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The Human Resources Department is pleased to announce the Canisius University Employees of Distinction for August – December 2023:

Associate Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid James Nowak was nominated by Danielle Ianni for August 2023

James has presented to 30 high schools on financial aid this past fall, was interviewed by the news this past week, and is currently working with the freshman not registered to help spring registration. He is going beyond his job duties to help students and make financial aid accessible to a larger audience.

Executive Associate for Student Affairs and Finance and Administration Rachel Lapinski was nominated by Bethany Voorhees for September 2023

Rachel is one of those coworkers that you want to have- she is the definition of a team player. Even though she has a large workload, she does not let that get to her and offers her assistance to other departments without hesitation. She is friendly, approachable, and maintains a positive, calm demeanor even under pressure.¬† In addition to this, Rachel is mindful and creative when it comes to finding ways to save the university money where possible within her department, which shows that she genuinely cares about the overall success of Canisius. Rachel’s dedication to excellence is evident in that she is motivated to do a good job, is quick to respond to any questions or concerns that may come up and is a quick learner if you need her to help with something she has never done before. I believe that all of these qualities make Rachel the perfect candidate for Employee of Distinction.

Canisius Fund Director and Advancement Brandon Bielecki was nominated by AnnMarie Haumesser for October 2023

I believe Brandon deserves to be recognized as an Employee of Distinction for his outstanding work on the More Than a Game campaign. While this is a team effort, Brandon has been at the helm and is a major connector between Advancement and Athletics. Brandon embraced a heightened and lofty goal this year of raising $315,000 – a $15,000 increased from last year. Not only did the campaign meet this goal but exceeded it to raise a total of $330,000 in support of Canisius Athletics. Brandon is a tireless champaign of Canisius Athletics and truly believes in the success our student athletes. In order to exceed this goal, Brandon put in countless hours on the phone and in person visiting with alumni, supporters, and donors and sharing with them stories of the impact of Athletics on the student experience. Brandon has made dozens of connections between current athletes, coaches, and alumni, which has brought many donors closer to our programs and, in turn, lead them to increase their giving to Athletics. Brandon is dedicated to the future success of Canisius at every level and went above and beyond in personalizing outreach and solicitations to be sure this campaign hit its goal. Brandon is very proud to be a Griff and inspires other on our team to engage more actively on our campus. I would love for him to be recognized for his efforts.

Academic Affairs Support Manager Maggie Burkard was nominated by Peggy McCarthy, Dan Higgins and Maura Snyder for November 2023.

Maggie is all things to all people! She has a deep understanding of the college and how various policies, procedures, and computer applications operate. She is available to anyone who seeks assistance, and she graciously responds with knowledge and respect. She continually rises to do whatever is needed. She has a tremendous knowledge of the budget, and she is the organizational backbone supporting the many (many) committees and their work in Academic Affairs. As new initiatives come forward in Academic Affairs, she is always willing to add to her workload in order to contribute to their success. She is generous with her time and truly conveys an attitude of cura personalis. This is especially obvious during this time of the year when she works closely with other areas of the college to be sure all of the events surrounding the commencement season go off without a hitch. Maggie is a gift to all who are lucky enough to work with her.

Maggie does so much for so many – I am thinking in particular of the work she did to help relocate me and my many colleagues from Lyons Hall. She also played a major role in planning a faculty writing retreat that occurred earlier in June. I’m grateful for all the very hard work she does with so much grace and humility. I thought she should be recognized for it, thank you for considering.

Maggie went above and beyond to help me settle into Canisius. She was always around to answer questions, and beyond that, she went out of her way multiple times to help me settle in. She even helped me carry office decor to my office. Maggie is always smiling and working incredibly hard to make Canisius a welcoming place.

Housekeeper Cynthia Longboat was nominated by COLI Department for December 2023.

Cindy keeps Old Main clean and inviting, while working around students, faculty and staff who are not always mindful of her hard work. She can often be seen cleaning in public spaces, and frequently offers to clean offices and department areas. This is crucial, both for the morale of employees and students, as well as keeping our building ready to present to visitors, such as prospective students and parents. We often encounter her cleaning the stairs, which she rightly regards as a safety matter. In each case, she greets passersby. Now more than ever the condition of our physical plant is important for our success as a university. Cindy’s proactive efforts directly contribute to Canisius’ being a safe and inclusive place.Please join the Human Resources Department in congratulating everyone on this achievement!

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

Submitted by: Lynn Incardona, associate, Human Resources