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Freedom as Method

Dan Berger

Dan Berger, PhD, historian and professor at the University of Washington, will speak on the connections between American slavery and mass incarceration today, Wednesday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the Grupp Fireside Lounge. Given the fact that the U.S. continues to lead the world in incarcerating its citizens, particularly African Americans and other minorities, this talk is particularly timely. Berger is coming to Canisius under the auspices of the distinguished lectureship program of the Organization of American Historians. All are welcome to attend this free public lecture, which is sponsored by the All-College Honors Program, the Immersion East Side program, the History Department and the Sociology, Criminal Justice and Environmental Studies Departments.

Lecture Synopsis:

“Freedom as Method: Slavery, Prisons and the Modern Carceral State”

This talk explores the connection between two of the most notorious institutions in the history of American racism: slavery and prisons. In this lecture, Berger explores what unites these two peculiar institutions and how people of color have resisted them both. Slavery and prisons are joined not by forced labor but by severe captivity. In response, people of color have developed a novel approach to freedom. Drawing on the experiences of enslaved and imprisoned people from the 19th century to the present, Berger argues that freedom is a multifaceted series of individual and collective acts. Ultimately, freedom is not just a destination but a journey: a method through which people survive and challenge captivity.

Submitted by: Bruce Dierenfield, professor, History; director, All-College Honors Program

Department Webpages Need Updating?

With a collective goal of recruiting more students to Canisius College, it’s critical that all academic and student services departments keep their webpages current.  Analytics and user testing show that an up-to-date program page that highlights learning opportunities has positive effects on program visibility – and gives potential students a fuller picture of all Canisius has to offer in respective areas of study.

So, how do you go about updating your program pages?

All it takes are a few simple steps:

  1. Sign on to the Canisius Portal
  2. Under the LaunchPad, click on “Creative and Web Services” and go to the homepage
  3. In the left-hand column, under “Forms and Templates,” click the download button for the “Web Request Form.”
  4. Complete the form and then email it to

Edits to department webpages will be made within a few days.  If questions or problems arise, you will be contacted by a member of the web services team.

For those interested in conceptualizing new webpages or departments interested in web training sessions to learn to manage their respective department pages, contact Josh Kruk, director of digital marketing, at

Submitted by: Josh Kruk, director, Digital Marketing

Canisius “Shark Tank” Competition

Twenty-eight Canisius students participated in a 90-second business idea pitch competition for a $2,000 cash prize on Thursday, October 18, 2018. This event was organized by the Entrepreneurship major program, Canisius Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) and the Canisius Innovation Lab.

In an elevator pitch competition, teams of students have an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors who serve as judges. Business ideas may be at any stage of development, from the initial concepts or ideas to an established business. Students have the chance to win cash prizes and the winning teams are recognized at an awards banquet on campus following the competition. The Canisius 1st place winning team will compete against 150 teams and 1,600 students at the Global Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Conference and Competition from Thursday, November 1 – Sunday, November 4 in Kansas City, MO.

This year’s Canisius College winners are:

1st place – Jonathan Wess ’21, entrepreneurship and political science dual major, “Time Capsule” pitch idea. He now advances to the Global Elevator Pitch Competition.

2nd place- Natalia Guin ’19, management major, “Life is Sweet Bakery” pitch idea

3rd place – Anna Sweny ’20, political science major, “ZZ” pitch idea

The following four professionals served as judges and provided valuable feedback to the students:

Kim Marin, manager, Independent Health, Employee, Team and Leadership Development

Kevin Kelleher, former vice president of marketing, AdPro Sports; current head of school, St. Mary’s High School in Lancaster

Lisa Ciezki, certified insurance and financial advisor, Wells Fargo

Eliza Friedman, lawyer, Lippes, Mathias, Wexler, Friedman LLP

Ji-Hee Kim, PhD, associate professor, Management Department; director, Entrepreneurship

This competition is critical for developing students’ entrepreneurial attitude and creativity. The competition also fosters an entrepreneurial ecosystem that Western New York seeks to build with its 43North competition and numerous entrepreneurial events, competitions and technology incubators. At the event, Dr. Kim addressed those in attendance. “I’m very proud of all our students who competed, as this provided an amazing opportunity for them to pitch their entrepreneurial ventures and gain valuable insight from those directly involved with the venture capital and entrepreneurial business sectors.”

Submitted by: Ji-Hee Kim, associate professor and director, Entrepreneurship/Management

Second United Way Winner Announced

Beiter, Amy Dome Photo.jpg

Congratulations to our second United Way basket winner, Amy Beiter! Amy is the administrative associate for the Political Science and Fine arts departments.

The United Way committee will feature a basket raffle each Friday. When you donate to the 2018 campaign, your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of the baskets listed below. You will be eligible to win the first week you pledge and throughout the campaign, so pledge early.

The remaining prize baskets include:

Alumni Relations and Advancement Department donation: T-shirt, bracelets, key chain, magnets, lanyard, pop-socket, binder clip, coaster, koozie, water bottle, thermos, pens, wine opener and wine glass

ROTC donation: Cooler, draw-string backpack, pad-folio, coffee mug, tumbler, water bottle and t-shirt

Admissions Department donation: Lunch box, water bottle, baseball t-shirt, socks and power bank charger

United Way Committee donation: Fall-themed basket: wine glasses, oven mitts, table runner, glass platter, kitchen towels, candle and a straw tumbler

Our campaign will run through Monday, November 12. You can access the donation button on your MyCanisius portal page. Your pledge does not carry over from last year, so please take the following steps to make your pledge:


    2. Click [Forgot User ID or Password?]
    3. Enter Work Email
    4. Enter Verification Code
    5. Click [Email My Information]
    6. Check your Work Email inbox for an email from
    7. Click the reset password e-Pledge link in the email (will expire within 24 hours)
    8. Create a new password and click [Save]
    9. Click the [Continue] button


If you have any questions about the process of making your e-pledge, please contact one of the following members of the United Way Committee: Linda Walleshauser, associate vice president, Human Resources & Compliance (Ext. 2244); Mary Braun, human resources assistant (Ext. 2240); Maggie Burkard, academic affairs support manager (Ext. 2120); Emily McGorry, executive assistant, Academic Affairs (Ext. 2121); and Sharon Federico, assistant to the vice presidents, Student Affairs and Business & Finance (Ext. 2130.)

Submitted by: Mary Braun, assistant, Human Resources

Bake Sale to Support South African “Eco-Schools”

The students of ABEC 404: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in Africa and the Afro-American Society are sponsoring a bake sale on Thursday, October 25 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the Andrew L. Bouwhius Library. All proceeds will be used to support the Eco-Schools program in South Africa. Eco-Schools work with rural schools throughout South Africa to engage children and families in environmental and community-based education and projects. The cost is only $90 to adopt an Eco-School for a year. The more cookies sold, the more schools adopted.

Submitted by: Sue Margulis, professor, ABEC and Biology