Medaille Magazine Winter 2023

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TOGETHER Building Community Building Community


04 06 08 12 18 20 24 26 30


2022 brought university designation, partnerships, accreditation & fundraising success.


Medaille programs & students live out our mission of civic engagement and involvement.


Assistant Professor of the Practice Kristy Tyson embodies inspirational leadership & civic responsibility.


Alumni-authored publication celebrates natural wonders & Medaille connections.


Ushering in a new era of Mavericks Athletics with success in the Empire 8 Conference.


Marcia Hillock ’71 is passionate about supporting the next generation of educators.


Life-changing generosity helps Medaille scholars become community change-makers.


Nicholas Calandra ’11 expands the reach of a local cornerstone rooted in service.


The latest alumni class notes recognize the life achievements of empowered leaders.


Editor-in-Chief & Writer


Design & Production


Contributing Writers


Building Community Building Community

This academic year, our Medaille campus community has been celebrating and encouraging a theme of Building Community Together. As demonstrated in the stories shared throughout this magazine, each student, alumni, faculty and staff member is an integral part of a supportive and collaborative community of empowered, civically engaged individuals.

stay connected

Update your contact info to stay connected with our #MedailleFamily. Points of Pride, Medaille’s monthly e-newsletter, provides you with up-todate information regarding upcoming events, campus news and alumni offerings.

Medaille University Alumni & Students Group Medaille University







at Medaille University.

2 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023
in this issue
Visit for more information about the programs, people
on the cover




Michael J. Moley ’07 Chair

Julie R. Snyder Vice Chair

Michael K. Walsh Secretary

Kenneth D. Trbovich ’99 Treasurer

Bryan Krempa ’00, ’06* President of the Alumni Association Board

Thomas Beauford Jr.

Laura Cianflone

Horace A. Gioia, Esq.

Martin T. Griffith

Lawrence Hatcher

Martin G. Maynard

Scott L. McFarland

James A.W. McLeod

Brandye Merriweather ’07

Lori V. Quigley, Ph.D.

Jeffrey M. Shepard, Ph.D., ’04

Birgit Smith Burton ’89

Thomas G. Strauss

Donald R. Tomasulo ’79

Gregory J. Urban

Toni L. Vazquez ’02

Morgan Williams-Bryant ’06

*Non-voting member


Bryan Krempa ’00, ’06 President

Leonard Hubbard ’09, ’12 Vice President

Ryan Collins ’19


Richard Schneider ’10, ’12

Immediate Past President

Thomas Baines, Esq., ’08

Sam Bloomberg ’17, ’18

Shannon Johnson ’04, ’11

Bethann Kibby ’06

Tony Lafornara ’15

Natalie Sleap-Wasieczko ’19

Phil Splawski ’06, ’19

Adriana Viverette ’12

Lists updated January 2023.

President President letter from the

Nya:wëh Ska:noh (Thank you, and I wish you well),

Warm greetings! I am excited to be back at Medaille — an institution of higher education committed to student learning in an environment that is welcoming, supportive and safe. While honored by the support of the Board of Trustees, I remain humbled by the tremendous responsibility that comes with the presidency.

Throughout this academic year, I have been reflecting on this year’s theme, chosen by our faculty: Building a Community Through Empowerment. During New Student Academic Convocation this fall, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees welcomed new students to the Medaille community. My comments to students highlighted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspirational words that encourage people to take action today in order to build a better tomorrow. While the road may seem long at times for students, I reminded them that we are walking it together toward a better tomorrow.

At Medaille, I encourage our campus to cultivate a community that is welcoming, diverse and inclusive — one that thrives and grows from acknowledgement of the richness of our differences, experiences, perspectives and knowledge. I encourage faculty and staff to collectively think about how our programs can ensure that we develop individuals who are, in fact, equipped to meet the needs of a growing, diverse population. Our faculty are committed to encouraging imagination, innovation and collaboration, so that our students are enhanced by instructors who do all they can to ensure learning occurs both within and beyond the classroom. Our staff are committed to working together, drawing strength from each other and sharing the talents, skills and resources required to serve our students through compassion, care and empathy.

Our campus is working together to listen more openly, respond more sensitively and support, more intentionally, efforts in building and maintaining a community where every member is respected and valued. This requires a commitment to living the principles of the Haudenosaunee “Good Mind” — through our thoughts, actions and behaviors — which provide me guidance on a daily basis.

I invite all members of our Medaille community to consider with me how we can conduct conversations and develop strategies that provide greater opportunities for all students to become vibrant, respected and valued contributors to our decision-making processes. Medaille’s most important assets lie in its people, especially those who empower students bringing with them new futures to be imagined and new possibilities to be realized.

The strength of our community lies in the promises and commitments we make to each other. When our students and alumni succeed, our Medaille family succeeds.

I thank each of you for being part of our Medaille family.

Dëjíhnyatà:’së’ (our paths will cross again),

Lori V. Quigley, Ph.D. Interim President

The Medaille community congratulates Dr. Quigley on being named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “Power 200 Women” list and on being selected to receive a 2022 Buffalo Business First Woman of Influence Award. Dr. Quigley, who also has served as chairwoman of the Seneca Gaming Corporation Board of Directors, was honored for her professional accomplishments, business acumen and valuable contributions to the community, which fuel economic, social and cultural growth in our region.

A YEAR OF ExcitingDevelopments

MAY 2022


In May 2022, the New York State Education Department Board of Regents approved an amendment to Medaille’s charter to make the institution a university, reflecting Medaille’s rich depth of undergraduate and graduate degree offerings. By definition, a university designation reflects the variety of academic programs offered across multiple disciplines, and it better aligns with global standards, making the institution more marketable to international students.



In August 2022, the Board of Trustees at Medaille University and Trocaire College announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that set in motion a cooperative agreement to fulfill the missions of both institutions into the future. While Trocaire and Medaille have signed a cooperative agreement, there are a number of steps taking place in the anticipated timeframe of 12 to 18 months for the agreement to be finalized, including approvals from various accreditors and regulators.



In August 2022, Medaille University’s clinical psychology doctoral program (PsyD) received accreditation from the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation, with a routine contingent status in effect until March 2027. This opens new doors for Medaille’s PsyD program and students, including eligibility for licensure in all states and access to more competitive internship placements, grants, memberships and loan repayment programs.

“There are complementary, non-overlapping academic offerings between both institutions, providing a full range of higher education credentials at certificate, associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels,” says Medaille University Interim President Lori Quigley, Ph.D.

“This combination of professional programs in health care, along with experiential learning and professional training in education, business and social sciences, is a tremendous foundation and synergy for success, allowing both institutions to best serve their student populations.”

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Elizabeth GalanisMiller ’01



President & Chief Operating Officer, Sealing Devices, Inc. (national rubber products manufacturer and supplier)

Executive Vice President, Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Investment Board

Member, Buffalo Niagara Partnership Manufacturing Council

Brandye Merriweather, MBA, ’07




In October 2022, esteemed philanthropist and restaurateur Russell J. Salvatore joined Medaille representatives and students for a formal check presentation and van dedication ceremony. The ceremony came after Salvatore donated over $78,000 to fund the purchase of two new, stateof-the-art 12-passenger vans, which are being used to transport students for various academic, athletic and co-curricular activities. The Medaille community is grateful for Salvatore’s support, as safe and reliable transportation is so important to the student experience.



