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  • Sam Chapman, News Contributor

Interim VP Estanek attempting to build community in new role

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Sandra Estanek prides herself on bringing people together to build a community.

She has nothing but respect for her position, including those that preceded her. Regarding Dr. Dentino, who held the position prior, she said, “Dr. Dentino had the great opportunity to become the vice president for student affairs at his alma mater and to move his family closer to home. That opportunity does not present itself that often in higher education.”

Dr. Estanek is from Cleveland and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio Dominican University and received her Ph.D. in higher education at the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati. She came to Canisius in 2002.

Prior to Canisius, she served as the vice president for Student Affairs at two other colleges.

Dr. Estanek said she brings numerous positive qualities to the Canisius community, specifically “a broad understanding of higher education in general and student affairs in particular.”

On her history at Canisius, Dr. Estanek said, “After being a student affairs administrator for 23 years I was excited about the opportunity to teach student affairs to the next generation. I earned tenure and directed and taught in the program until 2018 when I retired from full time teaching.”

The main focus at the moment for Estanek is hiring. She just hired a new Title IX coordinator and associate dean of students, who will also be responsible for New Griff Orientation. She will also work on improving the Campus Ministry program and look for a new director. They are also beginning a search for someone to help with student engagement.

The sharp increase in in-person events has been a huge plus.

“We want to be together as much as we can and be as safe as we can as a community. Balancing those is challenging, but I can’t tell you how happy I am to see students on campus again,” Estanek said.

As for the Canisius and Buffalo communities, Estanek said, “Having the opportunity to come to a Jesuit university to teach student affairs in 2002 was a dream come true for me. I’m still here 20 years later! I have worked at Canisius longer than I have worked anywhere, and I have found a real home here and in Buffalo. I knew very little about Buffalo when I moved here but it is my very favorite place I have lived. Go Bills.”

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