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MS Communication & Leadership Fall 2012 ●Issue 6 ●newsletter of the M.S. Communication & Leadership at Canisius College

Top [left-right]: Christine Webb, Emily Lenihan, Mark Weber; Laura Marek, Kelly Harris, Lauren Binder Bottom: Susan Derylak, Jamie Norton, Amy Kaus, Andreea Novaceanu, Karen Lemischak, Abbey Saxby, Joanna Jacob

Congratulations to the Class of 2012! Upon graduation, Kelly Harris joined Ingram Micro as a Marketing Development Specialist. JoAnna Jacob now oversees Coaches vs. Cancer and youth programs for the American Cancer Society in Buffalo. Laura Marek relocated to Washington, D.C., where she is the Assistant Director for Institutional Giving for the American Alliance of Museums. Karen Lemischak joined nearby Fisher-Price as Senior Marketing Associate. Christine Webb serves Salvation Army as the Donor Relations Associate. Amy Kaus is Human Resources Generalist at Buffalo Hearing & Speech. Susan Derylak works as M&T Bank Corporation’s Senior Project Manager. Abbey Saxby works as the Refractive Surgery Coordinator at Fichte, Endl, & Elmer Eyecare. Lauren Binder continues serving the Alleyway Theatre as Stage, Production and Box Office Manager. Jamie Norton is currently working at Independent Nursing Care. Emily Lenihan is an Internet Producer for News 4 Buffalo. Andreea Novaceanu coaches tennis with The Gow School. Mark Weber is now located in Boston, where he is the Assistant Director of Harvard Law School’s Annual Fund.

Hello, friends of the Communication & Leadership program! We’re kicking off the new semester with some exciting updates in the Communication & Leadership program: We are going green—on a brand new website! In addition to this newsletter, we’re aiming to make more and more of our print materials available online. Coming next is our 2012 Alumni Survey, which collects information to help us improve the program for current and future students and better know how can serve the needs of alumni. Check out the results of the 2010 survey—Infographic, pg. 5. We’re continuing to develop a brand new website! Check it out at Coming soon to the site: program testimonials and alumni profiles. We would love to share your thoughts or feature your career profile to show what can be done with the degree! Email me at to get involved. This August we welcomed our new graduate assistant, Kate McGuire, a recent graduate from Geneseo. In addition to producing the newsletter and planning upcoming events like the Perspectives in Leadership lecture (pg. 7), Kate is the new voice behind the ComLead blog ( and our Twitter profile @com_lead. This newsletter is filled with exciting updates and news from our alumni. You can connect with them in person at our upcoming Fall Mixer at Gordon’s Bar! More info on pg. 7.

Wishing you the very best this autumn, Dr. Hartman

Alumni News Ella Gordon, daughter of Jason Gordon '06, has a little sister! Natalie J. Gordon was born January 2, 2012. Jared & Savithri Grant ‘07 introduced Meena to her new sister, Leela Elizabeth, born February 13, 2012. Dennis & Erin Hartnett ’11 welcomed to the family their second child, Brendan John Hartnett, on September 10, 2011.

Pamela Cronyn ‘07 was promoted to the position of Team Leader of Community Employment at Heritage Centers. She has also recently earned her Graduate Certificate in Adult Education at SUNY Buffalo State. Kelly A. Schlueter ’08 is now Project Manager, Assistant Vice President, HSBC Bank USA.

Best wishes to Nick Heidinger ’08 and Kate Mori ‘07, who were married July 28, 2012 . The couple met in the MS program.

Jeffrey Irwin ’09 recently finished his residency and is a doctoral candidate in the Leadership and Policy doctoral program at Niagara University. Shaun Maciejewski ’11 is now Marketing Designer at New Era Cap.

Make sure we have your updated contact information so you receive invitations to lectures, mixers and networking events! To subscribe to our emails or update your information, visit

Many months of research devoted to the Communication & Leadership capstone project culminated in a published article for Elizabeth Stebbins. Her article, “Using Your Charity’s Brand to Influence Donors,” published in Advancing Philanthropy in the Sept/Oct edition, explores how donors connect with non-profit’s unique, branded identities. “Many nonprofits don’t know what branding means or think it doesn’t apply to them,” she explains. As a strategic insights consultant for nonprofits in the Chicago area, Elizabeth helps nonprofits generate marketing and development strategies. Elizabeth’s current work and research draw heavily on her capstone. She says, “The capstone can be invaluable if you spend the effort coming up with the right topic.” Her advice: start early and pick something personally meaningful. She says “the best outcome is to contribute something that provides a real benefit for the organization”, a perspective she holds true to everyday in her work helping Chicago’s nonprofits build sustainable futures.

