May 14

Adios, Canisius!

Hello, Canisius!

Wow! It’s hard to believe that I have officially completed my Masters degree! Two and half years of hard work and graduate school is a wrap!

That being said, this is also my very last blog post :(

Internship 1... So many great memories!

I don’t even know where to begin in talking about all of the things I truly love about Canisius.

I actually found Canisius pretty randomly. My high school counselor went here and when I decided to pursue a Masters in school counseling, I looked at her Facebook page and saw that she attended Canisius. I did very little research on the school and decided to apply about a week before I walked at my undergraduate commencement. I said my prayers and sent in my application, and about six weeks later I was accepted! My mother was the one to inform me of the news over the phone when she called and as soon as she read my acceptance letter, I said to myself: “You’re really moving to Buffalo.” Little did I know, this decision would be the most life changing choice I have made.

Internship 2... Many more great learning experiences and fun!

Over the past week, I have had the opportunity to speak to TWO students who are attending Canisius next year. One graduate student coming to the school counseling program and one high school student in one of the classes I coteach who is attending Canisius in the fall for business. The graduate student I saw seemed very excited and enthusiastic about starting her new experience. The high school student’s face lit up when he talked about starting at Canisius. I loved telling both incoming students how much I love Canisius and they seemed very appreciative of the fact that I spoke highly of the college. I found myself getting a little emotional at the thought of knowing that I will not be a student there anymore. I love having these experiences to share my love for learning, Buffalo, and Canisius with potential and incoming students. They have so much fire in their eyes and I know they want to be successful at Canisius.

At Canisius, I have had the opportunity to be in the presence of such inspirational people throughout the past few years. From positive professors and mentors to and encouraging college personnel, my life has been forever changed.

The Canisius counseling program has taught me to make mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning and growing. This started in my practicum and internship experiences. As I was practicing my skills and actually making mistakes, that is how I was LEARNING.

Celebrating with my closest friends and a former student and friend!

This program has taught me to extend myself and step outside of my comfort zone to open myself to novel experiences. I have done this in professional, social, and personal aspects of my life. I understand the importance and the value in engaging in experiences that may make me feel a little uncomfortable. Throughout my time at Canisius, I have been a part of various experiences that I never ever would have had the courage or mind-set to do had it not been for my experiences at Canisius College.

My cap! This shouldn't surprise anyone!

I have recently been offered a job in Florida, and I am considering making this my step in my career. I think I had a I not been through this program, I never would have grown in to the woman I am today. I am so very thankful for the many experiences that Canisius has offered me to grow and learn both as a student but as a person.

Being a student blogger for the program has allowed me to represent Canisius as a student and as an individual. I have reflected on myself, my counseling skills, and my positive (and negative) experiences through my blog. I have met people and read about their own students at Canisius that I never would have done if I hadn’t blogged for my program. I remember when I received an email asking me to join the team and I was so excited to represent my college.

If you’re reading this as a potential graduate student, this is me telling you to GO FOR IT! Whether it be counseling, education, or any other program, Canisius is a great environment to learn and grow. If you’re still a student, keep soaking up Canisius. Graduation will come and you will look back and realize WHO you are.

Be who you are becoming.

Peace and love.

May 12

Crushing Minds One Day At A Time

I cannot believe this semester is finally over.  It has honestly been a tough semester for me with all of the work, but I am proud that I was able to accomplish everything that I did.  One of my classes, EDDI 515, was a class that I really enjoyed.  One of the awesome activities that we were able to do over the course of the class was to plan an activities night for students in the 4th and 5th grade at Windermere Boulevard School in Amherst.


The night that we were planning for all started back when we first visited the school earlier in the semester.  Our professor, Dr. Julie Henry, wanted us to see what a gifted program was like, and the teacher Lindsay, was actually an alumni of the program.  She was great!  She showed us many different things that her students have done as well as some of the things she was planning on doing with them.  It was actually really nice to see some of the things that can be found in a gifted classroom.  It wasn’t necessarily hands on, but it was first hand experience that I am sure eased a lot of minds in the room that night.  Everyone, including myself, were learning about gifted children throughout the semester in this class and EDDI 520, but none of us never really had the experience of working with gifted students.  We didn’t really know what a gifted classroom should look like or what type of work a gifted teacher has to do.  It was really nice being able to see these different things so we do not enter an environment like that blindly.


