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  • Mitchell Popovski

Elaine Mrugala: The Heart and Soul of Canisius University

By: Mitchell Popovski, Contributor

Any student who has entered the Canisius University Student Life office has had the privilege of meeting one of the kindest and hardest working people at the school: Elaine Mrugala. Over the past three years, I have worked in the office of Student Life, and working with Elaine has been one of the greatest blessings of my college career. Her warm presence presents a welcoming environment to any member of the Canisius community, while her dedication to the students rivals any other figure that the University employs.

I have learned many things about Elaine throughout my time working with her. The thing that sticks out to me is the dedication she has to her job and the members of our small Jesuit community. Elaine and I, unbeknownst to us until I began working in the office, live only five minutes away from each other in a small town 45 minutes south of campus. Despite the commute, and the often not-so-great weather conditions that Buffalo has most of the year, Elaine always manages to make it to the school, without complaint about the often treacherous drive in.

 Many students who run clubs at Canisius have met Elaine, as she oversees all club budgets and approves flyers for events to be hung around campus. Her job, however, does not only consist of managing club work. In fact, many of us in the office often remark about how Canisius couldn’t run without Elaine. Not only does Elaine serve as a go-between for students, she often serves as the connecting force for faculty on campus. It’s impossible to say how many times we, at Student Life, have gotten calls from other faculty members at the college asking Elaine who to contact about certain issues or how to reach certain people, as well as to explain campus policies. Elaine is always happy to help, wanting to ensure the school runs smoothly. 

She’s always trying to spread positivity in the office and across the community. From acts such as taking time out of her busy schedule to decorate the office, to stocking the Student Life candy jar for students, to serving at the annual Thanksgiving dinner, her kind smile can always be seen throughout campus. Housing Director Al Pilato wrote that, “There is no one on this campus who is more committed to the well-being of every student, her colleagues and the University itself than Elaine Mrugala. People often talk about someone ‘going above and beyond,’ but for Elaine, though, that is actually the everyday standard.” 

On behalf of all the work studies, the RAs, the Hall Directors, the club leaders and the department heads within the office, we all would like to say thank you to Elaine for being such a wonderful person to work with, and for the care she provides to the students at Canisius University. If you get a moment, please stop by the office, see Elaine and thank her for all she does.

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