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Canisius Receives $5M for HEOP Program

Canisius University is excited to continue its 55-year history of serving New York State residents through the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program.

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) will provide $1,000,358 annually to support 95 students each year, totaling $5,001,794 for the 2024‐2029 cycle.

Canisius was one of the first private institutions to receive funding from the New York State Education Department to create the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), which supports individuals who face academic and financial challenges.  Like HEOP, Canisius believes in the potential for all students to be successful.  The NYS HEOP program has become a national model for access; significantly increasing the number of Black and Latinx students attending higher education. There are over 40,000 graduates of HEOP across the country.

Special thank you to Academic Affairs, Canisius Opportunity Programs for Education, Enrollment Management and the Office of  Sponsored Programs for assistance during the submission process.

Submitted by: Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Juneteenth Buffalo Recognizes Canisius

On Wednesday, December 13, Canisius was recognized for its continued partnership with Juneteenth Festival Inc.

Beginning in 2021, the university joined communities across the nation in commemorating this holiday. For the past three years, the campus has come together for a day of education, solidarity and service.  The goal is to inspire conversation and action in our ongoing work toward anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Fatima Rodriguez Johnson and Bennie Williams (pictured above), co-chairs of the Juneteenth Recognition event, were on hand to accept the certificate of appreciation.

Submitted by: Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Global Griff Mentor Program

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Multicultural Student Center would like to invite international faculty and staff to participate in the Global Griff Mentor Program.

The purpose of the Global Griff Mentor Program is to connect new and returning international students with international faculty and staff.  Mentors will  meet with mentees at least twice a semester and serve as a resource for a graduate or an undergraduate student adjusting to Canisius University and the United States.

If you are interested in serving as a mentor for an international student (undergraduate or graduate) for the 2023-24 academic year, please consider signing up as a Global Griff Mentor.  If you have questions, please contact Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, or Bennie Williams,

We would like to thank both Peace Action and Women & Gender Studies Clubs for hosting the International Student Panel during the Spring 2023.  Your voices have guided this effort!

Submitted by: Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, Associate Dean, Office of Diversity & Inclusion


Interpreting & Translation Services

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion is partnering with the International Institute of Buffalo (IIB) to provide language services to the university.

The IIB provides language interpretation for more than 100 languages in person, by video or by telephone.  The services can also be accessed through Interpret Manager, a platform that allows for on-demand or scheduled interpreting.  Interpretation services may be requested at any time, 24 hours per day, and seven days a week.  In addition, the Institute translates written documents in more than 60 languages.

On Tuesday, October 31 at 1:00 p.m., colleagues from the Offices of Admissions, Academic Talent Search, ALANA Student Center, International Education, New Student Orientation, and Student Records and Financial Aid will meet virtually with the International Institute of Buffalo to learn about the services, best practices for working with interpreters and training in the use of the platform, Interpret Manager.

If you are interested in joining the Zoom session, please email Amy Beiter at  for the link.

Submitted by: Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion

Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with the Office of Human Resources will host a DEI workshop titled, Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace, on Monday, March 20, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Grupp. The session will be presented by Mary Braun, employment manager.

This workshop will discuss how cisgender Canisius faculty and staff can best support their transgender colleagues, as well as provide some basic background information on gender identity. All faculty and staff are welcome to attend and learn how to foster a better work environment for all employees.  Please register for the workshop by clicking here.

In addition, Canisius will also complete the Campus Pride Index, which is a national benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to create safer, more inclusive campus communities.  As a member of  Campus Pride, the college will have access to a variety of educational and leadership opportunities for students, staff, and faculty.

For more information, please contact Fatima Rodriguez Johnson at

Submitted by: Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, Associate Dean, Office of Diversity & Inclusion