Hilbert Lacrosse Player’s Packed Schedule

It’s a Monday morning and the sun hasn’t risen yet. Travis Kilaknowski rolls over to turn off the alarm on his iPhone as the clock strikes 4:45 a.m. He jumps out of bed, heads to his kitchen and begins to pack his lunch for the day while he drinks a morning cup of coffee. He walks back into his room, grabs his green Army issued duffle bag, looks at his phone as it the clock strikes 5 a.m. and heads out to start his day. Kilaknowski is on his way to physical training, known as PT in Army jargon, just the start to his 14-hour day.

Kilaknowski is a sophomore at Hilbert College where  he is on the Men’s Lacrosse team, has above a 3.0 grade point average, and is a part of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program as well as assigned to a unit in the army.

There are 20,000 ROTC Cadets in the USA, less than 20% play an NCAA sport, putting Travis in a very exclusive group.

“Time management was definitely the hardest skill to master during all of this,” Kilaknowski said.

He finds himself doing homework in his 20 minutes of free time between responsibilities, waking up at 4:45 am and not returning home until 7 or 8 p.m. and knowing there is a four page paper that still needs to be completed. And he knows he needs to be asleep early to attend duties in the morning.

His efforts are recognized by his coach, Michael Carberry.

“Travis has had the highest grade point average on our team almost every single semester,” Carberry said. “His work ethic and determination is something we could all learn from”

Kilaknowski knows that it also important to try to make time to have fun and decompress, he said.

“Saturday nights are nights I normally get to hang out with my friends, but I try to spend that time doing work to get ahead of the next weeks schedule,” Kilaknowski said. “I knew what I signed up for so finding enjoyment in the grind is what has helped me get by.”

Kilaknowski finds fulfillment knowing he accomplished everything he needed to for that week, he said.

“Before each week I try to make a checklist of everything I need to finish before I can enjoy my time to myself,” Kilaknowski said. “When I see all the boxes checked off I find fulfillment and pride in knowing, Wow I really did it.”

Organization skills and being prepared for the upcoming tasks is a huge part of time management, Kiliknowski said.

“When I know what needs to be done and have all my ducks in order it relieves stress and makes the journey easier,” Kilaknowski said. “When I don’t have my checklist filled out it’s like a chicken running around with its head cut off.”

Carberry said Kilaknowski is often the hardest working member of the team during practices, despite having so many other responsibilities.

“Sometimes we have to ask him to turn it down a notch but he just doesn’t have that switch in him,” his coach said.

But to Kilaknowski, all the extra effort is worth it in the end, he said.

“I signed up for this so how could I complain if I put myself here?”


Phillips and Martineau Reflect on Four Years of Hilbert Basketball

Hunter Martineau and Masia Phillips are both four year Hilbert men’s basketball team members. The two guards came in together as freshmen, both far away from their homes, and built a bond right here in Hamburg. Phillips, who is from Queens in New York City, has made a name for himself with the program. He is well accomplished in the sport having scored over 1,000 points and received all conference honors. Phillips, a program great, is Top 10 in ten of the program’s statistical categories.

Martineau, a modest kid from Erie, Pennsylvania, has also left his mark on program history. Hunter accumulated 1,000 points over his career and now sits at the top in assists for Hilbert’s basketball program. Hunter isn’t new to awards and acknowledgement, he has received all conference honors all 4 years and was once named team MVP. What’s even more impressive than that, while being a beast on the court, he is also a beast in the classroom. Hunter was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma National Honor Society.

The Scribe reached out to both Phillips and Martineau to talk about their experiences with the program and also the community surrounding the school. In addition, we got to hear about the hardships they faced, the brotherhood that was formed, and a little sneak peek into their future endeavors.

The Scribe: Masia, you grew up in New York City, the mecca of basketball. Can you explain how basketball was a part of your early life and how it moved you forward as a person?

Masia Phillips: My older siblings and cousins all played basketball. I got to grow up watching them play. As I got older, I just got into it around 6 years old. I was playing in a house ball coached by my mother. I started meeting friends through basketball and continued that through middle and high school, and college. That’s why I love the game so much.

