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A treatment breakthrough enriches the lives of children on the spectrum


John J. hurley

Canisius College Magazine FALL 2013 VOLUME 14, ISSUE 3

President John J. Hurley

The fall semester is off and running at Canisius College. We welcomed a very enthusiastic class of 690 freshmen and our upperclassmen did a terrific job of orienting them to the spirit and traditions of Canisius. With more than 70 percent of freshmen residing on campus, there is a distinctly different feel to the orientation process from what students experienced 30 years ago. Despite the enthusiasm of the freshman class, the school year opens with several questions and challenges confronting all colleges and universities, Canisius included. First, there are the economics of higher education, which include the cost, the growth in student debt and, for schools like Canisius, the problematic financial model of higher tuition and high tuition discounting. Second, there are the demographics of higher education. In addition to the declining number of high school graduates in New York and the Northeast, this involves competition from other universities, and the large and growing role of community colleges. Third, there are the demands for accountability and assessment in higher education. We heard much about this during President Obama’s visit to Buffalo in August. Ultimately, it’s an issue of the relevance and value of a college degree: what we claim to do, how we measure it, and how wellprepared our students are for the demands of the global economy. Fourth, there is the basic model of higher education as reflected in traditional colleges and universities. This is where the hot topic of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, is causing many to ask fundamental questions about how technology and the ubiquitous nature of basic course content are going to change how education is delivered, and how faculty and students will spend their time.

Executive Editor Eileen C. Herbert ’04 Managing Editor Audrey R. Browka Director of Creative Services & Layout Editor Andalyn Courtney Contributing Designer James Neiler Contributing Writers Elizabeth M. Bohen ’74, MS ’76 Kristin E. Etu ’91 Rachel L. Flammer Cece Gotham ’13 Sarah Graham MS ’13 Martin J. Haumesser Lisa Murray Roselli Photography Eric Frick Tom Wolf ’86 To Contact Us We are eager to hear your comments about Canisius College Magazine. Please send correspondence to: Canisius College Magazine 2001 Main Street, Lyons Hall Room 209, Buffalo, NY 14208 Phone 716-888-2790 Fax 716-888-2778

And this leads to the fifth question, which involves the conditions of the professoriate: the expectations of faculty, the demands of the marketplace, the role of adjunct versus full-time tenured professors, and the roles of teaching and research at schools like Canisius. The Canisius Board of Trustees, administration and faculty are taking up these questions in a serious and substantial way. The inquiries have thrust the college into a comprehensive process of assessment and change, as we adapt to a global economy that is changing very rapidly. The challenges are real but I am confident that Canisius will continue to produce outstanding leaders for this new world.

Postmaster send change of address to: Canisius College, 2001 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14208


contents FALL 2013

12 | Cover Story

6 | Student Profile


JESUIt JOUrNEy A pilgrimage to the homeland of Pope Francis reveals the rich history of the Society of Jesus in Latin America.


A treatment breakthrough by the Institute for Autism Research enriches the lives of children on the spectrum.


8 | Religious Diversity FAItH UNItES Canisius students explore Buffalo’s diverse religious community and discover the common threads that tie them together.


25 | Alumni Profile MEdICAL MILEStONE Branko Bojovic ’98, MD, takes part in a pioneering surgical procedure that changed the life of one patient and broke new medical ground for researchers.

departments 4






fACulT y ne WS A nD uPDATe S INStItUtIONAL AdvANCEMENt De v eloPM enT ne WS A nD uPDATe S



trustees Appoint New Chair, Members

MAAC Champs: Baseball, Women’s Lacrosse Crowned

Edward Burke Carey ’69 became the new chair of the Canisius College Board of Trustees on July 1. The Board formulates and recommends policy to Canisius President John J. Hurley. Carey is president and chief executive officer of Carey Reality Investments in Columbus, OH. He will serve four years as chair of the Trustees. Five new members also joined the Board of Trustees on July 1. The members fill outgoing positions and serve three-year terms. The new appointees are:

Three cheers for the Golden Griffins, who scored MAAC championships in baseball and women’s lacrosse.

EdWArd BUrkE CArEy ’69 President, Chief Executive Officer Carey Reality

JOHN r. CONNOLLy ‘72 Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Tecomet Inc.

rEv. rOCCO dANZI, SJ Director, Campus Ministry St. Peter’s University

LENOrA FOOtEBEAvErS ’92 Support Magistrate Erie County Family Court

rICHArd N. GILBErt Jr. ’84, Md Urologic Surgeon WNY Urology Associates LLC

dENNIS F. StrIGL ’74, HON ’11 (Retired) President, Chief Operating Officer Verizon Communications


Read about the new members appointed to the Board of Regents at 4


Canisius secured its first MAAC baseball championship when the Griffs defeated Siena, 12-11, in the conference title game. That victory lifted the team’s season win total to 42, the most in school and MAAC history. The Griffs advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where the team lost, 6-3, to No. 1 North Carolina. Canisius’ season ended after the squad fell to No. 23 Florida Atlantic. The women’s lacrosse team made conference history, scoring its third consecutive MAAC championship title. Canisius, which matched a program record with 14 wins, defeated Marist, 10-9, in the conference championship game. The women’s season ended in a 14-13 loss to No. 7 Penn State.

Canisius climbed to number seven on U.S. News & World Report’s “Great Schools at Great Prices” ranking among regional universities in the North. According to U.S. News, 77 percent of Canisius undergraduate students received need-based grants in 2012. The average discount on the total cost of tuition was 45 percent. In a separate but similar ranking, ranked Canisius as a top university in New York State for return on investment.

blue&goldbriefs Home Ice Advantage: HArBOrcenter is Griffs’ New Home The Ice Griffs will be the primary tenant in the new HARBORcenter, when it opens in fall 2014. The unique partnership between Canisius and the Buffalo Sabres enables the Golden Griffin hockey program to compete and practice in the $172 million multipurpose hockey and entertainment complex in Buffalo’s Canalside District. “The college is making yet another big investment in the city, as we join with Terry and Kim Pegula and the Buffalo Sabres, to help revitalize downtown, advance the Canalside District and take our championship hockey program to a whole new level of excellence,” says President John J. Hurley. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for our student-athletes, alumni and fans to be part of this worldclass facility.” The Griffs will have access to both NHL-size rinks inside HARBORcenter. The team will also have its own 1,300square foot state-of-the-art locker room, separate athletic training area and use of the Center of Excellence, a high-performance training facility designed specifically for development in the sport of hockey.

HARBORcenter, a mulitpurpose hockey and entertainment complex in Buffalo’s Canalside District

“The opportunity to have a world-class facility like the HARBORcenter as our home venue will be a critical piece for Dave Smith and his “This top-notch arena will be a tremendous resource with which to coaching staff to continue to build a championship-level program,” recruit, train and develop hockey,” states Coach dave Smith. adds Athletics Director Bill Maher ‘89. “Our goal is always to recruit The Golden Griffins are Buffalo’s only Division I hockey program. and develop the best student-athletes we can at Canisius and playing The team competes in the Atlantic Hockey Association and won its in the HARBORcenter is another important part in realizing this goal.” first conference championship during the 2012-2013 season.

Wall Named Academic vP Canisius President John J. Hurley appointed richard A. Wall, Phd, vice president for academic affairs. Wall has served as interim vice president since July 2011.

Richard A. Wall, PhD

“Rick has done an outstanding job of leading the college’s academic division during some challenging times and has been praised by members of the college’s faculty for his collegial and collaborative style,” said President Hurley in his announcement of the appointment. “I am grateful for his willingness to continue to serve Canisius in this important role.”

A professor of economics and finance, Wall is widely recognized as an educator and scholar. He played a key role in the design and implementation of the Golden Griffin Fund (GGF), and developed coursework, advised and monitored the equity analysis of students’ potential stock selections. As a chartered financial analyst, Wall created financial analyst preparation courses for undergraduate and graduate students.

Bravo Zulu: vets Programs Saluted Canisius offers some of the best online graduate programs for veterans, according to U.S. News & World Report’s inaugural rankings in this area. The list recognizes universities that improved veterans’ higher education experiences, are certified for the G.I. Bill, and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Of the 208 schools in the online graduate education category, only 31 were eligible to be ranked. Canisius placed 16th. Of the 213 schools in the online graduate business category, only 29 were eligible to be ranked. Canisius placed 23rd. Canisius also earned a spot on G.I. Jobs magazine’s 2014 list of “Military Friendly Schools.” The annual ranking recognizes the top 20 percent of schools, nationwide, that do the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans, as students. This is the third consecutive year Canisius landed on the “Military Friendly School” list.



