Select Page

ArtsCanisius Welcomes Four Groups to Montante Cultural Center

Please join us as we host Pavana, Buffalo Girlchoir, A Musical Feast, and the Buffalo Silver Band on campus this semester. Below are listings for these concerts, and please also note that our three Students Ensembles will perform in Montante Cultural Center too.

Pavana – Renaissance and Baroque music performed by a singer/musicologist, Suzanne Fatta and two lutenists, Daniel Yost and Roland Hayes. Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. (See the above Dome post for more information about this specific event.)

Buffalo Girlchoir –  “Rise up Singing” performance. Sunday, November 14, 2021 at  3:00 p.m.

A Musical Feast – a dynamic evening of music and poetry. Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

Buffalo Silver Band – a wonderful group performing sensational works. Saturday, December 11, 2021 3:00 PM

Submitted by: Yvonne K. Widenor, M.A., visiting assistant professor and art history program director, Fine Arts Department

Winter 2022 Faculty Development Week Sign-Up Form is Live!

The Academic Affairs office is organizing the 2022 Winter Faculty Development Week, taking place on campus in January, prior to the start of the spring semester. This will be a fantastic set of opportunities in faculty and staff development. We also added more sessions!

Click here for more information on events, panels, workshops, and sessions! Click here to access the sign-up sheet!

The “Week” is longer than a Week! 

  • January 4  – 7- features scholarship support sessions and a writing retreat.
  • January 10 – 13 features sessions focused on pedagogy, including practical methods and resources for improving your courses.

Sessions and Activities include:

  • Supporting Scholarship: A Panel Conversation
  • Session: The Engaged Scholarship Initiative
  • A two-day Writing Retreat hosted by the Canisius College Writing Center
  • Session: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Vital Conversations
  • Session: Building Inclusivity: Awareness and Intention in Classroom and Community
  • Session: Autism Spectrum Disorder Awareness: Characteristics and Recommendations for the College Classroom
  • Panel Discussion: Grading for Equity
  • Session: Ignorance Is No Longer an Excuse: Understanding the Indigenous and American History You Were Never Told… On Purpose
  • Workspace: Crafting an Inclusive Syllabus
  • Session: Title IX/Clery/VAWA: “I Have So Many Questions”
  • Session: Resources for Teaching Information Literacy in the Disciplines
  • Session: Academic Integrity at Canisius: Past, Present, and Future
  • Creating And/Or Editing Griffaudit Plans
  • Session: Using Case Studies in the Classroom
  • Session: Stay Golden, Griffins: Supports for Student Success
  • Jesuit History: A Short Simulation Exercise
  • FYE Session: Debriefing for FYE Faculty

Breakfast and lunch will also be served each day in the Faculty Lounge. Tuesday, January 11 concludes with an appetizer event.

Submitted by: Tyler J. Kron-Piatek, academic technologist, COLI

Better Feedback on Student Work

A chronic complaint among college faculty is that students do not read or act upon the feedback professors provide on student work. But properly conceived feedback to individual students can be as much or more important than anything you present in lecture or have students do in other activities. Here are some tips to make feedback more efficient and effective.

When grading exams, homework, papers or essays, reports, and other student work, professors work hard to provide comprehensive feedback. “Grading” is often spending time describing to students, via red pen or keyboard, how they can do better either on a specific subsequent assignment, or in the future generally. After all that time and effort assessing student work it is disheartening to discover that a student subsequently made halfhearted improvements, or ignored the feedback altogether.

Feedback as Next Steps

Instead of attempting to comment on every issue you find in a student’s work, consider this: If you could only pick a few, what are the next actions on which the student should focus their reflection, time, effort, and courage?

How many next actions or steps depends on assignment design, length, scale, scope, frequency, and so on. But generally, for a short writing assignment you may need to supply only one direction for a next step. For a longer or larger assignment, you might pick several. Likely, these are issues

  • that are fundamentals in your course subject, disciplinary content or style of communication.
  • that are more urgent. For example, if a student has not mastered a particular concept, they may not be able to advance in the course.
  • for which you can quickly highlight numerous instances. That is, a more common problem in their work.

