Why Canisius?

Why Canisius?

What brought these students to Canisius?

…Was it fate?

…Was it the people? 

…Was it the program?

I asked a couple of our bloggers the simple question: Why Canisius?


Bryan M. - Sports Administration

“The first thing I looked for in applying to Grad School was the Sport Administration program. Did the school have one? What was it like? My goal is to coach hockey at the high school or college level, and if that’s going to be my full-time job I knew I needed a program which prepared me to manage people, budgets and facilities. I also wanted a school that would accept me with a journalism degree. Some MSA programs require a kinesiology background, which I don’t have. Last, but not least, I wanted a school with a true Catholic identity. The best times of my undergraduate career where when I was involved in an active campus ministry program, and I wanted to find that in grad school, too.”

~ Bryan M. – Sport Administration – Napa, CA







Christie - Applied Nutrition

“I went to the college graduate fair on Rhein Ordinance Barracks in Germany. Canisius College won my heart. Their entry requirements for the graduate program did not require a GRE or GMAT and they had online graduate programs. Another plus to Canisius College is that they are a “yellow ribbon” school. They are dedicated to veterans and military service members.
I am in my spring semester with the Applied Nutrition program. All my classes and teachers have been outstanding. I could not have selected a better school for my masters because Canisius College has opened so many doors for me already. I am waiting to see if I was selected for a peer review journal at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and also waiting to see if I got into an internship program at the military hospital here in Germany. None of this would have happened without the connections I have made here at Canisius.”

~ Christie. – Applied Nutrition – Germany


Melissa - Differentiated Instruction

“When I attended Canisius College’s graduate open house, I was nervous that it was finally time to be looking at graduate schools.  Will I make the right decision for which major I pursue?  Will I love Canisius as much as I loved my undergraduate school?  These were just some of the questions that were swirling around in my head.  Throughout that morning, I heard the different things that my major had to offer.  Not only was it a year long program, but there was no individual research paper, it was a group one!  The Differentiated Instruction program at Canisius was also pretty unique to the WNY area, being one of the only schools to have this program.  It was also an up and coming major for education students to pursue, because many schools were beginning to implement different D.I strategies in their schools.  After the information session, I was given a tour of the beautiful campus, reminding me even small schools can be located in the city.  I knew right then and there, this is the school I wanted to attend for my graduate studies.  So why Canisius?  Well, I think that when you find that perfect program, located on a beautiful campus, you just don’t turn that down.”

~ Melissa L. – Differentiated Instruction – Orchard Park, NY


Brandi - Clinical Mental Health Counseling

“I was looking for a program in counseling that was close to home and that I could finish within 2 years. When choosing between Medaille and Canisius, I ended up picking Canisius because the program was set up traditionally in that classes were offered full time and in the evenings. This would allow me to maintain my job (at the time) in Research and Development at Upstate Niagara Dairy Cooperative. When I got to Canisius, I found out that I was very lucky to have gone with this choice as the mental health counseling program at Canisius is CACREP accredited (unlike at Medaille). I know it sounds silly that I did not realize this was a factor until I came to graduate school, but I am very happy that it worked out this way! I would advise anyone looking into graduate education to be sure the programs they are considering are accredited by the appropriate bodies to ensure that their education counts! I’m very happy with the faculty and the quality of the education here at Canisius, and I’ve never looked back- I’m exactly where I want to be!”

~ Brandi S. – Mental Health Counseling – Buffalo, NY


“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller

Come be a leader at Canisius!


What were you thinking?

What were you thinking?

That’s the question I get asked all the time when people find out I moved from California. At times, I’ve asked the same question of myself.

“What am I doing here?”

But every time I ask that question, I remember.

In spite of the cold, I am here in Buffalo because it is the best place for me to become the person I want to be.

I’m here to become a hockey coach capable of using the sport I love to transform lives. I came to Canisius because it will help me become the person I need to be in order to do that.


It started with a hockey team

I first heard about Canisius College because of hockey. In 2013, Canisius won the Atlantic Hockey championship and made their first appearance in the NCAA tournament. They lost in the opening round to top-ranked Quinnipiac, but the name stuck with me.

That fall I started looking around at grad schools to bring me closer to my goal of coaching. The list started simple, I needed a school with Sports Administration, and with a hockey team I could work for. When Canisius showed up in initial searches, I put them on the list.

They weren’t at the top yet, but they were close.

Faith in action

I took a job last summer with FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students), thinking time spent as a missionary working with college students and helping them through the challenges of daily life would prepare me for doing the same with high school or college hockey players.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out. Fortunately, God had another plan. As my team leader said, I had a chance to show our students what it looks like to trust God.

I went back to the plan of grad school, and now Canisius had jumped to the top of my list.

They jumped because I understood how important my Catholic faith is to becoming the person I want to be. In researching Canisius (for the second time) I looked at their campus ministry program. In addition to daily mass at Christ the King Chapel here on campus, they have multiple retreats and service trips. Campus Ministry supports five different programs – Burrito Project, Meals on Wheels, Sandwiches & Spirituality, St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy and South Buffalo Community Table Soup Kitchen – just to feed the homeless and the home-bound.

Leadership training

One of the best things about being in the Sports Administration program is the dedication to developing leadership.

The first homework assignment in the “Moral and Ethical Issues in Sport” course is a two-page paper about your personal philosophy and how it applies to sport.

The goal of the paper, and of the course according to Dr. O’Rourke, is to help us reflect and think about who we want to be. How will we respond to the challenges of the sports world, whether we face them as coaches, administrators, public relations or marketing staff?

Another core course, which I hope to take this summer, is “Leadership in Sport.”

