Apr 01

On Campus Component

The online Master’s degree Canisius offers in Anthrozoology is different from your average online program in many ways. One of the coolest ways that it differs is an aspect of the program they call the OCC. This stands for On Campus Component.

At the beginning of every Fall and Spring semester, the Anthrozoology students and professors travel to the Buffalo campus for an intensive 4 day weekend to kick off the classes. This weekend accomplishes several things. During a typical OCC, you attend class, listen to guest speakers, tour the campus, and attend mini field trips. However, the most important aspect of OCC is the ability to meet your professors and fellow students face to face. This experience is invaluable to an online program.

After the OCC is over, everyone heads home to continue their classes online. Throughout the semester, your classwork will involve emailing and chatting with your fellow students. Since you now have a background of these students and are able to put faces to the names, it makes the interactions much more personal and meaningful. I believe for these reasons, it also increases the quality of education you receive. Below is a picture from the OCC that took place in the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester.

Mar 31

Teaching from a Counseling Perspective

Hello, Canisius friends!

I am settling into my “new position” at Sweet Home and could not be happier! While I have experienced a few challenges already, I have experienced great moments of connection with my students. While I was a substitute teacher the past few years, I have NEVER denied students the ability to go to the counseling center. That is how I always used my counseling knowledge in the classroom when I first started in the counseling program. As I advanced in my classes, I am able to use my counseling skills in the classroom a different way…

1) I encourage students to talk to each other and look at each other. While I have not done this yet as a special education teacher, I have done it as a substitute teacher in other settings. In my counseling classes, when working with groups (and in our classes) we tell our clients to talk to each other. This makes clients feel cared for and important and that he or she is a part of something beneficial to them.

2) Empathizing with students who struggle. I have quite a few students who struggle academically with reading and writing. In my experience, many teachers do not understand why students have a hard time completing work. I want my students to understand that it’s OKAY to have a hard time and that I am there to support them. I find myself being very empathetic and understanding and saying things like “I understand this is hard.” Many of them begin to relax once I say something like that.

3) Offer assistance with college preparations. Many of my students are community college bound and are applying for admission to college and scholarships. Some struggle to understand the application, which is where I can assist them as a teacher, but also use my counseling experience and knowledge to be a better resource for them.

4) When I was at my counseling internship, my supervisor was always asking students “Is there anything you need at home?” because many students had needs. While teaching the past few weeks I’ve found myself asking questions such as “Do you need anything?” and “What can I do to make you more successful?” Those are natural questions for both teacher and counselors.

I could go on and on about how much I love working with students, but my FAVORITE part is realizing when students are starting to trust you, open up to you, and seek you out for help. It is honestly the most amazing feeling in ANY educational profession. I honestly feel like a “better teacher” because of my counseling experience and I would not trade this for the world.

Mar 30

Jumping in with Both Feet as a Returning Student

The inaugural Canisius College MS in Anthrozoology cohort.

Throughout college and my professional life in public health, a voice in the back of my mind nagged me about working with nonhuman animals. I was never interested in practicing animal medicine. I was more interested in the psychological and physical lives of nonhumans themselves and how we as humans relate. I could never articulate it very well – it wasn’t animal science; it wasn’t animal behavior; it wasn’t human psychology, and it wasn’t anthropology. I eventually discovered that the field I wanted to study had a name – Anthrozoology – and badly wanted to study it, but the programs at that time were only in Europe and Australia.

 

The Facebook post that changed my life.

In April 2011, I was perusing Facebook, and the Animals and Society Institute happened to post about a new Master of Science program – 90% online, 10% in-person – at Canisius. I could physically feel the excitement coursing through my body and felt my breath catch as I read the program’s website. My heart pounded as I wrote a passionate 2-page e-mail that I sent to my husband and my mother, telling them that despite having just graduated with a Master of Public Administration degree, I had found something that would change my life forever. I decided to apply to the program immediately. I’m a very cautious person who rarely jumps in with both feet without examining all ramifications of a situation, but I can truly say that doing so in pursuit of this degree has been one of the best decisions of my life.

 

Luckily, I had somebody to supervise my studying.