A pilgrimage to the homeland of Pope Francis reveals the rich history of the Society of Jesus in Latin America. STORY BY: Audrey R. Browka • PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Allison Braun ’13, Michael Christie ’14 & Brooke Angelos ’15

Every student at Canisius “should be required to take The Jesuit Mission in Latin America.” That’s the assertion of Allison M. Braun ’13, who was among the first group of students to sign up for the newly-offered course. Open to all majors, the core curriculum class takes undergraduates outside the classroom and into the heart of Argentina to examine one of the most remarkable chapters in Jesuit history. “It was like reading a book and then watching its movie adaptation,” says Michael Christie ’14, a classics and pre-med major. “I could appreciate the places we visited in Argentina much more after first reading about them in class.” The students’ pilgrimage began, appropriately, in Córdoba, where a small group of Jesuits, commissioned by the King of Spain, arrived in 1599. The Jesuits came to the Americas to propagate the Catholic faith but their evangelization efforts had a second, albeit equal, purpose. “It was also a way for the Spanish crown to legitimize its occupation of and expansion in the newly-conquered lands of Spanish America,” says M. Fernanda Astiz, PhD, associate professor and director of Latin American studies. The Jesuits achieved their mission through what was a 6


bold experiment in “religious colonization, education and economics,” adds Astiz, an Argentine native. Their success is most evident along Córdoba’s 400-year old Jesuit Block. The religious complex once housed Argentina’s first university, a college, chapels, and student and priest residences for Spain’s elite settlers in the “New World.” The Jesuits financed the business of the Block through enterprising estancias (ranches). “Estancias were large rural estates that the Jesuits acquired and each one specialized in its own trade,”says Braun. Agricultural, livestock, leather and wool estancias “provided the Jesuits with the economic resources they needed to operate their educational institutions.” The estancias similarly helped support the Jesuits’ important mission work with the Guaraní natives, whom they isolated into settlements called reductions. “The Jesuits taught the Guaraní Christianity and exposed them to Western practices in farming, animal raising, painting, music, sculpture, and some reading and writing,” says Astiz. She and Margaret K. Stefanski, PhD, chair of modern languages, took students 15 hours north of Córdoba to visit San Ignacio Miní. Constructed in the 17th century, it is one of the most well-preserved Jesuit

reductions in Argentina, and a testament to the order’s influence on architecture and innovation. “Even in the ruins, I could see that their structures were a combination of aboriginal art and European baroque, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” says Braun, an art history, environmental studies and biology alumna. “It was interesting to learn the logic behind the way Jesuits designed their establishments,” adds Christie. “They incorporated secret underground tunnels to provide defense and developed sewer systems that had running water powered by rain.” History chronicles the Jesuit reductions as an experiment in creating a utopian society. But students, such as history major Brooke Angelos ,15, aren’t convinced. “Some people believe reductions were best for the Guaraní because the Jesuits educated them, taught them economically sustainable trades and provided them protection from Portuguese slave traders,” says Angelos. “Others believe the Jesuits forced Christian beliefs and European civilization on a native population.” The thought-provoking nature of the Argentina trip was complemented by many opportunities for students to sightsee and engage in the country’s rich culture. They traveled to Iguazú Falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world and one of the filming locations of

the 1986 movie “The Mission.” Students also toured the Museum of Latin American Art in Buenos Aires and visited the Catedral Metropolitana, where Cardinal Jorge Bergolio served as archbishop from 1998 until his ascendancy to Pope Francis earlier this year. They sampled Argentine cuisine and its many variations of asado (barbecued) beef; shopped in Palermo, the equivalent of New York City’s sophisticated SoHo neighborhood; learned to dance the tango and also how to survive in a Spanish-speaking country. But most significant, notes Allison Braun, “We learned about the Jesuit legacy in education, culture, society and the arts, and that’s something that is part of all Canisius students.” WEB ExtrA Check out students’ digital stories from their Jesuit journey in Argentina at

f faith i Un ites STORY: KRISTIN E. ETU ’91 E PHOTOS: TOM WOLF ’86

Accounting major kimberly M. Nowicki ’14 stepped outside of her comfort zone during an assignment for the course Religious Diversity in Buffalo, taught by Jonathan d. Lawrence, Phd, associate professor of religious studies and theology. Raised in a Roman Catholic family, Nowicki visited a church unfamiliar to her. “The service was very joyful and interactive, even during the sermon. There was so much singing,” says Nowicki, of her visit to Spirit of Truth Urban Ministry in Buffalo’s Lovejoy neighborhood. Spirit of Truth is a non-denominational church, which does not recognize many of the aspects that make the Catholic Church distinctly Catholic, such as formal hierarchy, the Sacraments and the Eucharist. Both houses of worship, however, represent places where life is found, repentance is sought and acceptance is given. “It was enriching and the worshippers welcomed us with open arms.” Religious Diversity in Buffalo requires Canisius students to go beyond the classroom to explore Buffalo’s vibrant religious community. The course helps students to investigate the various religious beliefs in Buffalo but also illustrates the common threads that tie them together. Oftentimes, students are encouraged to reflect on their own faiths.

M. Bruce McKay, pastor of Pilgrim St. Luke’s United Church of Christ. “Our community is becoming increasingly religiously diverse. Unless we experience the practice of religious traditions other than our own, we can’t expect to fully understand them.” In the past 50 years, immigration has dramatically changed the religious landscape of the United States. Western New York is no exception, says Lawrence. “The Buffalo area is comprised primarily of Roman Catholics, however, most major religions are now represented.” The 2010 U.S. Religion Census, conducted by the Association of Statisticians and Religious Bodies, shows significant declines in Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and some evangelical denominations in the last decade. At the same time, the local Muslim community is now estimated at more than 18,000 people in Erie and Niagara counties; triple that from just 10 years ago. “The single most important belief in Islam is the oneness of God (Allah),” says Lawrence. He explains that Muslims serve Allah through daily prayer and charitable giving. They fast during the month of Ramadan to express their gratitude to Allah, to atone for past sins and to remain mindful of the needy.


Buddhism is also an increasingly practiced religion in Buffalo. The belief system emphasizes leading a “Students are interested in learning more about moral life, mindfulness of thoughts and actions, and other religious communities but are often uncomthe development of wisdom and understanding. It fortable visiting houses of worship or unsure about - KIMBERLY M. NOWICKI ’14 is practiced primarily by Buffalo’s Burmese refugee how to find reliable information about different population, which now makes up one percent of the religions,” says Lawrence, who is also an ordained American Baptist minister and a pastor. “This project provides a city’s ethnic groups. comfortable environment for students, their families and community The results of the census underscore the tremendous scope of ethnic members to share stories about their religious traditions and beliefs.” change at home and across the country. It says little, however, about royshawn M. Sessum ’12, ’13 interviewed his aunt, a Baptist. “She has such a strong faith. I wanted to know what influenced that,” says the accounting/accounting information systems graduate. Sessum learned that Baptists regard the Bible as God’s divine instruction. “My aunt explained to me that the Bible serves as her GPS in life.” Students videotape their interviews with members of different religious denominations or the church services they attend. Edited projects are screened at an event open to the campus and greater Buffalo community. “The students do a great job of capturing both the practice of different traditions and feelings of people about their community of faith,” says << Kimberly M. Nowicki ’14 with Senior Pastor Al Robinson and Pastor Vivian Robinson

its religious significance. Lawrence is helping to change that. His course is part of a personal research project entitled “Religion in Western New York.” The study maps the diversity of religious communities throughout the region to examine how religious traditions and interactions in Buffalo compare with those in other American cities. Lawrence shares his findings with The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, a national initiative that examines the impact of religious diversity in civic life and explores new forms of interfaith engagement. C ANISIUS COLLEGE M AGA ZINE • FALL 2013 |


“I hope to discover more examples of how religion in Buffalo is changing – not gone and unimportant – just changing,” says Lawrence. A unique spot on Buffalo’s evolving religious map is the Hindu Cultural Center in Amherst, NY, where Allison v. Buethe ’12 chose to visit. “The woman who manages the temple gave us a very informative presentation about the foundation of Hindu beliefs and how the denomination is involved in the local community,” says Buethe. Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture and no commonly agreed set of teachings. Rather it draws upon a common system of values known as dharma: the power that gives humans the opportunity to act virtuously. Dharma is understood to be service to humanity and to God. “Diversity and awareness of diversity can lead to understanding and cooperation. Buffalo is a good example of where people are managing to get along,” says Lawrence, who is also president of the Network of Religious Communities. The Network fosters interreligious and ecumenical dialogue and cooperation between denominations, congregations and organizations. Much like Lawrence does in his class. “Someone asked why certain religions wear headpieces and he built an entire class lecture and discussion around that question,” says Matthew A. Skok ’13, a graduate of the management program. “There isn’t a traditional syllabus for this class. Dr. Lawrence told us ‘You are here to learn about yourself and your community.’ It’s very experiential.” One of the experiences includes a tour of Forest Lawn Cemetery. “We learned that there are different traditions for different faiths,” adds Skok. “For instance, people in the Jewish faith place a rock on the headstone each time they visit their loved ones at the cemetery out of respect.” Students also dine with the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, SSMN, who share the history of the order and its mission to serve those most in need. “The students are able to see the sisters for the approachable, beautiful people that they are,” says Sister Patricia Brady, SSMN, director of community-based learning at Canisius. “We are people like everyone else but people with a mission.” “It was great to speak with them, learn why they decided to enter the sisterhood, and what their lifestyle is like,” adds Buethe. Kimberly Nowicki’s spiritual journey remains a “work in progress.” Although she does not actively practice any one religion, Religious Diversity in Buffalo gave her a greater understanding of her faith and that of others. “To have a class take you on a personal journey is rare,” she notes. “It definitely helped me step back and see the common threads between all religions. Perhaps it is possible to identify with different aspects of different religions.” WEB ExtrA

Visit to view a compilation of student interviews conducted for the course Religious Diversity in Buffalo.



Between Species: Waldau explores animals and people The latest book by Paul F. Waldau, Phd, is essential reading for anyone interested in the dynamic relationship between humans and animals or the role animals play in society. Animal Studies – An Introduction is the sixth book for the associate professor of anthrozoology. In it, Waldau explores how humans have treated animals in the past, how they treat them now and future possibilities for human-animal relationships. He examines these issues from educational, ethical, religious, legal and cultural perspectives. Waldau is the principal faculty member for the master of science program in anthrozoology. He also teaches at Harvard Law School.

