The Insight


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April 17, 2015


Handling the Stress of College

By Julianne Prentice

It’s that time of year again where school work seems to pile up on students. It becomes a common occurrence that students return to classes after a stress free spring break. Spring breaks range from students working jobs back in their hometown to spending a week on a beach in the hot spring time sun of various Caribbean beaches. After returning to classes, students often feel stressed, and feel as if their amount of school work at the end of the semester is overpowering their lives. As a result, individuals in the college setting are known to suffer from depression, anxiety, and extreme stress levels. Growing up only a few miles from one of the most prestigious Ivy League universities, Cornell, I would often read of several students who could not handle the stress of school work and ultimately ended their lives as a result. It's situations like these where students suffer from conditions such as extreme stress, anxiety, and depression. With this being such a recurring issue for university and college students throughout the United States, I want to make our student body are aware of a few ways to help cope with any of these stressful feelings that may overcome the mind and body of students as the semester comes toward an end and finals near.

​1. Do what you love to do
Whether this involves exercising, partaking in retail therapy, or watching your favorite television show, do something you love to do in order to get your mind off your school work. Not only can this help free your mind, but it can also help rejuvenate and refresh your mind once you to return to your school work.

​2. Be open
Talk to someone when you're feeling down on yourself and becoming stressed or anxious. Have a go to person who you can always talk to. Always remember that you are not alone, because if you're feeling it, others within your classes likely are too. Don't ever be afraid to vent to classmates, professors, or anyone for that matter. It's important to not let your feelings or frustrations become bottled up inside.

​3. Surround yourself with friends and family
Friends, family, or both, can help put a smile on your face and get your mind off of your stressful school work schedule. Whether it's Skyping an old high school friend, calling a family member on the phone, or going to a meet a group of friends for dinner at Wick, spend time with those that will be able to make you worry free and happy.

​4. Seek out our Daemen Counseling Services
Daemen faculty members and staff are always willing to help. Counseling services are provided to our student body and are extremely confidential. Regardless of the situation, there will always be someone there to speak with. Don't be afraid to visit the Daemen website to make an appointment online to speak with a counselor at a good time for you.


Annual Social Work fundraising dinner for drug addiction victims

By Aliyah Alreshidi


The annual Social Work fundraising dinner for Kids Escaping Drugs Face to Face program was held on March 27 by the Department of Social Work at Daemen College.
Jessica Sherman, the program director, was honored during the dinner event, which was held at the Lafayette Hotel. There was a cash bar followed by the dinner, and the $35 charge per person included a $10 program fund and $25 dinner cost all went to benefit the charity.
Some of the planned events during the fundraising dinner included a presentation of the Humanitarian Award, students recognition, auction baskets, and a Giving Tree.  
The Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign is an organization that offers a variety of supportive programs for families whose children suffer from drug addiction. The Face to Face program allows children with drug addiction problems and their families to share their painful stories and experiences face to face with one another. For many years, the program has shown successful results in helping and supporting addicted kids, teens, and their families.  
Each year, the Social Work department at Daemen College holds a fundraising dinner to provide support to these kids and their families.
As human beings, it is our responsibility to provide the proper help and support to these children and their families. Our goal is to work hard to create a drug-free environment. To reach our goals, it is crucial that we support these children emotionally and financially so as to help them recover as quickly as possible.    

Who is Justin Johnston?
​​By Jessica Todd
​As a Daemen student you might not know who the ellusive Justin Johnston is, but you will. He is the director of annual giving at Daemen, a Daemen Alumni and Buffalo sports fan.

Justin was born in Olean and grew up a Bonnie’s sports fan; he has since moved to Buffalo and became used to disappointment by loving Sabres' Hockey and Bills' Football. His favorite color is green, and he loves a good plate of chicken marsala. Justin graduated from Daemen in 2008 from the History and Political Science department.

Justin met and married Danielle, a Daemen Alumnae, who is a Physician’s Assistant and they currently live in Williamsville with their two cats Hank and Lucy.  

