Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hamburg Native Is New Strength Coach

Hilbert Athletics’ Newest Hire

Hilbert College has introduced a new Strength and Conditioning Coach to its Athletics program on February 9, 2016: Matthew Diegelman becomes the first person to hold this new position, which the college said is another resource for its athletic teams to use throughout the year.

Diegelman has served as Niagara University’s Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for nearly ten years before coming to Hilbert. At Niagara, he designed programs for Division I athletes to complete, worked individually with each teams’ coaches to find areas of improvement for their teams, and oversaw intern and volunteer strength and conditioning coaches.

In addition to Niagara University, Diegelman was a Fitness Trainer at Prism Health and Fitness, where he worked with individuals to reach their own personal goals and fitness desires.

Diegelman has a master’s degree in health and human performance from Canisuis College and a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness from Buffalo State College.

Diegelman is looking to make his mark at Hilbert College. Only being here for less than a month he has already made slight changes to the weight room and its staff. He is looking to create more space for team workouts in the weight room while also maintaining a balance for the rest of the student body on campus.

Furthermore, Diegelman is hoping for more involvement from the students here. In the past Diegelman was able to communicate with coaches and mandate workouts. But, working with a Division III school, he cannot do this. It is up the students to come and reach out to him.

Diegelman’s new office is located in Hafner Recreation Center across from the gym. He is always open to students asking him questions about anything relating to fitness. For him to do this students have to make the first step and reach out to him by face-to-face contact or by e-mail at

“First, I’m grateful to have been given this opportunity at Hilbert College and thankful to John Czarnecki and his staff for choosing me to lead this endeavor. It’s unbelievable to have found an opportunity like this in my own hometown,” Diegelman, a Hamburg native, said.

“I’m looking forward to helping our student athletes maximize their athletic potential through strength and conditioning, which will help give us that edge on our competition,” he said.

Hilbert Faculty Weigh In on Region’s Heroin Epidemic

by Kyle English

All too often there is a story in the news about how heroin claims another victim. The heroin epidemic that this country is facing and trying to combat is continuing to spread and is not showing signs of ceasing any time soon.
Erie County has been plagued with a particularly severe heroin problem. According to the Buffalo News, ten deaths in the county were linked to heroin in the first ten days of March.
Like many problems, it is important to recognize the causes of heroin use and get to the basis of the problem before it can be fixed.
The root of the problem stems from a failing society, according to Dr. Yvonne Downes, a criminology professor at Hilbert College. “We have failed to persuade our people that it will damage their lives and to provide them with the treatment needed to escape addiction.”
Many professionals agree that there are two routes to heroin use, youth and addiction to prescription painkillers. “Many young people are bored, miserable, and do not see good avenues for their future. This leads them to make disastrous mistakes, and the cheap and easy availability of illegal recreational substances helps them feel better in the short term,” said Downes.
Dr. Martin Floss, a Criminal Justice Professional and educator and Hilbert College agrees. “The addiction to legally prescribed pain-killers is at the heart of the most recent epidemic. Patients get drugs for pain and those pills are narcotics…and people like the drugs and turn to heroin or other forms of narcotics.”
“We need to stop treating these folks as criminals and make substance abuse treatment easily and cheaply available,” said Downes, who continues by saying that until that is established nothing can be done.
One temporary “solution” being applied is the use of NARCAN, a drug used on those people who overdose on heroin. This drug counteracts the effects and can save the lives of those who have overdosed.
“Narcan saves people who overdose,” said Floss, who favors its use, as many times as needed. He recognizes that using it multiple times on the same person contributes to the argument of a “crutch”, but it is not the first responder’s decision on who lives and who dies.
Downes shares a similar believe but points out that there needs to be restrictive sanctions when it comes to using NARCAN.
“Those receiving it must be subject to mandatory treatment in a residential placement for some period of time. People who are overdosing clearly have a problem beyond simple addiction and should be treated as suicidal,” says Downes.
Both Downes and Floss showed support for Svante Myrick, who wants supervised injection facilities to exist in his city.
Floss says that this follows Europe’s standard by viewing addictions as a health issue not a criminal issue. “By having such sites, we would be able to engage more addicts and try to convince more to get help, we would also be providing clean needles that do not infect others.
Dr. Downes added to Floss’s point by noting that the majority of heroin pose very little or no danger to society and do not show any signs of violence. “Getting the problem out into public view where they acquire and use the drug with relative safety will decrease other social problems and provide the best chance for them to survive and get better.”
Regardless of where the person is from or how he or she is, heroin is accessible to and used by a large variety of individuals. Until the people of society, government, and law enforcement change their views and policies on the problem of heroin, the issue will only continue to grow.