Fixed Asset: Gattuso joins GGF Steven A. Gattuso ’87, MBA ’88 is the new director of the Golden Griffin Fund (GGF). The student-run investment management program gives fund managers the opportunity to make real investments using real money. Gattuso is a former assistant vice president – portfolio manager for M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust. In this role, he made investment decisions for assigned customer profiles; performed portfolio analysis to determine risk, return and term payments; and developed long and Steven A. Gattuso short-term investment strategies. An alumnus of Canisius College, Gattuso earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science, and a master’s degree in business administration. He is a certified charter financial analyst (CFA), a certified financial planner (CFP) and a certified management accountant (CMA). Gattuso will also serve as an instructor in the Department of Economics and Finance.

volonino, Wood examine tech trends Latin American revolution: Part two History Professor rené A. de La Pedraja, Phd, continues his narrative on military combat in Latin America in his newest book Wars of Latin America, 1948-1982: The Rise of the Guerrillas. The book traces the region’s history of insurgencies and conventional wars from 1948–1982, and examines why only those insurgencies in Cuba and Nicaragua were successful in overthrowing the government. Although the book concentrates on military combat, De La Pedraja also cites matters of politics, business and international relations to help further explain the wars. Wars of Latin America, 19481982 is De La Pedraja’s ninth book. It is a follow-up to Wars of Latin America, 1899-1941, which tells the history of border disputes and domestic insurrections, that forcefully shaped the history of Latin America.


rev. James Pribek, SJ, professed his final vows in the Society of Jesus at Christ the King Chapel. Read more at

Gregory r. Wood, Phd and Linda volonino, Phd, explore today’s most relevant information technology (IT) trends and those of the future in Information Technology for Management: Advancing Sustainable, Profitable Business Growth. The book examines global and mobile commerce, IT virtualization, cloud computing, big data and analytics, and social media and metrics. Case studies and real world examples demonstrate how these trends are transforming the business world. “These trends will ultimately affect the development of company strategies, business models, organizational approaches, and the relationships companies have with their customers and employees,” says Wood, associate professor of marketing and interim associate dean of the Richard J. Wehle School of Business. The book’s content was influenced by the authors’ research in the ever-evolving IT field. Their findings also led to the development of several new academic courses and a strategic alignment, which merged the Marketing and Information Systems departments. “Now we are able to prepare students for the new tech frontier by demonstrating the connection between IT concepts and practice, so that they graduate with the skills that future employers find valuable,” adds Volonino, professor of information systems. She and Wood are currently collaborating on a digital-first title with the publishing company John Wiley & Sons. This interactive, online learning platform increases the value and learning experiences for students, and reduces textbook costs. “Greg and Linda’s diverse experience in IT and marketing, and their creative approach to addressing student needs makes for a compelling author team and a more engaging experience for students,” says Don Fowley, vice president and executive publisher at John Wiley & Sons Inc. The authors’ digital-first title is due out in 2014. C ANISIUS COLLEGE M AGA ZINE • FALL 2013 |


for pArents, this For educators of special needs children, this is a story about support. And for researchers who study the neurological disorder known as autism, this is a story about breakthroughs. Dr. Leo Kanner, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University, first identified autism in 1943. He used the term to describe the withdrawn behavior of children he studied. Before that, the disorder didn’t exist as far as clinicians were concerned. Surely, there were individuals with autism. But they were discounted and labeled as awkward, odd or eccentric. Seventy years later, there is no known cure for the disorder. But children, who previously would have been overlooked, now receive the attention and treatment they need to manage the disorder at the Institute for Autism Research (IAR) at Canisius College. “I’m so appreciative of the work they do,” says Renee Marciniak, whose daughter, Corinne is diagnosed with autism.



A treAtment breAkthrough by the institute for Autism reseArch enriches the lives of children on the spectrum

is A story of hope. “They understand the kids and they’re making real differences in their lives.” Prior to coming to the IAR, Corinne avoided social situations. She preferred to stand by herself before school each morning rather than gather with kids her age. When other children tried to initiate conversations, “she didn’t respond or follow through,” remembers Marciniak. Corinne similarly struggled to express her emotions. She appeared to lack empathy for others. “She couldn’t tell when someone was happy or sad, appreciative or mad,” adds Marciniak. Corinne exhibits many of the hallmarks of autism. There are others, including narrow interests and obsessive routines. As children grow, their impairments often become more complicated, both behaviorally and emotionally. “The core symptom is the social disability but then depression, anxiety and a host of other emotional and behavioral difficulties layer on top of it,” explains Marcus L. thomeer, Phd, who co-founded and co-directs the IAR with colleague Christopher Lopata, Psyd.

story by: Audrey r. broWkA

photogrAphy by: eric frick

The many manifestations of autism are collectively known as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The severity of the symptoms, from mildly impaired to severely disabled, determines where a child falls on the spectrum. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly one in 88 children fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. This marks a 23 percent increase in just two years and a 78 percent increase since 2000. The rise is attributed to an expanded definition of the disorder, greater public awareness of it, and an improved ability among physicians to distinguish it from other conditions. The increase is mobilizing researchers to figure out how best to treat autism. “A largely ignored fact is that this is a chronic disorder,” says Susan Williams White, PhD. An assistant professor of psychology at Virginia Tech, White is the author of Social Skills Training for Children with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. She closely follows the work of the IAR. “You don’t age out of the diagnosis. You treat it for a lifetime with the idea being that the individual can live a better quality of life.”



Stacey and Joseph Klein, their son, Owen and daughter, Emma >> The Institute for Autism Research offers the best chance at this, for the Marciniak family and others like them. Established in 2009, the IAR is dedicated to better understanding autism and enhancing the lives of affected children. The institute’s work has led to the development of several new and successful treatment programs that garnered the attention of the clinical and research communities and the national media. Most renowned is summerMAx, which was one of the first comprehensive treatment programs proven effective for high-functioning children with autism. “The treatment program developed by Chris and Marcus and their colleagues at the institute gets at the core symptoms of ASD – the social, behavioral and emotional,” says White, who invited Lopata and Thomeer to co-author a chapter in her newest book CBT for Children and Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders. “This is what makes their work so universally appealing to families, educators and researchers.”

oWen’s sociAl development hAs reAlly improved. he tAkes An interest in others And is Able to recogniZe And AcknoWledge their emotions. - stAcey klein

In many ways, summerMAx is similar to a summer camp: Children participate in group activities, games and field trips. But summerMax is actually a treatment research program. Lopata and Thomeer develop strategies to treat ASD symptoms. These strategies are incorporated into the program’s activities. Institute researchers, many of whom are undergraduate and graduate students, implement the strategies and then assess the impact to determine which ones result in the greatest gains among children. According to results from two randomized clinical trials, children who participate in summerMAx consistently show vast improvements in their understanding of what social skills to use in a range of situations. Children are also more likely to engage in social interactions compared to those who do not receive treatment, and maintain their social gains after completing the five-week program. Family members of children with ASD, however, say the greatest outcomes are watching their sons, daughters and siblings grow into loving, understanding and social individuals. “Nathan used to want to stay in his room and play by himself,” recalls Dawn Helms whose son is a summerMAx alumnus. “He’s so much more confident. He now takes an interest in what we’re doing as a family. He starts conversations at dinner rather than waiting to be asked a question. He’s more empathetic and more able to read emotional cues.” She pauses. “When I hug Nathan now, he knows it’s because I’m happy.” The institute attributes its treatment success to the comprehensive approach it takes to the complex disorder. The IAR’s treatment strategy combines psychology with education to teach children appropriate social and communication skills and behaviors, and decrease their autism symptoms. Each treatment component targets a different impairment but the methodology is always the same, in that it teaches specific skills and provides children with multiple opportunities to practice those skills through activities that are fun in nature. It’s a cumulative process, which begins with children learning very rudimentary social skills, such as how to start a conversation, maintain a conversation and end it. Each new social skill children learn builds upon the one before it. “A typically developing child often learns how to listen, ask a question or have a conversation just by living, growing up and maturing. But 14


children on the autism spectrum do not learn implicitly,” says Lopata. Instead, “The most meaningful and sustainable outcomes occur when children are taught, at a cognitive level, what the behavioral, physiological and emotional responses are to very common social situations.” The IAR’s findings are now the foundation for its latest research, which will test the effectiveness of its treatment program in school settings. A historic $3.4 million research grant, recently awarded to the IAR by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Services, will support the four-year study. Preliminary research on the school program, conducted at Dodge Elementary in Williamsville, NY showed much promise. “So much of ASD research focuses on determining its cause and early detection, for good reason,” says Principal Lynn Fritzinger. “Helping those same children succeed academically and socially once they enter school, however, is an area that is largely overlooked.”

Schools can be particularly difficult environments for children with ASD to navigate. Not only do they need to learn their academics, “they also need to adapt to the classroom environment and all the social, emotional and communication challenges intrinsic to it,” explains Kathy Zwierzchowski, a speech pathologist who leads Dodge Elementary’s Diverse Resources Team. These challenges are compounded by budget-strapped school districts and time-crunched teachers, which severely limit treatment consistency or intensity. At best, some schools treat one, maybe two of a child’s symptoms. Rarely are they able to treat all ASD symptoms. Still, educators, parents and research professionals agree that schools should be the primary avenue for children with ASDs to receive treatment. The Institute for Autism Research developed the school model to do just that. SchoolMAx applies the IAR’s treatment strategies in the classroom. Similar to summerMAx, each strategy targets a different impairment and the methodology includes instruction, modeling and role play. Each time a student carries out a learned skill, the student receives immediate feedback to strengthen learning and the skill used is recorded on an individual daily note or IDN. “The IDNs enable us to measure the progress of each child, which is something we never did before and therefore, we never knew for sure if we were having an impact on the children,” says Zwierzchowski. “Now we know, specifically, when it’s time to raise the bar, revisit certain skill sets or introduce new ones.” The IDNs also paint a clear picture for the institute as to which treatment strategies work in the classroom and which need to be modified. Initial pilot studies indicated that schoolMAx resulted in “significant gains for children on the spectrum,” says Thomeer.

