March 4, 2013


March 4,  2013
Vol. 3, Issue 6

See the next edition of The Insight for an article on Daemen's new president, Dr. Gary A. Olson


March is Women's History Month! Keep an eye on your email for interesting facts and fun events.


Steps Away - O3 Cafe

Column by Corbin Shemory

Welcome to The Insight’s new column! This section is here to inform students of local attractions within walking distance of the campus. Every issue, I will feature one to two locations that I feel will interest the student body.

Located within 100 yards of campus, at 4446 Main Street (at Snyder Pointe Plaza), is an entirely organic café known as O3 café. Everything served there is made entirely with organic ingredients – all of the meat is free range meat, and many vegan and vegetarian options are available as well. The café serves a wide variety of options with a menu similar to that of Panera Bread’s. The main difference between O3 and Panera is that all ingredients at O3 are fresh and organic. The food is not pre-prepared; it is made at the time of your order, and all bread and pastries are made fresh daily. The café serves a wide variety of beverages, including cold beverages (such as lemonade and spring water), organic hot teas, coffee, espressos, smoothies and raw juice. It also serves soup, salads, cold sandwiches, grilled Panini and grilled and cold wraps. The business has been at the same Main Street location for the past six years and has a strong, regular clientele. The menu can be accessed online. The café is also connected to a gift shop called Everything Elmwood that you can check out while you eat. If you’re in the mood for a healthy lunch (something not readily available on campus any day!), head over to O3 café and get a bite to eat.


Sell Those Seats! Art Club's Annual Fundraiser Chair Auction

By Art Club Co-President Jamie LeRoy 

Daemen’s Art Club held its annual chair auction in Wick Center Lobby on Feb. 19 and 20. Proceeds went towards funding their trip to Toronto, where they gained inspiration for their current project by visiting the Art Gallery of Toronto and several other art galleries. You can check out the results at Daemen’s annual Academic Festival, and you can see the auctioned chairs on The Insight’s Facebook page.

The silent auction-style fundraiser gave art students the liberty to express themselves based on a specific theme, certain painting or artist, or their own personal creations in painting various chairs. The highest bidder for each chair became the proud new owner of one of these extravagant seats.


International Inspirer: 'Creating the Foundations to Get Me Where I Want to Be'

By Mercedes Benson

Soccer has always been one of Daemen student Juan Sebastian Esguerra’s favorite sports since he can remember. He began to practice soccer at the age of 7 and has practiced the sport ever since. With soccer being such an important aspect of his life, he decided to play for an academy from ages 15 to 17. This strong attraction for soccer then led Juan to the United States.

After graduating high school, Juan remained at home for one year in Colombia, Bogotá – “the most beautiful city in the world,” he believes. He lived with his mother, father, and 20-year-old brother Luis Miguel Esguerra, who remains in Colombia and is studying photography.

While remaining in his home city, Juan took Toefl classes to present an exam for one semester. However, soccer was still important to him. So in 2008, at 19 years old, he came to the United States to play soccer. But Juan soon found himself interested in more than just the sport; he also became interested in learning about communications. Before coming to Daemen College, he had attended Genesee Community College, where he took classes in visual arts to appeal to his interest in the graphic design aspects of the media.

After his first semester at Genesee Community College, Juan began to apply to different universities. He received various scholarships but decided to attend Daemen College, which ultimately offered the best.

Unfortunately, during Juan’s first semester he received a phone call that his mother had passed away. He left Daemen to go back home for a couple of weeks in order to put the pieces together. Already dealing with such a heavy burden, he had to make a difficult decision: stay in Colombia or go back to the United States? After much consideration, he decided to do what his mother would have wanted and returned to the States. He said his mother was very proud of him for being in the U.S. and was very interested in what he was doing here.

Juan is currently a senior at Daemen College, as well as a member of the soccer team. He still managed to go further with his interest in graphic design, which is his major. Juan will be graduating in May and hopes to obtain an OPT permit and work in the U.S. for a year. “But not in Buffalo,” he says. “I may want to move to a warmer city.”

Like many students at Daemen College, Juan has his likes and dislikes. His favorite thing about Daemen is how close he can get to the professors; he has the opportunity to “get to know them.” He enjoys his professors as well as the classes Daemen has to offer. However, one thing he didn’t like was the lack of support and contributions to other projects from fellow students in his major. But he’s recently noticed that this is changing; they’re now willing to help each other more. This is major for Juan, because he's a person who likes to offer help.  “Do something not for yourself, but for others,” he declared.

