OK.

    We said our goodbyes to Drs. Foster and Wigley in our last newsletter, but we still miss them. In this issue, we say a final goodbye to our friend and colleague, Dr. Barry Berlin. Barry was nothing if not a little quirky, but he admired his students and was steadfast in his support of his colleagues. I would not be here, if not for Barry, twice: once for hiring me and once, during a budget crisis, for refusing to allow my position (and me in it) to be cut. He believed in the press and integrity and fair-mindedness. He was a visionary, laying the groundwork for campus computer labs, championing the digital media arts program and imagining a journalism major. He was a patient and devoted husband. He loved chocolate in any form.

    Part of his legacy is an endowed scholarship that Barry began, probably twenty years ago. And just a few weeks ago, many of you gave generously to our department on Giving Day. I want to thank you. Sincerely. And to let you know that we will use that money to support student travel to conferences, supplies to support some of our projects, student posters for conferences and Ignatian Day, and more. I also hope we can carve a few dollars out of that, to keep the endowed scholarship, that Barry Berlin began, vibrant for deserving students who are yet to join us.

    We all are benefactors of his legacy, so I won’t be sad. Instead I invite you to celebrate his life with me. Share the optimism in our stories of successes and achievements you’ll find in this issue. Toast our newest Marilyn G.S. Watt award winner, Barbara Burns. And let me encourage you to nominate deserving alumni who were part of your life here at Canisius for next year’s award. We’re always happy to hear from you.

    Enjoy your summer.

    John Dahlberg, Ph.D.
    May 9, 2018

  2. Canisius Enactus Team Wins Competition

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    Three Communication Studies students recently won their Regional Competition and have advanced to the Enactus U.S. National Exposition in Kansas City in May. The Canisius Enactus team was founded in 2004 by Economics and Finance Professor, Patricia Hutton, PhD, and is now under the direction of Canisius graduate Nick Tober ’06, MBA ’08.

    The team included three of our Communication Studies, Digital Media Arts, and Journalism students (Annie Niland ’18, Rebecca Anthone ’18, and Teddy Benz ’19).

    Congrats, team!

  3. Alumni off to Cannes Film Festival

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    Congratulations to CJ Gates ’16 and Tori Claflin ’14 who won first place in the Buffalo 48-Hour Film Project for their team’s film, “Partially Submerged Elephants.” They were a part of a team that had 48 hours to shoot, edit and produce a short film for the Buffalo 48 Hour Film Project.

    After its victory in Buffalo, the team headed to Paris to compete in “Filmapalooza.” Out of more than 4,000 films from 130 cities, Gates, Claflin, and team won the award for best cinematography. The work was recognized as one of the top five 48-hour films in the world. They are one of two teams from the United States to have their film screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

  4. 2018 Senior Awards – Communication Studies

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    Congratulations to all of our Communication Studies, Journalism, and Digital Media Arts seniors! We honored our seniors with an awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 24th. Check out the photos in our gallery to see our award winners.

  5. Welcome Professor Higgins!

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    The Canisius College Communication Studies Department is excited to announce the hiring of Daniel Higgins as Assistant Professor of Journalism. We want you to get to know him better, so watch this short video to learn more about Professor Higgins (and his dog Pete!).

    (Pictured left alongside his wife)

  6. Barbara Burns (’88) Awarded Marilyn G.S. Watt Award

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    Barbara Burns (’88) is the 2018 recipient of the Marilyn G. Watt Award at Canisius College. Burns was presented the award at the Senior Spring Awards on Tuesday, April 24th by Dr. Barbara Irwin.

    Burns is the Public Affairs Officer at the United States Attorneys Office, Western District of New York. She has led a successful career in broadcasting with positions at WBEN Radio, WEBR Radio, and TCI Cable. She graduated from Canisius College with a degree in Communication Studies in 1998.

    The award, given annually since 1996, is granted to a graduate of the Canisius communication studies program, “For sharing a sense of community and values through communication.” Dr. Marilyn G. S. Watt chaired the department from 1982 until her passing in 1993.