November 2022 saw the return of Medaille’s annual Founders Day Dinner, which was held at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum. Esteemed alumna and Buffalo broadcasting icon Eileen Buckley ’85 served as emcee, and Phillips Lytle LLP proudly served as the Presenting Sponsor. Thank you to everyone who supported Medaille scholars by attending or sponsoring this philanthropic event, which raised $60,000 to benefit student opportunities.

“I get thrilled inside when I give back to the community,” says Salvatore. “Whatever ways I can support Medaille in the future or other opportunities like this, I am behind it 100 percent.”

President, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (not-for-profit development agency contributing to Buffalo’s revitalization)

Member, Medaille University Board of Trustees

Mohamed Maalim ’22


Founder & CEO of Safari Taxes, LLC (provides low-cost tax services and translation and immigration assistance to refugee and immigrant communities in Buffalo)

Management Trainee, M&T Bank

Learn more about the 2022 Founders Day awards & recipients!

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#MavsVolunteer #MavsVolunteer Giving Back to Our Community

The mission of Medaille University is to educate and develop empowered individuals for academic achievement, career success and civic engagement, thereby contributing to a healthy, diverse democracy. As part of living out that mission, each academic department, program and student organization at Medaille teaches students to positively contribute to society, address issues of public concern and work to make a difference in our surrounding communities. Here are just a few examples in action from this past year.

Vet Tech Club Raises Funds for SPCA Serving Erie County

In May 2022, veterinary technology students and faculty gathered at the SPCA Serving Erie County to present a $1,000 donation to benefit the nonprofit, which assists nearly 12,000 animals each year. Students from the Medaille Vet Tech Club led multiple fundraisers during the spring semester to be able to donate the money to support local animals in need. In addition to the spring semester’s fundraising efforts, the Vet Tech Club runs a campus-wide food drive each fall to donate food and funds to the Animal Food Bank of WNY.

“We take an oath as licensed veterinary technicians to dedicate ourselves to aiding animals and society,” says club advisor and Veterinary Technology Co-Program Director Trish Carr, LVT, FFCP, ’14. “This commitment we live by as medical professionals involves several aspects of civic engagement, which is why it is imperative to get our students involved in that mission as early as possible.”

Medaille Partners With Jordan Poyer to Hold an Addiction Recovery Forum & Raffle to Benefit the Buffalo Community Medaille’s clinical mental health counseling program collaborated with Buffalo Bills Safety and All-Pro Jordan Poyer to host a wellness and addiction recovery forum at Medaille’s campus in May 2022, titled “It’s OK to Ask for Help.” This free community event was intended to help counter the stigma surrounding mental health, and Poyer’s openness about his own journey and struggles with addiction served as an inspiration for others.

“I was super excited about the opportunity to share my story at Medaille,” says Poyer. “I hope it helped inspire those in attendance, and I am grateful to the Medaille community for giving me a chance to raise awareness about mental health and make an impact in the Buffalo community.”

In the wake of the mass shooting that took place at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue on May 14, Medaille and Poyer also collaborated to hold a raffle at the event to support an organization assisting the Buffalo community with food relief. Nearly $1,200 was raised that evening, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the African Heritage Food Co-op, an organization that was helping to deliver fresh produce and food to families who were left without access to a grocery store after the tragic events.

SAAC Volunteers at FeedMore WNY

During the spring 2022 semester, the Medaille Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) spent time volunteering at FeedMore WNY. These Mavericks helped out in the warehouse, putting together 20-pound boxes of food. The group ended up putting together 1,500 meals — over 2,000 pounds of food — for the local community.

Painting the Field Gold to Fight Pediatric Cancer

Last fall, Medaille men’s and women’s soccer teams partnered with the Medaille Student Government Association to raise money for children fighting cancer. The campaign titled “Paint the Field Gold” consisted of selling t-shirts, raffle tickets and bracelets at home soccer games. A total of $2,000 was raised for the PUNT Pediatric Cancer Collaborative, which supports local families fighting pediatric cancer.

Say Yes Medaille Supports Big Big Table Community Café

In April 2022, Say Yes Medaille donated $1,500 to Big Big Table, a nonprofit, pay-asyou-can café fighting food insecurity in the Buffalo community. The donation came after students from Medaille’s Say Yes to Education program led a campus-wide bottle and can drive for two months. In addition to the fundraising efforts, Medaille students and staff members spent time volunteering in the Big Big Table kitchen over the course of the spring 2022 semester.

Mavericks Support Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

During Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September 2022, the women’s soccer team, in collaboration with the women’s lacrosse team, came together to raise awareness and donate over $2,000 to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. The teams sold bracelets, held a 50/50 raffle and accepted donations from attendees of the 1st Annual Tom Nicholas Memorial Game.

Life Sciences Club Volunteers With Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

Students in Medaille’s Life Sciences Club, along with club advisor and Assistant Professor of Biology Bernadette Clabeaux, Ph.D, ’05, volunteered with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper to help clean up Cazenovia Park in honor of Earth Day 2022. Each year, the Life Sciences Club participates in this annual clean-up event to help preserve the Buffalo Olmsted Parks.

Department of Education Holds Halloween Bake Sale &

Winter Clothing Drive

Education students from Medaille’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education, held a Halloween Bake Sale in October 2022 to raise money for Imagination Library, a book gifting program that mails free books to children to promote literacy and education. Later in the fall, the Department of Education led the campus community in a Winter Clothing Drive for the Valley Community Center, a nonprofit serving residents in the Buffalo River Community.


If Medaille University’s Master of Arts in organizational leadership (MAOL) program could be personified, it would come in the form of Department of Business, Management & Leadership Assistant Professor of the Practice and MAOL Program Director Kristy F. Tyson, MBA. Tyson, a Buffalo native who started with Medaille in August 2020, has quickly established herself as an advocate for people and culture — not only in the workplace, but in the community, as well.

“I love sharing my knowledge with my students and helping them become confident and meaningful leaders,” says Tyson, noting that when she was looking for teaching opportunities, she sought schools with solid undergraduate and graduate programs and small class sizes, where she could help her students succeed.

“Medaille fit the bill,” she says. “The business, management and leadership programs here are top-notch.”

Simply put, organizational leadership is the process of guiding a business toward its goals, using its two greatest assets: people and culture. It involves setting the tone for

an organization and implementing policies and procedures that motivate, respect, support and develop employees to achieve common objectives. It also involves leaders who serve as agents for corporate social responsibility, or the concern businesses have for the welfare of society.

Medaille’s MAOL program received national recognition when it was chosen as part of the 2022 and 2023 U.S. News & World Report list for best online business programs across the country, due to its excellence of entering students, graduation rates and instructor credentials. Medaille’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program also made the lists, but there are some distinct differences between the programs, even though they share some overlapping areas of study, such as finance, ethics and organizational behavior.

“MAOL degrees focus on the conceptual, behavioral and practical side of business,” says Tyson. “Graduates are able to apply the theories learned in class to real-world scenarios involving relationship building, organizational culture, mentoring, team leadership, diversity and change management.”

8 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023
Assistant Professor of the Practice Kristy Tyson Embodies Inspirational Leadership & Civic Responsibility

The typical candidate for the degree is a working professional who is balancing work, life and school, and is someone interested in developing essential skills in communication, problem solving, team building and critical thinking. This person wants to drive positive change within an organization and in the community.

According to Tyson, MAOL graduates are highly sought after by employers across the country. “Through coursework, experiential learning opportunities and networking with professionals in the field, our program provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to be influential civic leaders and social entrepreneurs,” she says. “Our graduates are ready to take on any challenge, whether it is managing diverse teams and projects, understanding complex organizational culture and behaviors, or developing authentic and effective communication strategies.”