Children demonstrated increased knowledge and use of social skills, a greater ability to read emotions in the facial expressions of others, and a substantial decrease in the severity of their ASD symptoms. The pilot program earned high marks from educators as well. “We felt we had a very good foundation already in place at Dodge, prior to our relationship with the IAR,” says Principal Fritzinger. “But the institute’s program put structure to what we do and in a sustainable yet flexible enough way, so that the focus is always on consistency, intensity and accountability – everything we need to really help our children and their families.” Families, in fact, are as integral to the success of the IAR’s social development treatment as educators. Parents participate in education sessions and work with their children at home to reinforce skills. They also monitor their children’s progress on the IDNs, which are sent home every day. The families meet regularly with school educators or IAR instructors to review their children’s progress. It’s also a time when families can ask questions or discuss concerns. “I really believe the success Nathan has had is due, in large part, to the fact that everyone is on the same page,” says Helms. “The treatment strategies being used at school are the same strategies used in the summer program and the same strategies we use at home.” The large group family meetings serve an added purpose. “We’ve made some nice connections with other parents of children with ASDs,” adds Marciniak. “To be able to share stories and talk about your child’s progress with one another just brings an additional element of support to the whole program.” Treating autism is very much a team effort. But a diagnosis no longer guarantees a difficult life. The work at the Institute for Autism Research has proven that with enough investment and hard work, children with ASD can learn to overcome their impairments so that one day, they may grow up to live ordinary – and perhaps even extraordinary – lives.

the institute for Autism reseArch understAnds the kids And they’re mAking reAl differences in their lives.

- renee mArciniAk

“We need to give these kids an opportunity to attend school, go to college, to find meaningful work as adults, to have a family and ultimately not be so isolated from society,” says Thomeer. “All our efforts are undertaken with this in mind – to improve the lives of children with autism.” All indications are that the Institute for Autism Research is making significant progress toward that goal. WEB ExtrA

Visit to learn how two new research grants are helping the IAR in its efforts.

<< Renee and Tim Marciniak, their daughter, Corinne and son, Joshua

Michael ’63, Christine ryan: Help make the next chapter of library a reality Michael M. ryan ’63 was a classic ‘day student’ at Canisius in the early 1960s. He spent most of his time in class and in the library, where he went to complete his daily assignments before heading to his job. Ryan recalls sitting near the library windows so he could look at the trees and green-space. Ryan revisited his favorite study spot when he returned to campus for his 50th reunion this summer. In recognition of the many hours he spent there as a student, he and his wife, Christine, committed a significant gift toward the current renovation of the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library.

Michael ’63 and Christine Ryan

“My education at Canisius helped me stand out against any education other people had at the time,” says Ryan. “Canisius taught me how to think, taught me how to write, and gave me a set of ethical values that were right for me and perfect for Proctor & Gamble (P&G).”

Ryan spent his entire career with the multinational manufacturer. Although he lived briefly in Buffalo, Ryan later relocated to New York City and then Cincinnati, the site of P&G’s home office. He spent his last six years at the company’s Asian headquarters in Kobe, Japan. Although Ryan has lived away from Canisius for many years, he still keeps alma mater close. Ryan reads everything he can about the college, pays particularly close attention to Canisius sports and continues to be informed by the C ANISIUS COLLEGE M AGA ZINE • FALL 2013 | 17 Jesuit values instilled in him as a student. His gift to the college’s library renovation project will ensure more computer workstations, more flexible student seating and more study spaces for the next generation of students. And there will always be a window seat available for Ryan, whenever he visits Canisius.

2013 regents Scholarship Ball Close to 600 guests attended the 2013 Regents Scholarship Ball, which raised more than $111,500. The funds will provide vital financial assistance to promising young students who otherwise would not be able to take advantage of a Canisius education.

Photo, above: Canisius President John J. Hurley (second from left) poses with (l-r) his wife, Maureen; Robert Gioia, the 2013 Distinguished Citizen Achievement Award recipient; Sally Gioia; and Regents Ball co-chairs Rocco Lucente II ’80 and Deborah DiMatteo MBA ’88. Photo, right: Cece Gotham ’13 (left), the featured student speaker at the Regents Ball, and Lyndsay DeFeo ’13 16


institutionaladvancement John P. Courtney ’58: Continuing a Canisius tradition When John (Jack) P. Courtney ’58 came to Canisius, it marked the beginning of his long history with the college – and one that now lives on in perpetuity via the John P. Courtney ’58 Family Business Scholarship. Courtney’s children recently established the endowed scholarship. It will be awarded to a student from either Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School (Courtney’s alma mater) or a city of Buffalo high school, who plans to study business administration and demonstrates financial need. The scholarship carries with it the wisdom and legacy of compassion that is so inherent in Courtney.

John P. ’58 and Patricia Courtney (center) and family

The eldest of eight children, Courtney went to work when he was just a boy. He married young, started a family and maintained a full-time job while going to school at Canisius. Courtney’s education, coupled with his strong work ethic, led him from Bethlehem Steel and laying tar on the streets of Buffalo to Computer Task Group. During his tenure, Courtney worked his way up from senior technical consultant to president and chief operating officer of the multi-million dollar IT service and solutions provider.

House, Housing Opportunities Made Equal and the Neighborhood Information Center. Canisius College is also a grateful beneficiary of Jack Courtney. He shared his business acumen and expertise as a member of the Board of Trustees and Regents. In 2008, Courtney established the John P. Courtney ’58 Finance Department Endowment. He was also a major contributor to last year’s renovation of the Financial Markets Lab.

However, his sphere of influence ranges well beyond the business The ‘Courtney world-view’ is described by one of his children in this world. way: “We are agents of social change and we have a moral and spiritual obligation to make this place better than we found it.” With this Courtney and his wife, Patricia, have been an unstoppable team in scholarship, Jack Courtney’s influence will benefit others far beyond the community. They provided leadership and helped bring Jesuit the limbs of the Courtney family tree. values to life through their fundamental support of Hospice, Haven

tax Law Changes Equate to Charitable Giving Incentives New legislation related to IRA charitable rollovers, itemized deductions, capital gains tax rates, and estate and gift taxes are among many new laws that may impact your financial planning or charitable giving. To take advantage of these new tax laws and help support Canisius, consult your tax advisor or contact dianna Civello, interim vice president for institutional advancement, at 716-888-8220 or

It just became easier to give to alma mater. Simply scan the mobile barcode to make your gift. Canisius thanks you for your contribution.

President John J. Hurley recognized the Canisius College Scholarship Associates for more than 50 years of dedicated service, at an appreciation reception in July. Established in 1963, the Scholarship Associates raised more than $1 million in scholarship support, since its inception. The organization officially dissolved this year. Pictured (l-r) are: Rebecca Greenwald, Patricia Gordon, Judith Serio, Joanne Schwartzott ’69, Joanne Zini, Frances Stanton, Irene Adamski ’81 (founder) and President Hurley. C ANISIUS COLLEGE M AGA ZINE • FALL 2013 |


ALUMNI WEEKEND 2013 Generations of Canisius alumni rekindled old friendships and renewed their Golden Griffin spirit, during Alumni Weekend 2013. The three-day reunion kicked off with the timehonored Tent Party, which attracts hundreds back to alma mater each year. Alumni also went back to class for a series of abbreviated lectures by Canisius faculty. ‘Students’ explored the minds of killer whales, witnessed the robotics revolution underway at Science Hall, and heard about the latest breakthroughs being made by the Institute for Autism Research (page 12). Campus tours, a visit to the Naval Park, and a presentation by President John J. Hurley on Canisius’ first 100 years on Main Street preceded individual milestone class events on Saturday evening. Reunion weekend culminated with a Mass in Christ the King Chapel followed by a family picnic, complete with lunch from Anderson’s, a balloon artist and bounce house for the kids, and a visit from Petey the Griffin.

View all Alumni Weekend pictures by scanning this mobile barcode




Alumni Association Elects New Members Four new members joined the Alumni Association Board of Directors for the 2013-2014 academic year. The Board works in conjunction with the Office of Alumni Engagement to help cultivate volunteerism, mentoring and participation at Canisius College. The new members are:

Blue & Gold Goes


In an effort to reduce waste and minimize expenses, the Canisius College Office of Alumni Engagement is sending (formerly) printed communications – electronically. Joseph P. Heins ’07 Associate Phillips Lytle LLP

Michael J. Masucci Jr. ’07 Ellen S. Musialowski ’08 Strategic Account Manager Accounting Manager Future Electronics Praxair Inc.

Steven P. Siffringer ’94 Immunology Specialty Sales Representative Grifols Inc.

The Board is led by President Ann Woloszynski ’90, MBA ’94, First Vice President Mark J. Manuele ’92, Second Vice President Nicholas Fiume ’01 and Immediate Past President Jennifer S. Farrell ’98.

To make sure you receive news and event invitations, update your email address by clicking on the “Keep Up With Canisius”

link at . Or, simply scan the mobile barcode below with your smartphone.

At-Large Alumni Association Board of directors The Alumni Association is accepting nominations for new at-large members of the Board of Directors. To submit a nomination, visit


Canisius alumni are invited to join President John J. Hurley for an Ignatian immersion experience in El Salvador, from January 23-31, 2014. Participants will explore issues of faith and justice, in the context of global poverty, religion and politics, during the week-long immersion. The trip is being planned by the Institute for the Global Study of Religion. For more information about this special opportunity, contact timothy Wadkins, Phd, director of the Institute, at by December 1, 2013.