Justin has worked at Daemen for two years, and completed his masters at Canisius. He works in Institutional Advancement, which helps to raise money for Daemen through donations from Alumni, friends, and business partners. When asked why this is something that the students should care about Johnston responded, “Our work touches all corners of campus, more than 90% of students receive institutional aid and scholarship that is supported by our donors.”
Justin has been able to make memories as student and an employee of Daemen. Justin recalled from his years as a student that one of his fondest memories was “meeting the woman that would become my wife.” Justin wrote for the INsight during his time at Daemen and covered mainly sporting events. He was also excited when his senior thesis was accepted and he was told he would be able to graduate.
One of his favorite memories from his time that he has been employed here is “being part of the advancement team and in my first full year at Daemen (2014) we produced one of the most successful fundraising years in the history of Daemen College.”

He believes that “rolos are an underappreciated candy” because they are cylindrical chocolates that are filled with caramel.
His philanthropic interest separate from that of Daemen annual giving are Leukemia and Lymphoma research.
His ideal family weekend would be “to go to Olean, have wings at Randy’s Up the River and go to a Bonnie’s basketball game.”
In a quote from Justin Knapp who sometimes lunches with Johnston, he said “I don’t know him well but he has nice hair.”
And that is all you need to know about Justin Johnston.



Buffalo Tourism PR Specialist Speaks to Daemen Student Writers

By Brianna Zichettella

Some of life’s best experiences can be found in journalism.
     At least, according to the philosophy of Brian Hayden, a former journalist and local communications manager. Hayden, who recently spoke to a Daemen College journalism class, has been involved in journalism for many years and, despite having since moved into a Public Relations job, feels that journalism has added invaluable experiences to his life.

     “I still have a little bit of ink in my veins,” said Hayden, smiling to himself about his time spent writing for different papers across New York. There’s a lot to smile about; Hayden started his career in print journalism early. At the young age of eight, he began the Hayden Herald, a small family newspaper. During its short run, the paper was only read by Hayden’s family, but the act of making it contributed to his belief that journalism was the field for him. In the following years, Hayden’s journalistic career really began to take off. His experiences range from hunting for the best Buffalo breakfast as a teen writer for NEXT (a section of The Buffalo News), to interning at a fast-paced Washington DC wire service, to ultimately advertising for his hometown as the communications manager for the Buffalo Niagara Group.

     However, it is clear from his enthusiasm that Hayden still believes that journalism is a great way to start a career. Some jobs are repetitive: the same unending slog day in and day out. But this is not the nature of journalism. The field provides so many opportunities to meet people and learn their stories. In addition to this, the range of knowledge accumulated by journalists is both vast and practical. For Hayden, this is half the fun.

  “At 22 or 23 years old, I had to not only learn [about specific issues] … but become the expert because I was the one writing about them,” Hayden said. This constant continuing education, combined with the ability to meet people and tell their stories, is what he calls the “gift of journalism.”

     Reflecting on this, Hayden recalled stories of exciting, yet unexpected, incidents during his career. While working at a newspaper in Messina, New York, he once jumped on an all-terrain vehicle with a couple of local Mohawk Native Americans. He arrived at a defunct General Motors facility just in time to see another Mohawk break in with an excavator. The man began to exhume toxic waste from the ground to protest the abandonment of the plant’s toxic waste; its presence was enough to make the residents of the nearby reservation sick. Later in his career, Hayden met with one of the original World Trade Center’s steel workers on the ten-year anniversary of September 11. The steel worker had eaten his lunch on the steel beams dangling high above New York City’s streets and returned years later to cut away the same metal beams. The catastrophe left them strewn across the ground, like a twisted metal graveyard, left in the wake of the attack. These are the kind of experiences that make life well lived, and, through his journalism, Hayden has certainly made the best of his time.

       His current work is a lot lighter. As communications manager for the Buffalo Niagara Group, Hayden utilizes PR and social media to show tourists how amazing the city of Buffalo can be. This was exemplified with last year’s campaign, the summer of #Buffalove, which showcased everything that residents love about the area. This kind of work, which he refers to as “white hat PR,” isn’t quite straight news. The topics are lighthearted and there’s a positive spin on everything, but Hayden still makes sure to utilize and grow all of his accumulated knowledge.
And, most importantly, he is still telling people’s stories.