Tyson teaches many courses in Medaille’s MAOL program, including Leading Successful Organizational Change, Leadership & Management Perspectives and Organizational Behavior & Development, and she has developed curriculum for several others. However, she said the Leadership Capstone

course, which allows students to develop a plan of change that improves an organization’s process or solves a complex, business-oriented problem, is her favorite to administer.

“This capstone provides a unique opportunity to see how students have grown and developed throughout the program,” she says. “It is their opportunity to apply what they have learned in previous coursework to practical projects and real organizations. It is truly a blessing to see what they are capable of and help guide them, as they work toward making a difference and making their goals a reality.”

Tyson’s dedication to empowering others spills outside of Medaille’s classrooms, as well. She serves as a community liaison, advocate or board member for many nonprofit and community organizations, and has worked with organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Urban League and AmeriCorps. She is currently the vice president of chapter services for the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the Association for Talent Development. She is also a Racial Healing Circle facilitator and diversity trainer for the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York, and serves as a volunteer through Junior Achievement.

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Photo by Seeloff Photography
“Our MAOL program provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to be influential civic leaders and social entrepreneurs.
Photo by Seeloff Photography

In addition to her teaching and administrative duties at Medaille, she is the primary faculty advisor for the University’s chapter of Enactus, an international student organization that engages the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders to use innovation and business principles to improve the world.

As someone who is always looking to grow and find new ways to impact her students and surrounding community, Tyson is currently a doctoral candidate in the doctor of management, organizational leadership program at the University of Phoenix. She looks forward to continuing her teaching journey at Medaille post-graduation, citing the expertise of her fellow faculty members as one of the many benefits of the University’s MAOL Program.

“Our professors are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable leaders in the business world, and they are passionate about helping students reach their full potential,” she says. “When looking for a reputable, high-quality master’s program in organizational leadership, there is no better option than Medaille.”

Aimed at developing transformative leaders for the real times we live in, several assignments throughout the program are dedicated to identifying and solving social justice and civic

issues. The effectiveness of such preparation can be seen in the real-world impact of the graduates produced. Many of Medaille’s MAOL alumni have gone on to hold leadership positions in nonprofit, public or community organizations, and many have achieved recognition as volunteers or community activists. Tyson says these outcomes reinforce why she chose to become an educator in the first place.

“I teach business to help foster the imminent ethical change that is needed in the next generation of supervisors, managers, CEOs and leaders,” she says. “The most impactful leaders understand that a business should be managed ethically and should promote social and civil justice. I am humbled to be able to do whatever I can to inspire such leaders of tomorrow.”

Learn more about Medaille’s Department of Business, Management & Leadership programs, including its MAOL degree.

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“ “
Our professors are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable leaders in the business world, and they are passionate about helping students reach their full potential.

Lov Hiking Hiking Lov

a labo f

celebRating Naral WondeRs & MedailLe cnNectionS

Photography by Courtney Grim Chimney Bluffs State Park

A love of hiking, a longing to be surrounded by nature and a desire to unplug from technology created a foundation of friendship for three Medaille Mavericks and longtime friends. Jennifer Hillman ’96 and William McKeever ’96, class of 1996 graduates who are now married, met at Medaille in 1993 as fellow adult learners and co-workers in Medaille’s Office of Institutional Advancement. Later that year, Courtney Grim, MFA, an associate professor in Medaille’s Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, was hired to lead the institution’s newly formed multimedia lab, and the three became quick friends.

Around the same time, a local hiking guide titled, Secret Places of Western New York and Southern Ontario: 25 Scenic Trails, was becoming increasingly popular. The book was authored by the late Bruce Kershner, a nationally-recognized and honored environmentalist, ecologist and old growth tree authority. As nature enthusiasts, Hillman and McKeever used Kershner’s book as a guide to go on many hiking adventures together.

A graduate of Medaille’s former bachelor’s degree program in management of nonprofit organizations, McKeever raves about his experience and the time he spent at Medaille. “It was a great opportunity for me to enhance my skills and to grow myself and my career,” he says. “My degree was very focused and unique, and I had exceptionally accessible instructors and a supportive,

diverse group of peers. There was a spirit of camaraderie, and it was a great campus environment.”

Thanks to his chosen career path, McKeever first met Kershner.

“I was hired to be the executive director of the Buffalo Audubon Society,” he says. “They were having their big annual dinner with about 200 people in attendance. That evening, I was introduced to the membership, and at the same dinner, Bruce was being installed as a new trustee. So, as luck would have it, we started at the Audubon Society on the very same day.”

McKeever and Kershner worked together for over five years. “Bruce was not only a board member, but he was the chair of the Audubon Society’s Conservation Committee and worked on public advocacy,” says McKeever. “He was a great guy, and Jennifer, Courtney and I all hiked with him at one point or another.”

Truth be told, Hillman and McKeever were close followers of Kershner’s work before they even met him.

“My husband and I began dating in 1995, and we had a copy of the Secret Places book that we used for outdoor adventures,” says Hillman. “The book was really close to our hearts because it marked the very beginning of our dating relationship. When it

14 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023
Bear Caves at Mount Seneca Trail

was first published, there was no such thing as a GPS to plug in coordinates, so it was awesome to be able to follow Bruce’s directions and hand-drawn maps. I loved it so much that I bought dozens of copies over the years and would give them to people all the time. By the mid to late 2000’s, the book was out of print and getting hard to find.”

In addition to remaining good friends with Hillman and McKeever after their graduation, Grim made her own personal connection with Kershner. “I met Bruce on a hike down in Allegany in 1999,” she says. “He took a group of us to see an old-growth forest, as part of the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage, a yearly meet-up for people who are into exploring all things outside. There were a lot of academics, naturalists, botanists and photographers there sharing knowledge, and Bruce led a hike to the bear caves that are in the book. He had such a great sense of humor, and he would encourage everyone to stop, observe, look and be curious. I will always remember that advice.”

In 2018, over 10 years after Kershner’s passing, creative inspiration hit Hillman and McKeever during a holiday break hiking trip. The couple’s conversation that day sparked an idea to create a revived and revised Secret Places of Western New York guidebook.

“My husband and I were out hiking at Eighteen Mile Creek near our house,” says Hillman. “We were enjoying ourselves and the beautiful winter landscape, and I remember us talking and saying, ‘You know, if Bruce wrote a second book, this would be in it.’ And then we laughed and talked about what other Western New York sites would be in his second book of secret hikes.”

Inspired by the idea, Hillman and McKeever knew they would have to get permission from the Kershner family to create a second edition of the guidebook.

“As soon as the Kershner family met us, they realized our intent was genuine,” says Hillman. “They lent us Bruce’s original copy of Secret Places: Scenic Treasures of Western New York and Southern Ontario, along with all of his research notes.”

Unbeknownst until this point, Kershner had been working on a revision to Secret Places before he died in 2007. Throughout 2019 and 2020, plans came together for the revised second edition, so that Kershner’s legacy and inspirations would reach new generations of outdoors enthusiasts. Secret Places of Western New York: 25 Scenic Hikes, the finished product in bookstores now, would ultimately come to fruition, thanks to the creative team rooted in their Medaille connections.

Grim, a talented photographer and multimedia artist, worked alongside Hillman and McKeever. With Kershner’s original book as their foundation, the trio came together to expand the content and reach through a new publication. The new photographs, all taken by Grim, accompany descriptions and facts about the 25 featured hiking locations.