TS: Hunter, amongst other things, you are known by your incredible self-discipline and willpower. Can you tell us how basketball helped you develop self-discipline and do you use that skill in your everyday life?


Courtesy of Hilbert College Athletics

Hunter Martineau: Basketball taught me self-discipline, if you want to be the best, you have to train like the best. You have discipline yourself to get up every day, get in the gym, get in the weight room. You can use that discipline to do homework, getting up and going to class.

TS: What can you guys tell us about playing for Hilbert? How difficult was the transition from high school to college?

MP: The transition was pretty tough, the game is much faster, much more you need to learn.

HM: The transition for me personally was a bit different. My high school had 4,000 students, Hilbert is only pushing 1,000 if that. Some of the high schools had teams that were just as competitive, but the games were slower because Florida schools don’t have a shot clock, it was a different game. (Masia) I think there was more competition in high school because everyone plays together, there are teams with multiple Division 1 talent.

TS: For Your tenure on the team, you have seen players come and go. What has helped you two to stay focused and committed to the program for 4 years.

HM: My family loves to watch me play, if I was quitting on myself, I was also quitting on them as well. At the same time, my passion for the game, I don’t think I would ever quit unless it’s for dire circumstances.

MP: I had lots of thoughts of leaving the program, but I always had my family to keep me in a space where I can forget about it and just play. If it wasn’t for my family or the love I have for the game, the story would’ve been different.

TS: How do you guys balance being a student athlete?

HM: I try not to save everything for the last minute, whether it’s homework, you want to get shots up, or spending time with your significant others.

MP: I just try my best to know and remember my schedule.

TS: Are the accomplishments something you guys set out for? How did you balance personal goals and team goals?

HM: I’m not much of a scorer, so the 1,000 points is something that I never set out to do, but was pretty cool. I’ve always been a passer, it wasn’t a goal of mine, but I saw it happening if I played well. Those records really don’t mean much, you never want to let them get to your head.

MP: In high school, I never got to the 1,000 points. That kind of bothered me because I was a 4 year varsity player. It was personal for me to get 1,000 points, but that never got in the way of goals that the team had.

TS: What can you guys say about the brotherhood formed with teammates and the relationships built with classmates?

HM: I’m very fortunate for all the guys that have come through here. I truly believe that there were mostly good guys that came through. The amount of friendships and relationships I have built is the reason why you come to a small school like this.

MP: Being on a sports team, you get to know people real quick and people get to know you real quick.

TS: Why did you guys pick Hilbert?

HM: I’m from Erie, Pa (Lived in Orlando for 9 years where he played high school ball), the school isn’t too far, I have good support nearby, and it seemed like a good fit.

MP: The biggest city in the nation has a lot of problems sometimes. I just wanted to get away from home, and challenge myself to be on my own.

TS: Having lived here for four years, what can you say about life in WNY? Is there a possibility of you coming back?

MP: Buffalo is a calm city, I like it. It’s not that big of a rush, no crazy night life. Definitely not what I’m used to, but I got used to it. I don’t know if i can start my life after college here, but I’ll definitely come back and visit.

HM: Buffalo is a great city. It’s actually very similar to earlier where I grew up. As long as there’s an airport that can connect me back home to Orlando, I’ll always consider Buffalo as a second home. Bills fans are very passionate, and I love Buffalo wings.

TS: What are your future plans for education and basketball? Is it over?

HM:  For me at least, I think my basketball career in a competitive sense is over. I’ll be doing mens league and coaching but I’m done. I plan on working my way up to an athletic director.

MP: Basketball wise, as of right now is over, I’ll still be playing here and there. I want to become a risk analyst, I also want to work for the city of New York.


From the Editor: Mourning From Afar

Last week the Scribe and the Hilbert community lost one of its own.

Brittnay Summers, a sophomore Criminal Justice major, passed away in a car accident on March 31, leaving a void in a campus community, unable to mourn in the traditional sense, separated in an effort to stop others from dying.