    Read her Q&A here:

    How does it feel to receive this award?
    I am beyond grateful to receive this award. So many gifted and talented professionals have graduated from the Communications Studies program over the years and have gone on to represent the program and the college in very successful careers. Having said that, I am sincerely honored to be singled out for this honor. It is humbling.

    Do you think your CC Communication Studies degree has helped you in your career?
    Without a doubt, 110% LOL! When I earned my degree, the program was still relatively new. But even in the late 1980’s, there were still so many great courses and opportunities that paved the way for me to break into the radio industry and carve out a successful 20 year career. In turn, that experience prepared me well to become a public information officer. At Canisius, the degree was so much more than just taking classes. There were opportunities to get involved on campus, experience internships and have the support of faculty that cared and guided us in the right directions. Plus, those faculty members were connected and we the students were the beneficiaries of those connections. What is so incredible is that the program has grown incredibly and when I get a call for a potential intern in my office, I can’t answer that call fast enough! The consistent quality of students in the program is amazing.

    What is your favorite memory of Canisius?
    Program wise, I really enjoyed and had a lot of fun being a member of the Women in Communications club, which I now understand is men and women! I spent time with a lot of great friends who were interested in all kinds of careers. We brought in speakers and went on field trips and really lifted each other up and supported one another. Some of us are still friends to this day!

    College wise, I will never forget Mark Russell of PBS fame as the keynote speaker at my graduation. While Russell played his trademark piano, he and College President Fr. James Demske sang Pennies from Heaven. And it was in the old Buffalo Memorial Auditorium!

    What advice do you have for graduating students?
    First and foremost, do what makes you happy! My first job out of college was a great opportunity and experience, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing, so I kept searching and applying until the right opportunity came along. My 20 years in radio felt more like a passion that a job. I never woke up and didn’t want to go to work. And when it was time to move on, I knew, again, it had to be the right opportunity and it was!

    The education and experience you received at Canisius has prepared you well for so many different opportunities, explore and find what’s right for you! Do not let anyone try to fit you in to a mold that you don’t fit in!

    Connect, connect, connect! I have gone so many places and met so many people and it’s rare to go a week without running in to a fellow Canisius grad. Keep tabs on the alumni directory, if you spot someone you want to talk to, contact them. Canisius grads are a special bunch of people and want to help young people succeed and grow.

    ALWAYS be open to learning and growing. As difficult as it might be, be open to thoughtful criticism. Learn from your missteps and tough experiences, they WILL make you better. Always be willing to try something different and think outside the box.
    And personally, your job/career/profession is extremely important, but do not let it define you. Get involved in something bigger than you. Volunteer in the community, for a charity, or at a church. It will make you a better human being to be a part of something larger and you will be a better professional because of it!

  7. Lambda Pi Eta Induction Ceremony

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    Congratulations to the the Communication Studies students who honored at Lambda Pi Eta Induction Ceremony, the Communication Studies Honor Society here at Canisius. Graduating members were also honored. The following members were inducted:

    Aileen Doyle
    Julia Dressler
    Jenna Gaudino
    Austin Rexinger
    Mary Russo
    Kathryn Simon

    Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) is the honor society of the National Communication Association for four-year institutions of higher education. The purpose of the honor society is to promote outstanding academic achievement in the Communication discipline. Lambda Pi Eta is advised by Barbara Irwin, Ph.D. The club hosts several events throughout the year, including an internship seminar.

    Congratulations to those inducted!

  8. In Memory of Dr. Barry Berlin

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    We are sad to acknowledge the passing of Dr. Barry Berlin.

    A cherished faculty member of Canisius College since 1976, Dr. Berlin served three, three-year terms as chair, from ’95-’04. He was the founder and director of the Digital Media Arts program.

    Involved in computer technology for teaching purposes since the advent of the Apple IIe’s, Dr. Berlin played a crucial role in developing computer labs for the department for courses that use computers. He also was involved in a number of grants, including four involving computers and two in matters Canadian. Dr. Berlin has co-authored many articles and books.

    Before joining Canisius, Dr. Berlin was a print journalist for 10 years. He spent five as a reporter and five as an editor. He held a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, a Master’s from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

    He left a lasting impact on those around him. Here are some comments from our Facebook page.