By William Olkowski

(Kenneth Handley IV and Angry Eric)

​Kenneth Handley IV is a seventeen year old Daemen College student.  He is going to Daemen College as part of the homeschool program and is currently taking two classes this semester (Microeconomics and Calculus). He is the lead programmer and one of the drivers for the robotic monster called Totezilla, which he help build in a club called The Warlocks 1507 (we are robotics Lockport original cyber kids society).

​The Warlocks are a group of students and mentors at Lockport High School in Lockport, N.Y. They participate in a program called FIRST (For Inspiration Recognition Science and Technology) Robotics.  As part of FIRST, they participate in the First Robotics Competition (FRC) where they were given a kit of parts each year and must build a robot to play in a game. There is one catch: they only have six weeks to design and build the robot. At competitions, they play not only against other school’s robots, but alongside them in alliances of three teams each. To succeed, they must not only have a good robot, but they must work with others as well.

​The Warlocks robotics team #1507 placed 3rd overall at the Pittsburgh regional competition. The Warlocks competed against 54 other teams from across the region over the course of three days. During the qualifying rounds, each team played a total of 9 matches, and were paired with random alliance partners and opponents. Team 1507 performed well, achieving a qualification match high score of 155 points. At the conclusion of the qualification matches, the Warlocks earned a qualification average of 61 points and seeded in the 8th position.   

During alliance selection, Team 1507 was drafted by the number 3 seed, Team 3015 from Spencerport, N.Y. Team 3260 was also drafted in order to form the 3 team alliance that would continue to compete in the elimination rounds.

The Warlocks achieved an average alliance score of 109 points in the quarter finals, which advanced the alliance to the semi-finals. After suffering a breakdown in the first semi-final match, Team 1507, 3015, and 3260 were still able to earn an average score of 91 points. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to advance to the finals, where 1629, 144, and 337 eventually won the event.


Kenneth’s robot is called Totezilla. Totezilla has a three yellow tote autonomous that at the beginning of each match gives it twenty points (which is rare) by using tote grabbers to pull the gray totes to an elevator system and picks up each tote by their lip. It also has an arm to grab to pick up the big green recycling containers. This arm can also be used to right a sided container (which is also rare in the competition). It has a six wheel drive train (tank drive) drop center for more accurate turning. Its light weight frame is stamped out and laser cut out of aluminum making it very quick.


In the future Kenneth hopes to teach other students about programming, robotics, and gracious professionalism. He hopes to continue his education in the field of robotics and engineering. He is looking forward to the next season of FIRST robotics competition and his next robotic creation.




By Sara Hornung


At the freshman orientation in July, new students will arrive to Daemen’s campus from all over the world and with every imaginable ambition and flair. These students will become united through their expectations of an excellent Daemen education. Correspondingly, the primary mission of this “welcoming week” should be to promote academic success and gather their excitement for the important and scholarly years to come.

Although Daemen’s orientation does host academic events such as “Introduction to Core Competencies” and the “Academic Department Meetings,” there is far too much focus on “the fun stuff.” Events at the orientation such as “Party,” “Pizza Delivery,” and “Game On!” are frankly not needed. In fact, at my orientation, I remember thinking that I already knew how to meet people and how to have fun and occupy myself, but I did not know how to be successful in college. This orientation was fun and inviting, as it should be, but I believe more stress should be put on the academic portion.

I wish there had been an academic question and answer session. My orientation leaders were great people and extremely friendly and they did make me feel comfortable. They made me feel comfortable at and with Daemen, but they did not make me feel ready to take on a new course load and expectations. They did not warn me about the pressures of maintaining a well-rounded resume or high Grade Point Average. They warned me which bathrooms were cleanest and where the best place to eat was.

All in all, orientation should be an exciting time where students get to know each other and start to become comfortable in more academic ways than one. Yes, the bonding exercises and short reliefs are needed throughout the two day experience, but more focus should rest in places such as showing students in a non-overwhelming tour where certain resources are. Focus should be on helping these future students to make informed and healthy academic plans and choices. Focus should be on providing a framework for these students in their next four years with Daemen. Focus should not be on getting a free tee-shirt or decorating a beach ball.