The 24-year-old is truly an inspiration, and for many reasons. “Juan Sebastián Esguerra does so much for Daemen,” said Dr. Denise Mills. “Besides helping students feel comfortable speaking Spanish, he brings a point of view we badly need.  Juan's presence at Daemen is a way to open Daemen's eyes to how many fantastic ideas, how many creative people and how much energy is coming from Latin America.”

Juan made it a goal to come to the United States, which he successfully accomplished. After coming here, he’s decided he wants to travel the world. He would love to travel to Asia and learn about a different culture. Traveling the world can contribute to his future goal of making a difference. “I want to make an impact in someone’s life, not just my own,” says Juan.


Video Games: A new approach to learning and teaching?

 By Annie Rose

Photo courtesy of Analea Gwendolyn

On Friday, February 22, I attended a presentation given by Dr. Shannon R. Mortimore-Smith, a candidate for the Adolescence English position here at Daemen College. Her presentation – entitled “Gaming the English Classroom: Advancing the Literacy of Play" – focused on how gaming might allow students to learn in a better way and keep up with how quickly technology is changing our society. Dr. Mortimore-Smith says gaming allows “students to explore identity, investigate alternative worlds, engage in ‘imaginative rehearsals’, and create and collaborate… [in a] safe environment.”

Many people play role-playing games – including World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and Skyrim – to escape or be entertained in a way they can’t find in real life. These gaming worlds are all rich with ground-breaking graphics and developed story lines, capturing the imagination and transporting the player to another world and time. They can become another person in this perfect and safe new place. As Dr. Mortimore-Smith points out, players lose track of time and become entirely engaged in this world to the exclusion of reality around them. This phenomenon, she says, is similar to how book readers behave when engrossed in a novel.

I grew up in a time when Atari and arcades were popular and graphics were definitely primitive compared to today’s standards. There’s no comparison between Pac-Man and The Sims, for example. In earlier video games, strategy was elementary compared to today’s role playing games (RPGs). RPGs encourage players to build characters (avatars), engage with others to complete quests or tasks, choose adventures or story direction, and earn rewards based on level of achievement. In other words, you can manipulate the story and make it your own.

It’s interesting to realize how many skills we actually learn by playing games. Dr. Mortimore-Smith illustrates the ways in which active learning of gaming methods could be applied to the classroom: “Students can make choices. They can repeat ‘failed quests’, high stakes consequences are removed, and [students] are bonded through their experiences.” I was fascinated by this possibility, and no doubt many gamers would agree that if learning were more like a video game they would be more interested in staying in the classroom to learn.

This method doesn’t remove the teacher-student interaction; it simply puts learning more in the hands of the student. At the very least it would be interesting to ponder the possibilities this learning method would offer.


Small Town to Big Hopes

By Crystallynn McNutt

Transitioning from the small city of Randolph, New York – population less than 1,300 – to the large city of Amherst, New York – population almost 123,000 – can be quite a change. For some people, like Miranda Kinney, this transition came quite easy.

Miranda, 22, is currently a senior at Daemen College, studying Early Childhood Special Education. She grew up in the small town Randolph, N.Y. with her parents, her sister, her brother and her dog, Copper. She lived there throughout her childhood and went to the same school from kindergarten through 12th grade. Miranda lived in five different houses, four of them in the same town and the last one about 20 minutes away. Her parents moved there after she went away to college.

“I don't think I would have liked moving schools,” she said, “because I liked knowing who was going to be in my grade the next year.”

When it came time to choose a college, Miranda, just like many others, attended a local community college and then transferred to Daemen, which she chose because of the small class sizes. “Daemen was far enough away from home to have some privacy, but close enough to visit if I want to,” she explains. Since beginning at Daemen, Miranda has made some great friends and enjoys both the small class sizes and the willingness of professors to help you out. She is also a member of Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta- Special Education Honor Society.

Miranda is a well-rounded individual and has her share of hopes and dreams. Her dreams are within arm’s reach. Currently a senior, she’s preparing to student-teach in the fall 2013 semester. Her desire to become a teacher has been with her since she was a little girl. “I knew since I was little that I have wanted to be a teacher, but when I was about 13 I started being a junior counselor at a day camp and working with kids, creating activities and teaching them. Seeing them learn is so inspiring. I love seeing kids light up when they are having fun while learning,” she says.

While attending Daemen College, Miranda has had the opportunity to be an active participant in a classroom setting. The most rewarding thing that has happened for her in a classroom so far is “being able to help a student succeed at something they were not previously able to do.”

How does Miranda handle stressful situations, balancing a personal and school life?

“Knowing that my life/school comes before work and social time really helps. Sometimes I start to focus too much on work, but then I make sure that I concentrate on my homework and don't get too stressed out,” she explains. Her greatest stresses, she points out, are “knowing that I am on my own and need to provide for myself. That’s very stressful. Also, knowing I need to get good grades to finish school is stressful.”