However you choose next actions for each student, you are directing them to focus on a few important issues rather than itemizing every flaw in their assignment submission.

Actionable Feedback

It is possible for faculty provide too much feedback. When students see a carpet of red ink down the margins of their paper, or an essay almost as long as that which they submitted detailing all large and small problems with their work, they can easily become discouraged. They might reason: Is all this worth it, or can I just live with a C? A C grade might not derail their future career plans, but their resignation stops their learning or developing as writers, researchers or creators.

Plus, even if they are willing to consider their professor’s feedback, where do they begin? Where should they spend more time: improving their argument? Improving visual aids? Revisiting their organization? All those sentence construction problems?

Instead, if a student is handed just two or three things to focus on when improving a draft, this seems manageable and realistic. They have time to properly reflect on each issue, experiment with their ideas, seek further advice, revisit the library, and take more thorough action toward those few, specific goals.

After they complete that next draft or assignment, a student will still have other problems in their work. Sure, but if they sincerely worked along your proposed improvements, they have advanced as learners and creators, rather than just got another assignment out of the way.

Efficient Feedback

It is possible for faculty to spend too much of their time grading or providing feedback. If the above is true it becomes counterproductive to pile on with commentary when grading.

By choosing a few action items for each student, you avoid spending time itemizing and commenting on every issue in every student paper, or fall short of that through predictable exhaustion. Plus, if you are asking students to revise a draft or complete a series of similar assignments, you can revisit what directions you gave to each student, when next you assess their work.

Growth as a Course Feature

If the above makes sense to you, then you might consider adopting a multi-stage development assignment, or a series of smaller, similar assignments in your course. Designed to teach as well as assess a set of research, analysis, writing or creative skills, such assignments can help your students systematically learn better scholarship and composition as well as help you understand how students learn, and where they typically suffer setbacks or snags. As students overcome one challenge, you can pose others to them in subsequent assignments, and by the end of the semester they should be demonstrably better at whatever is described in your learning goals and objectives for the course.

Focused, action-item feedback can help students focus on improving their skills and abilities, while saving you time (and aggravation!) as you teach.

Why We Need a Social Media Examen

Facebook has had a tough couple of months.

If you’ve been following the news, you know that a series of investigative reporting, a flurry of testimony and interviews both on the Hill and on our TV screens and a consortium of international journalists – all spurred by the work of a Facebook analyst-turned-whistle blower – have revealed what we probably all already knew: Some pretty bad stuff happens on – and apparently at – Facebook.

Instagram tanks the self-esteem of young people. Facebook’s algorithm makes us all angrier. And communities from Ethiopia to Myanmar suffer unspeakable violence and hate because no one seems able or willing to adequately monitor all the content produced across the globe.

And to cap off these disturbing series of reports, we learn that Facebook is doubling down on the digital world it’s creating, evidenced by the company’s new name, Meta.

If science fiction has taught us anything, we should know to be at least a little skeptical of the creation of parallel or alternate universes, particularly those powered by machines and fully virtual in their manifestation. I’m pretty sure that was the moral of The Matrix.

This isn’t just about Facebook, though; this is about social media, the ecosystem we all sink and swim in every single day. Problematic though it is – and it is in many ways – social media is here to stay.

In the First Week of The Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius challenges us to look closely, honestly, thoroughly at our sins and our sinfulness. It’s his hope that we feel tremendous sorrow for the many times we’ve refused or ignored God’s love, yes, but it’s also his desire that we see the full scope of suffering in our world. With God, we see the vast brokenness of creation; we’re moved to tears.

We desire to stand with Jesus, to see all things new through the eyes of Christ, and give ourselves to God’s project of love, mercy and compassion, to realize God’s dream. We desire to heal the brokenness in ourselves and the wounds our brokenness has caused in our world.

