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Campus Candids

Dan Misko, senior vice president of business development at Pegula Sports and Entertainment (PSE) met with students over lunch on Wednesday, October 30 to provide insights on achieving success in a fast-paced, growing business environment.  Misko shared how the skills he gained as an undergraduate student-athlete and young professional led him to become a senior leader at PSE.  Students asked questions about current trends in the industry and sought advice about jobs and internships.

Please encourage students to access Handshake through the MyCanisius student portal to view upcoming career development events.

Submitted by: Eileen Abbatoy, senior associate director, Career Development

In keeping with tradition, the Animal Behavior Ecology and Conservation (ABEC) department dressed as animals for Halloween.

Submitted by: Sue Margulis, professor, ABEC and Biology

Canisius Welcomes New Faculty for Fall Semester

If you’ve noticed some new faces across campus, they’re likely one of the college’s nine new faculty members. The group came on board at the start of the fall semester and now that they’re acclimated to campus and classes, we thought it an apt time to introduce them to the Canisius community. The new faculty members are:

Sarah Blakely-McClure, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences. Her graduate training in a clinical science program has been grounded in a developmental psychopathology framework. Her research work examines aggression, bullying, peer victimization and social-cognitive factors and their associations with the development of psychopathology (e.g. depressive or anxious symptoms).

Robin Foster, PhD, is an assistant professor of animal behavior, ecology and conservation. Her research program focuses on applied conservation and wildlife management, and on the integration of animal behavior with conservation assessment and planning. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to conservation and in the development and application of minimally invasive wildlife sampling techniques.

Tylor Kron-Piatek ’17 is an instructor of digital media arts. While studying here, he focused mostly on game design, with a secondary concentration on website design. Kron-Piatek then earned his master’s degree in library information sciences (now known as information sciences) from the University at Buffalo. Kron-Piatek worked as a lab assistant in the Digital Media Arts Department at Canisius while pursuing his master’s degree at UB.

Mehdi Sharifi Khobdeh, PhD, is an assistant professor of management. He received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a master of business administration degree, both from Sharif University of Technology. His doctorate is from Old Dominion University and in strategic management and international business. Khobdeh’s research interests include international strategic management, international entrepreneurship and national institutions.

Jeffrey Spaulding, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department. Prior to his academic post, he was a senior software engineer at a Buffalo-based research and development company and served as the lead UI (user interface) developer on multiple projects for the Department of Defense. Spaulding earned a BS from Clarkson University in engineering & management and an AS in game design & development from Full Sail University. He also holds an MS in computer & information science from SUNY Polytechnic and completed a PhD in computer science at the University of Central Florida. Spaulding is interested in all computer security and privacy-related problems but his research focuses on DNS security and privacy (i.e. eliminating vulnerabilities and mitigating attacks).

Zachary McGurk, PhD, is an assistant professor of economics and finance. Prior to Canisius, he served as a visiting professor of economics at Marietta College in Ohio and was employed at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where he provided financial transaction transfer pricing consulting services to large, multinational corporations. McGurk’s research interests include empirical international macroeconomics and macro-finance, using time series methods. He received his PhD in economics from West Virginia University.

Jamie Sheridan, PhD, is the new director of chemistry laboratories. She earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Mount Union in Ohio and her PhD in chemistry from the University of Arizona. (If Sheridan looks familiar, it’s because she previously worked as the inventory control specialist for Summer Science Camp.)

Jay W. McWatters is a visiting assistant professor of accounting. A member of the Canisius College Council on Accountancy, McWatters is a CPA with Dopkins & Company LLP. His primary areas of practice include manufacturing and distribution. He also has experience serving defense and construction contracting, retail and charitable/tax exempt organizations. McWatters has a particular specialization in the field of agricultural cooperatives, especially dairy and fruit product producers. He holds a BS in accounting from St. Bonaventure University and an MBA from the University of Scranton.

Jennifer Stowe, PhD, is the new director of the college’s online graduate program in literacy. Her work focuses on the ways in which teachers can embrace student diversity and teach literacy in ways that empower students.  She loves children’s books and young adult fiction and is always looking for new book recommendations.  

Submitted by: Academic Affairs

Town Hall Meeting

All Canisius faculty and staff members are invited to attend the next Town Hall Meeting with President John Hurley and the vice presidents tomorrow, Tuesday, November 5 in the Grupp Fireside Lounge from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

This Town Hall will be a series of roundtable discussions with President Hurley and the vice presidents. It will give vice presidents a chance to talk about some of the key priorities in each respective area and discuss, as a smaller group, any thoughts or questions. We will do these in 15-minute intervals to give participants an opportunity to speak with several groups. As we found last time, this led to a number of informative and engaging conversations and we look forward to doing this again.

Refreshments will be served.

Click here to add this event to your calendar.

Submitted by: Laura Montaro, executive associate, Office of the President

Money! Want some?

The Canisius Fund Office will be sponsoring an information and training session on Tuesday, November 19 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. in Grupp Fireside Lounge for anyone interested in fundraising for their department, team or institute on #CanisiusGivingDay 2020 (scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2020).

It’s hard to believe that #CanisiusGivingDay is six months away but the Canisius Fund team is hard at work already planning for the day’s success. In order to make sure you have the time and resources to maximize the day and raise extra funding for your area on campus, be sure to check out this session!

You’ll hear from colleagues who have seen incredible success on past Giving Days, and receive tips, suggested timelines and more from the Canisius Fund staff to give you everything you need to succeed.

You won’t want to miss opportunity! RSVP to the Canisius Fund team at by Thursday, November 14.

We look forward to seeing you!

Click here to add this event to your calendar.

Submitted by: Summer Handzlik, director, Canisius Fund

Screening of “The Mission”

Faculty and staff are invited to join the Jesuit community on Tuesday, November 5 as it celebrates the Jesuit Feast of All Saints with a screening of “The Mission” in Loyola Hall.

“The Mission” is an 18th century period drama about the experiences of Spanish Jesuits trying to protect a remote South American tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal. The movie stars Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson.

Pizza will be served at 6:30 p.m. The movie will start at 6:45 p.m. A discussion will follow. Please RSVP to Rev. Thomas R. Slon, SJ, at

Submitted by: Fr. Patrick Lynch, SJ, professor emeritus, Religious Studies & Theology