“Politics of Hate” Discussed at Forum


By Amanda Snyder


Hilbert College held a Town Hall Forum panel discussion featuring four Hilbert faculty members in the Swan Auditorium on Tuesday, March 1.

The discussion centered on diversity and discourse on the “Politics of Hate.” Panelists included Yvonne Downes, Ph.D Professor of Criminal Justice, Kushnood Haq, Ph.D Professor of Business, Jeff Papia, MTA, Director of Mission Integration and Campus Ministry, and Megan Witzleben, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of English.

Dr. Christopher Holoman, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, opened up the meeting by stating Aristotle’s philosophy on man [and woman] is by nature, a social [political] animal.”

Papia introduced the theme of creating diversity through unity , the idea of turning many into one. Each faculty member spoke briefly on the lack of equality across many demographics. With the upcoming presidential election, inequality is perceived not only through race, as it is commonly noted, but also through economics, religion and politics, Papia said.

Hilbert student Luis Rodriguez agreed broadly with the idea that “diversity” cuts across more than just race. “There’s no change unless we make a change. It takes a group of people to make a difference,” said Rodriguez said. “Diversity is made of love, respect and amicability.”

Downes  said that inequality in this country will cause frustration to grow, a frustration that is on display on both ends of the political spectrum during this presidential election year. The panel concluded with a reminder for all eligible students and staff to register to vote for the upcoming primary election to be a voice that change inspire change.

The discussion was sponsored by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Diversity.

Immaculata to Close

Immaculata Academy Closing

By Adam Heftka


Immaculata Academy is closing. The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, which has operated it for 88 years,  announced they will end their sponsorship of the Catholic girls’ school at the end of this school year.

In a press the Franciscan Sisters said, “in light of the FSSJ’s current realities, the conclusion of their sponsorship, declining enrollment, and discouraging demographic data, the school’s current academic model is no longer sustainable and that the school will close at the end of the school year in 2016.”

Cynthia Zane, Hilbert College’s president, sent an e-mail to the Hilbert Community this week, acknowledging the ties shared between the two institutions, and noted that the direct effect on Hilbert’s day-to-day operations would be minimal.

“While this announcement does not directly affect Hilbert College, as we have maintained financial independence from the FSSJ for some time, it certainly does hit close to home for many in the Hilbert family,” Zane wrote.

This news leaves many students without a school for next year; however, the decision to close this year may benefit its students. Immaculata will look to “maximize available resources for both financial aid and scholarships to follow students to other Catholic Schools.”

In President Zane’s e-mail she asks to “keep the Sisters, faculty, staff, students, and families affected in your prayers.”



What’s the Racial Climate on Campus? Answer May Depend on Your Race

Overall, survey finds Hilbert is welcoming. A majority of black students say it’s “just okay.”

By Amanda Snyder

A Spring 2015 Cultural Climate Survey found a majority of Hilbert’s African American students and a majority of staff and faculty agree that there are racial and interracial conflicts on campus.

Town Hall Forum

“The Politics of Hate”

Tuesday March 1 

3:15 PM

Swan Auditorium

Panelists: Yvonne Downes, Kush Haq, Jeff Papia, Megan Witzleben


Most respondents to the survey – which was open to all students and staff — stated that Hilbert College is a welcoming and inclusive campus. Indeed, 96.5% of the campus community believes that Hilbert College “creates an overall positive cultural environment for faculty, staff, and students,” according to the survey’s executive summary.

But further evaluation of survey results reads that over 30 percent of survey takers believe there is racial conflict and tension across the campus, as seen by both students and faculty members. Diving a little deeper, one would also notice that 56.3 percent who were African American disagreed with the statement that “there is no racial/interracial tension on campus.”

