Area Athletic Directors Participate In Roundtable Discussion At Niagara University

Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, in conjunction with its Sport Management Association, hosted an Athletic Director Roundtable Nov. 10. The special event allowed students of all majors to listen in on some of the area’s highest-profile leaders in collegiate athletics as they discussed their duties and roles in the industry.

“I really applaud the university for putting this event together,” said Simon Gray, Niagara University’s director of athletics. “I know there are professors who deserve a lot of credit for getting this together, but I also know there were students who worked very hard to get this done. I think it was fabulous and I think a lot of credit also goes to the athletic directors that traveled to campus to be here today.”

Participating athletic directors included Gray, Allen Greene (University at Buffalo), Bridget Niland (Daemen College), Peter Bothner (Nazareth College), and Robert McKeown (Niagara County Community College).

“The athletic directors were very insightful and had great information to share with everyone, even if you weren’t looking to work in collegiate sports,” said Josh Dumbleton, an NU junior majoring in sport management.

Moderator Michael Gentile, J.D., is pictured with Athletic Director Roundtable participants, from left, Allen Greene (University at Buffalo), Simon Gray (Niagara University), Peter Bothner (Nazareth College), Bridget Niland (Daemen College), and Robert McKeown (Niagara County Community College

Pictured (L to R): Michael Gentile (Moderator), Allen Greene (University at Buffalo), Simon Gray (Niagara University), Peter Bothner (Nazareth College), Bridget Niland (Daemen College), Robert McKeown (NCCC)


Among the topics discussed throughout the evening were the present state of collegiate athletics, facility management, hiring practices and the challenges that come with structuring life between work and time outside the office.

“I was really interested about their thoughts on being a great teammate and having motivation to succeed,” said Dumbleton. “You have to find your way to get your foot in the door and know the right people so that you can move up and, eventually, find yourself in your dream job.”

As for Gray, he hoped students understood the importance of working hard and doing all that you can to help yourself succeed in the field.

“It’s important to understand that you have to impress everyone you meet in this industry and, when asked to do something, do it right away and do it to the absolute best of your abilities,” said Gray. “I think that’s very important as you think about getting into the industry.”

For more information on Niagara University’s College of College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, please call 716.286.8279 or visit

Greg Jubert, PRSSN


PRSSN Supports Our Veterans

Members of the Public Relations Student Society of Niagara (PRSSN) raised awareness of the Women in the Military event that took place on Thursday, Nov. 10 by honoring veterans in the Gallagher Center on Niagara University’s campus. The event involved a presentation on the history of women in the military which was followed by a panel discussion with four female veterans. It was sponsored by The Women’s Committee and the Office of Veteran Services.

PRSSN handed out free pastries and desserts for any student, faculty or staff member that wrote down on a card why they were thankful for veterans. Over 100 cards were filled out with responses varying from being thankful for their sacrifice to appreciating them fighting for America’s freedom. The plan is for the cards to be put into multiple “thank you books” that will be distributed to veteran organizations around the Niagara Falls community.

“It is a small way to show veterans we appreciate them on a daily basis and not just Veteran’s day,” Jamie Magone, former PRSSN Vice President, said. “It is important to PRSSN to get involved in the community and help make someone’s day better. A veteran came up and thanked us for doing this, but really more of N.U. should be thanking him.”

Magone went on to explain that he has been involved in the club since it started last Fall semester. He enjoys the work that members get involved with and thinks it is great hands on public relations experience. His favorite event is the “Meet the Professionals Night” that takes place in the Spring with over 10 professionals who come and speak to students about their experience in the field.

PRSSN is a club on campus focused on promoting organizations or events for on and off campus clients. They have promoted events like the Black Student Union Conference, Take Back the Night and Walk for Niagara, as well as making promotional material for not-for-profits like Heart, Love and Soul and the Lions Club. Right now, they are working with the Communication Studies department on recruiting incoming freshman as well as promoting the Polar Plunge for Olcott Lions Club.

Jen Gallo, PRSSN President 

Niagara University Sheds Light on Stories of Female Veterans

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY – The Gallagher Center multi-purpose room was filled with members of the Niagara University ROTC and students alike as they prepared for the upcoming Women in the Military Panel.

vet1The Office of Veteran Services collaborated with The Women’s Committee to host a presentation on the history of women in the military followed by a discussion with a panel of five Niagara University female veteran students.