“It was totally a labor of love,” says Grim. “Everyone involved with the book loves to be outdoors.”

15 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023
Courtney Grim (left) with Jennifer Hillman ’96 (right) William McKeever ’96

Fast forward to today. Secret Places of Western New York: 25 Scenic Hikes, published in 2022, showcases sites in the Niagara, Buffalo, Rochester and Southern Tier regions. In place of the original Southern Ontario sites, seven new hikes within Western New York were added to the guidebook. Created with permission from the family’s estate, Kershner’s daughter Libby wrote the book’s foreword, and her family is pictured throughout.

Grim’s photographs are presented alongside detailed, handdrawn maps and practical tips for hikers, including leaving word with someone that hiking is happening and signing trailhead logbooks. The book also offers advice about wearing proper footwear and clothing, and carrying insect repellent, maps and a first aid kit.

Each of the 25 spots is thoroughly labeled with usage icons, noting amenities like public restrooms, playground facilities and such things as waterfalls, places for bird watching, if leashed dogs are allowed, the best seasons for a location to be experienced and if outdoor art is part of the scenery. Featured hikes include those that are well known and some that are indeed more secret, like the Artpark trails alongside the Niagara Gorge, Sodus Point and Chimney Bluffs, Little Rock City and DeVeaux Woods.

To collaborate on the project, Grim enlisted the services of another Medaille Maverick, her mentee Ga’Vintay McGhee ’22.

McGhee’s role was to meticulously scan and digitally update all of Kershner’s original, hand-drawn maps, as these maps are the key to finding many of the “secret places” within the book. All of the maps had major changes since the original publication in 1993, making McGhee’s role pivotal in the production of the new book.

Working alongside Hillman and Grim, McGhee digitally removed and created new access points, staircases, roads, parks and trail markers. He also scanned several boxes of Kershner’s original photographic slides of hundreds of natural sites throughout eastern North America, creating a modern historical record of Kershner’s lifework on old growth forests and unique areas for others to eventually access.

McGhee, who moved to Washington State to work for the Seattle Service Corps after graduating from Medaille with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, is now working with Northwest Immigrants Rights Project as a legal coordinator and is studying to take the Law School Admission Test. He holds his time at Medaille, including working on the book, in high regard.

“I was a founding member and president of Medaille’s Photography Club,” he says. “That involvement paved the way for me to get more experience on campus. I also worked closely with Courtney

16 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023
Ganondagan Boardwalk Trail

for my work-study position during my freshman year, and kept learning and working alongside her after that. Through Courtney, and thanks to her, I worked on Kershner’s images.”

McGhee feels blessed to have gotten the opportunity to contribute to such a meaningful and tangible project, thanks to his Medaille experience. “I was the only student hired to work on the project,” he says. “I am really into film, and through scanning Kershner’s pictures, I could see the adventures he went on. I was really inspired to go on hikes myself.”

Grim extols the benefits of hiking and time spent outdoors. “It is relaxing, and is time away from technology,” she says. “It is so important to unplug sometimes. I have a rule that Saturdays are my day — I do not plan or schedule, and I spend as much time outside as possible.”

When asked if there will be another follow-up book, McKeever indicated the future could indeed bring more collaboration for their team. “There are actually a couple different books in the planning stages,” he says. “Jennifer, Courtney and I have made a great creative team. I look forward to future projects.”

Overall, Grim, Hillman and McKeever are grateful for their Medaille work and life experiences, and for the way the University has supported their book.

“Jennifer and I got career advancement out of our Medaille experiences,” says McKeever. “We got a marriage out of it, and we got a friend out of it with Courtney. It truly is a community, and it persists and has been a great thing for us. The book is just one facet of it. This publication was a great opportunity, and I am so pleased we were able to marshal all of our Medaille-ness into it.”

Medaille Magazine
Places of Western New York: 25 Scenic Hikes at
Learn more about secret
Ga’Vintay McGhee ’22 Niagara Gorge Whirlpool Rapids & Great Gorge Trail

Athletics Mavericks Ushering In a New Era of

Medaille’s first year as a member of the Empire 8 NCAA Division III (DIII) Conference is well underway, and our Mavericks are already making their mark. Founded in 1998, the Empire 8 is one of the premier NCAA DIII athletic conferences, both on the field and in the classroom. Medaille currently sponsors 19 DIII sports, with 17 of those teams competing in the Empire 8 against some of the best DIII private colleges in New York.

The following highlights are just a few examples of team successes from this past year. See more Mavericks news and team updates at

Women’s Bowling Wins Fifth Straight AMCC Championship

In March 2022, the Medaille women’s bowling team won its fifth straight Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Championship. The Mavericks advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third time since 2019, finishing in the top 12 teams in nation and ranking among DI teams.

Women’s Lacrosse Records Strong Season Finish

The women’s lacrosse team had an impressive 2022 season, making it to the United East Championship game and placing second in the United East Tournament. Freshman Cameron Briggs was named Rookie of the Year, and five team members made All-Conference teams.

Men’s Soccer Wins Empire 8 Championship

The Medaille men’s soccer team not only advanced to the Empire 8 Championship Tournament during the team’s first year in the conference, but the Mavericks also clinched the Empire 8 Championship title in an exciting overtime win. With the championship win, the team earned an NCAA tournament appearance for the first time since 2017.

Women’s Volleyball Advances to Empire 8 Tournament

The Mavericks women’s volleyball team also advanced to the Empire 8 Championship Tournament during the team’s first season in the conference in fall 2022.

Congrats to the Medaille University Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2022

Medaille honored the remarkable athletic careers of three former student-athletes and paid tribute to one dedicated administrator by inducting them into the Medaille University Athletic Hall of Fame on September 24, 2022.

Aaron Jantzi ’09

Jantzi is the most decorated golfer in the history of Medaille, and he holds the best career scoring average in the record books with 80.41. Serving as team captain for three seasons, he made his mark in the AMCC right away. He went on to win the AMCC Championship during his freshman season, earned the AMCC Newcomer of the Year title and was selected for AMCC All-Conference teams all four years.

Meghan Fahy ’13

Fahy made her mark as a four-year starter on the women’s volleyball team. She helped lead the team to four AMCC tournaments, one AMCC championship, one NCAA tournament and one ECAC tournament throughout her time at Medaille. In 2011, she was named AMCC Player of the Year and was selected for AllConference teams each year. She finished her career as Medaille’s all-time leader in kills, kills per set, points, points per set and matches played, and she remains in the top 10 in five other categories. Also spending her senior year as a member of the women’s basketball team, Fahy was named Medaille’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Emily Brophy ’15

Brophy is one of the biggest offensive threats in Medaille women’s lacrosse history. In her four years as a Maverick, she led the team to the NEAC Tournament each season and the ECAC Tournament in 2013, and she made an All-Conference team each year. In addition to holding season-high records in four categories, she also holds almost all offensive career records. She is Medaille’s all-time leader in points, points per game, goals, goals per game, assists, assists per game, shots attempted, shots on goal and shots on goal per game. In addition to being a force on the lacrosse field, Brophy spent two seasons as a member of the women’s basketball team and one season on the women’s soccer team.

