Select Page

Spotlight on Innovations in Teaching and Learning

ITL-african-american-lives-and-cultureFor many students, the best classes are those in which the professor teaches his or her specialty and can share the passion for the subject to inspire the students. For All-College Honors students, “African-American Lives and Culture” was that kind of class, times two. The class benefited from the African-American literature expertise of Robert Butler, PhD, professor of English, and the African-American history expertise of Bruce Dierenfield, PhD, professor of history and Honors Program director. Thanks to their teaching partnership, the students had access to a wealth of information about the lives of influential African-Americans and numerous aspects of African-American culture from the slave period, through the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements. By using a variety of readings, documentaries and films, students learned about many aspects of the African-American experience.

michigan street baptist church 3Drs. Butler and Dierenfield greatly enhanced student learning by providing numerous co-curricular activities. For example, they visited the famed Michigan Street Baptist Church, learned how to play West African drums, heard a jazz quintet at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, listened to a Cornell University professor speak about music and the Civil Rights Movement, and attended a soul-moving Sunday morning worship service at St. John Baptist Church on the East Side. They ended the semester with an outing to see the musical Stompin’ at the Savoy at the Paul Robeson Theatre. Denise Rogers, payroll associate in the Controller’s Office, and her husband, Wilbert, even provided the students with a tasty “soul food” dinner. While most of the activities were optional, students clearly appreciated the variety of experiences and attended many more than were required.

By combining their enthusiasm and expertise with the rich cultural opportunities in Buffalo, Drs. Butler and Dierenfield created an exciting learning opportunity at Canisius, which they hope to offer again in fall 2017.

Submitted by: Sara Morris, PhD, associate vice president, academic affairs

Both Basketball Teams Play Niagara

Robertson_QU0159Both the Canisius men’s and women’s basketball teams will meet Niagara University in the opening round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. The women open play at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 3 while the men face the Purple Eagles at 7:00 p.m. that evening.

To keep track of the women’s game, fans can follow the team’s social media sites or view on Live Stats. The men’s game will air on WECK 1230 AM. Ticket information and game results can be found daily on

If either team wins on Thursday, they will play again on Friday. The women will be paired against regular season champion Quinnipiac at 12:00 p.m., while the men would battle second-seeded Iona at 9:30 p.m. The tournament concludes on Monday with the winner advancing to the NCAA Tournament.

To purchase tickets, call 716-888-TIXX.

Submitted by: John Maddock, associate athletic director, external affairs

Nickel City Opera Performs on Campus

Join Valerian Ruminski, general director of Nickel City Opera and special guests at the Montante Cultural Center at Canisius College on Friday, March 4 at 3:30 p.m. They will perform excerpts from SHOT! an original opera by composer and retired Canisius College composer-in-residence, Persis Vehar. Valerian will also be performing poems by Charles Bukowski and Vachel Lindsay and will discuss the making of SHOT! This event is free and open to the public.

This is an excellent opportunity to catch a preview of this newly composed opera which was commissioned by Nickel City Opera out of a sense of homegrown spirit and pride. Vehar, a 27-time American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award winning composer, has set a libretto to music based on the 1901 Pan-American Exposition assassination of President William McKinley by Polish dissident and self-proclaimed anarchist Leon Czolgosz. Written by her accomplished playwright and daughter Gabrielle Vehar, SHOT! chronicles the events before, during and after President McKinley’s death providing the flavor of Buffalo in 1901 including actual songs that were written about the Pan American Exposition and its’ relationship to the Buffalo economy.

SHOT! will be performed Friday, June 10 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in downtown Buffalo.

Submitted by: Ellen Barnum, director, ArtsCanisius

Griff Fair 2016 is One Week Away!

Griff-Fair-2016-Student-1We are one week away from Griff Fair 2016! This is your opportunity to meet more than 60 employers on campus that want to #hireagriff for full- and part-time jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities. The fair will be held Wednesday, March 9 from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Science Hall.

Log in to Handshake to register and review the full list of participating employers. Your attendance at Griff Fair will earn you an entry into our raffle, which includes an iPad Air!

If you have any questions, contact the Griff Center at Old Main 013, call Ext. 2170 or email

We look forward to seeing you there!

Submitted by: Allison Suflita, assistant director, Griff Center for Academic Engagement