After that day, the teacher at WBS came back to Canisius help us out with the case study that was a course requirement.  Without getting too much into detail, each of us had to watch a student for a few days and then create a plan for that gifted student.  Lindsay was giving us the option to come back to WBS and observe a child from her class.  While she was there, we started talking about doing a night at her school that would give her gifted students, as well as other students in the school, a “Mind Crushers” night.  This night would have us all creating high level games for students to come in and try.

From then on out, we spent some time each class thinking about this idea.  What would it be called?  What would we do?  What grade levels would we include?  How long would it be?  We decided to call it “Mind Crushers” and include students in 4th and 5th grade for an hour.  The graduate students would create puzzles or different activities that would push children to think more creatively and critically.  Most of us paired up and we began to create the activity we would bring with us that night.  Our professor even got her husband and his science methods class involved from Buff State.  This was great because it gave the children more options to choose from!


That night, I was not sure what to expect.  I was not sure if a lot of parents would bring their children or if the children would have fun with what we provided.  In that hour, we had a line of students that were waiting to try our activity.  We also notice lines at every other station around us.  It was full!  Many parents decided to bring their children!  I was so happy to see so many families there.  And on top of just bringing their children, they were super involved with what was happening.  Many of the parents decided to sit with their children at each station and actually participate with them.  Often times during nights like this, we see children that are participating in the activity while the parents gather in a corner and talk to one another.  That was definitely the opposite situation here.  Personally, I loved seeing the parents and children working together!


Overall, I think it had been a successful night, as did my fellow classmates and teacher.  I think the children and parents enjoyed themselves as did we.  I hope this is something that my professor continues to do.  What an enjoyable way to end the semester!



May 11

Community Day


...Happy Snowman!




Happy Summer!






I finally finished all of my final exams and papers!  It is a great feeling to have about 1.5 weeks of a mini summer vacation.  Summer classes start on Monday May 18th, as well as my internship!  After searching and applying all year long to positions, I finally was offered an internship in accounting for the summer!!!  I’ll keep you updated with future blog posts. :-)

We're painting the roses red!

So I wanted to tell you about this awesome campus event that happens every fall and spring semesters,  Community Day!  On Saturday, April 18th, over 400 Canisius students volunteered at non-profit organizations throughout the city of Buffalo.  Many groups on campus organized their own teams to volunteer at sites.  Accounting Society had 14 students volunteer their Saturday morning, including me.  Even as a grad student you can volunteer!




We went to the Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Church located at 317 Leroy Avenue and we spent the morning repainting their guard rails in the church’s parking lot yellow.  Next time, I definitely won’t be wearing jeans to Community Day, because I got them covered in paint!  We all had a fun time helping to paint in the warm sunshine.

Accounting Society Volunteers

Front of Blessed Trinity

After painting, we all got a tour of the beautiful church.  The church is a Nationally recognized historic landmark!  It was built in 1923 and is one of the best examples in the United States of the 12th century Lombard-Romanesque architecture of Northern Italy.


Community Day was a great way to volunteer and give back to Western New York.  If you’re looking to get involved beyond community day, I suggest checking out Canisius’s Community Service webpage.


PS: A year ago today (May 7th) I was accepted into the MBA program here at Canisius!  Isn’t that crazy how much changes in a year?  Last time this year I was still working with Toddlers at Doodlebugs and trying to decide what my next career move would be.  Where were you a year ago??  And to think that this time NEXT year, I will be preparing to graduate!

Here’s a funny Jimmy Fallon bit about Mother’s Day, as it is on May 10th!



May 11

How an Anthrozoology Online Class Operates

If you have never taken an online class at Canisius, you may wonder what you should expect. Canisius utilizes two software programs in their Anthrozoology program. These programs are Desire2Learn (D2L) and GoToMeeting (GTM).

