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Archive: Jul 2019

  1. Letter from Chair (Spring 2019)

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    Another year older, another class graduated and we all march on with time. That march always brings changes and, as I present you with our 2019 Spring/Summer Alumni Newsletter, I plan to look at this all with a positive view. We’ll miss our recent graduates, but we’ll stay in touch with these newsletters and our various social media. We’ll also welcome a new cohort of excited new freshmen in about two months.

    The news, in this edition, is personally gratifying in several ways. First the big news (in our feature article) is a new addition to our major program. Some of you heard me talk about this for some years, now, but at last, after all those fits and starts, we will offer a new Integrated Marketing Communication major within our department. The unique feature is that this is a very rare blend of courses between communication and marketing. Only a handful of colleges and universities across the country offer an organized curriculum that blends them. Usually, when they do, one side dominates the other. Here, we are planning to share, as equitably as possible, the content and courses. It should result in graduates who more completely understand the interrelated nature of communication and marketing. It all begins in August.

    Related to that, only slightly, is a name change. We are now the Department of Communication, with four majors: Communication Studies, Digital Media Arts, Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communication. When some of you were here, it was simply a department of Communication Studies, with a single major: Communication Studies. As we diversified, it made sense to separate the department name from one of its principal majors.

    On other happy news, we feature some dedicated and deserving alumni. John Prizner (’97) was presented with the 2019 Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award, in April. Read about his journey and enviable accomplishments in this edition. As you’ll see, there are other profiles, here, of some other amazing Canisius’ Communication alums. Also, please take a minute to reflect on some of your class colleagues and friends. We always invite nominations for the annual Watt Alumni award; send them with a short note and you may be reading about someone you knew when, next year.

    Last, some thanks. First to those of you who gave on Giving Day. We appreciate your generosity and kindness. It will go to help students in several ways, for travel to conferences, some scholarship money and for posters, presentation materials and more. Thank you also to our colleague and friend Dr. P.J. Moskal who has left the college and returned to Europe. Life takes funny twists and turns that we don’t or can’t always understand and his has taken him back closer to home. He is a visionary and talent that will be hard for us to replace. Finally some thanks to our two graduate assistants. Dave Goodwin and Devon Bradley were both wonderful undergraduates here. The last two years, as grad assistants, each has contributed enormously to our department, and we will surely miss them.

    Have a wonderful summer and fall. We’ll catch up with you again later in the year. JD

  2. Canisius to Offer Integrated Marketing Communications Major

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    Canisius College will launch a new bachelor of science degree in integrated marketing communication (IMC) in fall 2019. It is one of a very few such interdisciplinary programs of its kind in the nation. It will be housed in the Department of Communication, but involve faculty and courses from both Communication and Marketing.

    Working with professors from the college’s Communication Studies, Digital Media Arts and Marketing departments, students will engage in a blend of coursework, including advertising, public relations, consumer behavior, marketing and digital marketing, traditional and new/social media, promotions, research and sales.

    Those who work in any facet of the marketing communication industry, fully understand the interconnected nature of marketing with the various communication functions. Everyone inside the marketing company and outside in the communication companies works as a team. Unfortunately, few colleges or universities package these relevant courses in a truly integrated, collaborative fashion. That is, until very recently.

    At Canisius, Dr. John Dahlberg (Communication) and Dr. Gregory Wood (Marketing) have, for years, informally encouraged students to cross schools and acquire the range of skills they will need. (Some of you, reading this, did just that.) At the same time Dahlberg and Wood collaborated on efforts to get past some of the traditional logistical roadblocks that many schools couldn’t or can’t seem to navigate. Over the past year, everything finally fell in place. With the support of both departments and help of the deans and the AAVP, Canisius approved the major and soon, thereafter, it was accepted by New York State.

    The new Integrated Marketing Communication major will launch this fall. Said Dahlberg: “We knew this blend of communication and marketing coursework made sense; our own experiences confirmed it. Our friends in the industry knew it would provide a perfect, natural bridge. It just took some time and patience to make it happen. We know our students will gain some unique advantages from it, as we go forward. We’re all very excited that it’s finally going to be a reality.”