Dr. Richard Herdlein III

Former Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students and Adjunct Professor of History Richard Herdlein III, Ph.D., was instrumental in the founding of Medaille Athletics, which started as an intercollegiate athletics program in 1995 and became an NCAA DIII program during the 1997-98 academic year. Dr. Herdlein conducted a multi-year study that led to the creation of the program. He helped choose the Maverick logo, and led Medaille to join an athletic conference. His dedication to the campus and student life was proven throughout his time at Medaille, and he remained an active supporter after he left the institution in 2001. He has served on the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee since its creation, and most recently authored Medaille: The College on Flint Hill, a book that highlights the history of Medaille.

Named Athletic Director

After graduating from Medaille’s Master of Arts in organizational leadership program and spending several years on the Mavericks coaching and athletics staff, Laura Edholm ’07 was named the University’s new athletic director in August 2022. The department is excited to have Edholm at the helm, as the Mavericks usher in a new era of Medaille Athletics in the Empire 8 Conference.

Laura Edholm ’07

Marcia Hillock ’71 Is Passionate About Supporting the Next Generation of Educators


Legacy Legacy lasting Leaving

20 Medaille Magazine •
Photo by Nancy J. Parisi

Not many 9-year-old children can confidently say they know what they want to be when they grow up. Marcia (Argenio) Hillock ’71, however, knew she wanted to be an educator from a very young age. Having grown up in a close-knit South Buffalo neighborhood and family, Marcia has fond childhood memories of her father bringing home a chalkboard and chalk when she was around 9 years old.

“My parents acted as my students,” she says. “I think during those improvised teaching sessions, something sparked in me to become a teacher.”

As a student herself, Marcia always loved learning, and she had a constant desire to investigate and study more than the teachers had time for in the classroom. As a teenager, there was no doubt in her mind that she wanted to pursue a postsecondary education. In fact, she recalls sitting down with her parents during her junior year of high school to look over catalogs from various colleges in Buffalo. Medaille and its robust Department of Education caught her eye.

“Medaille seemed to have all of the qualities I was looking for,” she says. “My parents and I attended an open house, and we were impressed by the friendliness and warmth of the faculty and staff.”

Looking back, Marcia, who graduated with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Medaille in 1971, is confident she made the right decision for herself and her career. She notes that the expertise of her professors and the education she received made her feel well prepared for the realities and demands of being a teacher.

“When I was attending Medaille, we covered every possible situation that could occur in the classroom and discussed options to help the students as best we could,” she says. “Because of the guidance and knowledge of my instructors, I was confident that I was well prepared to lead my own classroom.”

Marcia credits the tone set by her instructors as something that served as her inspiration when establishing her own classroom. She learned how to consciously create a safe and caring learning environment. She also learned the importance of being flexible as a teacher, understanding the human aspect of students and the fact that each day is going to be different.

“I tried to incorporate an environment where the children felt safe to learn at their own pace and ability,” she says. “Each day in the classroom is different, so I learned what worked yesterday may not work today. At Medaille, our instructors stressed being flexible and always having a few options to count on.”

All of these lessons were instrumental to Marcia when she started teaching elementary school children — a career that lasted nearly 40 years before her retirement. She spent a majority of that time teaching fourth grade at St. Gregory the Great in Williamsville, but also spent time in classrooms ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.

About ten years ago, Marcia and her husband of nearly 30 years, George, made the decision to retire, but their passion for giving back to society in meaningful ways has not slowed down. Marcia knows firsthand how there will always be a perpetual need for good teachers who are well prepared to help the next generations of students.

“After I retired, George and I discussed the idea of supporting future elementary education teachers at Medaille,” she says. “George was in full agreement. We both want to help deserving students who will give back to society as we have done — that is why we started the Marcia and George Hillock Scholarship.”

In addition to this annually funded scholarship, Marcia was excited about the idea of setting up an even more enduring way of supporting future educators who go on to impact countless lives. That is where Medaille’s Sister Alice Huber Society, focused on legacy giving, came into place.

“Because I will always be grateful to Medaille for the education I received, I have included Medaille University in my estate plan,” she says. “My will outlines the creation of a scholarship that will be called the Jo and Eddie Argenio Scholarship, in honor of my parents, who helped spark my love of learning.”

Once an educator, always an educator. Marcia remains committed and inspired at the idea of fostering a love of learning in college students and elementary students alike.

22 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023
Marcia Hillock ’71 and George Hillock

It brings her joy to know that she can help encourage and cultivate future teachers through her annual and legacy gifts.

“I would encourage anyone to pursue a scholarship for a Medaille student if they could,” she says. “It is more intrinsically rewarding than words can express.”

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Learn more about the many legacy giving options, or call the Office of Institutional Advancement at 716-880-2146. Be a change -maker through a legacy gift that benefits Medaille students for generations to come.

POWER INVEST in the of education

The Fund for Medaille University supports all aspects of the University and provides broad, annual and essential support for everyone in the Maverick community. Gifts of every size from alumni, parents and friends provide annual support that directly and immediately impacts Medaille students.

Your philanthropic support ensures the University fulfills its mission of educating and developing the next generation of empowered leaders and community change-makers.

Make your gift online today.

Your life-changing generosity supports Medaille students in accomplishing their goals and dreams. Following are the stories of just four of these dedicated young scholars:

24 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023

Amani Al-Karkhi ’23


Five years ago, I was a high school senior speaking limited English in a new country, but I was full of hope and determination. I first visited the Medaille campus on a tour with the rest of my high school classmates. As soon as I entered the Main Building, I felt for the first time in my whole life that I had found a home. I felt safe and happy. I will always be a proud Maverick.

To our donors, I want you to know the kind of impact you have made in my life. Your generosity is helping me achieve my dreams. Thank you for your support!

Emmanuel “Manny” Wright ’23


I chose to attend Medaille because of the small and intimate environment. I felt I could take hold of many opportunities. I am a first-generation college student and have been on the Dean’s List for four consecutive semesters. Like many other Say Yes scholars, I am also a firstgeneration American.

I did an internship with Legal Aid in the summer of 2020, working on the philosophical and legal aspect of crime. My next internship with Hodgson Russ really left a mark, as it was my first real experience with law. I worked alongside the human resources team and attorneys. I was part of the diversity team, and helped them create a pipeline for high school students in Buffalo.

Brittany Rout


I am a Canadian student in Medaille’s M.S.Ed. program. I live just east of Toronto, and I currently work full time as an educational assistant. I hope to become a teacher, so I can use the tools I have acquired at Medaille to change the lives of the children I have the privilege of teaching.

I am part Indigenous (Algonquin), and I was a torchbearer and volunteer for the 2015 Pan American Games, which was a great experience. Education has always been the central focus of my life. I believe in lifelong learning, and that is what ultimately pulled me toward the field of education. Your generous support has made a huge difference in my life. I am forever grateful — more than words can say.

Xáneya Thomas ’23


I play women’s basketball for the University, am a Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative and serve as vice president for Medaille’s Student Government Association. I also participated in an internship last summer as a legal assistant under an amazing civil litigator, Shannon T. O’Connor.

What I love the most about being a Maverick is that no one here is just a number or another student on someone’s roster; everyone matters. The community established on campus is unbelievably warm and inspiring. Medaille has encouraged me to become the advocate I intend to be when I become a lawyer, specifically an advocate for justice and equity. Thank you for believing in my future and supporting my dreams!

Photo by Seeloff Photography

heart heart for the

a community community

Nicholas Calandra ’11 Expands the Reach of a Local Cornerstone Rooted in Service

We have all seen them around Western New York — those ubiquitous red bins encouraging us to donate our gently used clothing, shoes and blankets, with the promise to recycle and restore lives. But did you know that not only is Hearts for the Homeless a thriving nonprofit with several different enterprises helping the region’s underserved population, but the leader behind the organization’s astronomical growth is also a Medaille graduate?

