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. 

PRSSN Takes on The “Power PR Mini-Conference”

Public Relations Student Society of Niagara (PRSSN) sent three members to the “Power PR Mini-Conference” hosted by the Buffalo-Niagara Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter.

Jennifer Gallo (President), Jo Allen (Secretary), and Dom Hannon (Public Relations Coordinator) spent the day attending sessions about how to better oneself and their
company in the public relations world.

Pictured left to right: Jen Gallo, Dom Hannon, Jo Allen

The keynote speaker was Brandi Boatner, digital experience manager for IBM’s Global Technology Services, who spoke on becoming a data scientist. Following her presentation were breakout sessions including topics from creating captivating content for social media to translating technology.

The members that attended presented the information to the rest of the PRSSN members at the following meeting. PRSSN’s goal is to attend a conference as a club when the next opportunity arises.


A professional event: PRSSN members step out to ‘meet the professionals’

From left to right: Jeff and Bill Paterson talk shop, and Mike Freedman offers some professional insight to PRSSN president, Jennifer Gallo.

Niagara University’s Public Relations Student Society (PRSSN), hosted their first ever communications and marketing “Meet the PRofessionals Night” on April 5. Thirteen professionals attended to speak with students about their careers, give advice, and offer connections to jump-start their future.

“This event is a great opportunity to get students out of their comfort zone by networking with professionals,” said Jennifer Gallo, the president of PRSSN. “These connections could really help them in the future.”

meet 2Students and professors mingle with the professionals. (From left to right: Samantha Martineau, Dominic Hannon, Joseph M. Sirianni, Lana Perlman, and Angela Berti)

Many of the students and PRSSN club members were there to mingle with the professionals and get their name out there, including a freshman student named Michael Pearl, who came prepared with his own résumé and business cards.

“I really learned a lot tonight about careers in PR [public relations] and marketing, especially PR,” said Pearl. “I got to meet people who I didn’t even know had jobs in the area.”

meet 8
Despite the professional nature of the event, students still took some time to enjoy the food and relax for a bit! (From left to right: Britini D’Angelo, David Yarger, Michael Pearl, Gabi Jackson)

Pearl met with Dan Aikin, director of communications and special events for Senator Ranzenhofer. Pearl intends to apply for an internship to work with Aikin, just as many of the other students are planning, now that they have this new opportunity. Matt Vizzi, a communication studies major, took advantage of a unique opportunity offered by Allison Boynton of the Seneca Niagara Casino to be a model for an upcoming advertising campaign.

But, the professionals had more to offer than just potential internships and gigs. They also gave helpful advice.

Brook D’Angelo, the mastermind behind the “Totes McGoats” mascot for Niagara Falls’ Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Team (S.W.E.E.T), said professionals in the field should be able to roll with whatever happens, be willing to work for free, don’t be afraid to badger people for a response and network, network, network.

meet 9.jpg

Many of the other professionals had similar advice, offering tips such as don’t be shy, do what you have a passion in, work hard, and try to get as much experience as you can. This guidance was surely taken to heart by all who attended.

The event was a huge success with a great turn out.  Dr. Joseph Sirianni, communication studies assistant professor and PRSSN advisor, and Michael Freedman, the associate public relations director for Niagara University and PRSSN advisor, both had a big part in making the event happen by utilizing their resources to ask the professionals to come to the event.

“It looked like it was a very successful night and it looked like everyone was engaged,” Sirianni said after the event. “Overall it went really well, and I look forward to holding it again next year!”

-Article by Jade King, Photos by Emily Kernin, PRSSN