CALL FOr NOMINAtIONS For more information on nomination criteria or to nominate an individual, visit

The Canisius Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the 2014 inductees to the Sports Hall of Fame and diGamma Honor Society, as well as honorees for its LaSalle Medal, distinguished Alumni, Faculty and Senior awards. The Association also seeks nominations for its inaugural rev. Paul J. dugan, SJ, Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact on the Canisius athletics program over an extended period of time but is ineligible for induction as an athlete or non-athlete. C ANISIUS COLLEGE M AGA ZINE • FALL 2013 |




Recommended Reading

Great content and conversation keep a literary tradition alive


The Alumnae Study Club originated out of the Canisius Alumnae Association, which was formed in 1922. Separate from the all-male Alumni Association, the organization gave women a distinct voice at Canisius. When the college merged the Alumnae and Alumni Associations into one in the 1990s, the late Lillian M. Levey MS ’67, HON ’03, dean of students at Canisius, felt it remained important "Our topics are not what you might call typical women's fluff," says for female graduates to maintain a separate perspective. With her Mary Ann Hoffert ’84, MSEd ’88, chair of the Alumnae Study Club. encouragement, the Alumnae Study Club continued as an exclusive Topics range from stem cell research and cloning to African culture group for women at Canisius. and the changing face of the priesthood. "The study club is made up of The club continues to thrive today and offers female graduates – of well-educated and well-informed women who bring many different any age – an opportunity to bond over books and continue learning. perspectives to the discussions. These are not passive women." "Members of our group are stimulated by current information ooks always make for great conversation starters but they also formed lifelong bonds for a group of Canisius alumnae. Each month, these literary ladies meet in the Bouwhuis Library to confer and converse about pre-selected titles. It’s an intellectually rich tradition, which spans more than 60 years and embraces more than just novel matters.

Rev. William J. McCurdy, S.J., helps bolster the already fertile narrative content. As moderator of the club, he encourages members to dig deeper into the topics and their implications. The group also hosts guest speakers on occasion. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Maestro JoAnn Falletta HON ’00, and award-winning fiction writer and English Professor Mick Cochrane, PhD, are past participants. 20


and expanding our knowledge is what keeps us together," Hoffert explains. "We can argue about a topic but never get personal. That is how we learn." Photo: Mary Ann Hoffert ’84, MSEd ’88 (third row, far left) is chair of the Alumnae Study Club, an intellectually rich tradition that spans more than 60 years at Canisius.

classnotes 1950s ’52 BS Jerome E. Deinzer, retired insurance claims adjuster at One Beacon Insurance, was elected historiographer of the Cordova Caravan No. 26 of the Order of Alhambra, a Catholic fraternal organization dedicated to assisting developmentally disabled individuals. ’55 BS, HON ’94 Joseph J. Castiglia, retired president and chief executive officer of Pratt and Lambert, was named to the Roycroft Campus Corp. Board of Directors. ’57 BA Joseph J. Crowley, president of Crowley Webb & Associates, was an honoree at the 55th Annual Hillery Memorial Scholarship Foundation reception, recognizing distinguished friends of Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School. ’59 BS, MS ’61 Joseph F. Bieron, PhD, professor emeritus of chemistry at Canisius College, gave a talk entitled “Memories of Crystal Beach” at the West Seneca Historical Society.

1960s ’64 BA, MBA ’75 Alfred D. Culliton retired from his position as chief operations officer and acting chief executive officer of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA), after a 21-year career. ’65 BA Michael W. Shurgot, PhD, retired humanities professor at South Puget Sound Community College, co-edited a book, entitled Shakespeare’s Sense of Character: From the Stage and on the Page. ’66 BS Angelo M. Fatta, PhD, founder and chief executive officer of ANSECO Group, was named chair-elect of the League of American Orchestras Board of Directors ’66 BA Brendan D. Thomson, MD, a selfpracticing physician, served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Patan Academy of Health Sciences in Nepal. ’69 MA Sister Mary Francis Gangloff, OSF, authored a book, entitled The Life and Legacy of St. Marianne Cope, OSF. She also wrote Ferns and Flowers, a meditation booklet of St. Marianne, and Heart of Hope, a book on St. Marianne and the Year of Faith.

1970s ’70 BS Thomas A. Palmer, partner of Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel LLP, received the 2013 Volunteer Recognition Award from the University at Buffalo Alumni Association. ’70 MS Robert K. Rittenhouse, PhD, retired Illinois State University professor, authored a book, entitled Nori: The Story of a Deaf Honduran Orphan and the Goodness of God. It is the story of Rittenhouse’s deaf daughter who was adopted from Honduras. All royalties go to the Happy Hands School for the Deaf in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. ’71 BA Richard L. Bognar, a self-employed novelist, authored The Event, a story about the lives of a handful of people who attempt to stop a global shift of power that could change the world order.

’71 BA LeRoi C. Johnson, attorney at the Law Office of Leroi C. Johnson Attorney PLLC, received the 2013 Community Service/Volunteerism Leader Award from the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York Inc.

international study at Jamestown Community College, co-wrote a chapter on the international negotiation modules project for the college textbook A Global Perspective on Opportunities and Obstacles to Development.

’73 BA Richard F. Schindler, senior editor and producer of at the National Broadcasting Company, authored a novel, entitled Fandemonium, which uses the colorful world of comics and fantasy as a microcosm and metaphor of media consolidation and the excesses of global mass culture.

’79 BS John H. Conway was promoted to chief financial officer of KegWorks. He previously served as controller.

’73 MSED Paul T. Wietig, EdD, was promoted to assistant vice president for inter-professional education for all health sciences at the University at Buffalo. He previously served as core curriculum coordinator. ’74 BS David G. Hangauer Jr., PhD, chief scientific officer of KinexPharmaceuticals, was the honoree of the 2013 American Cancer Society’s Cuisine for a Cure Gala. ’74 BS James M. March is the new sales and marketing manager at Batavia Enclosures Inc. He previously served as sales manager at Aaron’s Sales and Leasing Inc. ’75 BS Gary M. Crosby is the interim president and chief executive officer for First Niagara Financial Group Inc. He previously served as executive vice president and chief administrative and operations officer. ’75 BA Nicholas N. DeSantis, DPM, podiatrist at Park Row Podiatry Inc., was elected president of the San Diego County Podiatric Medical Society. ’75 BA Arthur M. Michalek, PhD, director of health policy in the D’ Youville College Health Education Program, was named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cancer Education. ’75 MBA Christine F. Procknal is the new support services clerk at Meals on Wheels of Western New York. She previously served as senior project manager at VertaSource. ’76 BS Donald Doctor is a new loan coordinator-reverse mortgage specialist at Homestead Funding Corp. He previously served as reverse mortgage specialist at MetLife Home Loans. ’76 BS Michael Liwicki is the new director of corporate administrative services at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. He previously served as director of investigations at GDY Professional Investigations. ’76 BA Margaret W. Paroski, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Kaleida Health, received Buffalo’s Business First 2013 Health Care 50 Award, which honors compassionate individuals in the health care industry. ’77 BA, MBA ’85 William M. Hirsch is the new licensed real estate professional at Jay Coles Team for RealtyUSA. ’77 BA Gregory P. Rabb, professor of political science and coordinator of

’79 BS Nancy J. (Gabalski) Gugino is the new administrator of the Brothers of Mercy Senior Apartments in Clarence. She previously served as a team leader at People Inc.

1980s ’81 BA, MS ’88 Dennis R. DePerro, EdD, is the inaugural dean of graduate and professional studies at Le Moyne College. He also serves as vice president for enrollment management. ’81 BS, MBA ’88 James J. Jarosz was promoted to group vice president of the retail banking division at M&T Bank. ’81 MS Mary Jane Liszewski, third-grade teacher at Immaculate Conception School, received the Sister Lucille Socciarelli-Father John Sturm Making a Difference Award at the Diocese of Buffalo’s annual education awards dinner. ’82 BS Mary D. (Martin) Philbin is the new senior vice president, compliance and loan review officer at Evans Bank. She previously served as vice president. ’82 BA Donna (Hoelscher) Suchan is the new vice president, senior real estate counsel at M&T Bank. She previously served as an attorney at Phillips Lytle LLP. ’83 MBA Nancy M. Blaschak is the new regional chief executive officer for the Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions of the American Red Cross. She previously served as regional executive. ’83 BA David P. Crosby is the new executive vice president of commercial business at MVP Health Care. He previously served as managing director and chief executive of UHealthSolutions. ’83 BS James E. Knight, associate real estate broker at Realty USA, was appointed regional vice president for the New York State Association of Realtors. ’84 MBA James R. Boldt, chief executive officer of Computer Task Group Inc., received the John R. Long Award from Vive La Casa at its 2013 recognition dinner. ’84 BS John S. Eagleton is the new senior vice president, chief commercial lending officer at Evans Bank. He previously served as vice president. ’84 BA Meri G. (Cichocki) Notaro is the new director of network development and collaborative partnerships at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. She previously served as vice president of network management services at Palladian Health LLC.

Supply. He previously served as the chief financial officer and treasurer of Spartan Motors. ’84 BA Alan P. Pietruszewski, Los Angeles-based actor, appeared in the feature film Roadside. The film was screened at the seventh annual BuffaloNiagara Film Festival. ’84 BA MaryEllen Sherman Dolan, in-house counsel at Bernstein Management Corp., was reappointed to serve on The Historic St. Mary’s City Commission by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. ’85 BS William F. Hamel Jr. is the new assistant manager for the Department of Energy’s Hanford vitrification plant project. He previously served as assistant manager for infrastructure at the Idaho operations office. ’86 BS Gina M. Castelli is the new head women’s basketball coach at Le Moyne College. She previously served as director of player development at the University of Rhode Island. ’86 BA Margaret M. Rittling Richardson is the new director of alumni relations at D’Youville College. She previously served as director of alumnae relations at Holy Angels Academy. ’86 BA Laura A. (Montante) Zaepfel, vice president of corporate relations at Uniland Development Co., co-chaired the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York’s 2013 Citation Banquet. ’87 BS Kim M. (Schmitt) Bowers, senior business analyst at Sykes Enterprises, was elected president of the Erie County Federation of Republican Women Board of Directors. ’87 BA John M. Cambria Jr., territory manager at Septodont, was named the 2013 St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Man of the Year. ’87 BA J. Scott Kozacki, attorney at Willcox, Buyck & Williams PA, was elected chair of the St. Anthony Catholic School Advisory Board in Florence, SC and chair of the Florence Family YMCA Board of Directors. ’87 BS Brian C. Smith is the new vice president of information services and technology operational systems at Sodexo Inc. He previously served as director of procurement. ’88 BS James S. Segarra, managing partner of Tronconi Segarra & Associates LLP, received the 2013 Dr. Joseph R. Coppola ’40 Award at the Canisius College 57th Annual Accounting Society banquet. ’89 BS Deborah A. (Braunscheidel) Chrzanowski is the new controller for SelectOne Search. She previously served as a certified public accountant at Rogers and Company CPAs. ’89 BS Paul J. Roman Jr., PhD, was promoted to senior associate at Hodgson Russ LLP. He has been an associate with the firm since 2007.