Miranda has many goals she would like to reach. Within the next five years she “plan[s] to be done with my master’s degree and be moved down south to get a job. In the next 10 years I hope to start a family after I have a good job. In the next 20, just be happy with my job and family.”

As we wrapped up, one thing that Miranda said really resonated. “Anything you want to do you can. A little hard work and determination can go a long way.” Words that any person, in any field of work, can live by.


Comic Relief by Mark Poblocki


Finding the Light - How to Continue Your Worship on Campus

By Corbin Shemory

At college it can often be difficult to find a time of worship and prayer, let alone fellowship with others of your faith. We go off to campus, leaving our home churches behind, and are confronted with a busy schedule that constricts the times we can take to worship. But we can all still continue in our faith and remain strong with God. If you are an individual who has yet to welcome the Lord into your life, you can do so today. Conventional church on Sunday may not be an option for you, but there are worship services available right here on campus literally every day.

The Wright Chapel, located in Dun Scotus room 115, is open every day to people of all faiths. This chapel is maintained by Rev. Cassandra Salter Smith and is a beautiful and quiet room for some time in prayer or worship. It has books for the Islamic, Jewish, and Christian faiths provided. The Qibla (the direction which Muslims face for prayer) is the upper left corner of the room.

There are services on campus every day of the week.

  • Monday: A college ministry called CRU has a service at 8 p.m. in Cyber Café. CRU is a nationwide Christian ministry involved in church, community, and college. It has cells in every campus nationwide and has offices internationally. CRU is a great place to get started in your walk with Christ or to grow in your faith with the Lord. There are many mission opportunities available through CRU as well as religious services. Learn more about CRU online.
  • Tuesday: A contemporary worship service called Vintage is available for college age students across western New York. It is hosted at “The Chapel,” a church down Millersport Highway. Vintage begins at 8 p.m., and students from Daemen meet in Wick lobby at 7:30 p.m. to carpool to the service. Every Vintage service includes live worship music and a message from the Bible. It is truly a remarkable experience and a place that is filled with the Holy Spirit every week. If you wish to do Bible study, you can become a member of an E-group which stays after the traditional service to study the Bible. If you are unable to attend the service, it can be viewed on the Vintage Facebook page
  • Wednesday: A service called BASIC meets in the alumni lounge at 8 p.m. The service is a Christian service.
  • Thursday: “Life Support” meets in the Alumni Lounge at 7 p.m. This is a meeting for students of all faiths to come together and provide spiritual support for each other. The event is hosted by Reverend Cassandra Salter Smith.
  • Friday: In Campus Manor’s building 63, apartment 1 hosts a men’s Bible study at 1:30 p.m. This is a Bible study for men working in the workbook dangerous men. If you wish to attend the group you can talk to the leader Ben at CRU on Monday nights.
  • Saturday: A prayer group meets in Wick 113. The room is located in the back of Wick, past the recreation room. It is a Christian prayer group, and all are welcome to come and pray.

On campus there is also a Muslim student association. This group is in the process of determining a permanent time and location of their meeting. For more details you can contact Saad Chaudhry at

If you wish to attend traditional church on Sunday, many of the members who attend the other religious services throughout the week go to church and would be happy to help you find the appropriate church for you. I personally attend many of these events throughout the week and can say that they are a fantastic experience for all students.  It is never too late to begin your worship.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16


Chris Malik: the Man Behind the E-mails

By Emily Wilwol


Everyone knows Chris Malik as “that guy who sends all of the e-mails,” but who is he, really?

To start with, not all of those e-mails that keep filling up your inbox come directly from Chris Malik.  The e-mails are actually from students, faculty members and organizations and are sent to Malik, head of Student Activities, to be filtered (in a sense) and sent out to the campus.

With so many events and activities happening on campus, most people think that Student Activities plans and organizes all of them. But what people probably don’t know is that it’s actually a one-man office.  Student Activities coordinates the events and helps bring them to campus, but they’re run by student organizations or individual students.  One event in particular that stands out for Malik is the Academic Festival. “It’s interesting to see students’ interests…. PT students doing modern dance,” he laughed. “You never know what you will see.”

Chris has worked with four presidents and four deans, watched the college grow, and watched many students go through their journey at Daemen, including one of his daughters.  His eldest recently graduated with her BFA in painting from Daemen, while his youngest daughter hopes to study biology here next semester.  “So many people do good work here,” Malik said, drawing on his long-time experiences at Daemen. “Everyone brings their own uniqueness to the college.”