  3. Thank You to All of our Guest Speakers!

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    Thanks to the generous alumni in our department, we had lots of guest speakers come and visit our classes this semester. Thank you all for coming and sharing your valuable careers advice to our current students! Scroll through to see who visited our classes.

    Susan Was, 2003 alum and Director of Human Resources at Curbell visited students in Social Media Effects to help them prepare for the job market. 
    Dr. Irwin’s Media Ethics class spoke with VP and Southeast Bureau Chief at CNN, and Canisius alum MaryLynn Ryan. 
    Pulitzer Prize winning photographer José Galvez visited FAS 142, Travel Photography. Mr. Galvez shared his extensive knowledge of photography with the students.
  4. Communication Studies Alum Named 30 Under 30

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    Congratulations are in order for Jessica McKay (COM ’18) who was recently named in Buffalo Business First’s 30 Under 30 List! Recipients under the age of 30 are awarded due to factors such as career achievements, leadership and initiative, community engagement and each nominee’s potential to become a community leader on a grand scale.

    We recently interviewed her for our newsletter last semester. Read what she had to say about being a Canisius alum!

    Where do you currently work and could you describe what you do?

    I currently work at Mercy Flight as a Marketing and Development Coordinator. I help coordinate events such as our gala, open houses, helicopter unveilings, summer and holiday employee parties, and a new spring event that is currently in the works. Another major part of my job is to recruit, manage, and retain our volunteer base. In addition, I help with social media marketing, inputting donations, meeting and making relationships with donors, and various day-to-day tasks.

    What are your favorite memories of Canisius?

    My favorite memories of Canisius consist of long nights in the library with friends, studying abroad in Italy and traveling around Europe, being an orientation leader, and going on service trips.

    What advice do you have for current students?

    Always put the extra work in; it will show and people will notice.

    Were you involved in any clubs or internships at Canisius?

    I was involved in the Student Programming Board, Phi Sigma Sigma, Alpha Sigma Nu, Lambda Pi Eta, Association of Women and Men in Communications, Public Relations Student Society of America, and Chorale. I completed two internships on my own through the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in the Event Services Department and Shea’s Performing Arts in the Marketing Department as well as completing two internships through Canisius at Mercy Flight in the Marketing and Development Department and Hospice in the Development Department.

    How do you think Canisius prepared you for the real world?

    I believe my internships prepared me for the “real world” in the sense that I was able to gain valuable experience doing the sorts of things I would one day do as a profession. I also took a great deal away from my leadership roles at Canisius through various clubs. In addition, I strongly believe that Canisius taught me how to become a better person for others and myself. I carry the ideals and values that became such a crucial part of my life throughout my time at Canisius to the professional and personal life I have post-grad.

  5. John Prizner, III Recipient of 2019 Marilyn G.S. Watt Award

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    Congratulations to Communication Studies alumnus John Prizner, III (COM ’97), who is the latest recipient of the Marilyn G.S. Watt Award. The Marilyn G. S. Watt Award is awarded annually to a graduate of the Communication Studies Department based on four criteria, including career achievement, communication-related community involvement, professional commitment, and previous honors & awards. The award stands as a tribute to Dr. Watt and her sense of sharing and community. 

    Prizner graduated from Canisius with degrees in Communication Studies and Sociology in 1997 and then went on to receive a masters degree in Public Relations at Syracuse University. He put these degrees to good use for The Buffalo Bills as a Marketing Partnerships and Public Relations Coordinator until 2002, where he serviced and executed more than 100 corporate marketing partnerships for the organization.

    He then held Executive Leadership roles at organizations in North Royalton, Ohio and Rochester, New York until 2006 when he returned home to Canisius to serve as the Development Officer for the college.

    During his four year tenure here, he managed a portfolio of 150 major gift and annual leadership donors and secured more than $1.25 million in support of the campaign, consistently exceeding established annual goals. When he left Canisius, he continued his fundraising work at the University at Buffalo’s School of Management, acting as the Assistant Dean and Director of Development until 2015.