Desire2Learn is an eLearning program that offers many capabilities. The Anthrozoology professors use this as one of their main classroom tools. The following is a list of the most commonly used functions of D2L.

  • Content – This is where professors upload course readings, assignment instructions, and any other material needed tor the class.
  • Discussion – A blog where the professor and students can collaborate, exchange ideas, and talk about the current class topic.
  • Dropbox – A repository to submit papers and other assignments to the professor.
  • Grades – View the grades for your assignments and any feedback the professor left.
  • Classlist – View the names, email addresses and profile picture of your professor and the students in your class.


GoToMeeting is a tool used to hold interactive, online meetings. Your professor and fellow classmates are able to join the same meeting and collaborate in real time. You are able to dial in with your phone to listen and participate in voice conversations. For the full experience, connecting with an internet enabled device allows you not only voice, but also video, chat, and desktop sharing. If you miss a meeting or want to listen to part of the conversation again, meetings are able to recorded to be saved as an mp3 file.


Even if you typically struggle with technology, GoToMeeting and Desire2Learn are easy to learn. You will spend less time worrying about the technology, and more time focusing on your classwork.


May 08

Demystifying Therapy Part 2: Homework

Homework is an interesting and wildly debated counseling phenomenon. Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Therapy, always incorporated homework into his counseling sessions. He did this for two reasons, the first of which was had to do with his own personal successes at finding change. He used to be dreadfully nervous around women and struggled relating to women and more particularly, asking women on dates. He put his counseling knowledge to the test by devising an experiment for himself. He spent all day in Central Park asking random women out for a date. To his surprise, several actually said yes to him, shattering his irrational belief that he was unable to get a date. He imported this process into his counseling practice by tailoring each homework assignment to his client’s needs. For instance, a client who is dysfunctionally obsessive about keeping his car clean may be asked to drive down a muddy country road and keep himself from cleaning the car for one night.

albert ellis

Albert Ellis

The second reason Ellis incorporated homework into his practice was due to the simple rationality that clients only see the counselor for one hour a week. Most change takes place outside of the counselor’s office due to the shear amount of time spent outside. So the counselor might as well direct how the client spend some of his or her time outside the counseling session. Of course, people will do what they want to do and mental health counselors will need to take this reality into account. This is why the proponents of Solution Focused Therapy insist that the “homework assignment” (more appropriately understood as the out-of-session solution to the client’s difficulty) should always come from the client since only then will the client actually follow through with the action.

Should homework assignments as used in counseling even be called “homework assignments?” While the idea of homework does convey the thought that the client is to work on therapy outside of the therapist’s office, it also implies that the work outside of the office MUST be completed and is for a grade, just like schoolwork. This is why Gestalt therapists use the word “experiment” in place of “homework.” That way the client is free to engage in the activity if he or she wants, or he or she could pass over this opportunity. In my own practice, I plan on referring to homework assignments as opportunities, activities, or experiments to avoid the negative connotation that my clients may have to the drudgery of past homework assignments. However, to avoid confusion, I’m going to refer to all such experiments as homework assignments for the entirety of this post.

toilet paper behind shoe

Homework in action.

One of the more imaginative homework assignments that I have read about in the past was given to a client who thought that everyone was watching and judging her flaws. So the counselor ingeniously had her go to the restroom in a busy mall, stuff toilet paper in her shoe and allow about two feet of the paper to trail behind her. Then she walked around the mall, acting as normal as she could with such an embarrassing paper accessory. No one commented on it. However, the client then took the experiment to the next level and approached random strangers to ask them if they had noticed her bathroom blunder. To her astonishment, most had not even been aware of such an obvious “mistake.” This confirmed the irrationality of her thought that “everyone notices every little flaw that I have.”
However, what do counselors assign to clients who likely won’t benefit from such a bold and active experiment? Journal writing is a popular assignment, along with self-help reading (also known as “bibliotherapy”). Dr. Yalom, whom I’ve mentioned an affinity for before, once assigned a dream journal to a particularly uninsightful client to great effect, since his unconscious existential needs and desires communicated through his graphic dreams.