    “Dr. Berlin was a formative part of my Canisius years. I am thankful for his skill and his good humor with me,” said Lisa August, adjunct professor at Canisius College.

    “Dr. Berlin reached out to me long after I graduated to touch base and catch up. He was a wonderful professor dedicated to Canisius and the students,” said Kate Hughes, a former Canisius student.

    He will be missed by many.

  9. Video Institute Premiere of “Jesuits in Latin America: Argentina”

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    The Canisius College Video Institute premiered its latest documentary on Wednesday, March 21st at 7 p.m. in the Science Hall Commons.

    “Jesuits in Latin America: Argentina,” produced by Nicholas Foraker (DMA/COM ’18) and Justin Fague (DMA/COM ’19), follows a group of Canisius students as they travel to Argentina with the college’s Institute for the Global Study of Religion (IGSOR).

    “We view the evolving Jesuit Mission since Pope Francis became the leader of the Catholic Church, straight from a Jesuit Priest and Jesuit student,” said Fague.

    As part of a course about the Jesuit mission in Argentina, the group spent time in Cordoba, Igazu Falls, Buenos Aires, and Paraguay.

    “The trip was two weeks in total – Nick and I had to pack all of our camera equipment into carry on bags, which fit relatively nicely. We all flew into JFK International airport and began the nearly 12 hour flight to Buenos Aires. From there, we hopped on a flight to Cordoba. We began filming on our first full day and got a lot of fairly good footage. It’s odd shooting in a new environment, especially when that new environment is a new country where we don’t speak the language!“ said Fague.

    They visited several estancias in Argentina to learn about the evolving view of the Jesuit mission since Pope Francis became the leader of the Catholic Church. Travel and production were made possible by funding from The William H. Fitzpatrick Institute of Public Affairs and Leadership, IGSOR, and the Video Institute.

    The Fitzpatrick Institute encourages Canisius students to develop leadership potential through close contact with, and exposure to, those involved in societal leadership with travel experiences in the US and abroad.

    IGSOR exists in order to promote interest in the study and practice of religion within the Canisius College community and the wider community of Western New York.

    The Canisius College Video Institute provides students with opportunities to put their classroom lessons to work on projects that enrich their learning and benefit the greater community.

  10. DMA Designs Virtual Reality Room

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    The Digital Media Arts is proud to announce the establishment of its new Virtual Reality Room. The room is being used by students for research and development.

    “VR experience is a very individualized one in comparison to film, animation or even regular computer games. The user controls the point of view and is fully immersed in a virtual space while physically, with his or her body being in a physical space. It is like having an out-of-body experience and this experience requires a dedicated space,” said Przemyslaw Moskal, Ph.D.

    Dr. Moskal decided that the time was right for VR in Digital Media Arts program and with help of the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, purchased a powerful computer and a VR set. However, his interest in VR has been long-standing.

    “The first time I experienced Virtual Reality (VR) was in 1994 as an undergraduate student, and ever since, I’ve been fascinated with virtual, three-dimensional spaces. VR is a rather old idea that was realized for the first time by Dr. Ivan Southerland in the late 1960s, before the technology was even called “Virtual Reality”. Dr. Southerland developed what he called head-mounted display that had all the foundational functionality of the VR equipment we use now. Today, however, the processing power of computers and miniaturization of processors allows us to use rather small VR goggles that render amazing quality, immersive images,” said Moskal.

    In the first year of the room, students have developed three virtual reality application prototypes. One of the projects was a 360 degrees photo project of the Christ the King Chapel developed for Dr. Jonathan Lawrence from the department of Religious Studies. The second project was done for a group of students from the psychology department for their research on perception of music and VR spaces. Third, was a three-dimensional simulation of the Old Fort Niagara.

    The room is open most of the day with the help of the DMA lab assistant, Tyler Kron-Piatek. While the room is primarily used for research and development, it also can be enjoyed by others for some of the system’s entertainment and educational features. To set up an appointment to use, email Tyler Kron-Piatek at kronpiat@canisius.edu.