In his opening post, Paul discussed the diversity of students in the Anthrozoology program. I was one of those students who worked full-time and went to school part-time, two classes per term. The Anthrozoology faculty are remarkably accommodating and respectful of the fact that many of their students are returning to school and have responsibilities with employment, family, and other commitments. The ability to move at your own pace is one of the standout features of this program and allows a wide variety of talented and fascinating individuals to pursue this degree. Even if you have competing priorities, I’ve found that when you truly love the subject you’re studying, completing assignments is a joy rather than a burden – something that was foreign to me in my previous schooling. I entered this program at age 31 and never felt out of step with my fellow students; in fact, I’d estimate that my age was right around the average for my class. Returning to school is no doubt intimidating, but the environment of flexibility and camaraderie in the Anthrozoology Master of Science program is a perfect landing spot.

Mar 27

Student Affairs Conference in Florida

Hello Everybody,

I know everybody must be getting excited about Spring Break.  I know I am! Today, I just wanted to talk about my journey I had in Tampa, Florida this past week. One of the perks about being in the College Student Personnel Administration program at Canisius College is that both cohorts in the program are required to attend a professional conference called ACPA. For those of  you who have not heard about ACPA, it is a professional organization for student affairs educators. ACPA means American College Personnel Association.

As part of our program and the required attendance for this conference, air fare and hotel is included in our tuition so we do not pay directly out of our pockets. The only items we had to pay for out of pocket was for our personal expenses such as food for the duration of the week trip. This is definitely a perk to being a CSPA student at Canisius College! Our conference was located in downtown Tampa at the Tampa Convention Center. This was my first professional conference I have ever attended and I must say it was quite impressive! The best part about attending this conference are the unique opportunities that are given to you while there. One of the many benefits of attending this conference is professional networking. I have met so many wonderful people at this conference and it was definitely a positive experience for me. I had the pleasure of meeting so many new professionals in the field of student affairs including admissions officers, hall directors, and directors of multicultural affairs offices on their respective college campuses. This was just a unique experience for me personally and professionally!

 

As a first year grad student, there is a mandatory ten page reflection paper required as part of the program. This was an opportunity to reflect on what you did at the conference and what sessions you attended and why you attended those specific sessions.  Part of the requirements for this paper is to reflect on the sessions you attended at ASPA and how it is applicable to my current coursework. So far, the paper is coming along and nearly finished. This past week in Florida has also been a very exhausting one as well because I had to attend 6 one hour sessions on different competencies in student affairs such as diversity and inclusion, research, and leadership. This was a great trip and I cannot wait to go to Montreal Canada for the next ACPA conference in March of 2016 for job searching.  Have a great Spring Break everyone and keep it real!

 

Mar 25

Why did I stay?

Why did I stay?

It’s always tough to choose which school is best fit for you when you’re a senior in high school.

But what about when you’re a senior in college?

What if the program you seek is right where you are?

I asked these bloggers the simple question: Why did you stay?

 

“Upon graduation from Canisius College in 2012, I knew graduate school was in my future.  I was fortunate to get a job a couple of months after graduation and I worked for 2 years as an athletic trainer.  I began applying to grad school after the end of my second year working and I knew I wanted to pursue a masters in either Sport Administration or Sport Management.  My top 2 options were to stay at Canisius or move to Philadelphia and attend Drexel University.  I had received graduate assistantships at both schools, just in different departments.  After weighing my options, I decided that it was best for me to attend Canisius.  In choosing Canisius, I was able to still work as an athletic trainer while working in the Graduate Admissions department as a graduate assistant.  I loved my 4 years of undergraduate here at Canisius and I knew I would be 100% comfortable in graduate school.  It has been more than wonderful so far as I love my classes as a Sport Administration major and the people I work with in the graduate admissions department have been so welcoming.  I know I made the right decision in picking Canisius for graduate school and I am excited to see what my future has in store!”

~ Kristen S. – Sport Administration

 

“As a student who is aspiring to earn my CPA license, I knew I had a fifth year of school ahead of me after undergrad.  I also knew that there are countless ways to earn the educational requirement for the CPA exam.  With so many options available, I decided to return to Canisius for grad school because of the unique opportunity to earn my Masters in Forensic Accounting and continue my education at the at school I enjoyed so much as an undergrad.  The Forensic Accounting is a relatively new option for students and was one of the first programs of its kind in the nation.  The skills I am learning in this program are consistently expanding on many lessons I learned as an undergrad and preparing me for a career.  Also, I knew that the program would offer the same close-knit atmosphere as undergrad did.  The dedicated faculty takes the time to build a relationship with the students.  The faculty work closely with students and are constantly providing us with future career opportunities.”