’84 BS Joseph M. Nowicki is the new executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Beacon Roofing C ANISIUS COLLEGE M AGA ZINE • FALL 2013 |


classnotes ’89 MS Andy Smith, ATC, director of sports medicine at Canisius College, was a guest speaker at the NCAA Drug Testing Task Force at NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis. The task force was assembled to review, update and amend current policy and practices in drug testing, education and deterrence affecting all NCAA memberships. Smith is a member of the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects in Sports Committee and chair of the NCAA’s Drug Testing and Drug Education Sub-Committee.

1990s ’90 BS Monish Bhattacharyya is the new senior vice president, executive creative director at SKM Group. He previously served as associate creative director at The Martin Group. ’90 BA, MBA ’94 Ann L. Woloszynski was promoted to administrative vice president at M&T Bank Corp., where she is responsible for the Model Risk Management Department and Data Governance Office. She previously served as vice president. ’91 BS Timothy J. Bubar was promoted to auditing and accounting manager at Lumsden McCormick LLP. He previously served as senior accountant. ’92 BA Brendan T. Cannon is the new creative director of PLUMA ITALIA, a collection of high-end costume jewelry and clutches based and manufactured in Tuscany, Italy. He is also the founder and president of Cannon Media Group. ’92 BS Barbra A. (Jarosz) Girdlestone is the new senior recruiter at Computer Plus Staffing Solutions Inc. She previously served as senior recruiter at The Swizzle Group. ’92 BA Patricia A. (Terian) Mancabelli opened the Law Office of Patricia A. Mancabelli, Esq. The firm focuses on business disputes and appeals in Orchard Park. ’92 BS Benathan T. Upshaw, co-founder and co-owner of Arista Real Estate Development, was part of the Arista team that received the Impact Award for Excellence in Housing by the New York City Citizens Housing Planning Council. The team completed a $52 million development as part of a community revitalization effort in Bronx, NY. ’93 BS, MBA ’97 Christopher J. Bonghi co-founded and is a partner of the new accounting firm Smolen Bonghi CPAs & Consultants. He previously served as director at Toski & Co. PC. ’93 BA Michael J. Foley, DDS, president of Winning Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, received Buffalo’s Business First 2013 Health Care 50 Award, honoring compassionate individuals in the health care industry. ’93 BS, MBA ’96 Allegra C. (Thompson) Jaros, vice president of hospital operations at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, received Buffalo’s Business First 2013 Health Care 50 Award, honoring compassionate individuals in the health care industry.


NEW JOB? NEWLy MArrIEd? NEW ArrIvAL? visit and click on “KeeP uP WITh CAnISIuS.”

’94 BA Michael P. Hughes, vice president and chief marketing officer at Kaleida Health, received Buffalo’s Business First 2013 Health Care 50 Award, honoring compassionate individuals in the health care industry. ’94 BS John M. Meisner is the new comptroller at Trubee, Collins and Co. He previously served as a business systems analyst at HSBC Bank. ’94 BS Peter P. Scarcello was promoted to general manager for the Buffalo/Niagara region at HUNT Real Estate ERA. He previously served as the broker consultant and acting team leader for the Buffalo/ Niagara region.

’00 BS David C. Wagner was promoted to senior vice president-manager at the Buffalo office of Roosevelt & Cross Inc. He previously served as senior vice president.

’07 BA David A. Martinez is the new IT account manager at SelectOne Search. He previously served as client delivery manager at Skill Storm.

’01 BS, MBAA ’02 Joseph D. Bielecki, first vice president-director and lineof-business controller for First Niagara Financial Group, was named to the Meals on Wheels Foundation of Western New York Board of Directors.

’07 BS Raechel M. Miller is a new laboratory technician at the Buffalo Sewer Authority.

’01 BA Randall A. Hoak was promoted to senior services commissioner of Erie County by County Executive Mark Poloncarz. He previously served as supervisor of program development and evaluation.

’94 BS, MBA ’95 Heath J. Szymczak, partner of Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel LLP, had his article, entitled “Standardizing Efficiencies in Business Litigation,” published in the American Bar Association’s Business and Torts Litigation Journal.

’02 BA Jeffrey T. Gross, PhD, is a new assistant professor in the Department of Literature and Languages at Christian Brothers University. He recently completed his PhD in English (American studies) at the University of Kentucky.

’95 BA Michael J. Ball is the new Western New York deputy regional director of Empire State Development. He assists in the management of the WNY Regional Office, and implementation of the WNY Regional Economic Development Council and Buffalo Billion strategic initiatives.

’02 BS, MS ’05 Laura M. Kirkpatrick is the new product specialist supervisor at LocalEdge. She previously served as personal lines product specialist at Merchants Insurance Group.

’95 MBA, MS ’00 Larry M. Cobado, senior construction program manager at Verizon, was appointed to the Graycliff Conservancy Board of Directors.

’02 BA Francis R. Vavonese is the new managing partner at Pfalzgraf Beinhauer & Menzies LLP. He previously served as an associate attorney.

’95 MBA James M. Gottstine was promoted to chief operating officer of Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation. He previously served as senior vice president.

’03 BS Kate A. Johnson, head coach of the Westfield Area YMCA Aquaducks, received the 2013 East Coast Zone Synchronized Swimming Coach of the Year Award, at the Senior Zone Championship in Binghamton, NY.

’95 BA Nicole Graci, attorney at Hamberger & Weiss, was named special counsel in the firm’s Buffalo office.

’03 BA Nancy A. Long is a new partner at Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP. She previously served as an associate.

’95 BS Sean M. McIntyre is the new controller of Quinlan & Co. He previously served as accounting manager at Independent Health.

’05 MBAPA Jeffrey M. Balcom was promoted to administrative vice president of the Business and Professional Banking Division at M&T Bank. He previously served as vice president.

’95 BA Orlando R. Perez, president of Skyview Learning Group, was named the Small Business Administration Minority Small-Business Champion by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Buffalo District Office. ’95 MBA Robert E. Rich III, president and founder of ROAR Logistics, recently celebrated ROAR Logistics’ 10th successful year of delivering rail, ocean, air and road (truck) transportation. The company also opened its first office located on the West Coast in Temecula, CA. ’97 BS Christine M. (DiLaura) McWilliams was promoted to senior manager of general services at Dopkins & Company LLP. She previously served as manager. ’99 BS Damian K. Jones, DDS, joined the practice of Philip J. Leta, DDS LLC and is a new dentist at the ECMC Dental Clinic.

2000s ’00 BS, MBA ’01 Timothy D. Leboeuf was promoted to group vice president of the treasury division at M&T Bank. He previously served as administrative vice president.


’05 BS Samuel J. Russo was promoted to partner of SelectOne Search. He also serves as manager of the financial and executive search practice for the firm. ’06 BA Elizabeth A. Chatterton was promoted to brand ambassador at KegWorks. She previously served as social media director. ’06 MBA Krista L. (Sutton) Glenn is the new director of marketing at ABC-Amega Inc. She previously served as marketing manager at Buffalo Lodging Associates. ’06 BS Kara B. (Hejmowski) Kane is the new director of sales at The Hampton Inn Buffalo-Williamsville. She previously served as manager at Fairfield Inn & Suites Clearwater-Bayside. ’06 BA Kathleen L. Pistner was promoted to program manager at People Inc. She previously served as documentation/art specialist. ’06 BA, MBA ’09 Amy E. Popadick is the new executive director of The BISON Scholarship Fund. She previously served as director of admissions and marketing at Holy Angels Academy.

’07 BS Lesa R. (Celeste) Offermann completed her PhD in chemistry from the University of South Carolina. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of South Carolina. ’07 MS James R. Peiffer Jr. is the new assistant superintendent for the Penfield Central School District. He previously served as intermediate school principal for Starpoint School District. ’07 BA Brandon P. Senior is a new counselor in the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives at Cornell University. He previously served as support workflow coordinator at Bank of America. ’08 BA Lauren A. Fish is a new associate at Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel LLP. She previously served as an administrative clerk for the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service. ’08 BS Juliette Gauthier was promoted to senior accountant in the audit department of Lumsden McCormick LLP. She previously served as a staff accountant. ’08 BS Shawn J. Nowicki is the new director of regulatory affairs at Healthfirst. He previously served as director of health policy at Northeast Business Group on Health. ’09 BS Jennifer A. Baldonado was promoted to senior staff accountant at Szymkowiak & Associates CPAs. She joined the firm in 2009 as a staff accountant. ’09 BA, MS ’11 Justin P. Baumgardner is the new foundation coordinator at the Meals on Wheels Foundation of Western New York. He previously served as information processor at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. ’09 BS Alex M. Brown was promoted to tax advisory group supervisor at Dopkins & Company LLP. She is also an active member of the firm’s Wellness Committee. ’09 BS Aubrey A. (Arnold) Hlavaty is the new HUD grants fiscal administrator in the city of Buffalo’s Department of Audit and Control. She previously served as a senior auditor in Ernst & Young’s Assurance Division. ’09 BA Maeve E. Huggins is a new assistant district attorney at the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office in New York City. She recently received her law degree from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. ’09 MSED Heather E. McCarthy, a literacy specialist at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School, received the Sontag Prize in Urban Education for outstanding urban educators in the greater Boston area. ’09 BS Jon D. Semmler was promoted to experienced assistant in the Tax Exempt West Office at The Bonadio Group in Rochester, NY.