“We wanted to help the student population become more aware and be able to hear the stories that these women have to tell,” said the Director of Veteran’s Services Robert Healy.

Healy, a 30-year member of the United States Air Force, gave a presentation on the history of women in the military and shared how their roles have changed throughout the history of America’s wars.

“In the Revolutionary War women had to disguise themselves as men if they wanted to fight,” said Healy. “Today about 15 percent of the military is made up of women, with over 165,000 enlisted.”

The veterans on the panel, Jade Thomas, Grace Husk, Kathryn Marotta, Dottie Sisler and Ashley Mosles, answered questions from the audience and addressed how their gender effected their time spent in the military.

“It was definitely one of the top ten reasons I got out, I was sick of having to re-prove myself in every new deployment,” said Thomas, “The second you slip up, you stick out.”

Sisler also joined in and described how no matter how hard she worked or how excellent her results were, she was still constantly passed over for certain jobs that were given to men instead. vet2

“I got passed up for a lot of classes, there is definitely sexism,” said Sisler, who also added that she believes that having women in prominent roles in the military is still something that people are not used to.

The mood was not all negative however, as the panel of veterans offered their advice to the future officers that sat in the audience as current members of Niagara Universities ROTC program.

“We have to make sure that both sexes respect each other,” said Thomas. “There are plenty of women who can do the job, and every female should get the opportunity to prove themselves.”

Seeing as how this was a rare opportunity for students to hear stories of the military from a female perspective, Healy felt that the event was a success.

“Any time future officers can get perspective from enlisters it can help them for the future,” said Healy. “They can know what to expect.”

The night was an eye opening experience and a great way to raise awareness towards women’s experiences in the military, but conversations like this are only the beginning of making things more equal between genders.

-Jamie Magone, PRSSN 

PRSSN president honored with prestigious scholarship award

Dr. Joseph M. Sirianni and award recipient, Jennifer Gallo.

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, PRSSN President Jennifer Gallo was honored with the May C. Randazzo Memorial Scholarship Award at the PRSA Buffalo-Niagara Annual Meeting Celebration. The award recognizes an undergraduate student who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the field of public relations.

Taking the podium to present the award, Dr. Joseph M. Sirianni – Gallo’s academic advisor and PRSSN co-advisor – made note of Gallo’s achievement in leadership, scholarship and community service.

Gallo expressed her gratitude for receiving the award and thanked Sirianni, her parents, and the May C. Randazzo Memorial Scholarship committee for honoring her.

May C. Randazzo served as the public relations manager at Graphic Controls and helped form the PRSSA chapter at Canisius College before she died after a brief illness in 1997 at the age of 57. The May C. Randazzo Memorial Scholarship was established in her honor to award college students who best demonstrated the values that Randazzo believed were key aspects to a successful career in public relations.

Niagara University Students Take to Michigan for Sport Business Conference

Twenty students who are members of Niagara University’s Sport Management Association traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, over the weekend to gain insight into the sport management industry. They were accompanied by Dr. Patricia Millar, assistant professor of sport and recreation management.

On Nov. 4, the students participated in the fifth annual Michigan Sports Business Conference, which took place at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business on the campus of the University of Michigan. It was here that the students were able to not only interact and network with industry professionals, but hear from some of the most powerful people in the world of sports.

Pictured are the officers of the Niagara University Sports Management Association, left to right:CJ Scrooger, Kyle Barker, Erin Cronin, Taylor Bosket, and Greg Jubert

“The conference was an amazing opportunity as a sport management student,” said Jon Borek, an NU senior double majoring in sport management and tourism and event meeting management. “I felt that having that many people who are at the top of their field in a variety of sport realms was absolutely spectacular.”

Among the speakers were Ross, the building’s namesake and majority owner of the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, and Don Garber, commissioner of Major League Soccer.