I first met Brittnay at the beginning of the semester, mere months ago. Constantly smiling, she was shy at first. But once you got her talking she exuded confidence and happily added to the conversation. She was excited to work on her first story, covering the Digital Media and Communications department’s career fair, and with a little push from myself went around the room conducting interviews, learning on the fly, as is so often the case with people first dipping their toes in the journalistic waters.

She was a natural, her warmth and kindness opening people up to get them talking.

She worked for a security company that contracts with the Buffalo Bills, and was excited by the prospect of scoring an interview with a player for the paper.

And she was always looking to pitch in or help others. When another student mentioned she was looking for work after graduation, Brittnay excitedly offered to get her in with the security company.

For now, we must celebrate her life and mourn her loss from afar. None of the warm embraces, handshakes or fellowship that would normally comfort our community are available. We can’t bond over food, offering stories, and engaging in the deep human connection that is felt while looking one another in the eye.

But that does not mean we cannot honor Brittnay and everything she did to make Hilbert a better place. As a Franciscan institution, it is important that we look to our Catholic roots for guidance in this time of sorrow.

Margaret Smith, Hilbert’s vice president for mission integration and campus ministry, points out that Christians have a long tradition of using prayer and good works as gifts to be sent to one another across time and space.

“A small prayer or sacrifice that I send up to God will be efficacious to someone that I may not be able to see or communicate with,” she said. “So, when someone far from us is hurting, and we cannot be with them physically, we can still join them in this supernatural place outside of time and space, where we are united in God.”

Smith said that one way we can honor Brittnay is by trying to live her unyielding, never-give-up spirit out in our own lives.

“It’s tempting to get swept away by fear and darkness when so many things seem to be falling apart around us,” Smith said. “This is where our faith kicks in. Christian hope isn’t an emotion: it’s a virtue that takes practice and hard work. It is a decision, made over and over again, to turn to light and to trust in God when things are difficult.”

So, as we remember Brittnay from afar, rest assured that we will celebrate her with the same exuberance she brought to our campus whenever it is that we are able to gather together again. Plans are already in the works for a memorial service.

Last week, as part of her call for Britons to stay strong in adhering to social distancing measures, Queen Elizabeth invoked the song “We’ll Meet Again,” a World War II anthem, to build a spirit of solidarity.

I hope we can extend that sentiment to one another, and to Brittnay, as we deal with this tragedy. If you are feeling distraught or desperate in these coming weeks and months, think of Brittnay’s smiling face and sing those hopeful lyrics to yourself.

We’ll meet again. Don’t know where. Don’t know when. But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.”

– Justin Sondel


Journalists Visit Hilbert

Hilbert College students heard from a panel of three journalists this week, part of the school’s annual communications career week.

Kyle Mackie of WBFO, Caitlin Dewey of The Buffalo News and Casey Bortnick of Spectrum News covered a wide range of topics during the talk, offering insights into the challenges of rewards of pursuing a career in journalism.

: Bortnick, who discovered his passion for journalism at SUNY Brockport after being recruited to play football for the school, said he believes there will always be an opportunity for journalists, even as the business model has made for a challenging professional environment.

Is there a direct quote from him we can use here?

Mackie, who has worked internationally for major news outlets like the New York Times and WNYC, described the many challenges she has faced in her career despite having a master’s degree in journalism and clips in highly regarded publications.

“If you want to make it into this industry you have to believe in yourself,” she said.

Dewey, whose employer faces new uncertainties after it was announced that The Buffalo News will be sold to a newspaper conglomerate, acknowledged the many challenges that students should consider when deciding to pursue journalism, but also talked about how much she loves the work.

“It’s the Purest form of mental desire with working with words and massaging words and coming up with the best way to frame or to tell a story is ultimately the best way,” she said.

Then something fun to close: The panelists all offered some of their most interesting or exciting experiences to close, describing how rewarding the profession can be. Mackie recounted a lunch with a Palestinian family outside of Nazareth. Dewey described a trip to Wisconsin to help a dairy farmer with his daily work. And Bortnick talked about his experiences chasing Ralph “Bucky” Phillips, the escaped convict who spent the summer of 2006 on the run in Chautauqua County.