kEEP UP WItH 2010s ’10 BS Christopher B. Cox signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. He previously played for the Quebec Capitales. ’10 MS Melanie DelValle is the new credit manager at Blue Bridge Financial LLC. She previously served as credit risk analyst at Ingram Micro. ’10 MBA Erin Johnson was promoted to director of learning and development at Ingram Micro, North America. She previously served as senior human resource business partner. ’10 BS, MS ’11 Matthew J. Tower was promoted to senior accountant in the Audit Department of Lumsden McCormick LLP. He previously served as a staff accountant. ’11 BS, MBAACC ’12 Neil A. Giunta was promoted to experienced assistant in the Commercial Office at The Bonadio Group. ’11 BS, MBA ’13 Anne Marie Green is a new research associate at KJT Group Inc. ’11 BA Jennifer F. Kronowitz is the new middle school ELA teacher at Franklin

Academy Charter School in Boynton Beach, FL. She also completed a year as a literacy AmeriCorps member while working on her master’s degree in reading education at Barry University. ’11 BA Emily R. Marciniak is the new teen and pediatric program coordinator at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

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’11 BS Brian S. Weinzler was promoted to senior tax accountant for Lumsden McCormick LLP. He previously served as a staff accountant.

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’12 MS Elizabeth S. Krause is a new audit staff accountant at Lumsden McCormick LLP. She previously served as an assistant auditor in the city of Buffalo Accounting Department.

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’12 MS Jessica Schnitzer is the new solutions coordinator at Synacor Inc. She previously served as sales coordinator of Disney Destination for AAA of Western and Central New York.

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’13 MS Caitlin C. Root was promoted to staff accountant at Lumsden McCormick LLP. She previously served as a general ledger analyst.

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kelly A. (Bakewell) Bacon ’97, MSEd ’00 and James k. Bacon MSEd ’99, a daughter, Emma Elizabeth, born November 1, 2012

donald L. Marasco Jr. ’91 and Margie Marasco, a son, dominic John, and a daughter, Marielaina Nicolé, adopted March 26, 2013

Lisa (Maly) Bialek ’01, MBA ’02 and Jonathan S. Bialek ’01, a daughter, Sloane Marie, born December 24, 2012

katie C. McCarthy-ryan ’03 and Joseph Ryan, a daughter, Quinn Hopkins, born December 4, 2012

Michael A. Cohen ’07 and Erin (Fredette) Cohen, a daughter, Emma Grace, born October 3, 2012

kathryn A. (Olmsted) McIntyre ’06 and Brendan McIntyre ’05, a daughter, Quinn Eva kay, born August 10, 2012

Maureen A. Conners ’98 and Christopher Catone, a daughter, Erin Elizabeth, born April 9, 2013 Melissa M. (Jackson) Crangle MS ’05 and John J. Crangle III ’03, a son, Zane Patrick, born August 16, 2012 Genevieve M. (Garcia) dispenza ’02, MBA ’05 and Anthony G. Dispenza, a daughter, Gia Michelle, born November 16, 2012 Sheila dunphy-Atkins ’95, MS ’98 and Charlie Atkins, a daughter, Olivia Grace, born December 13, 2012 Melissa A. (russo) Eberz ’01, MS ’08 and John P. Eberz, DDS, a son, Samuel John, born August 12, 2012 Melissa A. Gagliardo-Smith ’03 and Thomas C. Smith, a son, Cooper donald, born March 28, 2013 Alexandrea r. (tenebruso) Gray ’12 and kareem J. Gray ’13, a son, Elijah Juno, born October 30, 2012 Andrew J. kennedy ’92 and Nicole Kennedy, a daughter, Megan Elisabeth, born November 7, 2012

T H I S I S S U E ’ S F E AT U R E D B A B Y G R I F F

Benjamin Andrew born to Allison (kasperczyk) Leberer ’07 and Andrew Leberer ’07 April 11, 2013

Jennifer (O’Connor) kennedy ’08 and Justin Kennedy, a daughter, Grace Louise, born December 21, 2012 kenneth r. kraus ’02 and Alyssa (Truelove) Kraus, a son, roland kenneth, born December 3, 2012 rosann L. Lana ’99, Md and Michael LaMancuso, twin sons, Michael Mason and Joseph Henry, born September 6, 2012

Carolyn r. (Przywara) Mekker ’99 and Luke M. Mekker ’99, MS ’01, a son, Micah Luke, born December 29, 2012 Shawn J. Nowicki ’08 and Ashleigh B. Thompson, a son, George Andrew, born March 16, 2013 richard r. russell II ’07 and Colleen M. Russell, a daughter, Natalie rita, born September 14, 2012 Amy J. (Jeris) San Gregorio ’98 and Franco San Gregorio, a daughter, Elizabeth rose, born December 25, 2012 Amanda S. (Metz) talty ’02 and Thomas B. Talty, a daughter, Madison Amanda, born July 18, 2012 Julie M. teprovich ’99 and Mark E. Ciemcioch ’97, a daughter, Eliza Cristine, born April 14, 2012 Julie (Slentz) Wysocki ’01, MS ’03 and Gary C. Wysocki ’98, a son, ryan Cole, born October 9, 2012 Justin A. Zoladz ’01 and Megan Zoladz, a daughter, Penelope rose, born January 23, 2013

think your baby ought to be in pictures? Send us a photo of your newborn with his/her name and date of birth. each issue, we will draw from the entries. If your child’s picture is chosen, he/she will be featured as the next “Baby Griff.” To send photos, visit magazine and click on “KeeP uP WITh CAnISIuS.”



*Colette P. Bartels ’05, MBA ’06 and John Tyler Slaman on April 13, 2013

kaitlin r. Metz ’08, MSEd ’10 and Jeffrey M. Monaco on September 29, 2012

*katherine M. Bernecki ’05 and Matthew J. DeWitt ’05 on May 25, 2013

*Jeffrey d. Miodonski ’02, MSEd ’04 and Michelle Clarke on March 9, 2013

Lesa r. Celeste ’07, Phd and Daniel Offermann on October 27, 2012

*rebecca Nietopski ’05 and Brian Hess on April 27, 2013

Gina M. dama ’01 and richard M. Crismale ’00 on March 23, 2013

Judith A. Perez ’96, Phd and Howard CaroLopez, PhD, on November 11, 2012

Patrick A. Jones ’03, MSEd ’06 and Kelly Ann Pitz on September 15, 2012

Nicholas J. reinhart ’09 and Samantha M. Gaglione on October 6, 2012

Christopher P. Mazgaj ’06 and Jessica Skelly on March 9, 2013

Johnna N. riley ’05 and Lance Swartele on September 15, 2012 Meaghan k. Shaffer ’09 and daniel r. Paradise ’08 on September 22, 2012 Charis d. Walker ’05 and Jeff C. Bonhomme ’05 on September 2, 2012 keyla G. Zinteck ’09 and daniel G. Fisk ’09 on September 21, 2012

Papal Blessing

*Indicates married at Christ the King Chapel

Newlyweds Jennifer L. Gorczynski ’00 and Christopher B. Walker received a blessing of a lifetime in May. Honeymooning in Rome, the couple attended Vatican City’s general papal audience. They sat in the reserved section for newlyweds, where Pope Francis greeted them personally. His Holiness presented the couple with a rosary and a prayer: “Many blessings on your marriage and may you have the joy of Christ in your life always.” Jennifer and Christopher were married on May 18 in St. Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church.