“I thought the speakers that were there had some excellent experience and could speak to different career pathways, different experiences that they’ve had, and different challenges and barriers in various areas of the sport industry, which I think offered some important insight to the students,” said Dr. Millar. “I think there were some good points about how your first job isn’t going to be your forever job. Listening to Don Garber, he stated how he wasn’t a soccer person and it wasn’t a sport that he thought he would work in. The position was a good fit because the sport wasn’t necessarily the guiding thing, but it was more about the position itself and what he brought to the table that could be applied to soccer.”

sma2The following day, the students were among the 110,626 people packed inside Michigan Stadium, otherwise known as “The Big House,” as the Michigan Wolverines downed the University of Maryland Terrapins, 59-3, in college football. The Wolverines have now gone more than 200 consecutive home games with at least 100,000 fans in attendance, dating back to November 1975.

To be selected for the trip, the Niagara University students had to submit an application and resume before undergoing an interview process.

Niagara University’s Sport Management Association was formed in September 2014 and currently has over 40 members. The club endeavors to help all students with a passion for sport management engage in a variety of events, including networking opportunities, so that they can thrive upon graduation.

-Article by Greg Jubert, PRSSN

Niagara University Community Brings Awareness to Domestic Abuse

A domestic violence awareness event bearing the banner, “Surviving…Thriving: A Journey of Healing Through Art,” was held in the Castellani Art Museum on the Niagara University campus on Thursday, Oct. 27.

The event, which was held in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, was also tied to the Red Flag Campaign, a national public awareness initiative designed to 20161027_184416encourage college students to intervene when they see a warning sign (“red flag”) of partner violence.

The gallery was a powerful reminder that domestic abuse is still a very prevalent occurrence. Each year, 1,200-1,600 domestic incident reports are filed with the Niagara Falls Police.

“It’s especially important for universities because the highest risk is between ages 18 to 24 for females,” said Dr. Dana Radatz, an assistant professor in the criminology and criminal justice department who was one of the main organizers of the event.

Several community organizations collaborated to host the event, including Niagara University, the Levesque Institute, Castellani Art Museum, Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, Family & Children’s Service of Niagara, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Victim Assistance and Domestic Violence Unit, Niagara Falls Police Department’s DV Unit, and the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier.20161027_184434

Pieces such as the “Unmasking of Domestic Violence” and “Pinwheels for Peace” showed how children are affected by the abuse. The art was made by children who have been impacted by domestic violence and who participate in programs focused on healing. But not only women and children are affected. In fact, one in four women and one in five men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

“It definitely happens to male victims as well,” said Dr. Radatz. “They just don’t feel as comfortable coming forward, especially with the social connotations around being a victim in general, then also being a male victim.”

One of the more impactful pieces of art was the “Visions of Strength, Voices of Survivors,” which depicted individual black and white photographs with a single sheet of paper above the picture telling a story of a survivor, all anonymous. There were also many other pieces demonstrating survivors’ path to self-love.

In the middle of the gallery stood the most powerful piece, the “Silent Witness Project,” consisting of four wooden, black memorials holding five silhouettes each with a little plaque stating the name, age and date of death. Each of the silhouettes represented a person who was killed by their abuser.

20161027_185442Kelly Zaky, a Niagara University student, described the scene as a reality check. She said that when you hear about things like this, you hope the person becomes a survivor, but the art showed that sometimes people don’t get the support they need.

The event provided hope and information as well, by giving several options as to how one can receive support if they are in a similar situation.

“It’s important for all of us to be aware of the numerous services that are available in the community for anyone who needs help,” said Dr. Jennifer Beebe, assistant professor of counseling. “Similarly, on our campus, students should know that they can reach out to counseling services, our Title IX coordinator or the dean of students; anyone who is employed at NU can help them identify the appropriate resources.”

The organizers were very happy with the success of the event and were very gracious to the school’s administration for their help making it possible to spread awareness and the message to speak up.

“Even if one person showed up, and had some type of feeling, I would consider it a success,” Dr. Radatz said.

“We are responding to Pope Francis’ call, in this Year of Mercy, to deepen our compassion for others, while fulfilling the Catholic and Vincentian mission of Niagara University, which calls on us to be the light for those who need our help,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “We are committed to fostering an educational environment that focuses on the dignity of all people in our community. I’m very grateful to the students, faculty, staff and administrators who have invested themselves in this cause to affect change.”

-Article & photos by Niagara University sophomore communication studies major Jade King.