In short, a client who seeks counseling should expect to put in some work outside of the counselor’s office to promote real and lasting change.

May 07

Meditating Your Way Through Finals

Hey there Griffs!

Finals week is that magical time that happens at the end of every semester when we have to try and cram everything that we learned during the semester back into our brains so that we can try and pass a test. There’s long nights, lots of time spent with notes, and a high stress environment. But there are ways that I have personally learned to make it bearable. One of those ways is meditation. Research has proven that meditation can help to lower stress levels and in turn, help you to learn more information faster.

Some people don’t think that they can do it because they’ve never practiced it or it won’t work for them. But, I have learned that it is all about being open minded and you don’t even need to just sit cross legged in silence for a long period of time. There are multiple forms of mediation that allow you to listen to soothing music, or listen to directions to calm your mind, or there are even some active forms of meditation. I’m going to tell you some of the ways that I have personally used and I hope they help you through this tough time.


Music Meditation

Music alone is proven to help keep our focus and help productivity. It helps us to keep our brain on task. Sometimes the silence is even more stressful.  I find it useful to listen to soothing music if I am in high stress situations, such as finals. Plug in your headphones and feel instantly relaxed! There are playlists on Pandora and Spotify that will play soothing meditations and zen songs. I’ll link a few of my favorites below:



Zen Garden Radio:

Calm Meditation:

Soothing Sounds:



Study Music for Concentration:

Yoga and Meditation Music:

Weekend Relaxation:

Just pop these songs on when you’re studying or writing your final papers and feel instantly calmed. They typically won’t have any words so that rids the distraction of music that you would want to sing to. I find this really soothing and helpful.


Guided Meditation

Guided Meditation is a technique that you should do while you aren’t doing anything else. It should be a time to take a break from studying and give your brain a bit of rest. You need to either sit on a comfy chair, on the floor, or I find it most relaxing to lay on my bed. The audio will walk you through the deep breathing and directions and you just need to follow along. It is NOT a hypnosis. You are always in complete control of your mind and you can open your eyes at any time. I find this technique the most helpful for me. It may leave you tired when you are done for about 15 minutes, but then I always get a burst of energy as if I’ve taken a nap. I also like to use these to help me sleep at night when I have anxiety or stress. I’ll link some of my favorite ones below.

My most favorite Guided Meditation:

Deep Relaxation:

Stress Relief:

Anxiety Relief

Guided Meditation for Sleep



I have also found that yoga is a great way to take a break and give your brain a rest. If you are more active, this might help you get up and move a little bit and stretch your body. I am in no way a yoga master. I am still in the stretching phases. I found some guided yoga practice videos for beginners that are great. They give you just a little bit of a break and it feels great on your body.




Beginners Class:

Fat Burning Yoga for Beginners:


I wish you all the best of luck during this stressful time! I hope you can find the time to try out some of these stress relievers so that you can get a little bit of a break. Remember that taking the extra time to relieve your stress will actually save you time in the long run because you will be more focused. Good luck on your tests, papers, and presentations!

Thanks for reading and Stay Golden!

May 07

Flying Bison Brewery Tour with MBAA

From the new Netflix show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt




Candy sounds like a great dinner during this stressful Finals Week!



I wanted to catch you up on the great events that have been happening this semester!

Even though the MBA Alumni Association is an organization for those who have graduated from the MBA program at Canisius, students are welcome to attend their events which are held throughout the year.  From networking to presentations, the events are great for the professional development of the Canisius MBA community.

Flying Bison Brewery Logo

On Thursday, April 16th, the MBAA Association held a networking event and fundraiser for their MBA scholarship fund at Flying Bison Brewery.  This event was great because we got to tour the brewery and see how Flying Bison craft beer is produced locally in Buffalo!  With the recent economic growth of WNY, there has been a surge of local craft breweries.  Being able to learn, first-hand, from the Brewery Owner’s son on how they make their beer was fascinating!  I took a Biochemistry course during my year of post-baccalaureate studies (back when I thought I would be an OBGYN and go to a DO school to study medicine).  For the laboratory portion of the course, we spent six weeks fermenting grape juice with various sugar and yeast concentrations to understand the fermentation process.  Since beer is made with a very similar fermentation process, it was exciting to see the commercial applications of what was learned in Biochem lab!