Nicholas A. Calandra ’11, who graduated from Medaille with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2011, is the organization’s current president and CEO. He has been with Hearts for over a decade, and he has helped oversee its evolution from a modest motor home for serving meals to the multi-faceted, community-serving organization it is today.

Hearts for the Homeless now serves Western New York through a mobile soup kitchen, a thrift store, stationary and mobile food pantries, a bottle redemption center and a textile recycling program. There are also future plans for a food pantry express, café and community center to be located in Buffalo’s Riverside neighborhood, where nearly 35% of residents live in poverty.

“I started working with Hearts when I was a student at Medaille,” says Calandra, whose uncle, Ron Calandra, founded the organization in 1990. “I was looking for something to do, and Hearts was an easy drive from Medaille’s campus.”

Hearts for the Homeless is a faith-based organization that feeds and clothes Buffalo’s homeless, poor and underserved communities. It originated under a simple assumption: addressing a person’s most basic need — food — will lead to spiritual nourishment, faith and hope for the future.

“We are committed to being a living example of Christ’s love for others through our service,” says Calandra. “We are out there nourishing the community, physically and spiritually. Providing hope to people is our mission, and food and clothing are conduits of that.”

Civic engagement has always been important to Calandra, who was an Eagle Scout in his youth, as well as a junior firefighter. While spending time at Hearts for the Homeless, he helped with pretty much everything, from emptying the wastebaskets and cleaning the mobile soup kitchen, to ministry outreach and establishing its social media presence.

“It was a great learning opportunity to get to know the organization from the ground up through real-life experience,” he says. “As time went on, I saw more and more ways I could help Hearts grow and how my strengths and capabilities might fit into the organization’s future.”

Due to his uncle’s health issues, Calandra increasingly found himself helping to oversee daily operations. He grew into a leader in the organization, and formally entered the role of CEO in 2019.

Calandra credits his entire experience at Medaille for providing him with the foundation and abilities he now uses to guide Hearts for the Homeless. He cites not only the classes he took, but faculty, staff, internships, school clubs and campus leadership activities, including serving as president of the Student Government Association and being part of the effort to open and manage the student-run Commons Café during his senior year.

“Medaille taught me so much about the business world and the type of leader I wanted to be,” says Calandra. “Working on the campus newspaper, I learned the importance of storytelling and connecting with audiences. While planning the café, I got to collaborate with many different entities, like the operations team, architects and designers. And student government opened a lot of doors for me in terms of gaining access to stakeholders at the school and in the community, especially the media. Now, I am able to directly apply the experiences I had at Medaille to my current role.”

Ironically enough, Calandra was not sure he was going to attend college at all. “College was never a one hundred percent certainty for me,” he says, remembering at the time he felt like higher education was more or less “what society demanded.”

At his parents’ request, Calandra visited a few local schools, including Medaille, where he was immediately struck by its small campus environment, with easily accessible buildings and an intimate, welcoming atmosphere. He remembers feeling like the school was the right fit for him and like he could be a part of what was happening.

“The whole admissions process was so personalized; I never felt like just a number,” he says. “Medaille literally checked off all my boxes, and I told my parents I could see myself there.”

Now, looking back, Calandra is confident in knowing he is exactly where he is supposed to be, thanks to the education and career paths he chose. He recalls an internship he completed at a large company during his time at Medaille. There was an

28 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023
“ “
Medaille taught me so much about the business world and the type of leader I wanted to be.

opportunity for a post-graduation position, but he ultimately realized it was not the right fit for him.

“I wanted to feel like the work I was doing was making a difference in people’s lives and serving the community,” he says. “Hearts for the Homeless is it for me.”

Even though Hearts has expanded its presence exponentially under Calandra’s leadership, he credits his uncle’s spark of an idea to recycle clothing as a revenue generator that fanned the flame of the enterprise it is now. The organization currently provides over 500 donation bins throughout Western and Central New York, and operates a 10,000-square-feet warehouse for sorting the donations.

“Recycling textiles has proven to be our most cost-effective way of funding the organization,” he says. “We try to make it as easy as possible for people to donate by putting bins everywhere and in convenient locations.”

Donating items is not only intrinsically rewarding, but it also benefits the environment. It is estimated that about 70 pounds of textiles are thrown out by the average person each year. Hearts strives to offer people a worthwhile alternative. The organization accepts pretty much any type and condition of clothing and household textiles, so long as they are not damp, dirty or have a smell. Items that are in new or likenew condition will find a home at the Hearts Thrift Store on Tonawanda Street in Buffalo.

In addition to the thrift store and textile recycling program, Hearts serves the community by providing nourishment for city residents who are facing food insecurity. Hot meals are served to those in need through a mobile soup kitchen. The organization also provides ways to secure grocery items with dignity through mobile food pantries and the Hearts Harvest Food Pantry, located in a former storefront on Tonawanda Street.

Most of the financial support for these endeavors comes directly from donors and from the textile recycling program. Funds are also now being generated by one of Hearts’ newest ventures — its Redemption Center, located at the Tonawanda Street campus. The center not only gives back 6 cents per bottle or can (rather than the traditional 5 cents) to community members making the return, but Hearts also receives 2.5 cents per bottle, as the processor, which go directly to help fund the organization’s outreach programs.

Future projects in development include the Hearts Food Pantry Express, where a mobile food unit will travel throughout communities in Western New York, and a Hearts Community Center, which will be used for outreach and education on topics such as nutrition, meal planning and financial literacy.

There is no doubt this is an exciting time for Hearts for the Homeless. Nonetheless, Calandra remains humble and credits his success to God and to his wife Chrissy for supporting him in what he says is not a typical 9-to-5 lifestyle.

As the head of an organization based on Christian values, Calandra cannot help being in awe of how everything fell into place. “I believe God has a plan for all of us,” he says. “If you have faith and trust in that plan, it is amazing to see what doors can open.”

There are many ways to support the local community through Hearts for the Homeless, from clothing and financial donations, to volunteering at its food pantry or hosting a food drive. Learn more

29 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023
“ “
I wanted to feel like the work I was doing was making a difference in people’s lives and serving the community. Hearts for the Homeless is it for me.




Medaille University is so proud of all of our alumni! We send our #MedailleCongrats to recognize the life achievements of these empowered individuals who embody Medaille’s mission of academic achievement, career success and civic engagement. Visit to learn more and submit your own class note.

The graduates highlighted here are just a small sample of recent alumni success. Follow Medaille University on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to catch all #MedailleCongrats updates and join the celebration of our Maverick family.

A Message From the President of the Alumni Association Board of Directors

Greetings fellow Medaille alumni! I am happy to share that our Medaille University Alumni Association Board of Directors is growing and seeking additional members. The Board, comprised of Medaille graduates from different professional and cultural backgrounds, shares a common goal: to help our alumni family grow through career networking, philanthropy and other outreach opportunities that help execute the vision of the University.

Human services alumnus Broderick

Cason ’83 was appointed president of the Community Connections of New York, Inc. (CCNY) Board of Directors. Cason, who also serves as community engagement & program manager at Univera Healthcare, joined the CCNY board in 2020.