Zombies, Bobble-heads, Gigglers, Chimers, Note Takers and Partakers
Warning Disclaimer: Reading this article may cause you to laugh uncontrollably.
This article is a farce/parody and no ill will nor maliciousness is meant by this student comparison.

Daemen College Zombies do not eat brains.

By William Olkowski

       Have you ever sat in a class and looked at the students around you? Have you ever noticed what they are doing or not doing? Has your professor ever asked a question to the class and then there is a long pause until someone finally chimes in? I have noticed this in several of my classes and have classified them as such:

Zombies- A student who is there physically, most likely because they have to be, often contributing nothing and sometimes they even fall asleep.

Bobble-heads- A student who is there physically, nodding their head up and down showing that they agree with what their professor is saying. In all actuality, a lot of times they have no clue.

Gigglers- A student who is engaged in their class often laughing at the wit of the professor, or laughing at the chimers when they add to the professor’s conversation. However, they never chime in on the conversation themselves for fear of being giggled at by other gigglers.

Chimers- A student who is engaged in their class, often contributing to their professor’s conversation, and sometimes they chime in after the class is paused by a question asked by the professor (even if the answer is wrong). When they are unconfident of their answer they whisper it, allowing others to answer for them.

Note Takers- A student who comes to class and writes every thing down a professor says. Often they are worried more about what is written on the blackboard or what is projected on the overhead than engaging in the professor’s conversation. Adding little to the class except, “what does that say professor?”

Partaker- A student who is fully engaged in the class and is participating in their professor’s conversation. Often they are the student that will ask the professor a question about the conversation because they really want to know.

Which one of these are you? Are you more than one? Hopefully, most of us are more like partakers then zombies.

We all should strive as students to contribute to the conversation as much as we can. We all should strive to get the most we can out of the opportunity that is Daemen College.The time we spend as students is an opportunity that many others will never get.Time moves forward and never back even though Daemen College throws many challenges in front of us, and times may seem tough; remember it always could be worse.

“This is for everybody goin' through tough times. Believe me, been there, done that. But every day above ground is a great day, remember that!” -Armando Christian Pérez, better known by his stage name Pitbull.


Discovering Daemen: Learning the Unknown

By Olivia Harris


Unbeknownst to many, Daemen College has an honorary society just for Special Education. As illustrated in their motto, “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand,” this student run honorary society participates in a variety of volunteer work each month that benefits those in the Special Education field including institutions, students, and families.

On Thursday February 26th, the honorary society inducted two new members, Jessica Rosenburg and Brianna Quaranto, increasing the number of members to 25, including officers Katie Lutz (Co-President), Allison Pajak (Co-President), Emily Nichol (Pledge Coordinator), Samantha Schaefer (Treasurer), Taylor Spina (Secretary), and Hemalea Virappen (Historian).

Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta was founded on January 24th, 1977 by Dr. Donald Staufer at Slippery Rock University and is the first of its kind in the United States. Faculty advisor Dr. Bruce Shields is responsible for establishing the Daemen College chapter of Sigma in 2004 after being a member of the Education/Special Education Department teaching staff for several years.  

As outlined in the constitution for the honorary society, the purpose of the organization is to recognize the outstanding majors of the department of Special Education, motivate the Special Education/Inclusion majors to continue their exceptional efforts, to sponsor programs (which will provide a richer and deeper educational environment for the college community), and to develop leadership qualities among the members of this honorary society.

In order to become a candidate, you must meet several requirements including obtain and maintain a 3.3 GPA in at least nine semester hours in special education, accumulate a minimum of 25 hours working in programs with the disabled, and be a member of a professional, academic organization. In previous years only Education/Special Education majors were eligible for induction, but in the Fall 2014 semester, Special Education minors were eligible to join the honorary for the first time.



A Search for Education

By Aliyah Alreshidi

Tsering Choedon was only ten years old when she left her hometown, without proper identity papers, to travel to India for education opportunities.

Looking for better education opportunities than what India could offer, Choedon continued her education journey. She travelled again when she was only thirteen years old to the United States, hoping that she would find the the kind of education that she was looking for there.  