IN MEMORIAM Frank B. duffy ’39 January 30, 2013

thomas J. McCarthy ’49 December 14, 2012

rev. Francis J. Staebell ’40, SJ February 8, 2013

William A. Murphy ’49 March 20, 2013

Frank J. Bolgan ’41, MA ’43, Md January 8, 2013

Gerald J. Culhane ’50 May 7, 2013

richard r. Jenczka ’42 April 17, 2013

Joseph J. Forrester III ’50 February 20, 2013

Austin J. Short ’42 January 10, 2013

raymond J. Jacobi ’50 January 2, 2013

Anthony C. Ulatowski ’42 February 10, 2013

John B. Lebherz ’50 June 8, 2013

Samuel L. Albert ’43, ddS January 26, 2013

donald J. Mackinnon ’50 February 13, 2013

rev. Salvatore J. Cusimano ’44 May 5, 2013

Joseph L. Warthling ’50, ddS January 25, 2013

Christian G. koelbl ’46 February 18, 2013

Norman E. Conway ’51, MSEd ’54 January 1, 2013

Albert J. Herrmann ’47 April 15, 2013

George L. Graves ’51 February 22, 2013

thomas A. virginia ’47 May 11, 2013

Michael G. Ubaldini ’51 May 12, 2013

Francis C. duane ’48 April 1, 2013

Norman J. Ziemer ’51 May 14, 2013

Arthur J. Haumesser ’48 January 17, 2013

Earl E. Brady ’52 March 10, 2013

Philip C. Lombardo ’48 March 21, 2013

Gustave M. Fehrer ’52 January 25, 2013

Joseph F. thill ’48 January 20, 2013

Jerome A. kaminski ’52 February 23, 2013

Albert J. Brach ’49 May 1, 2013

Paul J. kreppel ’52 January 18, 2013

Edward A. Jurek ’49 February 15, 2013

Joseph P. Lotempio ’52 April 25, 2013 Lawrence M. O’Connor ’53 February 7, 2013

Charles G. rieman ’53, MSEd ’59 January 2, 2013

thomas E. Waters ’62 March 4, 2013

timothy Maggio MS ’76 April 17, 2013

E. daniel Butler ’54 April 27, 2013

Stanley J. keysa ’64 March 24, 2013

Mary L. Battaglia Stanley ’76 June 1, 2013

daniel J. Golubski ’54 May 5, 2013

Bernard J. Nienhaus II ’64, MA ’75 March 26, 2013

William r. Hoskinson MBA ’77 March 5, 2013

Emery d. Haley Jr. ’54 February 3, 2013

Steven J. Paskuly ’64, MSEd ’68 May 2, 2013

robert t. dombrowski ’79 January 2, 2013

robert E. Levi ’54 February 22, 2013

James J. rybarczyk ’65 February 1, 2013

Michael C. Lauria ’80 February 19, 2013

Arnold t. dzielski ’55 April 14, 2013

Anthony v. Fasanello ’66 April 29, 2013

ronald L. dux ’82 May 1, 2013

Larry Felser ’55 April 24, 2013

kathleen M. (Burger) Howard MSEd ’66 | January 28, 2013

Marjorie d. Ulrich MA ’83 May 4, 2013

Amedeo F. Inglisa ’55 April 16, 2013

James E. thayer MSEd ’67 February 3, 2013

dennis M. Jones ’85 November 26, 2012

James t. Palisano ’55, MSEd ’59 March 26, 2013

robert J. Adams ’69, Phd May 29, 2013

raymond A. Marien ’85 March 18, 2013

donald E. Schreiber ’57 November 20, 2012

virginia M. (rogers) Forrestel MSEd ’70 | May 15, 2013

Lachez (Hampton) Mcduffie ’85 January 31, 2013

donald L. Schnitter ’58 September 29, 2012

Jeanne M. Murphy MSEd ’70 April 19, 2013

Paul S. virginia ’85 April 11, 2013

donald F. Lehner ’59 January 13, 2013

thelma (Witnauer) duggan ’72 February 9, 2013

Gretchen E. Hollmer ’88 January 17, 2013

vito S. Lenoci ’59 March 9, 2013

Sister rose M. Lander MS ’72 April 13, 2013

James J. Loesch MBA ’88 February 25, 2013

Murray G. Black ’60 May 19, 2013

Peter E. Mulholland ’72 March 11, 2013

ronald L. Browning MS ’89 May 3, 2013

Albert J. Meaney ’60 April 7, 2013

James J. Secord MS ’72 January 2, 2013

david L. krawczyk ’89 December 21, 2012

Natalie F. (Wandel) Mack MSEd ’73 Laura A. Saxon ’92 February 12, 2013 February 14, 2013 delores E. dahn-Anderson Lillian t. (Brown) diggins MSEd ’61 kathleen r. (Meosky) Head ’74 March 16, 2013 MSEd ’95 | February 25, 2013 February 27, 2013 Harold F. Miller ’60, MSEd ’66 January 29, 2013

dorothy r. (Whitefield) Griffin ’61 Frank C. Stonitsch ’74 March 26, 2013 April 4, 2013

kathleen (McCarthy) White ’01 May 19, 2013

Myron J. Norys ’62 February 6, 2013

Clarence E. Counts ’07 March 13, 2013

John t. Fordyce MBA ’75 February 6, 2013

MEDICAL ICAL ILESTONE MILESTONE Branko Bojovic ’98, MD, takes part in a pioneering surgical procedure that changed the life of one patient and broke new medical ground for researchers. : Audrey R. Browka   : UMMC/Coos Hamburger




ichard Norris came out of hiding earlier this year.

He lived life behind a surgical mask for more than a decade, after an accidental shotgun blast shattered the bottom half of his face. Norris lost most of his upper and lower jaws, teeth, lips, nose and part of his tongue. He had reached the limits of traditional reconstructive surgery when Branko Bojovic ’98, MD, and a team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons, presented Norris with an unconventional alternative: a full facial transplant. The procedure was performed in March 2012. “We anticipate Richard Norris will achieve near 100 percent full facial function in the not so distant future,” says Bojovic. A plastic surgeon and assistant professor at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center (STC) at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), Bojovic humbly says that serendipity contributed to his role in the groundbreaking surgical achievement. “I happened to arrive when the center was about to initiate the clinical phase of its facial transplant research.” But it was the 36-year-old’s combined specialties in craniofacial surgery and microsurgery that made him a vital contributor to the five-member team. Craniofacial surgery focuses on the anatomy above the shoulders. Microsurgery involves transferring tissue from one part of the body to another, and reconnecting the vessels and nerves under a microscope. Surgeons often specialize in one area or the other but rarely both, explains Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, chief of plastic, reconstructive and maxillofacial surgery at STC. “This marked the first time in the world that a full face transplant was performed by a team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons with specialized training and expertise in craniofacial surgery and reconstructive microsurgery,” says Rodriguez, who spearheaded the surgical team. “I was able to select an elite group of surgeons. It was a small group and they were very young but they were all individuals I knew I could trust and whose skillsets were interchangeable.” Bojovic knew from a young age that medicine was in his blood. His father was a dentist, his older cousin an orthopedic surgeon. Both, he says, “served as his role models growing up.” Math and

Richard Norris, patient

Before surgery

science were always Bojovic’s favorite school subjects and areas in which he naturally excelled. Bojovic’s participation, however, in Canisius’ Young Scientists Research Program for high school students solidified his interest in medicine, as well as the college. “Canisius always had a very strong reputation in pre-medicine but it became apparent to me during that summer research program that the focus was on the individual person and that was significant for me,” recalls Bojovic. He notes that William F. Zapisek, PhD, retired director of the biochemistry program; Marius M. Kozik, PhD, chair of the Chemistry Department; and Edward C. Kisailus, PhD, professor of biology, all played influential roles in his college education. “I’m not surprised at all that Branko is doing the type of work that he is,” says Kisailus. “As a student, he was always very earnest and concentrated in his studies. He was also very devoted to his family and his faith. These qualities make for a committed and compassionate physician.” Bojovic’s Canisius education prepared him well for his post-graduate studies. He earned his MD from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and spent two years in surgical training at Loyola University Medical Center (Chicago) before he transferred to Harvard Medical School. Bojovic completed his general surgical training and his residency in plastic surgery at Harvard. Ironically, Bojovic was training at one of Harvard's main teaching hospitals when a team there performed one of the country’s earliest facial transplant procedures.

Seven months after transplant

June 2013

CT scan before transplant CT scan with partial transplant CT scan with full transplant

“I wasn’t involved in the actual operation but I helped take care of the patient afterwards and I remember thinking then it was like a ‘Star Wars’ surgery; so new and innovative,” recalls Bojovic. “I certainly never thought I’d be involved in such a procedure.” But when a fellowship brought Bojovic to UMMC’s Shock Trauma Center, he realized his specialized training might be put to the test. The center just completed a 10-year research project that established the potential for a total facial transplant. The next step was to prepare to perform the transplant on an actual patient. “I was offered to stay on staff and establish my practice and that’s when it dawned on me that I would likely be involved in some way,” says Bojovic. “It was an honor when Dr. Rodriguez invited me to be part of the surgical team that would perform the transplant.” The transplant divided the surgeons between two operating rooms. In one was the donor, a 21-year old man who died after being struck while crossing the street. The man’s family generously donated his face, along with several other organs, which went to four additional patients. In the second operating room was the recipient, Richard Norris, and Bojovic. The surgery took a total of 36 hours and allowed for only minimal breaks amongst the core operating team. “In the weeks leading up to the surgery, we practiced as though it was the real thing to condition ourselves for the amount of time we would spend in the operating room,” recalls Bojovic. Eighteen months after the surgery, Richard Norris has near normal sensation in his face. He can feel a pinch on his cheek, taste the coldness of ice water on his tongue and smell the rich flavor of coffee. He’s also learning how to eat and speak again, although there are adjustments each time his face gains more feeling.

“For the past 15 years, I lived life as a recluse,” said Norris in a statement released by UMMC. “I am now able to walk past people and no one even gives me a second look. I can start working on the new life given to me.” More significant, adds Norris, “I accomplished something that could help a whole lot more people than in the past.” Norris’ transplant and the research leading up to it were made possible by critical support from the Office of Naval Research in the Department of Defense. The surgery’s success will serve as a model for helping war veterans injured by improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan. “In the past, these injuries were not survivable or patients were unfortunately not able to survive reconstructive needs,” says Bojovic. “Now, with a new level of understanding and medical sophistication, many of these patients can survive and return to as normal a life as possible.” Bojovic considers himself privileged to care for patients who face tremendously complex medical challenges. He’s similarly honored to practice alongside the army of dedicated physicians, nurses and professional staff who help to define the field and take facial transplantation to its highest level. “This was the most extensive facial transplant surgery performed to date, in terms of the amount of skin, soft tissue, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and bone that were transferred onto a recipient patient,” says Bojovic. “Everyone at STC/UMMC, in their own way, played very important roles and deserves thanks and credit for this accomplishment.” Richard Norris’ remarkable new face is a clear reflection of that collaboration. WEB ExtrA

See more of Canisius Magazine’s interview with Branko Bojovic ’98, MD, at C ANISIUS COLLEGE M AGA ZINE • FALL 2013 |


Canisius College Magazine 2001 Main Street | Buffalo, NY 14208 |

Nearly 1,500 students from the Canisius Class of 2013 joined the ranks of the 40,000 alumni, worldwide, when they graduated in May. Among the many outstanding graduates was Matthew Faulkner â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13 (pictured), who fought back from a traumatic brain injury for a second chance at life - and a Canisius education. Read more about Faulknerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s miraculous recovery at

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Fall 2013 Issue A magazine published for the Canisius College community to stay informed on recent news and events.

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