Media communication alumnus Michael Morano ’83 was named research director for Sinclair Broadcasting’s Buffalo, Rochester and Richmond, Virginia, stations. Morano has been serving as the research director for Sinclair Broadcasting’s Buffalo stations (WUTV & WNYO) since 2015. Before that, he served as the research director for WGRZ-TV for 15 years.


Human services alumna Tonja Williams, Ed.D., ’86 was named the superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools, the state’s second largest school district, after a unanimous vote of the Buffalo School Board this July. A Buffalo native, Dr. Williams served as interim superintendent of the district since March. She was also named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “Power 200 Women” list, as a prominent Western New York woman whose talent and influence fuel economic, social and cultural growth in our region.

Business resource development alumnus Kevin Schmidle ’90 was featured in Buffalo Business First for “Building a Better Buffalo.” Schmidle works as a vice president & senior business banking relationship manager

Beginning each fiscal year with our annual retreat, volunteer leadership on our Board is an excellent way to help build and enhance your career, while remaining a key part of the extended Medaille community. Having spent six years as a member, and the past two as Board president, I have had the pleasure of working closely with the University to continue growing and cultivating our alumni community.

In 2021, Board donations contributed to the creation of an Alumni Board Scholarship, which resulted in awarding three deserving students with scholarships in support of their education. Additionally, the Alumni Board assists with organizing and participating in a number of exciting social and philanthropic events, such as networking mixers, Founders Day and the Annual Medaille Athletics Golf Tournament.

If you are interested in learning more about the joining the Board or other alumni involvement opportunities, please fill out the contact and involvement form online

30 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023

at M&T Bank, and he volunteers for a wide range of community service work in benefit of the Buffalo City Mission and the American Cancer Society.

Media communication and Master of Arts in organizational leadership (MAOL) alumna Ann Schlifke ’93, ’14 was selected to receive “The Experience Integrator” award at the first annual M&T Bank CX Awards. She has served as a vice president & customer experience manager at the bank since 2013, and the award was given in recognition of excellent, holistic customer service.

Business administration alumna Dionne Williamson ’94 received a Buffalo Business First 2022 Woman of Influence Award for her professional accomplishments, business acumen and valuable contributions to the community. Williamson is the founder & president of UPward Design for Life, a nonprofit organization that furnishes homes for those in need by collecting donations of gently used furniture, décor and household items from the community.

BBA alumna Andrea Bapst, J.D., ’01 was appointed as a law associate at the London office of Foran Glennon. Bapst, who earned her Juris Doctor degree cum laude from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2020, focuses her practice on insurance coverage law. She previously worked at boutique law firms in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Sport management alumna Elizabeth Galanis-Miller ’01 was promoted to president & chief operating officer at Sealing Devices Inc., a national rubber products manufacturer and supplier headquartered in Lancaster, New York. She was also named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “Power 200 Women” list, as a prominent Western New York woman whose talent and influence fuel economic, social and cultural growth in our region.

BBA and MBA alumna Karla J.L. Gadley ’02, ’04 was named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “Power 200 Women” list, as a prominent Western New York woman whose talent and influence fuel economic, social and cultural growth in our region. Gadley works as the senior vice president & community development officer at Five Star Bank.

Medaille University trustee and MBA

alumna Toni Vazquez ’02 was named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “Power 200 Women” list, as a prominent Western New York woman whose talent and influence fuel economic, social and cultural growth in our region. Vazquez works as the chief systems officer & senior vice president at G-Health Enterprises.

MBA alumna April Sanders, Ph.D., ’02 was promoted to account executive at Uniland Development Company, where she has worked since 2014. In this role, Dr. Sanders will work with clients and brokers, and will coordinate with the company’s planning & design, construction and property management teams to deliver a seamless move-in experience.

BBA alumna Evelyn Kessler ’05, the founder & CEO of International Child Advancement, was awarded the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award. This award, bestowed by the U.S. president, honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities and inspires those around them to take action. Kessler has contributed to the development, implementation and management of many initiatives to help hundreds of refugee, immigrant and orphan children.

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Our #MedailleFamily on Family Feud
Maverick siblings — education alumna Kristen Kline ’20, ’21, psychology and education alumnus George Kline ’20, ’21, accounting alumna Courtney Kline ’21, ’22 and current undergraduate student Kailey Kline —appeared with their mother Mary Anne on two episodes of the popular game show that aired in May 2022. In their first appearance, the Kline family won the $20,000 Fast Money grand prize!

Sport management alumnus Erik Saladin ’05 has agreed to become a fill-in umpire at the MLB minor league level, and has already umpired in games for MLB AAA affiliate the Buffalo Bisons and for AA affiliate the Erie SeaWolves. Saladin, who works full time as a claims examiner for Sedgwick and coaches youth baseball for his kids, has umpired regularly at the college, high school and recreational level over the last 13 years. A former Mavericks baseball standout, Saladin is also a member of the Medaille University Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

BBA alumna Michele (Lusk) Seaver ’06 was named director of accounting at Delaware North, a global food service and hospitality company headquartered in Buffalo. She will be responsible for governance, controls and accounting process enhancement across the organization.

MAOL alumna Janice (McCaster) McKinnie ’07 was appointed to the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) Board. The board sets DASNY policies, approves financing and monitors adherence to DASNY guidelines. McKinnie also currently works as the executive director for True CDC, a local housing developer.

Medaille University trustee & MBA

alumna Brandye Merriweather ’07 was named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “Power 250” and “Power 200 Women” lists, as a prominent Western New Yorker whose talent and influence drive economic, social and cultural

growth in our region. Merriweather, who serves as president of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, was also selected to receive a Buffalo Business First 2022 Woman of Influence Award for her valuable contributions to the community.

member of the American Counseling Association.

BBA alumnus Edward French ’08 was promoted to vice president & director of technology at ESL Federal Credit Union. French oversees the technological growth for the institution to meet the needs of the market, and he leads the network services and business systems analysis teams.

Media communication alumna Christie Witt Berardi ’09 was featured in a Buffalo Spree article for her successful leadership as the founder & CEO of Witt CX, a boutique marketing strategy agency. In addition to running Witt CX, she serves an adjunct professor teaching public speaking and entrepreneurship at Medaille.

Communication and MBA alumna Summer (Gemmati) Handzlik ’08, ’12 was named director of corporate communications at National Fuel Gas Company. In this role, Handzlik is responsible for managing the company’s corporate philanthropy efforts, in addition to providing oversight for the National Fuel Foundation.

Psychology and clinical psychology doctoral program (PsyD) alumna Lindsay Chatmon, PsyD, ’09, ’18 was appointed as a clinical neuropsychologist at Williamsville Psychiatry, PLLC. Dr. Chatmon administers comprehensive neuropsychological testing, including testing for common neuro developmental disorders like ADHD and autism spectrum disorder, and she specializes in individuals with complex genetic disease and autoimmune disorders who have also experienced traumatic brain injury, seizures or strokes.


Liberal studies alumnus and former Mavericks men’s basketball player Mike Berkun ’10 was named SUNY Maritime College’s director of athletics. After serving in an interim capacity, Berkun formally moved into the position this April, following a nationwide search. He also serves as head coach of the SUNY Maritime men’s basketball team.

Education alumnus James McNeil, Ph.D., NCC, CRC, ’08 was appointed as assistant professor & counseling program director at Carolina University. Dr. McNeil also serves on the Board of Directors for the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, and is a national certified counselor, a certified rehabilitation counselor and a

Mental health counseling alumni

Richard Jimenez ’11 and Caitlin Scheller ’11 were featured in Buffalo Business First for their success in running a therapy practice that is filling a need in the Depew community. The married couple, who met at Medaille, work as therapists at Hillview Mental Health

32 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023

Counseling PLLC, a private practice that Jimenez founded in 2014. Jimenez serves as the executive director & president, and Scheller is the executive vice president, leading a team of five clinicians and growing.