    He has now been at the University of Syracuse for four years, where he is currently employed as the Senior Principal Gifts Officer. During his time at Syracuse, he has consistently surpassed annual fundraising goals for the Whitman School of Management, raising more than $30 million from 2016-2018. 

    Congratulations, John!

  6. Congratulations to 2019 Senior Awards Recipients

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    On Tuesday, April 23, the Communication Studies, Journalism, and Digital Media Arts faculty honored the top students of the class of 2019 at the annual Senior Awards Ceremony. Congratulations to all of our graduating students! We can’t wait to see what you do in the future! The award recipients are listed below:

    Senior Communication Studies Academic Awards

    Academic Excellence in COM (Highest GPA)

    Sidney Bernardoni

    Academic Achievement in COM (GPA 3.6+)

    Kathryn Simon
    Natassia Tuhovak
    Branwyn Wilkinson
    Rachelle Cizdziel
    Aileen Doyle
    Julia Dressler
    Emily Simon

    Academic Quality in COM (GPA 3.4+)

    Erisa Miyazawa
    Mary Russo
    Jah-Ni Blanton-Dale
    Sydney Bichsel

    Senior Digital Media Arts Academic AwardsP

    Academic Excellence in DMA (Highest GPA)

    Theodore Benz

    Academic Achievement in DMAv(GPA 3.6+)

    Kathryn MacConnell          
    Elayna Ridley                   
    Alexander Kontak
    Matthew Gagliardi 
    Hannah Latragna
    Rebecca Miller
    Zachary Wing                               

    Academic Quality in DMA (GPA 3.4+)

    Jeremy Daniels                       
    Zowie Auger      
    Briana Shaner      
    Andrea Makowski     
    Elise Miller               

    Senior Journalism Academic AwardsP

    Academic Excellence in JRN (Highest GPA)

    Canio Marasco
    Emilie Maggio

    Academic Achievement in JRN (GPA 3.6+)

    Siobhan Quinn

    Double Major Awards

    Academic Quality in JRN/COM(GPA 3.4+)

    Imuetinyan Okuns
    Domenico Renna

    JRN/COM Double Major Certificate

    Adam Duke
    Taylor Williams
    Adam Sutton

    Academic Achievement in DMA/COM (GPA 3.6+)P

    Lindsey Bender

    DMA/COM Double Major CertificateP

     Justin Fague
    David Hicks
    Elias Lipka

    Integrated Marketing CommunicationP

    Brianna Byandagara    
    Rachelle Cizdziel            
    Zhane Irby          
    Claire Simmons
    Emily Simon
    Jaret Werner
    Victoria Carringi                  

    Senior Club Awards

    The Griffin – College Newspaper
    Editor-in-Chief: Adam Duke
    Opinion Editor: Branwyn Wilkinson

    Outstanding Journalism SeniorP

    Adam Duke

    Association for Women and Men in Communication (AWMC)

    Service: Zoey Maggiore

    Excellence in Communication Research

    Sidney Bernardoni
    Kathryn Simon

    Digital Media ArtIST Awards “For Outstanding Portfolio”

    Graphic Design

    Alex Cambria
    Elise Miller

    Web Design

    Matthew Gagliardi

    Digital Filmmaking

    Hannah Latragna
    Justin Fague
    Kathryn MacConnell
    Alexander Kontak

    Game Design

    Andrea Makowski
    Cody McCray

    Digital Media Arts Club

    Andrea Makowski

    Video Institute Award

    Justin Fague                      
    Ryan Gelder                   
    Alexander Kontak
    Hannah Latragna          
    Kathryn MacConnell

    The Gene and Peter Jankowski Award of Excellence

    Kathryn MacConnell



  7. Letter from the Graduate Assistant: David Goodwin

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    When I came back to the Communication Studies Department in 2017 to begin my stint as the department’s graduate assistant, I was a little lost. Having graduated from Canisius in undergrad two years prior, I held a series of jobs I did not love (ok – some I might have actively and intensely disliked), and I didn’t know what I wanted in my career. 