Bortnick got a little too close to the action once, being told by officers in pursuit of Phillips to duck behind the engine block of his car as the sound of gunfire rang out, he said.

“That is the closest I will ever get to a war zone,” Bortnick said.

Hilbert Holds Graduate School Expo

Throughout the afternoon of Tuesday, November 12th in the Franciscan Hall Atrium, Hilbert College hosted its annual Graduate School Expo. Graduate admissions representatives from across the region gathered in the atrium to discuss their programs with Hilbert College’s students and alumni. Students and alumni entering the atrium were greeted by door prizes and free food, as well as graduate representatives from Hilbert to start off the expo. Students who attended the event were able to discuss many important points about the ten colleges and universities in the atrium, such as application deadlines, GPA requirements, entrance exams and personal statements.

The Scribe interviewed a number of representatives and other individuals at the expo, and they had some interesting things to say about their schools and experiences. Admissions representatives from ten schools including Hilbert all attended the expo to provide important information about their school’s programs. Some of these schools included Canisius College, Alfred University, Daemen College, Niagara University, and many more. The Scribe interviewed representatives Katie Martoche of Hilbert College, and Brandi Banks, the Senior Graduate Admissions Counselor at Canisius College. These representatives discussed some of the graduate programs offered at their respective schools, and the value these programs have to benefit students who have graduated from or are enrolled in an undergraduate program at Hilbert College.

The Scribe also interviewed one of Hilbert’s students for an alternative perspective on the Graduate Expo and the benefits it can have towards students and Alumni. Senior Brandon Zicari discussed with the scribe his take on how an event like the graduate expo can benefit students and alumni at Hilbert, and he also spoke on the importance of meeting these representatives face to face and gaining knowledge on the programs in person as opposed to just searching around on a school’s website for information on their programs.

All in all, an event like Hilbert’s annual Graduate Expo can be an incredibly useful tool for students and alumni here at Hilbert. If you plan on working through a graduate program in the future, perhaps this expo could be a big help in making a decision when it returns to Hilbert College next year.

Tea Leaf Cafe Continues to Impress

Tea Leaf Café, one of Buffalo’s favorite cafes, resides right here in Blasdell, just minutes from Hilbert College. Well known for their bubble tea with over 25 different flavors and endless possibilities, the Tea Leaf Café is a great place to study and get some work done while enjoying a delicious beverage.

The Scribe asked a customer at the Amherst location, what they think about Tea Leaf Café.

“I started coming here because my friend brought me to try a bubble tea; and now I’m hooked. We have a class together at ECC and started coming here to study and work on our homework. This is my favorite place to get work done when I’m tired of sitting at home doing it.” Kendall said. “My favorite drink is the strawberry bubble tea smoothie with the passion fruit boba.”

The dining area in the café has plenty of room to come in with a group of friends to just hang out or even have a study group. The café has a positive atmosphere with friendly staff that are extremely helpful with answering any questions you have about their menu.

They are open until 11 PM every day and 1AM on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate your late night crave. They have two locations, one near the McKinley Mall in Blasdell and the other is in Amherst near the AMC theater.

Podcast as Promotion

David Schaub is a Western New York Entrepreneur who uses podcasts to grow his business. You may be wondering, “ What exactly does Schaub do?” Schaub is a motivational speaker and often talks to college students. Schaub’s ultimate goal is to connect people and give people opportunities. He works for N2 Publishing, which provides local businesses connections to people in the area. He also creates podcasts and connects with local Western New Yorkers to find out what they do. Normally, he creates podcasts with his clients. Schaub has many connections and is able to bring a lot of people together. He focuses a lot on leadership and entrepreneurship. There are so many great entrepreneurs in our hometown, so he said it would be intriguing to “learn from people that do well in Buffalo.”

Schaub uses podcasts to fuel his business essentially. He started making podcasts in April and has made over 50 of them. “You have to find something you love doing and be selective about it”, he says. He plans to hold events, build his following, learn about what people do in each field, and have speakers in each field. “I plan to have high end entrepreneurs to teach you and find connections”, Schaub says. Schaub says, “You have to be unique or different, passionate, and solve a problem that people want to be solved. That’s what will set you apart from other people. “ He also stated, “There’s nothing like this in Buffalo, Why can’t I do it? I want to do this.”