Brewing Tanks

This event was the second to last event for the school year for the MBA Alumni Association.  Next week will be the Graduate Business Programs and MBAA Annual Mixer, which will include a silent auction and the Annual Awards presentation to several notable Canisius community members.  If you’re looking to network more with the Canisius business community as a student (or prospective student or alumni) I would totally suggest you come to the Annual Mixer on Friday May 8th so make sure to get your tickets to the event!

Since I’ll keep this censored (so many funny videos involving alcohol that would be totally inaprorpo), here is a funny clip about candy!

May 06

The End is Near: Thesis Madness


Rufus, my feline roommate, proof reading my thesis paper

The official announcements!

I have spent the last two semesters working on my thesis project, in some form or another, but these last several weeks have really been crunch time.  The end is in sight, though, as I am finishing up the formatting and final editing of the written document this weekend.  The thesis process started last semester, as I worked with Dr. Paul Waldau on my thesis proposal and detailed outline.  We had phone call conversations about once a week as I gathered my ideas and references.  During the fall semester, we worked on the proposal enough that once this semester started, I was off to a running start.  I continued combing through references, fleshing out the outline, and talking to Paul, usually twice a week.  He has provided guidance, suggestions, and support throughout the process, and really made the progression quite smooth.  Only here at the end have I really started to suffer from “Thesis Madness!”  Symptoms include lack of sleep, red & tired eyes, stress eating of mass quantities of junk food, and a severely needy pet cat. 

The last step before graduation is my thesis defense, which will be held next week over Skype or GoTo Meeting, since Anthrozoology is a mostly distance program.  The process has been long, and particularly difficult to deal with while attending to personal issues, like being laid off from work and a death in the family.  One of the greatest strengths of the ANZO program at Canisius College is the incredible faculty, many of whom have provided the support I have needed to get through the final steps of the program.  I have called upon my former professors to proof read posters and abstracts, provide references, and even to share personal stories.  I have also been in contact with many of my fellow classmates, some who are finishing up their thesis work as well.  It is such a great feeling to be able to commiserate with the entire ANZO family via texts, emails, Facebook and phone calls and it makes this whole graduation thing bittersweet.  While I am so happy to be wrapping up graduate school work, my heart aches a little at the fact that I won’t have classes with my favorite professors anymore, and no more OCCs (On Campus Component, see Jonathan’s blog post from April 1, 2015).  But, at least there is still graduation to look forward to!  Several of my classmates and I will gather again in Buffalo to wear our caps and gowns and celebrate our awesome accomplishments.  Assuming, of course, that I finish this paper and rock my defense!

Apr 30

Doing Business in the EU Class

Dolla Dolla Bill Y'all



Happy spring everyone!

I can’t believe it’s almost finals week!




Off to Hogwarts! (A tad older than the students though)

I have been very very busy this semester with taking way too many courses.  So I apologize for being MIA on my blog posts.



For my one course, I got to spend my spring break in Europe!  There is a course offered in the spring for MBA students called Doing Business in the EU which is taught by Dr. Coral Snodgrass.



This is an online course that involves discussion with classmates on the current European business events, as well as a term paper at the end of the course.  For spring break, the class met and had seminar style learning in Paris, London, and Brussels!  We toured London’s financial district and culturally historic sites, as well as met with a wide variety of companies in these lovely cities.


Lonodn's Financial District

My favorite was when we went to Brussels for the day and had a tour of Vanparys chocolate factory in Brussels, while learning about how the evolving company is growing into global markets and the trade regulations they face.  We also got to learn about the pharmaceutical industry at Sanofi S.A., the success of Euro Disney, multinational marketing with New Era’s London Office, as well as many other companies.  In Paris, we partnered with a French graduate international business school to work on a simulation exercise of negotiating HR benefits between a hypothetical European company branch with a NY branch.