This only works, though, if – to borrow once again the words from Walter Burghardt, SJ – we take “a long, loving look at the real.” We cannot shy away from the world’s great need, the tremendous suffering of humanity and creation.

Isn’t this exactly what we are so often tempted to do in our mindless scrolling through one social feed after another? Isn’t this the endgame of Facebook’s supposed metaverse? We separate ourselves from the world. More significantly, we become increasingly accustomed to living disjointed lives.

After all, are the images we share on Instagram long, loving looks at our actual lives, or lives we pretend to have? What feelings, then, are we trying to stir in our viewers? Jealousy? Envy? Anger?

Does TikTok put in front of us content that is reflective of the many needs of our world, or the trends most likely to keep us on the platform? Do we engage to promote the common good, or to feel relevant and timely?

Do our tweets engage with the brokenness of others, or do we just poke and poke and poke at wounds until they fester and bleed? Our echo chambers, after all, often only show us what we want to see — or what we enjoy gossiping about.

If these Facebook reports only confirm what many of us already suspected, then what responsibility do we have – have we had – to act?

Social media is here to stay, but we can’t look at it as just another series of apps or even just one more source of news. It’s become a mediating force through which we experience reality – or don’t.

And Ignatian spirituality is deeply concerned with how we experience reality because that’s where God is; that’s where God’s people are, where God’s creation continues to unfold. Finding ourselves lost in screens disconnects us from ourselves, our bodies, our presence in the created world.

We must continue to challenge ourselves and one another to look honestly, deeply, painfully at what is really happening in our world around us each and every day, not just what is fed to us through algorithms.

And so, I invite you to take time praying with this social media examen.

    1. God is here. All things come from God; God is present in all things – even the darkest of corners of social media. Give thanks to God for the people on the other side of each Twitter handle and TikTok video, for each person navigating these feeds, for the ability to connect with people near and far in such innovative ways. All of these people are made in God’s image
    2. Ask for light. Ask God for the grace to see and reflect truth, beauty and humanity in all you do across social media.
    3. Pay attention to details. Each image, each tweet, each prayerful request or unkind remark reveals something of God’s people and God’s creation. What needs, deep wounds or hurts do you see? Do you find yourself judging others? Who are the people being marginalized, cast aside or maligned? What needs do they have? On the other hand, what beauty do you see here? Where are people uplifting others, calling attention to important affairs or sharing joy? What feelings does this stir in you? Are they good or bad?
    4. Do I reflect God’s love? How are you called to respond in productive ways to what you witness? Are you able to in this particular medium? Do you feel pressured to nonetheless? In your own words and images, do you share something good and true, or do you tear others down or point only to yourself? Are you obsessed over clicks, likes and retweets? Do you share only to boost your own ego or brand? How are you contributing to a culture that refuses to take a “long, loving look at the real?” What feelings are you trying to stir in others?
    5. Disconnect. God is much greater than your screen. Take time to encounter God, God’s people and God’s creation; do not let yourself become absorbed in the digital world. Ask God for clarity in discerning how to cultivate Ignatian indifference toward social media – in other words, to use social media only to the extent that it helps you praise, reverence and serve God and God’s people and creation, and disconnect yourself from it when it does not.

In the end, as Ignatius’ First Principle and Foundation suggests, we must be equally content with likes, retweets, shares and comments, as we are with posts that go unnoticed in so far as both help us achieve all that God intends. But we must proceed lightly, mindful that we do not turn social media – or our own social presence – into a god.

This reflection is part of a weekly series that you can get sent right to your inbox by signing up at

Eric A. Clayton is the deputy director for communications at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. He is the author of the forthcoming book “Cannonball Moments: Telling Your Story, Deepening Your Faith” (Loyola Press). His writing has appeared in America Magazine, National Catholic Reporter, Give Us This Day and more.