Schaub says, “I’m connecting people with people they might not have had the chance to.” By gaining followers on social media, he is able to publicize himself and reach out to the community to connect people with other people, providing people with opportunities that may have never had.

You can follow David Schaub on Instagram at wnyentrepreneurpodcast.

Podcast: A Musical Journey

The Scribe’s Melissa Shepard sat down and talked about her music journey with Miranda Shepard. Melissa Shepard has previously tried out for the hit T.V. shows, The Voice and American Idol. She talks about her journey and performs an original song that she wrote in high school.

Hawks Edge Keuka

Hilbert college men’s basketball team won a nail-biter over Keuka College earlier this month, by the score 98-97.

The game was an extremely exciting contest for the fans as it went back and forth all afternoon long with the Hawks holding on after Keuka had a chance to win the game with the game’s final possession.

Hilbert started the game on fire being up as many as 13 points at one point in the first half, before going down early in the second half. However, they closed out the game strong and ended up winning the game by one point.

Any fan who bought a ticket was definitely entertained, but these games can be tough for the coaching staff to watch. Head coach Rob deGrandpre was happy that his team managed to hold on to the game and get the win, but not overly pleased with how they played.

“I like our start, I don’t like the fact that we give up a lot of points,” deGrandpre said. “It puts a lot of pressure on us to rally. I’m sure the people who bought a ticket tonight got their money’s worth but that’s not how we draw it up,”

One key to the high score was the amount fouls taken by Hilbert’s defense. To start the second half the hawks had seven defensive fouls in the first five minutes. That’s a lot of free points to be handing out to the opposing team.

“Usually in practice we certainly harp on defending without fouling,” deGrandpre said regarding the Hawks’ foul troubles. “It really comes back to being fundamental. You’ve got to be a disciplined team if you want to have success. And while we try to take advantage that when other teams do it, we can’t do that and expect to win games”.

A huge positive in Saturday’s win was the way bench stepped up for the Hawks, scoring 39 points. deGrandpre pointed out, “The good news for us is we have other guys that can step up and contribute and they did for us tonight. One of the keys going into the game was for the bench to contribute and give us a lift.”

One of those bench players that provided the team a huge lift was Kyreese Fisher who had five points in the Hawks win Saturday afternoon. He provided a spark on defense and was trusted to be on the floor in the final minute with the hawks protecting a lead.

“Coming off the bench I just try to focus on my defense because I need to ty and bring energy to the game,” Fisher said. “The easiest way for me to do that is being up on defense and pressuring the opponent.”

Another Hawk who really brought his game was senior Alex Karamanos, who played 27 minutes for the hawks and scored 24 points in the contest. He was very energetic and physical all night long being hard to handle for Keuka.

“We’re all really close and we all trust each other that any five of us can make a shot and I think that’s how we keep our composer and it worked out pretty well,” Karamanos said.

The Hawks are now 4-1 on the season and will play their next game on Tuesday November 26th at 6:00pm in University of Pittsburgh Bradford.

New Apartment Going Up at Immaculata Site

Immaculta Academy, directly next door to Hilbert Colleges, is under renovations to become a large apartment complex called The Oaks.

RANE Property Management purchased the 27-acre plot of land to turn the former academy into a residential apartment complex. RANE Development received $1.85 million in property tax breaks and is in the process of starting the $26.7 million project which is projected to create 171 temporary construction jobs and seven full-time jobs, according to the Buffalo News;

As for the Immaculate Academy building itself, RANE Property Management decided to keep the structure. The gymnasium and the auditorium currently will be fully renovated into a clubhouse community center to allow for the pool, fitness center, and an updated gymnasium center inside.

As for Hilbert College itself and according to on market rated apartments, this will be an eye-opening sight for future potential students seeking next door apartments close to campus which will hopefully allow for a greater growth of student enrollment at Hilbert College. The expected completion date for The Oaks is before the end of next year, Catia said.

“We plan to begin moving people in before the holidays of 2020,” he said.