Put these two courses together, along with all the opportunities to work for one of the many college and professional teams in the area and the numerous service opportunities through campus ministry, and you have a great chance to discover who you can be.

So, why do I live in a place where I can’t feel my face? Because there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Who do you want to be?

HarborCenter Opening Night

HarborCenter Opening Night

On October 31, At about 5:00, I stepped off of the elevator foot on the seventh floor of the HarborCenter, Buffalo’s new state of the art hockey facility, which now serves home to the Canisius College Golden Griffins Men’s Hockey Team. As I walked into the new facility, I was amazed at what I saw. I did not know where to start with my exploring, so I decided to take a lap around the main rink to check things out. I have been to many rinks in my lifetime, but this experience was different. Aside from NHL arenas, no other facility that I have been too was this state of the art. It is the little amenities that make the HarborCenter superior, and even the floor that you walk on going around the rink is soft and feels good on your feet. The lighting of the arena is incredible, and I can imagine as a player, it must feel like they are under the lights on Yankee Stadium for a night game.

By the time I arrived, the Harborcup, a tournament for teams with player 18 and under was wrapping up. I can’t imagine the feeling that these players had playing at this brand new facility for the first time, I was jealous. As the game got over, the ice crew began to prepare the ice for the main event- Canisius vs. Ohio State.
Fans began to pile into the arena early, looking to grab a good seat for the game. The student section filled up quickly, and it being Halloween, filled with many unique and festive costumes. The atmosphere during warm-ups and during the pregame ceremony was incredible, as thefans, families, and players were eager to take part in the inaugural game.

As far as the game is concerned, it could not have started out better for Canisius. The Griffs netted two goals in the first 1:49 seconds of the game. I would have to say that the electricity of the crowd and the atmosphere had a little something to do with the fast start. The game would end in a 3-3 tie, but it is a night that the players, coaches, fans, and families will never forget.

The opening of the HarborCenter represents a new sense of optimism in the hockey community in Buffalo. The plan is to attract the top players nationally and around the world to come to Buffalo and develop before they play at a higher level. With a facility like the HarborCenter, I see this coming a reality in the very near future

MSA Students Experience NCAA Tournament

On March 20th and 22nd, the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament took place right here in Buffalo, NY at the First Niagara Center (Home of the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bandits). The tournament was co-hosted by The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) as well as Canisius College and Niagara University.  Both Undergraduate Sport Management students as well as MSA students had the opportunity to work at this tournament. Prior to this event, students also had the opportunity to travel to Massachusetts to get involved with the (MAAC) basketball tournament.

Here is what some of our students had to say about these opportunities:

“Volunteering at this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was an unforgettable experience that gave me a better understanding of how an actual live sporting event takes place.  It was awesome meeting all of the media, coaches, players, and athletic directors from all the different schools.” – Undergraduate Sport Management Student

“Being able to work the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament was a great opportunity to network with professionals from the MAAC and the teams administrators who were at the tournament. I was also able to work the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with a few Canisius MSA students last year in San Jose, California where we got to meet and network with some great people from the West Coast Conference and San Jose Sports Authority. Working the event gave me some great knowledge and insight with how an event of that magnitude is put together and ran behind the scenes.”-MSA Student

“In my two years at Canisius as a member of the MSA program, I have worked two NCAA men’s basketball regionals and both were phenomenal experiences for me. As a lifelong sports fan, it was thrilling to share a supervisory role in one of the world’s premiere sporting events and as a potential job seeker the ability to network with administrators from participating schools, their conferences and the NCAA was even more valuable.” -MSA Student
“Working at the tournament was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was so cool to work behind the scenes of a sporting event that I watched since I was little.” -Undergraduate Sport Management Student
 Janelle Stegeland & Samantha Deem

March Madness!

March Madness is a sensation that controls that national sports world from the 2nd week of March through the first week of April. The NCAA tournament provides exciting entertainment for people of all ages and ultimately determines the National Championship team for both men and women’s NCAA Division I basketball. After a long, hard season this tournament is where the 3-point shots and free throws really count. Teams have two options; you win and continue the season or you lose and head home.

March Madness is exceptionally exciting for MSA students involved in the sport industry. We thrive on what the media brings to the tournament and how the public reacts. We also take a look at the ethical situations that take place during the games. Many of our students also get a chance to get involved with the tournament. This past week we had about 15 students travel to Massachusetts for the MAAC basketball tournament where they got hands on experience running a tournament. Many of them will also take part in the second round of the NCAA tournament held here in Buffalo, NY at the First Niagara Center. Students will get a chance to network with people working in the sport industry and get first-hand experience in the management of a national tournament.

Janelle Stegeland and Samantha Deem

The Importance of Networking!

The Canisius MSA Program has been planning many exciting events these last couple of weeks! On February 25th the Admissions Department and The Sports Administration Department got together for a student recruitment event. The event was held at the Sabres Stadium. While at the Stadium, we heard from 2 MSA alumni who work for the Sabres. They provided the potential students with useful information for their future. This gave the potential students a chance to ask the alumni, admissions and graduate assistants any thing they wanted. After the meet and greet was over, everyone received a ticket for the Sabres game that night.

Our next big event is going to be our 2014 Distinguished Guest Lecture Series, which will be held on April 24th at Canisius College. Our keynote speaker will be John Cimperman from CENERGY, here in Buffalo. This is a great opportunity to network and learn more about the sports industry! Anyone is welcome to the event, so make sure you bring your friends, family or current classmates. For more information check out our Canisius College Master of Sport Administration Facebook page!

Samantha Deem and Janelle Stegeland