If you stepped foot on the Canisius College campus within the last seven years, there is a good chance you have met Dr. Barbara Irwin’s therapy dog, Juno.
“Juno is better known than I am on campus,” said Dr. Irwin with a chuckle.
Juno started her therapy dog career by visiting ASPIRE and various nursing homes. She then started going to the Canisius College library and comforted students who were stressed with homework and final exams.
“The students really love her. They say funny things like, ‘This is the best thing that has happened to me all week,'” said Dr. Irwin.
Shortly after she started visiting Canisius, the Canisius College Counseling Center approached Dr. Irwin to have Juno participate in their Stress Less Days. The Counseling Center organizes a Stress Less Day once per semester as a way to counteract the anxiety of students. Juno was a perfect fit for the event because therapy dogs are dogs that are trained to provide comfort and affection love to people who might be affected by anxiety.
“She puts everyone in a good mood and she also brings people into the office. Students often just pass through, but when Juno is here they stop and talk. It really builds a sense of community,” said Devon Bradley, Graduate Assistant in the Communication Studies office.
Juno was not always set out to be a therapy dog. In fact, Dr. Irwin described her as the “class clown” of her puppy training classes. However, she endured months of training and much to Dr. Irwin’s disbelief, passed the therapy dog certification test.
Dr. Irwin says that the process has been rewarding and she believes that Juno is a valuable member of the Canisius College community.
“Just watching her with people, you can see the stress just melt away. It’s also a two-way street. Juno is so happy. She loves attention,” said Dr. Irwin.
Students in Dr. Barbara Irwin’s “Broadcasting in America” class produced four episodes of WBBZ-TV’s Bragging Rights, which pits two teams of three against one another in a race to answer trivia questions on a variety of subjects.
“I wanted my students to have the opportunity to work on real-world projects so I wanted them to actually see broadcasting at work,” said Dr. Irwin, Professor of Communication Studies.
Dr. Irwin reached out to various contacts at local television stations to determine if there was any interest in the project. After a brief conversation with WBBZ-TV’s John Di Sciullo, it was determined that the students would produce episodes of Bragging Rights, a local trivia gameshow.
“I was familiar with the show and I knew Jon would be a great person to work for,” said Dr. Irwin.
The students produced four episodes of Bragging Rights. They wrote all of the trivia questions, organized teams from the Canisius community, made cue cards, and much more. During breaks between the episodes, students had the opportunity to learn how to operate cameras and the switchboard in the control room.
The episodes of the show aired in late November and early December. Other students in Dr. Irwin’s class also worked on an interview with a local band for WEDG The Edge and a news broadcast for WGRZ. All of the projects provided the students with direct, hands-on experience in broadcasting.
“I was really proud of the students in my class. They stepped up and did a wonderful job. I hope they learned a lot about broadcasting,” said Dr. Irwin.
To be written by Ben on Friday 12/7
The Communication Studies Department recently hosted a holiday desk decorating contest in November to spread a little holiday cheer. Faculty and staff in the department decorated their desks and members of the Canisius Community had the chance to vote. Dr. Wanzer’s Winter Wonderland themed desk took home first place. Great work to all involved!
Peruse these photos to see which one was your favorite!