Sharing her difficult childhood story, Choedon is a senior at Daemen College, specializing in Biochemistry. Choedon is originally from Tibet, China.



Choedon’s education journey begun in the Fall of 2000 when she left her home country and family behind. Because of the lack of education opportunities and human rights in Tibet, Choedon flew to India when she was only ten years old looking for an education opportunity.

When she arrived in India, Choedon ended up in a Nepali refugee camp illegally without proper identification. She stayed there for two months. Like her, there were many Tibetan children who were looking to go to India for better education opportunities.



After two long months of waiting in the refugee camp, Choedon finally was sent to a school that was funded by the Dalai Lama. She was ten years old when she first held a pen. “It was exciting and I was eager to learn,” Choedon said.

Choedon thought she had finally found a home. However, it was temporary. Life had a different plan for her. In 2003, when she was only thirteen years old, Choedon moved from India to New York City. “It was like a dream. I couldn’t believe I was in New York City, although I loved the Squibb Building and the crowd,” Choedon said.

Even though Choedon was very happy and excited with her new life in NYC, she has also struggled adapting to the new environment there. Choedon had to start school all over again without knowing any English and without any knowledge of the country. Within four and a half years, Choedon was able to graduate from high school.

Choedon then started her college career at Daemen College in Fall 2011. She appreciates her college experience at Daemen because it exposes her to different students who come from different backgrounds and cultures. “At Daemen I meet many people from all over the world. I am able to express my feelings, share my life’s journey with them, and from them I learn that I’m capable of doing something.”  

Choedon left her hometown to India, and from India she travelled to U.S. without identity or passport. However, in summer 2012, Choedon applied for an American passport and finally became an American citizen in 2013. “I found a home and an identity in America,” she said.
As soon as she became a citizen, Choedon applied for a Tibetan visa because she missed her parents, family, friends, and hometown that she left 10 years ago in 2003. “It took me 8 months to get a visa,” Choedon said with grief in her eyes.

When finally Choedon got her visa, she went back to her hometown, and she was very happy. It felt unbelievable. “I thought I would never be able to go back to my hometown again,” she said.    
Choedon is very thankful for the identity and the education opportunity that the United States offered to her, and she wants use this great opportunity to enhance her education and to improve her skills. “America gave me an identity and an educational opportunity, and I want to take this as a chance to travel around the world and explore.”


What is the crazy lime green thing?
By Jessica Todd


​April at Daemen means a few things; it’s almost the end of the semester, finals are just around the corner, we get a random Wednesday off for Academic Fest and most students favorite day of the year: Springfest.

If you listen carefully, you can hear people starting in the beginning of the semester to plan their Springfest out and have friends come and visit. Every year you can find the Student Alumni Ambassadors selling something, bright and early, on that morning as students come to brunch. In the past there have been water bottles (discontinued due to the possibility of binge drinking) and sunglasses, which students didn’t seem to care for.

​This year Chris, Tyler, and Jess have decided to go in a different direction for Springfest sales. Those crazy lime green things you will be seeing sold are called Yowies. They can be worn in numerous different ways including as a beanie, a scarf, or a headband. Basically if you can think it the Yowie can do it. The best way to tell someone about what a Yowie is by saying "it’s that crazy thing that people get when they are on Survivor," but they aren’t called Yowies they’re called buffs. And if you’re thinking that it’ll be another piece of Daemen swag in royal blue, think again! They are lime green and are all about Springfest which is what will be printed on them.

Why lime green you ask? Why not? Its different, its bright, and it will compliment the Hawaiian Theme that is taking over Springfest.

​Come visit the Student Alumni Ambassadors the week leading up to Springfest in Wick and early Saturday April 26th, to purchase your Yowie!


Discovering Diversity at Daemen

​​​​By Olivia Harris

If you’re ever sitting at the tables between the Vet Lounge and the Athletic offices you’ve seen him.  He’s the guy that stops and says ‘Hi’ to everyone he knows and even to those he doesn’t.  Many know him as Mike- the Athletic Trainer, but to me he is Mike- hometown neighbor and friend.  