~ Jon C. – Forensic Accounting 

 

 

 

 

 

“My undergraduate experience at Canisius College was something I was proud of. Canisius offered me a very challenging and rewarding experience while pursuing my Bachelors degree. Upon graduation, I was ready and eager to face the real world. I worked for several reputable WNY companies such as North American Breweries, New Era Cap Co., and Fisher Price. I knew that Canisius gave me the skills to get in those doors and be successful in my field. When I decided to go back for Graduate school, Canisius was where I had my heart set. I knew the learning environment, the helpful staff, and the strong curriculum were imperative to continuing my education. I didn’t want to settle for anything less, and I’m so excited and honored to receive my second degree from this highly respected institution.”

~ Lisa F. – School Counseling

 

“Be a student as long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.” – Henry L. Doherty

Canisius lasts a life time!

 

Mar 24

ACPA Convention 2015- all things sunshine and happiness

So as I can tell from my fellow bloggers, we have all had enough of this rough (and that is putting it lightly) Buffalo winter. Thankfully, the snow is almost all melted away and I can finally remember what grass looks like.

As the season turns to spring, I am getting closer to no longer being a Canisius graduate student and closer to being a higher education professional. And I must admit, I couldn’t be any more excited and prepared for what lies ahead. The College Student Personnel Administration program, directed by the outstanding Dr. Sandra Estanek, has laid the groundwork and provided me with confidence that I am prepared to enter a workforce that I sincerely have a passion for.

One of the best and most rewarding parts of being a CSPA student is that every year we are given the incredible opportunity to travel to a professional development conference as a cohort. Typically the conference we attend is ACPA (American College Personnel Association) which was held last year in Indianapolis, Indiana and this year- to my utmost delight- was in sunshiney Tampa, Florida. So I packed up my sandals, sunglasses, and summer professional wear (which has sadly been in a dark, sad place in my closet since October) and eagerly jumped on that plane. I consider myself to be a worshiper of the sun so Tampa had my name written all over it.

So now that you all know about my desperate need to go to Tampa for sunshine, it also is a great way to get to know people within your cohort on a personal level. These people who you share a class with on a weekly basis are going to turn into your colleagues at some point, even if they are working at a school in California and you are still in New York. One of the greatest pieces of advice I have gained this semester in my capstone class is to value the connection you make with your cohort members because they are ultimately going to be the people you turn to as a new professional with questions that you may not want to broach with your new supervisor.

The conference itself serves a general purpose to provide student affairs professionals and graduate students with a weekend jam packed with professional development sessions. A few days before the conference, there is also Career Central where those who are job searching can have interviews with one (or often times many) schools in all different functional areas and different parts of the country all in one place. As a first year student, you will have an assignment where you have to attend sessions based on the classes you are taking and write a paper about those sessions. But as a second year student, you have more flexibility in the sessions you attend because you may be spending your entire conference interviewing for jobs or you may be attending sessions outside your comfort zone to gain new insight or you may tailor your session schedule for areas you are specifically interested in.

Along with a lot of learning, networking, and fun, I also got a really nice tan :)

 

Mar 20

What can you do in Buffalo during the school year?

I am not a winter person.  I cannot ski, snowboard, or ice skate.  Basically, I am part of the minority here in Buffalo.  A girl like me should be sitting on the beaches of Florida with a good book.  But since I never want to leave this wonderful place, I need to find things to keep me busy throughout the winter.

