Why Honors

Benefits of the Honors Program

  • Smaller, often interdisciplinary, classes with engaged, enthusiastic students and professors
  • Living/learning community that brings highly motivated students together
  • Opportunity to work one-on-one with a professor on a topic of special interest
  • 24-hour Honors lounge with computers, large screen TV, & refrigerator
  • Lectures by national authorities
  • Semester-long library borrowing privileges
  • Luncheons with community leaders
  • First-come, first-served tickets to Shea's and the BPO
  • Scholarships for medical missions to Central America
  • Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas party, annual banquet
  • Travel to major American cities
  • Eligible for a scholarship for Catholic high school graduates
  • Community service projects
  • Study abroad at the University of Glasgow, Scotland
  • Early move-in for 1st-year students
  • Honors director serves as an additional adviser
  • Special Honors designation on diplomas and permanent transcripts

Honors Students in the News 

Adam Zyglis '04

Adam Zyglis

Honors program graduate, Adam Zyglis ’04, has been working full time at The Buffalo News as their political cartoonist. “Because of the All-College Honors Program, I have my current job and I have a Pulitzer Prize,” says Zyglis. “My Jesuit education taught me to think critically and to find my voice as an artist, and for that I am grateful.”

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Madeline Beaulieu '20

Madeline Beaulieu

Madeline Beaulieu '20, soccer player and honors student has been named offensive player of the week, proving that our honors students are multi-faceted by excelling in clubs or sports and in the classroom as well.

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Anthony Shelley '84

Anthony Shelley

“The rigorous writing and analysis required in the All-College Honors Program was the best preparation for becoming a lawyer,” Shelley says.  “I am constantly making oral arguments, much like when we presented in class.”

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Student Stories 

Msaada Nankumba '19

Masaada Nankumba

Msaada grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya after his family fled war and violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. After moving to Buffalo in 2014, he has worked tirelessly to catch up with English-speaking peers ever since. He has already been accepted as a student at the University at Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue MBA and MD degrees, as he works toward realizing his aspirations of becoming a physician, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and a social activist.

“The Canisius Honors Program has been an incredibly rewarding academic experience that has not only greatly improved my writing and communication skills but has also given me the chance to explore lots of interesting topics that challenged me to become an independent critical thinker and understand the world better. The class discussion approach in Honors courses has enabled me to be open to criticism and appreciate views that are different from mine. For me, Honors has not only been about being in a rigorous academic environment, but also being part of a community that has provided many social and professional opportunities, including fun activities, which have been paramount for my personal growth and development.”

Connor Rosenecker '18

Connor Rosenecker

Connor Rosenecker, an Honors Program alum, graduated from Canisius in 2018, with degrees in Economics, Finance, Management, and Psychology. Upon graduation, Connor joined M&T Bank as a member of their elite Management Development Program, which places individuals on an accelerated path to managerial roles within the company. M&T, headquartered in Buffalo, is one of the largest US regional banks, with $120 billion in assets and over 17,000 employees. Connor currently works in Finance, situated at One M&T Plaza in downtown Buffalo. 
“The Honors Program afforded me academic and extra-curricular enrichment, ultimately culminating into a most fulfilling experience at Canisius. My time with Honors proved to be an ideal convergence of value-based education, real-world experiential learning, and an explorative exercise in self-discovery. Honors equipped me with an ethical and intellectual framework to effectively navigate the world around me.”

teresa amabile canisius

Teresa Amabile ‘72

  • Professor at Harvard business school 
  • Author of 2 books and over 150 scholarly papers. 

Teresa received her Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University. Her current research investigates how life inside organizations can influence people and their performance, as well as how people approach and experience the transition to retirement. Originally focusing on individual creativity, Teresa's research expanded to encompass individual productivity, team creativity, and organizational innovation. Her 45-year program of research on how the work environment can influence creativity and motivation yielded a theory of creativity and innovation; methods for assessing creativity, motivation, and the work environment; and a set of prescriptions for maintaining and stimulating innovation.


  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Management’s OB Division (2018);
  • Distinguished Scholar Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (2017); Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israel Organizational Behavior Conference (2018); 
  • Center for Creative Leadership Best Paper Award (in Leadership Quarterly) (2005
  •  Torrance Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (1998).

Kelsey Trumpp '15 

Kelsey Trump

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2019
Canisius University B.S. in Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, 2015 (All-College Honors Program Graduate)
"In just a few short months I will be graduating from Purdue with my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and moving on to a Small Animal Medicine/Surgery Rotating  Internship at the University of Illinois. My long-term goals include pursuing a residency and board certification in zoological medicine. I will forever be grateful for the global perspective that I gained as an All-College Honors student at Canisius, which has helped me grow as a person and will make me a better veterinarian. I feel that my time at Canisius also provided me with valuable communication experience, which is one of the most critical skills for veterinarians to possess."

Sarah Khan '20

Sarah honors canisius

"Through the Honors Program's affiliation with the University of Glasgow, I spent an incredible semester in Scotland! The rigorous Honors curriculum prepared me for challenging classes at a prestigious international university. Just as important, I also hiked in the highlands, learned how to dance at a ceilidh, searched high & low for the Loch Ness monster "Nessie", and traveled to other amazing countries. Studying abroad has truly been an amazing experience and, all because of Honors, Scotland now feels like a second home."

Charlotte Kacprowicz '22


Charlotte Kacprowicz, a 1st-year Honors student, is a History major and plans to pursue a J.D. or a Ph.D. She is a Senator in the Undergraduate Student Association, a member of both Classics and History clubs, participates in a club sport, and sits on three committees. This summer, she will study in Russia and visit historic sites connected to the imperial and Soviet periods. Next year, Charlotte will be a Resident Adviser in a dormitory and a research assistant for a History professor.

"The Honors Program has simultaneously enriched my academic and college experience. The discussion-based courses enable students to become captivated by a topic, always searching to understand their materials, alongside a like-minded community. In the process, we have formed an unbreakable bond between academics and family."

Alexandria Iwanenko '17 

Alexandria Iwanenko

I survived my first semester at Duquesne Law and the second semester is ending just around the corner. This summer I will be taking Human Rights Law at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland and Law of the European Union and International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Upon my return, I will be interning with Justice Donohue from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and with Jewish Family and Community Services in their Immigration Legal Services Department. I have also secured a Research Assistant Position for the summer and a Teaching Assistant Position in the fall.

"I am thankful for the Honors Program for setting me up to be successful in law school and beyond. This semester I was required to write an Appellate Brief and give an Oral Argument. The Honors Program, especially the thesis, prepared me to conduct research, write an analysis, and orally defend my position. I could not be more grateful for the opportunities I was given at Canisius through the Honors Program."

Joseph Hassett

Joe Hasett

Joe Hassett has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature degree by the University College Dublin. Joe's remarks focused on Newman's The Idea of a University, which he first read as an honors  student in his freshman year at Canisius in 1960. He says it is interesting how pertinent Newman's  ideas are today. Joe's involvement with University College Dublin began when Canisius designated him as the recipient of a scholarship to participate in summer programs there and at the Yeats Summer School in Sligo following his Junior year.