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Erin Robinson, PhD, to Receive Distinguished Faculty Award

Erin Robinson | Canisius College, Buffalo NY

Sociology and Environmental Studies professor Erin E. Robinson, PhD, will lead the academic procession during commencement ceremonies in May, an honor reserved solely for the recipient of the Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award. Conferred by the Alumni Association, the award recognizes a faculty member for teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the academic world. 

A scholar, educator and prevailing environmental steward, Robinson has coalesced her expertise in environmental sociology and the study of social movements to grow the college’s environmental studies program at Canisius and mobilize meaningful change in the community. Her holistic approach with students fosters thought-provoking conversations and encourages them to observe, experience and reflect on the potential for social change. 

Outside the classroom, Robinson engages students in the full scope of her scholarship, which focuses on issues of conservation and has had a broad and sustainable impact on the local community. She advanced groundwater remediation practices with the support of a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and examined air quality among residents living in and around the Tonawanda Coke Plant and other industrial facilities. With assistance from the New York State Department of Conservation and undergraduate research students, Robinson also redeveloped a nearby urban setting into a sustainable community garden. 

Robinson holds a PhD in sociology from SUNY at Buffalo, an MA in sociology from the University of Tennessee and a BA from SUNY at Geneseo. 

Submitted by: Erin Zack, director, Office of Alumni Engagement

Announcing the Employees of Distinction

The Human Resources Department is pleased to announce the Employees of Distinction for the months of January, February and March.

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Rachel Emmons, career development coordinator, Griff Center

Rachel Emmons was selected as the Employee of Distinction for January. She currently works in the Griff Center as a career development coordinator. Rachel has been at Canisius for almost two years. Her strong skill set in resume and cover letter writing, as well as her excellent ability to develop rapport with the students makes Rachel an asset to the department and a great candidate for this award. Rachel has also demonstrated significant creativity in her marketing efforts, which has helped the department solidify its brand and increase followers across all social media accounts. Rachel is helpful, positive and engaging with faculty, staff and students alike. She has been a wonderful addition to the Griff Center team.

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Audrey Browka, senior associate director, College Communications

Audrey Browka was selected as the Employee of Distinction for February. Audrey is current the senior associate director of college communications and managing editor of Canisius Magazine, the college’s alumni publication. She was selected for this award due to her integral in the social media channels for the college, most recently with the social media strategy around Canisius Giving Day and in helping produce award-winning pieces such as Canisius Magazine, which has been an essential tool in highlighting the success and mission of the college. Audrey has a positive attitude and a constant willingness to help, great attention to detail and serves as an inspiration to others through her incredible work and skills in storytelling.

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Cynthia Longboat, housekeeper, Facilities Management

Cynthia Longboat was selected as the Employee of Distinction for March. Cindy currently works in Facilities Management as a housekeeper and has been at Canisius for a little more than two years. She was selected for this award for her commitment to keeping the college clean and safe during a pandemic as well as making it a point to go beyond her role by asking if anyone needs extra help. Cindy manages to put a smile on everyone’s face (behind masks) with her positive attitude! Cindy is motivated, hardworking and considerate of others’ needs, which is very much appreciated by all who have met her.

Please join the Human Resources Department in congratulating Rachel, Audrey and Cynthia on their well-deserved achievements!

Submitted by: Bethany Voorhees, executive associate, President’s Office

Canisius CFA Team Advances to the Americas Finals Again!

The Canisius CFA Institute Research Challenge team won the semi-finals bracket and advanced to the Americas Finals yesterday afternoon! This marks six out of seven years reaching the Americas Finals! The Americas Finals is composed of the final five teams in the Americas out of roughly 500.   

On Wednesday, April 21, Canisius presents in the Americas Finals with 4 other universities, 2 of which will advance to the Global Final Five on Thursday, April 22. 

The Golden Griffin Fund team that competed in the CFA Research Challenge is comprised of Deu Awuok ’21, Tim Shubsda ’21, Michael Steffan’21 (team captain), Nicholas Szabo ’21 and Tucker Weppner ’21.

The subject company for this year’s CFA Research Challenge was National Fuel.  Headquartered in Williamsville, NY, National Fuel is a diversified energy company with $6.2 billion in assets distributed among the five operating segments, including Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, and Energy Marketing.

Submitted by: College Communications

Queer Literature Across the Spanish Speaking Americas

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Richard Reitsma, PhD, chair of Modern Languages and associate professor of Spanish, was invited to present on “Queer Literature in the Spanish Speaking World and the Diaspora” for Una Casa de Palabras/Una Sala de Lectura (House of Words/Reading Room), a government initiative designed to foment reading in Mexico.

Guadalupe López, a former student of Reitsma’s from the master’s degree program in applied literature at Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, one of Canisius’ sister schools in the Jesuit network, extended the invite. Rather than speak alone, Reitsma organized an international panel that included the Afro lesbian author, activist and educator Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the polyglot poet and scholar Fabián O. Iriarte from the National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina.  Both authors have participated in the Canisius LatinX/LGBTQ Speakers Series, which at Reitsma founded.

The international conversation was live-streamed through Facebook and had audience participants from across the Unites States and the Americas, from Seattle to Buffalo, down to Santiago de Chile and Mar del Plata, Argentina. The conversation is viewable here. Note that it is in Spanish without subtitles.

Submitted by: Kaitlyn Buehlmann, associate campus minister, Campus Ministry

Mass Celebration on Accepted Students Day

Members of the campus community who plan to volunteer for Accepted Students Day this weekend, are invited to celebrate Mass on Sunday, April 18 at 8:00 a.m. in Christ the King Chapel.  Rev. Jack Mattimore, SJ, will be the Mass celebrant.

Submitted by: Sharon Federico, business manager, Student Affairs