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Cookies and Cocoa

Faculty and staff donors who made a gift during the 2019-20 Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign (or last year during the college’s 4th annual Giving Day) are invited to ‘Cookies and Cocoa’ on Monday, December 2. Details are listed above and were in the invitation sent out earlier this week. In addition, to show our appreciation, all faculty and staff donors who attend will receive an exclusive sesquicentennial Christmas ornament.

Together, we make a difference in the lives of our students – and what a sweet treat that is!

If you haven’t yet made your gift as part of this year’s Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign, there’s still time! You can make your gift via payroll deduction online here.

Submitted by: Summer Handzlik, director, Canisius Fund

Stephen Erdman Named Employee of Distinction

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The Human Resources Department is pleased to announce that Stephen Erdman is the Canisius College Employee of Distinction for October 2019!

At Canisius for 27 years, Stephen currently works as a public safety officer. He was selected for this award based on his ability to make the college a more pleasant place to work through his positive and attentive attitude. Stephen consistently exhibits his dedication to the campus as he patrols in all weather, taking the time to stop by individual offices to check in on everyone. He is truly invested in the well-being of every single person on campus and works hard to make the campus a safe place.

Please join the Human Resources Department in congratulating Stephen on this achievement!

To nominate a coworker for the upcoming months, click here.

Submitted by: Bethany Voorhees, assistant, Human Resources

Chemistry Alumnus Awarded NIH Graduate Fellowship

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Ben Swanson ’17 is the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes for Health (NIH). This prestigious fellowship provides funding for pre-doctoral students enrolled in a program that integrates research with clinical training. The award will provide Swanson with full financial support for his remaining five years of graduate study. Last year, only 300 of these fellowships were awarded nationwide. Swanson is currently in his third year of the DDS (dentistry and dental research)/PhD program at the University of Michigan, working in the tissue engineering and polymeric biomaterial laboratory of Peter X. Ma, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering, biologic sciences, materials sciences and engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering.

Swanson’s proposal, titled “Exosome-mediated Craniofacial Bone Tissue Engineering,” was ranked in the top five percent of all proposals submitted this year. His research focuses on creating ways that augment bone regeneration in the oral cavity to support dental implants. At Canisius, Swanson was a chemistry major/American Chemical Society Certified Track. He conducted research for three summers with Mariusz Kozik, PhD, professor of chemistry and biochemistry. While presenting a poster on his undergraduate research at the 251st American Chemical Society national meeting, Swanson discovered his interest in the dual DDS/PhD program at Michigan.

Submitted by: Phil Sheridan, professor and chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Introductory ‘R’ Workshop

Learn the basics of R, the free statistical program that is becoming one of the normative data analytic tools in many disciples on Wednesday, December 4 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in Health Science 206.

The material will focus on applications rather than underlying math or programming and geared towards the individual who has never worked with R before, or is still getting comfortable with R and has taken one undergraduate-level statistics course. Ideally, individuals will come with a data set they want to work with, a question/hypothesis or two in mind about the data and some understanding of their discipline-specific best practices of how to approach the data.

Event agenda:

6:00 – 6:30 p.m.

  • Why we R (basics of best practices in transparency and open science, accessibility, etc.)
  • Installing R and RStudio
  • Installing packages

6:30 – 7:00 p.m.

  • Importing data
  • Preprocessing data

7:00 – 7:30 p.m.

  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics

7:30 – 8:00 p.m.

  • Figures
  • Useful tools for doing more (Google, RMarkdown, online tutorials and forums)


These topics will be covered in the context of the data individuals bring with them. There will be an introduction to how to do each topic with time to implement the task and troubleshooting.

The event is open to all. Please encourage students to attend!

Submitted by: Jennifer Lodi-Smith, interim assistant vice president, Academic Affairs; associate professor, Psychology

Teaching Retreat

Canisius College will host a teaching retreat titled “There is Room: Intentionally Incorporating Race into Course Content” on Wednesday, January 8 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in Loyola Hall.

This day of focus will feature a panel of faculty and students as well as information on institutional resources that can help build race into courses. Time and quiet, collaborative space will be available throughout the day so that participants can work on ideas. A continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon reception will be provided.

RSVP by Friday, December 13 by clicking here or contact Jennifer Lodi-Smith, interim assistant vice president for academic affairs and associate professor of psychology, at

Submitted by: Jennifer Lodi-Smith, interim assistant vice president, Academic Affairs; associate professor, Psychology