5 Things I learnt Shooting Guns for my College

5 Things I learnt Shooting Guns for my College

This week’s blog comes following a momentous event. This past weekend, I had the good fortune of spending my time shooting for Canisius in my last tournament as a member of the Canisius College Rifle Team. After a delightfully upbeat drive down after an evening departure from Buffalo we arrived in Waltham for the meet next morning at MIT. We spent the night at a hotel and drove down to the MIT campus the next morning and after taking second place, we returned next morning to the now warm and welcoming Buffalo weather in the early evening.

My two assigned rifles, Huey and Rosie

I spent the rest of the evening pondering the fact that shooting was a real source of relaxation for me and likely something that I wouldn’t be able to do for a while. It made sense to write down my thoughts about something that had given me the chance to travel and meet new people and form friendships that I hold dear. I do however feel that there are greater lessons to learn here.To be precise, there were 5 major ones:


  1. Make the most of your time: If I were 4 years younger, I’d think of nothing further than my next assignment and my next break where I’d spend my time doing nothing. In the last few years, I’ve grown to realize that there are often opportunities that you might miss and College happens to be a big one. In many ways, I think Grad School gave me a chance to do a few things that I should have done in my Undergrad years (back in the day when I actually had time to do nothing and get 8 hours of sleep a night). While I’ve lost plenty of sleep and a few points on a few assignments, I think what I’ve gained from my time shooting was immeasurable. TL/DR
    (Too Long/Didn’t read): Go the extra mile.

  2. Meet new people: While I was reticent at first to sign up and shoot for the team, what really convinced me were the people I would be shooting with. I think my openness to new experiences was what really guided me to the club and, as a consequence, to the new friends I’ve now made. As a member of the team I’ve felt like I had support and encouragement to be the best marksman that I could and I can only hope I’ve been as supportive to my team.

  3. It isn’t always about the score: I think that while having a spectacular score at the end of the day is a good reward for hard work, I also think that there’s more to it than the ends. The jibes on the long trips, the inside jokes, the nicknames, the impromptu singing and movie quotation, and above all the enduring eccentricities of the team really did make the whole journey worthwhile. Smell the roses and enjoy the journey.

  4. Success is a fantastic rush: This weekend I made the single best shot I could hope to. I honestly believe that it would take an incredible feat of luck and hard training for me to be able to replicate this singular shot. Despite shooting the tournament with broken glasses and some degree of discomfort and mishaps, that single shot made the whole effort worthwhile. That feeling of accomplishment for my effort is a rush that I don’t know I’ve ever had. A moment where intentionality, skill and luck converged to make that single shot land at the exact right spot fifty feet away felt spectacular.

    My Best Shot Yet: Taken with a .22 Rifle at 50 Feet

  5. Shake it off: While we’ve all had bad practices, mishaps that affected our scores and scores that have shaken our confidence in our skill, we all learnt to shake it off and move on to the next goal. We’ve learnt to focus on our successes and our strengths and moved from one tourney to the next and kept moving. My hope is that the team stays strong and ever moving and focused on the next goal and that I continue to do so as well, learning from my failures and moving forward.


On a personal note to my dear friends on the team (some of whom may well part ways soon): It’s been a hell of a ride. Thanks for the good advice and the great times!

The proud members of the Canisius College Rifle Team at the MA meet!


P.s. The next big update will come from Florida where I intend to spend my time at the American Counseling Association’s Annual Convention. A time of learning and exciting opportunity awaits and I hope to capture some of it with my next blog post. Stay Tuned!

Jumping in with Both Feet as a Returning Student

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.

Why did I stay?

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!


ACPA Convention 2015- all things sunshine and happiness

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 🙂


Diverse, successful education

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

The Thirst Project!

The Thirst Project!

Hey there Griffs!

Canisius College Bookstore sent out an email about The Thirst Project. Follett (the company the runs many college bookstores) is a supporter of The Thirst Project, along with many others such as: Contiki, Paul Mitchell, and many other companies. This is a charity that I’ve been following for awhile but not very many people really know about it yet. So, what a great time to teach everyone a little about it and you can get involved!!

What is The Thirst Project? 

The Thirst Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to give clean and safe drinking water to communities around the world that don’t have that luxury. The charity is directed towards high school and college students, mostly because that is where the organization started and who continues to run The Thirst Project today. Here is their story:

Seth Maxwell, the founder and CEO, was a 19 year old college student who didn’t have any money living in California. He learned about the water crisis around the world and he decided that he needed to do something to help. He called upon seven of his good friends and they all pooled together their money (a whole $70), which was enough for them to buy 1,000 bottles of water. They went to Hollywood Boulevard and started giving them away to people just so they could educate people and raise awareness about people around the world who have no access to clean water. By doing this one simple act, they were able to turn their $70 into $1,700. They used this money to build their first freshwater well. After this was done, they began receiving calls asking them to bring their organization to schools around the country to raise awareness and get others involved. Today, they travel around to schools and colleges to teach others about the cause and encourage students to do their own fundraisers. In 5 years, The Thirst Project raised over $8 million and have been able to provide more than 300,000 people with safe drinking water.

The problem. The solution.

Over 1 billion people are living without safe and clean water. Think about that for a second.

That’s 1 in every 8 people.

4,100 children die every day because of diseases in unsafe water.

That’s 1 child every 21 seconds

These diseases are killing 2.2 million people every single year. Not only is this killing people, but retrieving safe water is a huge task for many people around the world. In these communities, the average person walks 3.75 miles to collect water. This task is usually left to young girls in the community, which doesn’t leave much time for education. Without education, the communities stay in poverty and people can’t get jobs, which just continues the domino effect. Lack of water is also a problem for communities who need to grow crops.

Just think about how much you depend on water every single day! You need it to shower, wash your hands, use the bathroom, clean, drink, eat, grow crops for food, wash our clothes, transportation, water powered energy, and so much more. It is a luxury for us in most of the United States. What would you do without it?

So, what can be done about it? It costs between $7,800 and $20,000 to build a well in developing communities. Volunteers go to these communities and find a spot where there is already water 100-300 feet below ground and they install these freshwater wells that can give 500 people water for life. When wells are installed, disease drops 88% and deaths of children goes down by 99% overnight!This is HUGE! Once communities have water, children can go to school, food can be grown, and humans can live without the risk of disease from water.

How can you get involved? 

School Tours: The Thirst Project does school tours to educate students about the program and get them involved. You can try and bring them to your school or a school near you by emailing: info@ThirstProject.org

Donate: It takes about $20 to give one person clean water for up to 20 years! You can donate straight to the Thirst Project here: Donate

Volunteer: Submit your application to be part of the Road Trip Warriors! The Thirst Project does 2 internships a year with college students from around the country. It does require a semester off, but it is for a worthy cause. Fill out an application here: Application

Buy some gear: Go buy a shirt, sticker, or other cool stuff from The Thirst Project. Not only do you get to represent the organization buy wearing the gear, but 100% of the profits go to The Thirst Project to help install the wells. Their shop is here: Shop

Spread the Word: Educate yourself and tell everyone you know about the organization! Most people don’t know about the crisis and get them involved with you.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThirstProject
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thirstproject
Official website: http://www.thirstproject.org/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ThirstProject

Now go and do something about it! It’s okay if you don’t have money to donate. Just go tell someone about it! Get people involved! You can help save lives.

Thanks for reading! Stay Golden.