Transitioning to a new career has been a fulfilling change for C&L graduate Kristin Van Dewater. She joined the program knowing she was ready to take on new challenges. Now Kristin is thriving in her new position at Independent Health, where she provides advertising and marketing planning for the company’s Business to Business accounts. Working in a position that requires heavy teamwork, she often uses the conflict facilitation, listening techniques and personality profiles discussed in the program. Kristin says the DISC and Myers-Briggs profiles provide insight when working on teams, explaining that simply “having the knowledge that there are different personalities helps you step back and ask why things aren’t working.” Kristin’s satisfaction in her new job is proof that her “never stop learning” philosophy pays off. She says, “Have a constant desire to keep learning new things. Keep furthering yourself. Take every opportunity you can.” Kristin finds the relational aspect of the MS program extremely valuable. In building her professional relationships, she has found “There’s nothing stronger than the Canisius network.”

This summer, Mark Weber joined Harvard Law School as Assistant Director of the Annual Fund. In his new role in Boston, he helps “facilitate the connection between individuals and their passions using the school as the lens.” Mark says, “Leadership, in my current, role is more about letting others set the destination and simply guiding them or plotting the course of how they can get there.” Often this looks like “leadership from the back,” a concept with which the MS program engages. Mark developed some of these creative leadership skills on service trips to the Ukraine and Haiti with his father.

Mark’s role at Harvard calls him to lead others in identifying and achieving their goals. Leadership and change are concepts that have stuck with him from the Communication & Leadership program. He says “I learned that if you wanted someone to own their decisions and make an impactful, long lasting change, they have to lead the way - though a little push here or there to keep them on track can do wonders.” Reflecting on communication lessons from the program, he says, “In today's world, working with others and on teams is essential ... You have to be able to work with others today to succeed. Learning to compromise, negotiate and simply communicate well with others was priceless for me.”

Watch your inbox for the 2012 Survey! Your feedback will help us continue to build an excellent graduate program. Our 2010 survey brought helpful results. Of the alumni who responded, we found:

This fall, Marcia will move to Phoenix, where she will help build the University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital/Dignity Health. She’ll jump into her role as VP/EVP for Oncology Services with a mammoth project: collaborating on the construction of an NCI Comprehensive Cancer program and a 250,000 sq. ft. outpatient cancer center on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. She will also be responsible for the existing inpatient unit at St. Joseph's hospital. She says, “my role will include everything from programming the space in the new building to hiring 70+ physicians to designing clinical work flow to fiscal management and business planning and marketing.” In addition to being a cutting-edge treatment facility, “a translational clinical research program with be one of the hallmarks of this cancer program,” she explains. In her current work, Marcia applies principles from organizational behavior, leadership and communication classes to the everyday problems and situations that arise in her professional life. “Much of what I learned in the Communication & Leadership masters program has proven valuable over the past several years … That information also proved valuable when leading teams to develop solutions and implement change. ” she says, including the “wonderful opportunity to meet talented professors and colleagues from different professional environments who also shared my enthusiasm for learning.”

For Bob Chapman, life in Denver has been rewarding both in the office and at home. For about a year now, Bob has been the Senior Director of Talent Management at Excel Energy, a $10 billion energy company in Denver, CO. His team focuses on recruiting, diversity and engagement, organizational development, learning services and employee relations. Bob explains his role has a “direct impact on the culture of the organization - whether it’s bringing in the right talent, creating strategies to develop our current and future leaders or ensuring a safe, diverse and inclusive workforce. “ He says, “I love that we get to talk to people just out of college about a career and at the same time, work with Senior Executives on how they can be better leaders.” Bob lives out his passion for helping others, an aspect of his strong Christian faith, at work and in his personal life as well. In the coming year, Bob and his family are adopting a third child from Ethiopia. He’ll continue raising his family in Denver, but he says Buffalo will always be home. It was here, after all, that he worked full time while studying to become one of the few people in his family to earn a degree. Bob says it was valuable to apply what he learned in classes to his work at night, as was having a mentor to help “connect the dots” between work, education and personal life.