College. Page brings several years of experience in higher education and athletics to the position.

Psychology alumna Heather Radzikowski ’12 was appointed as the Western New York regional coordinator for New York State Kinship Navigator. In her role, Radzikowski educates local county professionals on kinship policy and law in New York. Before her appointment, she ran her own kinship program for five years under a New York State Office of Children and Family Services contract.

Business administration (A.S. & BBA)

MBA alumnus Michael Hughes ’12 was named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “Power 250” list, as a prominent Western New Yorker whose talent and influence drive economic, social and cultural growth in our region. Hughes serves as the senior vice president & chief administrative officer at Kaleida Health, and he is the lead executive for Kaleida’s external affairs, overseeing business development, fundraising, marketing, communications, government relations, corporate planning, real estate and construction. In 2022, he was also named chairman of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Board of Commissioners.

Business administration alumna

Rebecca Nason ’12 was promoted to event & marketing associate at Kevin Guest House, a nonprofit organization based in Buffalo that is America’s first healthcare hospitality house providing a comfortable and supportive home for patients and families traveling for medical care. Along with overseeing the organization’s website and social media, Nason supports events and fundraisers to raise awareness and donations.

Communication alumnus Douglas Page ’12 was hired as the assistant director of sports information at Elmira

Clinical mental health counseling

alumna Lindsey Rickard ’12 was named vice president of training & access optimization at BestSelf Behavioral Health. A seven-year veteran at BestSelf, Rickard now oversees learning and development for the organization, and she is co-chair of the organization’s Racial Equity & Inclusion Committee. For the last four years, Rickard has also served as an adjunct professor in Medaille’s Department of Counseling & Clinical Psychology.

Sport management and criminal justice alumnus David Wantuck ’13 was selected to receive a 2022 Buffalo Business First IDEA (Inclusion Diversity Equity Awareness) Award, meant to recognize and celebrate organizational leaders who are defenders of diversity and champions of inclusion. Wantuck serves as the community engagement specialist & American Sign Language coordinator for Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc.

alumna Crystal Morgan ’14, ’16 was named community office manager for BankOnBuffalo’s Northland Central branch. Morgan, who brings over 14 years of banking experience to the role, is responsible for overseeing community outreach and financial literacy programs.

Clinical mental health counseling

alumna Margery Stanton ’14 was appointed as senior vice president, adult services at BestSelf Behavioral Health. A 10-year veteran of the organization, Stanton is a member of its Utilization Review Committee. She also serves as an adjunct professor in Medaille’s Department of Counseling & Clinical Psychology.

MAOL alumna Lucia Rossi ’15 was promoted to vice president of ambulatory services & population health at Erie County Medical Center, after previously serving as the senior director of outpatient operations & employee health. She was also named to the 2021 Buffalo Business First “40 Under 40” list,

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in recognition of her career success and community involvement. “Earning my MAOL degree was extremely important to me,” says Rossi. “I truly enjoyed and still use what I learned every day.”

Clinical mental health counseling

alumna Isaiah Mantooth-Jordan ’18 passed her National Board for Certified Counselors exam in August 2021, and opened her own private practice, Lockport Mental Health Counseling, in November 2021.

Accounting alumnus Anthony

Lafornara ’15 was appointed as treasury & tax compliance manager for Kaleida Health, the largest health care provider in Western New York. Lafornara also gives back to the Medaille community as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Communication program alumna

Shantina Addison ’15 was named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “30 Under 30” list, which recognizes local professionals in the early stages of their careers who are achieving high levels professionally and in community leadership. Addison works as the assistant director of graduate & transfer admissions at Daemen University.

MAOL alumna Ashley (Strobele)

Misener ’16 was promoted to senior vice president in customer asset management at M&T Bank. Misener began her career at M&T in 2013, and she now oversees over 60 technical, analytical and operational bankers in mortgage servicing. She also gives back to the community as co-founder of a not-for-profit organization benefiting first responders, in memory of her father and along with her sisters who are also Medaille alumnae.


MBA alumna Marissa L. Rodriguez ’18 was promoted to assistant vice president, financial analyst I in the finance department at M&T Bank, where she has worked in various positons since 2016. In her new role, Rodriguez is overseeing reconciliation for the bank’s fixed assets.

MAOL alumna Natalie SleapWasieczko ’19 was named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “30 Under 30” list, which recognizes local professionals in the early stages of their careers who are achieving high levels professionally and in community leadership. SleapWasieczko works as the diversity, equity & inclusion program coordinator at Erie County Medical Center, and she gives back to the Medaille community as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Communication alumna Katherine Ostrowski ’21 was named marketing specialist at Buckeye Law Group, Inc., based in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to handling marketing initiatives, Ostrowski will be overseeing the law firm’s social media.

Psychology alumnus Cameron Steer ’21 was promoted to recreation coordinator for the Arc of Monroe, a Rochester-based nonprofit organization that provides programs and services for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families. “I’m very excited and humbled to have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives,” says Steer. “As someone diagnosed with autism myself, this role has extra special meaning to me, as sports and recreation really helped me growing up. If I have the opportunity to give these enriching experiences to others, then I have found my purpose. I thank Medaille University for getting me to this point and giving me great support and opportunities!”

Milestones Milestones

34 Medaille Magazine • Winter 2023
Business administration alumna Sarah Deering ’21 was hired as a photographer at Walt Disney World Resort.

Accounting alumnus and Alumni Board of Directors member Anthony Lafornara ’15 and his fiancé Morgan Vacanti welcomed a son. Rocco Lafornara was born on September 2, 2021.

Psychology alumna Kelly (Costello) Leach ’07 and her husband Geoffrey Leach welcomed a son. Cooper John Leach was born on October 14, 2021, at Sisters Hospital.

Milestones Milestones MAVERICK

Education alumnus Dan Barrancotta, Ed.D., ’10 and his wife Alexa welcomed a daughter. Ariana Rose Barrancotta was born on February 9, 2022. Dr. Barrancotta also recently earned his doctorate of education from the University of New England, completing the program in December 2021.

Criminal justice alumnus

Nathan Schrlau ’13 and education alumna Caitlin (Trombetto) Schrlau ’15, ’17 welcomed a son, William Peter Schrlau.

Criminal justice alumna Erin (Rollins) Goldwater ’15 and accounting alumnus Matthew Goldwater ’15, ’16 welcomed a daughter. Everly Joan Goldwater was born on December 24, 2021, and joins big brother Liam.

MAOL alumna and Alumni Association Board of Directors member Natalie Sleap-Wasieczko ’19 married Tyler Wasieczko. The couple wed on January 15, 2022, at Saint Louis Church in downtown Buffalo.

18 Agassiz Circle • Buffalo, NY 14214 • WE ARE MEDAILLE. THIS IS MAVERICK DAY. APRIL 20, 2023 Save the date for our second annual Maverick Day to show your support for the people, programs and causes you care about most at Medaille!
this day, you can donate directly to an academic program, athletic team or campus initiative, and have your gift matched (or even DOUBLE matched), maximizing your impact.
we can accomplish extraordinary things again this spring! GET INVOLVED EARLY Building Community Together
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