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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