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Trivia Wednesday

The campus community is invited to watch The Dome for special “Trivia Wednesdays,” which will be published throughout the school year in every Wednesday edition. The first person to respond to with the correct answer will win Canisius “swag.”

Additionally, once a month on Wednesdays, there will be a special giveaway in which the winner will receive some of the newly-designed Canisius sesquicentennial gear.

Winners will be announced the following Wednesday of each week along with the correct trivia answer.

This week’s giveaway question is:

The rose window over the main entrance of Christ the King Chapel features the figure of Christ the King in the center. Twelve petals radiate out from the center. What do they represent?

a) the 12 months of the year

(b) the 12 Apostles

(c) the power and authority of God

(d) Scriptural numeral

This is Barb Irwin’s second win in the Trivia Wednesday contest. The picture above is from her first win, in October 2019.

Congratulations to Barbara Irwin, PhD, professor of communication studies, who was last week’s Trivia Wednesday winner! Barb will receive some Canisius swag once the college returns to normal operations.

Last week’s Trivia Wednesday question was:

Which former All-American basketball player from Canisius went on to make NBA history as one of only three players to record a triple-double in a playoff debut?

(a) Michael Smrek ’85

(b) Johnny McCarthy ’56

(c) Leroy Chollet ’50

(d) Andrew Anderson ’67

The correct answer was: (b) Johnny McCarthy ’56

Submitted by: College Communications

Canisius in the News

Buffalo News Reporter Jay Tokasz recently spoke with several college presidents, including Canisius President John Hurley, about how they are struggling to piece together finances in the wake of COVID-19. The story, which appeared on the front page of the May 5 edition is titled “Colleges Struggle with Enrollment Uncertainty: They Might Not Show Up,” and can be read by clicking here.

President Hurley also spoke at length with Griffin Editor Mike Pesarchick for a comprehensive article in which the college leader reflected on 10 years as president, 150 years of Canisius and the college’s future. The full story can be read here.

Shawn O’Rourke, PhD, director of the sport administration program, joined “Buffalo Early News with Randy Bushover” on WBEN-AM Radio this past Sunday, May 3 to talk about COVID-19’s impact on college athletics. Click here to listen to the interview.

Submitted by: College Communications

Office of Diversity & Inclusion Campus Update

Just over a year ago, I started in my role as the associate dean for diversity and inclusion.  This was in the midst of discussions regarding the findings of the 2018 campus climate study.  I would like to update the Canisius community on our progress.

As you know, Canisius College is an educational community comprised of students and employees with varied backgrounds and life experiences.   Together, we can help make diversity and inclusion a priority in our daily work and interactions.  While the role of associate dean for diversity and inclusion may serve as a focal point for this work, the responsibility for putting our values into action belongs to each of us.

As demonstrated below, the goal is to work collaboratively with others to create and support a truly inclusive experience throughout all aspects of campus life while helping members of the college community understand and appreciate how diversity and inclusion on campus strengthens us:

  • Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee, formerly known as the Racial Diversity Team, has been working to develop a campus climate on race strategic plan to ensure that diversity and inclusion efforts are a fundamental part of the College.  This emphasis on race also recognizes the intersections of identities and experiences essential to our institutional goals. The committee will continue to work in partnership with the associate dean for diversity and inclusion to monitor institutional progress, and implement programs, and initiatives.

  • Campus Climate on Race Strategic Plan

The campus climate on race strategic plan has been submitted to the senior leadership team.  Goals include creating opportunities to build capacity for diversity and inclusion by offering workshops, trainings and programs, increasing interdepartmental communication and collaboration, addressing issues of access and equity in employment, and improving the experience of all students and employees of the College.

  • Diversity & Inclusion Statement

A subcommittee, with representation from accessibility services, administrative associates, facilities, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, Hamlin Park Taxpayers Association, and international education, drafted a campus wide statement for diversity and inclusion.   The draft statement has been accepted by the senior leadership team and strategic planning committee.

The campus climate on race strategic plan and diversity and inclusion statement will be made available for campus comment and feedback.  After the commenting period, both documents will be presented to the board of trustees. 

  • Campus Climate Workshop Series

The campus climate workshop series provides opportunities for all members of the college to develop the awareness, knowledge, and skills vital to transforming the culture of our institution.  In collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Lodi-Smith, assistant vice president for academic affairs, we were able to offer the following:

  • Talk About, Think About, & Act on Implicit Bias, presented by Dr. Nathan Arbuckle, Department Psychology (Fall 2019)
  • Faculty Teaching Retreat in collaboration with the Office Mission & Identity, There is Room: Intentionally Incorporating Race into Course Content (Fall 2019)
  • Talk About, Think About, & Act on Implicit Bias, hosted by Facilities Management (2 Workshops, Spring 2020)
  • Microaggressions Are Not So Subtle: The Verbal, Behavioral, and Environmental Indignities!, presented by Isabelle Oritz, University at Buffalo, Intercultural & Diversity Center (postponed)
  • Facilitating Difficult Conversations: Calling One Into A Conversation, Not Calling One Out, presented by:  Robbie Routenberg,  InciteChange  (postponed)
  • Bias Resource & Response Team (BRT)

The divisions of academic and student affairs have convened a bias resource and response team.  The purpose of the group is to develop proactive strategies and response protocols that support a positive campus climate.  The BRT has participated in a bias response training, reviewed our process for addressing bias incidents reported by our students and staff, and researched best practices to improve our policy.