    So when I came back for grad school and got the job in the Communication Studies Department, I was thrilled to get to work. I’m proud that during my time here I’ve helped the department establish a budding social media presence, re-instated the alumni newsletters (on an updated digital platform!), and even helped coordinate the department’s first holiday desk decorating contest. 

    The professors worked me hard, but it’s also been a fun two years. There have been lots of laughs with my fellow GA, Devon, who I have grown close with as we roamed around the office laughing, singing loud songs, and generally annoying the professors who were just trying to grade papers. 

    I fed Dr. Irwin’s dog carrot sticks, hung out in Professor Higgins’ office discussing politics, fretted about my capstone project with Dr. Hartman, and took a great class with Dr. Wanzer. Each day brought something new and exciting.

    Everyone I encountered here has helped guide me or inspire me in some way. The Communication Studies, Journalism, and Digital Media Arts students at Canisius are in good hands, with professors and staff that truly care about their students’ success. Thanks to them, I’m leaving Canisius (again) a matured, more inspired person with a reinvigorated plan of what I want for my future.

    I’m grateful for the opportunity to come back to a place I love so dearly. I won’t miss the three-floor trek up the stairs in Lyons Hall every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but I will miss coming to a place that has always felt like home. 

  8. Two Video Institute Premieres this Spring

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    The Canisius College Video Institute premiered two student-produced documentaries this semester, NewBorn: Maternal Health and Resources in New York State and Love Conquers Fear: Lessons in Boxing and Life.

    NewBorn premiered on Tuesday, March 26th and was produced by Canisius College students Kathryn MacConnell, Emyle Watkins and Elaine Stickney, with assistance from Deysha Johnson. This film focused on issues faced by pregnant or parenting women in New York. From homelessness to addiction, poverty and more, women across the state see barriers to accessing care. You can watch it here.

    Love Conquers Fear: Lessons in Boxing and Life, a film produced by digital media arts students Alex Kontak ’19 and Ryan Gelder ’19, premiered on Monday, April 8. The film focused on a youth boxing program created for the purpose of helping high school students grow and develop physically, mentally and spiritually. Many of the participants were from Buffalo’s international high school, having recently relocated from third-world countries. Faith-based “life lessons” are woven seamlessly into each boxing lesson. You can watch it here.

    Under the direction of Barbara Irwin, PhD, and Jamie O’Neil, the award-winning 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. Students produce social documentaries and service-oriented videos – all connected by the theme of social justice – to promote discourse on ethical, social and cultural issues relevant to the world today.

  9. Lambda Pi Eta Inducts 16 New Members

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    Congrats to the 16 Communication Studies students who were inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, Canisius College’s Communication Studies Honors Society. These students were inducted at a ceremony on Sunday, April 7 in front of family and friends.

    Students are selected and asked to join the honor society based on rigorous academic standards set by the Lambda Pi Eta National Organization. Graduating Lambda Pi Eta members were also honored and presented with their red and white honor cords to wear at graduation in May. Congratulations to all!

    Congratulations to:

    Noah Cliff
    Cora Ivison
    Madeline Rickett
    Erisa Miyasawa
    Emily Simon
    Imuetinyan Okuns
    Rebecca Brandel
    Domenico Renna
    Courtney Kelly
    Robert Grant
    Adam Duke
    Kate Liscavage
    Simone Riter
    D’jhai Patterson Ricks
    Emma Vicaretti
    Zhane Irby
  10. Giving Day Breaks Department Record

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    Thank you to all the alumni, faculty, staff, and current students who donated to the Communication Studies, Digital Media Arts, Journalism, and Video Institute Departments on Canisius College’s Giving Day!

    Through the generosity of 47 very special donors, $2,375 was raised for the Department of Communication. Donors also gave more than $1,000 total to Digital Media Arts, Journalism, and the Video Institute Giving Day pages.

    In addition to the Marilyn G.S. Watt Scholarship, awarded to a committed undergraduate Communication major with need, Giving Day gifts go for student support in various ways. Some fund posters for Ignatian Day presentations, cover student travel to academic conferences or help with registration fees for some of our student clubs. As unfunded needs arise, we’re so happy we can support our students through your generosity.

    Thanks to all of you for your continuing support!