Visit for more information on upcoming events.




10 November


Fall Mixer: Nothing’s better on a crisp, fall Friday night than drinks, wings and old friends. Connect with alumni, new students, and faculty at Gordon’s Bar, owned by our very own Jason Gordon ‘06! Enjoy well drinks, domestic beer & wine for $10, plus complimentary wings & pizza. Gordon’s Bar– Delaware and Tioga—Friday, Oct. 26 from 5-7 pm.

Perspectives in Leadership: The C&L program is sponsoring Lt. Col. Gerald Boston, currently enrolled in the U.S. Army War College, as part of our Fall Speaker Series. Lt. Col. Boston will be sharing wisdom and insights about leadership as part of the college’s Veterans Day Weekend events. Join us Saturday, Nov. 10 for a powerful talk on excellence in leadership; visit the C&L website for further details. TedxBuffaloWomen: Cecily Rodrigues ‘11 is a speaker at this event, which brings “ideas worth sharing” to Buffalo. Nov 30—Dec 1. For more information, see the upcoming post in the ComLead blog at

Leaving an 11-year career at Moog, Cecily has joined First Niagara’s Organizational Development department. She continues to teach Public Speaking at Canisius and co-chairs Women on the Rise, a new regional professional women’s group. Cecily will be a speaker at the upcoming TEDxBuffaloWomen event.

Allison is currently leading the Human Resources Succession Team at Norampac Industries. Norampac is a local manufacturer located in Lancaster, NY. She will be going through a two year training to become the Human Resources Manager of the plant. This training will include traveling to the various Norampac locations across the United States and Cananda. She can be contacted at 716-651-2000 or

Communication & Leadership emphasizes building relationships in the program and the community. For Julia Maher ‘08 and Karen Lemischak ‘12, two former C&L graduate assistants, the program was an opportunity to invest in professional relationships. Julia was the program’s graduate assistant from 2006 to 2008. Later, she joined Fisher-Price, where she is now Marketing Manager for the Infant Team. She met Karen, the program’s graduate assistant from 2010 to 2012, through Dr. Hartman. The two continued their professional relationship when Karen interned at Fisher-Price last spring in marketing. Acting as her internship adviser, Julia was able to help Karen build on the skills she was developing in C&L program. Even during the internship application process, Julia helped Karen understand her strengths and abilities. The mentoring relationship added value to Karen’s internship experience. She says, “The opportunity to work with [Julia] and see her perform her role as manager gave me a great perspective.” Upon graduating, Karen transitioned into full-time work at Fisher-Price. As their Senior Marketing Associate, she builds upon the skills she developed as a graduate assistant. For Karen and Julia, their shared experience as graduate assistants illustrates the advantage of the program’s rich network of alumni.

Elizabeth Stebbins ‘10 and Dr. Rosanne Hartman published “Using Your Charity’s Brand to Influence Donors” in Advancing Philanthropy Sept/Oct 2012, produced by the Association for Fundraising professionals. Shaun Maciejewski ‘11, with Dr. John Dahlberg, presented his capstone research, “Consumer Trust and Participation in Electronic Word-of-Mouth Communication on Facebook Fan Pages,” at the Eastern Communication Association’s conference held in Boston, MA. Dr. Melissa Wanzer & Dr. Catherine Foster, along with T. Servoss and S. LaBelle, coauthored "Educating Males about Testicular Cancer: Support for a Comprehensive Testicular Cancer Campaign," soon to be published in the Journal of Health Communication.

Visit the ComLead blog for current trends, events and more.

This newsletter was produced by Communication & Leadership graduate assistant Kate McGuire.

Canisius ComLead Newsletter - Fall '12  

Fall '12 Issue of the C&L Alumni Newsletter. M.S. Communication & Leadership Program at Canisius College.

Canisius ComLead Newsletter - Fall '12  

Fall '12 Issue of the C&L Alumni Newsletter. M.S. Communication & Leadership Program at Canisius College.