When he’s not on campus, Malik is at his home in East Aurora, where he enjoys playing the piano. He loves cross country skiing, being outdoors, tai chi, and tai chi running.  In addition, he said, “I’m a big believer in balancing your life; eating well and exercise are important, but when I’m at work I’m super-focused on what I have to do, then I go home and focus on being involved in what’s going on with my family.”  That family includes his two daughters, his wife (a kindergarten teacher and great cook, who continues the tradition of baking Chris an apple pie for breakfast every birthday), and his two silky terriers, Buzia and Ansuz.

Although Malik did his undergraduate work at the Crane School of Music as a piano major, he went to the University at Buffalo for his master’s in College Student Personnel Administration.  He originally planned to be a career counselor and even did an internship at Daemen for career counseling. However, when a job opened up for Student Activities, he applied, got the job, and has held the position for the past 25 years.  In terms of Daemen’s big family and extended family atmosphere – and of knowing you chose the right career – Malik said, “As important as what you do is where you do it; the environment is key. I’d mow the lawn here. It’s a great place with great students.”


The YALT Program

By Erik Schott

Daemen College has a wonderful program known as YALT, which stands for Young Adult Life Transition.  The program is provided through People, Inc. and offers students with developmental disabilities an opportunity to participate in a post-secondary education setting on a college campus.  The YALT program provides support and assistance to these students, who audit college classes, take part in internships, work on completing the GED, and take class outings. These students develop skills to be independent members of the community. They also work on projects and activities with social work majors, physical therapy majors, and several other students on Daemen campus.


Rhythm and Basketball

By Kazeem Adetunji

News Update: Since this article's publication, the Wildcats have claimed a USCAA National Title.

Usually an individual finds one thing they’re passionate about and really good at, putting all their energy and effort into becoming great at just that one thing.

Others plan on dominating two avenues they show interest in. They have great skill and want to become known for being good in those two things about which they’re passionate, but mastering both can be really difficult and time-consuming. Some people would give up and focus on just one thing.

Samantha Stanfield is not one of those people.

She has found a passion both in basketball and, surprisingly, in rap music, and has managed to balance the two things she’s passionate about and in which she hopes to succeed sometime in the future.

“It’s really hard to balance the two because when doing one or the other I like to be able to put my all in and spend the majority of my time either practicing or recording,” says Samantha, the Daemen Lady Wildcats’ starting point guard. “Basketball season is very demanding. What I do is focus on only basketball during the basketball season, and once the basketball season ends, I spend my time recording and working on my music.”

This still keeps her busy, but when I asked “Sam” which she enjoys doing more, she said, “I can't choose which one I enjoy more because they both equally bring me happiness. I plan to do both for the rest of my life.”

While talking with me in the Daemen College Business Lab, Sam explained the lack of substance in music and spoke about rappers like Joe Budden, Jay-Z, and Bow Wow – some of her favorite artists – who have contributed substance in what they rap about. Sam hopes people receive the same message she sends out with her music.

“When it comes to listening to other artists’ music, I enjoy being able to relate to what they're saying in their music, being able to see and understand their struggle to get where they currently are in life. With my own music, I enjoy being able to share my own story and life while giving my listeners something they can relate to. Being able to use my creativity to create music that is appealing to my peers is also a feeling that I enjoy,” Sam explains.

Some of her past performances were Daemen College Step Team’s Fashion Show, Daemen College Annual Springfest 2012 – when she performed with another Daemen student, Jim Jean Joseph – and most recently at Daemen College’s Midnight Madness.

Sam, being a basketball player, is used to performing in large crowds with her teammates, but it’s a different vibe when she is on the stage alone performing her music and getting the crowd involved. She has found a strong following of people who believe in her music and see the vision that she wants her fans to enjoy.

“Every song she's written talks about something different that has happened to her or a moment that she thought was relevant to the people who surround her, whether it's in school now or whether it was sometime in her past. Samantha is a relatable song writer and that is why I love her music,” stated Leslie Guzman, a second-year Daemen College student.

As of this writing, the Daemen College Women’s Basketball team is playing in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 National Tournament. Sam hopes that the girls go all the way so she can end her career as a Daemen College Basketball player with championship status. After college, she plans to attend some overseas camps to continue playing basketball. She will be preparing for these camps in order to be ready to showcase her talents to teams, agents, and scouts who can give her an opportunity to play in another country.


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Editor: Emily Stoll

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Wow! Have you heard about Students Without Borders?

Daemen Professors & Students from several departments work at a public clinic to provide free medical care in Progreso Dos in the Dominican Republic during the semester break.

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Katie - Marketing Major

Katie - Marketing


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“Without my advisors guiding the way, including Academic Advisors, and Co-Op Advisors, I would not have had the opportunity to apply my academic education to the real-world experience that I have gained through internships.”