  • Additional Initiatives

The office of diversity and inclusion is excited about the opportunity to continue this work with campus partners that include:

  • Kathleen Brucato, associate dean of students and coordinator for Title IX, to provide programs that scaffold diversity beyond new student orientation.
  • Thomas Chambers, dean of the college of arts and sciences, to meet with the Minority Faculty and Staff Affinity Group to develop a critical race studies/ethnic studies minor.
  • Rich Kennedy and the Undergraduate Student Association to expand the capacity of the Diversity Committee.
  • Melissa Mosko, associate professor of philosophy, with the support of Mark Gallimore, director COLI and Jennifer Lodi-Smith, PhD, interim assistant vice president for academic affairs, to develop a resource directory for teaching race in the classroom.
  • Linda Walleshauser, associate vice president for human resources, to develop a diversity in hiring policy and training for search committees.

Click here for a printable version of this document.

Canisius is a special place and I am honored to be a part of this important work.  I would like to thank the students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, and community members who have laid the foundation for promoting diversity and inclusion at Canisius.

Submitted by: Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, associate dean, Diversity & Inclusion

Kinesiology Students Help Each Other Stay Fit While at Home

What do kinesiology students do when they need to social distance and their gym spaces are all closed? Write their own home-based workouts!

Students in HED337: Exercise Principles were given an optional task of creating an at-home workout for their classmates. They then recorded instructional videos of their own workouts and also videos performing other student’s exercise prescriptions. Using what they have around the house including back packs full of books and games to gallon jugs of water, from patios, driveways, bedrooms and kitchens, ingenuity prevails. After all, we are #CanisiusStrong!

Click the video link above to check out a montage of the students’ work, which even features a few special guests.

Submitted by: Karl Kozlowski, PhD, associate professor, Kinesiology


Pandemics Then and Now

The Plague at Ashdod by Angelo Caroselli (1630).jpg

In order to make the past relevant to the present and help students recognize that history repeats itself, Davide Salvo, PhD, adjunct professor in the Department of Classics, encouraged students in his CLS 205 – Greece: Society & Culture and CLS 104. Roman History courses to compare the COVID-19 emergency with outbreaks of diseases in the ancient world. Among the readings scheduled in these two classes were Thucydides’ account of the plague that ravaged Athens in the years 430-426 BCE (in CLS 205) and Procopius’ description of the Justinian plague that devastated Constantinople in 541-542 CE (in CLS 104)

Students were asked to discuss the passage of Thucydides, which describes the social response of ancient Athenians to the Plague and compare it to our response to COVID-19. The students noticed similarities in how the outbreaks impact human relations and the economy. Abbreviated answers to this assignment are below. To read the full compilation of student answers, click here.

Some of students’ answers comparing the Greek response to plague in Greece: Society & Culture are below:

  • People fell into despair when they found out they had it, similar to how many people are acting with COVID-19. People were isolated, with absolutely no visitors, which is exactly true today …. In Athens, people became lawless and dishonorable. I think some people have acted dishonorably, like the man hoarding hand sanitizer, but generally law and order has been maintained… I think Thucydides’ account can be read as a warning, not so much a suggestion of how to act.
  • During the plague you begin to see a decrease in lawlessness meaning people have begun to just get the supplies that they need without a care of the law. You see a similar correlation to the COVID-19 epidemic mass purchasing supplies without a care for other people’s needs. We also see the connection between the Plague and Covid-19 that neither discriminate by social class or any other social structure issue.
  • One of the similarities I see with the social response to COVID-19 is Thucydides describes the plague as undiscriminating. This is similar to COVID-19 because this virus does not discriminate either.



Michael Sweert, Plague in an ancient city 1652-4. jpg.jpg

Some of the student responses comparing the Justinian plague to today are below:

  • These exact social responses (of the Byzantines) are happening today, albeit at a different rate in certain states compared to others. We are practicing social distancing, experiencing a meat shortage, a drop in the workforce… The economy did suffer as a result of people staying inside, but it undoubtedly saved lives. There is a similar debate raging in the United States currently, and it weighs the cost of human lives versus saving the economy. Clearly, the plague would have been much worse if the citizens of Constantinople didn’t stay inside, and that should be a warning to us all.
  • The response to the plague was the same measure taken today with COVID-19 – isolation.  Although at the time this was not instructed by government officials like ours, the pandemic scared enough people to go into hiding within their homes. The economy of Constantinople, like the United States, started to decline dramatically. What we can learn from this previous plague is that for one thing: it will eventually come to an end. Another thing is to avoid contact with others to contain the spreading of the disease.
  • There are similarities in the two pandemic responses, as the emperor gave out funds to the people during that time. Our government is also sending out a stimulus check to those who need it the most… Like New York State, the economy of Constantinople also suffered as no one was buying anything and no one was leaving their homes.

Submitted by: Davide Salvo, PhD, adjunct professor, Department of Classics