For many people, the newest attraction here in Buffalo is Canalside.  During the winter months there is this amazing ice rink with string lights and small shops.  It opened this year and it has been a hit!  Not only can you skate there, but there are also bikes that can be rented that glide on the ice.  A nice alternative for people like me who don’t function in winter. Ha!  If you don’t go there for the ice skating, it is nice to get go there and take a walk because it is decorated so beautifully.  Near Canalside is a new restaurant called (716) Food and Sport.  This place is great!  I was able to visit there this past Sunday and it is heaven for a sports fan.  There is a huge screen TV along with many other TVs that line the walls of the place.  It is also lined with sports facts from every sport and bar counters that look like ice rinks.  I got a burger there and it was amazing.  Again near both of those places if First Niagara Center, home to the Buffalo Sabres.  Granted, they are not doing their best this season, but it is still a fun place to go (and if hockey is not your thing, the Buffalo Bills play only 15 minutes south of downtown in my hometown of Orchard Park)!  With all of those things near by, that area makes a great day trip!  Plus, you can always hop on the 90 and be at the Galleria Mall in minutes ;)  I definitely am not a winter person.  I mean, this year we got over 9 feet of snow, with 7 of them coming during #Snowvember.  It has been a long, tough winter, but it is nice to know that in-between all of those travel advisories there are plenty of things to do for those who are like me and cannot function in winter.

My favorite time of year by far is summertime.  I can spend more time outside, and less time in front of Netflix (I’m telling you, it’s a serious problem I have).  Canalside is also a summer destination because there is a Naval Park.  For roughly $10, you can tour two naval boats and a submarine that contains the history of both.  It is also still set up like it was back then, and for me it was an eye opener that those people slept in the bunks that they did.  You can also rent a water bike and other cool things that I have yet to try but I cannot wait to!  Concerts happen there, as well as other events.  Even if there isn’t an event happening, there is a long stretch of land that can be walked.  This land faces the water and it’s a beautiful place to catch the sunset.  On Canalside, there are adirondack chairs to sit in and on the Marina side (which is connected) there are benches.  You can even bring your own blanket or chairs!  There are also tours that can be taken downtown, some free and some with a small charge.  I have only done one free one and this one takes you to the 28th floor of City Hall and gives an amazing view!!  Again, if that gets boring, the Galleria Mall is minutes away!

No but really, downtown is really an up and coming place.  With restaurants like The Chocolate Bar and Chef’s, along with the waterfront, there is plenty to do!  A little south of Buffalo there is a line of beaches that are jam packed during the summer.  Since we only get so much summertime, everyone in Buffalo cannot wait to enjoy it.  If you are an out of town student looking to come here for graduate school, don’t worry, there is plenty to do when school work from the DI Program isn’t keeping you up at night.

 

 

 

I have attached some pictures that I have taken of some places that you can see around Downtown :)

Melissa

P.S Can you tell I love summer so much more than winter?

 

 

Mar 19

Why Canisius: A tale of circumstance

So why did I apply to Canisius? Well there is quite a bit of history to go through to understand the answer to this question but the TL:DR (too long, didn’t read) version is that Canisius was in the perfect place at the perfect time. Allow me to explain.

After graduating from Ball State University back in my home state of Indiana, I was lost. I had switched to majoring in psychology fairly late in my college career, necessitating an extra year, but this change still left me way too busy to do more than contemplate graduate school. Beyond being busy, I also wasn’t even sure I wanted to go to grad school. I felt like my years were slipping away from me as I spent year after year digging myself further into debt by drudging away at school instead of contributing to society and “living my life.” I needed a couple of friends to point out that going to school was still living my life, but at this time I still felt that my life was on hold until I had a job to define and validate my existence.

Ball State University, where I came from.

So I did what any good Christian would do. I prayed as intensely as I could for God to show me which path would be better for me; going to grad school or working right away. But I heard little in the way of divine direction, so I proceeded on making my decision. I could start work as a case manager in my small town in Indiana, stay home with my parents, work to pay off my loans and try to save money, and then…. I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t see any further from there. I could stay in Indiana and work until I retired as a case manager, but I felt that I would be better as a mental health counselor. Unfortunately that required grad school. I also didn’t want to stay in Indiana forever; there is a big world out there to see and live in. I also realized that if I planed to move to a different state, then working for a year or longer in Indiana would mean putting my life on hold in a way. The friendships that I would develop in Indiana wouldn’t transfer across the country and so I would be cultivating dead-end relationships, so to speak. Eventually I decided that grad school would be the best opportunity for me.

Now I had to decide which school. Luckily I have an uncle who is a mental health counselor so he gave me some great career advice. He told me to seek out a school that was CACREP accredited. That stands for Council of Accreditation for Counseling and Related Education Programs, which basically is the gold standard for counseling programs. Going to a school affiliated with this association would increase my job eligibility. So I began searching all across the country for schools that had programs that were CACREP accredited. I eventually applied and was accepted to Colorado Christian University in Denver Colorado.

Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University, where I almost went to

But wait, you say, that’s not Canisius! We’re getting there, trust me. So I started taking classes online at this school for the fall semester so that I would have more time and money to actually move to Denver. However, the more I researched the school and area, the more I was actually dreading moving there. I didn’t think that I would like the sunny, arid weather, or the conservative Christian bent of the school. At the same time I was starting to fantasize about living in historical, cozy city with extensive cloud cover and frequent rain. No joke, that was where I wanted to live. Anyway, as the fall semester ended I received an email from the admissions personnel, which stated that not enough people applied to start in the spring semester like me, so they were going to delay my start until next fall. I would have to move all the way out to Denver to take some in-person electives and then finally start the program in the next fall. As you can imagine after all that talk about wanting to start my life and contribute to society, I rejected this offer and withdrew myself from that school.

Now I have no school and Christmas break is nearly upon me. So I searched for CACREP schools in cities that fit what I was looking for. I quickly found Canisius in Buffalo, NY and immediately fell in love. Canisius was my academic savior. I applied and was accepted within less than two weeks of my application. I was overjoyed to live in the city of Buffalo and go to this school that would accept me in the spring and still met all of my criteria for a stellar counseling program.

Canisius College

Canisius College, the perfect place for me

I have never looked back, except to say how lucky I am that this wonderful school was in the exact right place at the exact right time. I love my program, I love living in Buffalo, and most of all, I am learning a great deal to contribute to society both now and when I graduate.

Mar 18

Diverse, successful education

From the Director of the graduate program … Anthrozoology is many things to many different people. In our graduate program, the faculty and students are diverse in ways that are healthy and yet defy precise description. Some are focused on companion animals so fully that they do not have room in their busy schedule to focus as do others in our program on wildlife communities and individuals. Others are focused heavily on education-based issues, or some special form of animal protection, or the important suite of human skills we call “ethics,” or animal assisted therapy, or zoos, or food animals, or cultural differences, or one of many other diverse topics that sit comfortably under the anthrozoology/animal studies umbrella.

Some of our students work full-time as they pursue this program, while others carry part-time employment as they pursue either full-time graduate work or a less-than-full-time approach to this field. Others have the wonderful opportunity of pursuing this graduate work as their full-time, primary work.

Who is discovering who?

So diversity is one of the heartbeats of this graduate community.

To nurture this diversity, our graduate community foregrounds a culture of inquiry and the foundational role played by critical thinking, cross-cultural explorations, interdisciplinary approaches, ethical concerns, and, of course, science-based information in any healthy human community trying to learn about “animals”(whether human or nonhuman).

But in anthrozoology in particular, such a multifaceted approach is important because the field as whole aspires to understand humans’ past choices, present practices, and

future prospects of living in this world full of nonhuman individuals and communities that are only sometimes noticed and taken seriously by modern citizens.

All of this makes the study of anthrozoology at Canisius College one of the best and most enjoyable educational experiences possible today.

Paul Waldau, Director of Anthrozoology Master of Science graduate program

Mar 17

Tackling the Jesuit Mission with… Accounting

My time at Canisius so far has truly taught me all of the advantages of receiving a Jesuit education.  The values are far reaching throughout the classes, including the Forensic Accounting classes.  In other words, in class I am learning all the technical skills that a forensic accountant is required to know in addition to the idea that giving back to the community is important.

This experience is the result of a service learning component of one of the forensic accounting courses.  Throughout the classes in the forensic accounting program students learn, amongst other things, “red-flags” to look for that may indicate a fraud has occurred.  While these may not always lead to a fraud being discovered, it instills a questioning mindset that is essential for auditing.  In addition to being able to recognize the risks, the classes teach the students how to correct these issues and mitigate the weaknesses.

The knowledge of how to identify and correct weaknesses in a business is where the service learning came into action.  Working with the City of Buffalo, students were assigned to a number of not-for-profit organizations throughout the area with the task of assessing the accounting records.  After visiting the organization, students applied the knowledge from the classroom and suggested possible improvements.

Overall, this experience was great!  Not only was I able to apply what I had been learning in class but I was also able to give back to the community.  This was another great opportunity that the forensic accounting program offered me to make connections in the Buffalo community.

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