When asked if there is a high level of respect for diversity on Hilbert’s campus, there is a significant difference in student responses of those who are African American and those who are white. This led data to read that the majority of white students see Hilbert College as a positive environment, whereas African Americans responded that the campus is “just okay.”

The survey results were highlighted by the Provost Advisory Committee for Diversity (PACD). The committee conducted a survey to evaluate the progress of diversity and inclusion on campus for students and staff members of all backgrounds. Three hundred forty-seven students, along with 64 faculty and staff, participated. This survey that was administered is the second Cultural Climate Survey to be given at Hilbert College. A similar survey was assessed in the spring of 2011 by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Survey of 2011 reported a need for Hilbert to implement diversity improvements across campus, thus initiating PACD. Both surveys were used to understand the experiences of students, faculty and staff.

In an interview in February, Hilbert President Cynthia Zane said the work of making all students feel a sense of inclusion is ongoing. She pointed to monthly events held this school year that give her and others in the administration an opportunity to listen directly to students and their concerns.

One thing Zane said needs to be looked at is the timeline involved for handling disciplinary situations where race is involved. But she said changes can’t happen overnight, and not all changes can be imposed by the administration.

For example, Zane said, including more academic offerings related to diversity would involve working closely with the faculty, who ultimately decide whether to add classes to Hilbert’s course catalog.

On Tuesday, March 1, all students and staff are welcome to a Town Hall Forum called “The Politics of Hate.” The panelists include Yvonne Down, PH.D., Kush Haq, PH.D., Jeff Papia, MTA, and Megan Witzleben, PH.D. The discussion starts at 3:15 in Swan Auditorium.

St. Clare’s Closet Helps Students Dress Professionally

Closet Volunteers

By Kyle English

There comes a time in everyone’s life when it’s time to go for a job interview and you don’t have the appropriate attire.  Well Hilbert Students, you are in luck, St. Clare’s Closet has got you covered.

St. Clare’s Closet has been around since the mid-2000s, and is something President Zane heavily promoted early in her tenure to emphasize the importance of giving back to the students who are less fortunate and need help.  Since then, faculty and staff members have continued to make note of this opportunity, but it still lacks publicity amongst the Hilbert community.

Katie Martoche, the faculty member in charge of the service, says that she believes that there is a high demand for this but not many students know about it.  “Not all students can afford a suit or a nice outfit for a job, internship, or interview.”

If any student needs appropriate clothes for a job interview or a similar occasion, they just need to contact Martoche or Hilbert’s career center, and they’ll be allowed to choose from a selection of donated, professional clothing for men and women.

Martoche and Hilbert College do not ask for the clothing back.  “It is important to keep the integrity of the student in tact so we do not ask names, or for the clothing back.  The student is welcome to take as much as they need.” Martoche said.

The donation service is named for St. Clare, the nun inspired by hearing St. Francis speak, and who dedicated her life to helping the poor.

“The closet is part of the Franciscan Mission and giving back so we are really excited to have something like this available to the Hilbert students and alumni,” Martoche said.

Located in Bogel Hall 130, St. Clare’s Closet offers a variety of clothing including suits, belts, blazers, and scarves in name brands, including Calvin Klein, Alfred Dunner, and Express.  The Career Center is always looking for donations and will accept any and all gently used, professional clothing.

There’s Buzz Around the Hawks

With the AMCC tournament starting this weekend at the Hafner Recreation Center, the buzz surrounding the #1 seeded Hawks may be at an all time high. At 21-4, this is quite possibly one of the most talented and deepest teams Hilbert has ever had. Not only are the Hawks talented, but the team is filled with a diverse cast of characters.

This following trailer is a sneak peek into the upcoming video known as “The SZN” with the inside look at the Hilbert Hawks Mens Basketball team. Be sure to stay tuned for this video which is a collaboration with the Sports Alchemy Group (S.A.G.).

S.A.G. is a club founded by Senior Swingman and Sports Industry Management Major Nehemiah Kornegay to use skills learned at Hilbert to host and promote sporting events as well as producing sports media.

This video was directed and Edited by Connor Kirst and written by Nehemiah Kornegay and Dalton Reynolds.