Selfie with the Eiffle Tower


Though, what really impacted me was learning more about the area of International Finance!  We met with the VP of Societe Generale London, Yannick Lakoue-Derant.  We also visited the European Union Committee of Regions in Brussels and did a simulation exercise of the Greece negotiations for financial funding with the ECB and Eurozone countries.  Learning about international finance from banking and political standpoints really was of great interest to me.

As a result, my term paper is covering the forested EUR/USD currency exchange rates.  It has been a crazy time for the Euro, as it hit parity with the USD right before we went to Europe.  This was great for being a US citizen and traveling to Paris and Brussels where they use the Euro.  My paper delves into the Quantitative Easing monetary policy that the European Central Bank has begun, the risks of the Greek economy, and how macroeconomic theories are interwoven with the financial modeling and forecasting of the currency exchange rates.  This current event in the financial markets is important for the globally oriented manager.  Especially if it is a Eurozone company profiting from exporting their goods and service to the United States!  Hence, why international finance is so important in this day and age.

European Parliament in Brussels

All in all, this was an awesome class and totally worth the trip to Europe!  The class counts as part of the International Business MBA concentration or if you are fulfilling the electives of your choice for a general MBA then this class counts as an elective.  There was a bunch of One Year MBA students in the class as well!  Or even as an MBA in Professional Accounting, the class counts toward the MBA elective.  And some MS in Forensic Accounting students are able to take a few extra courses for their degree.  This class could fit with potentially any of the offered business degrees, so you could totally fit in the class!  I highly recommend this class and it is such a great learning experience!

All of the classmates off to Paris for the rest of the week on the Eurostar!


















Je voudrais une croissant.

Apr 28

Are You a Graduate Student with a Special Diet?

In the nutrition world, there is a lot of discussion if going on a gluten free diet is really necessary for peoples’ health. For people with celiac disease, it is medically necessary and for people with a gluten sensitivity, it is advised to avoid certain gluten containing foods. For me personally, having celiac disease, I miss crispy French bread and NYC style pizza but my body is happier now that I am not eating gluten/wheat.

For years I went to many doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with my body. Everyone thought I had seasonal allergies and no one thought to take a blood test! Anyway, long story short, I was tested for every allergy under the sun where I live in Europe. In 2011, I was finally correctly diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease. I also have several other allergies: peanuts (legume family), all nuts, apricots, peaches, celery, paprika and chamomile to name a few! It is a bit challenging to eat and be sure that I am not eating something that would harm me. Both Celiac Disease and the nut allergy I have to carry an epinephrine pen because of the severity of the immune response my body does when the food enters my body.

So, what is celiac disease? “Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small finger like projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.” (Celiac Disease Foundation,

“Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. People living gluten-free must avoid foods with wheat, rye and barley, such as bread and beer. Ingesting small amounts of gluten, like crumbs from a cutting board or toaster, can trigger small intestine damage.” (Celiac Disease Foundation,

Should you be concerned that you have Celiac Disease? No, this is a hereditary disease but if you are worried that you may have an allergy or an intolerance. You should check with your doctor and get tested.


What Canisius College has to offer students on special diets:

There are icons to help you choose the right foods for you on the “what’s on the menu” link on you D2L dashboard

Balanced SustainabilityVeganVegetarian

or you can access the special diet page at

Use this symbol when you are on a gluten/wheat free diet or look at the product and make sure its states that it is certified gluten free.

I wish I could attend Canisius College’s fantastic dining facilities. There are so many options for people with special diets and requests or concerns can be brought up to the dining hall staff at anytime.

In my undergrad, it was hard because the special diets weren’t common in 2002 and I had to get a lot of my food from care packages.

If you are on a special diet: always read the food product labels so you know it’s safe for you and if you don’t feel a food is safe for than don’t eat it.

How many have tried the vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options at Canisius College? Are they good? What are your favorites? I would love to hear what you recommend?

Older posts «