Great Valley, N.Y. is home to the Wild clan, in which Mike is smack dab in the middle of five brothers. “I think I learned most of my life lessons from growing up in a smaller area that did not include many luxuries,” Mike said, reflecting on what life was like at The Wild Acres Farm. “I learned to work hard from a young age and was able to see the direct results of my work, positive and negative. As I got older, I started to internally motivate myself to achieve higher results in life, work, and sports.” Mike added that “being raised on a small farm served to develop my creativity and resourcefulness. Even at Daemen, there are many things I look to improve and/or create needed items from almost nothing, just like I did growing up.”

The Ellicottville Central School District takes much pride in their athletics, but for the Wild boys it was a different story. “Being homeschooled all through my younger education played a significant part in my development.” Much to my surprise, there is in fact a homeschool soccer league, but unlike sports teams you see in traditional school settings, the homeschool team is a co-ed collaboration. Not only was he a player on the team, but he coached the team in addition to playing his senior year of high school. “Although there were times I wanted to attend public school to play sports, in retrospect I am thankful my mother was able to stay home and design and facilitate my education,” noted Mike.

Attending Daemen College allowed Mike to continue growing as an athlete, something he made sure I was aware of in stating that “being homeschooled did not slow down my athletic endeavors by any means.” During his academic career at Daemen, Mike became the first three sport student-athlete, participating in soccer, track, and cross-country, in which he held the record for the 8k with a time of 26:26 and was also named MVP.

Like every freshman college student Mike had to adjust to college life, but in different ways. “I found the academic transition to college easy, although different to other students,” Mike said. “Most students had to learn to study on their own, I had to learn how to listen to lectures and take notes, compared to teaching myself through books,” Mike added. He also made point to note that “homeschooling allowed me to learn to be independent in setting and achieving my own goals. Although there were academic standards, I learned to internally challenge myself without having the need to compare to other peers. I was able to identify my own identity and work out of that, not to prove it.”

In terms of social needs, Mike found that being homeschooled, in addition to his family setting, prepared him to be more balanced in a social setting than most of his peers. “I was not isolated within a peer group, but learned to interact with people of all ages and hold conversations that related to pertinent topics.”

Mike received a Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Studies with a minor in Psychology in May of 2011 with the achievement status of Cum Laude, upon which he was also awarded the Daemen College Alumni Senior Leadership and Service Award, and was also named the University at Buffalo Football Athletic Training Student of the Year.  Mike went on to further his education at Daemen College as one of the first seven students to complete a Master’s degree in Athletic Training, during which he was an Athletic Department administrative graduate assistant as well as continuing his undergraduate work as an academic coach through the Learning Center.

After graduation, Mike accepted a position as an Athletic Trainer Intern at Houghton College for the 2012-2013 academic year, but he has his sights set much higher. In July 2013 Mike became the Assistant Athletic Trainer at Daemen College, a goal he had strived to achieve since his early days at the institution. “Returning to work at Daemen allowed me to build into a program that built into me and my educational growth, but I was also looking forward to the opportunity to work with knowledgeable co-workers that I could continue to learn from,” Mike stated. He concluded saying, “I knew the Head Athletic Trainer, Jeff Sage, had built a great program and he would continue to lead and guide me.”

I’ve known Mike Wild and his family since the summer before I was in eighth grade, when he was my summer soccer coach. I consider Mike to be a close friend, a confidant.  We’ve had many conversations about his life and upbringing, but never have I learned so much about just how important your educational and social background is to one’s life until this interview. I believe we all have something to gain from speaking to Mike, and that is to never let the actions of others impact you and prevent you from achieving your dreams. So next time you see him, be sure to say “hi,” it’ll be a conversation you will never regret.



to submit to the INsight, contact editor Ann Marie Rose at


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Students walking from Rosary Hall

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Wow! Daemen students & faculty travel abroad during the inter-semester break!

Faculty accompanied students to Mexico City and Cuernavaca for the January inter-semester term.

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"I think one of the most crucial aspects of the Daemen curriculum is the required internship. I was an accounting intern for both a private health care company and a certified public accounting firm. I was able to apply lessons learned in the classroom to real business situations. When my internships were over, each company offered me a full-time position."

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