Tag Archives: Featured

Hilbert Students Benefit from Student Loan Relief

When going to college many students to take out student loans to help pay for school.

A Student loan is money you borrow from the federal government or private organization to help pay off college expenses. These must be paid off later with interest. After six months of graduating college, you must start paying off your loans. According to studentloanhero.com about 48 million Americans have student loan debt.

To help with student loan debt President Joe Biden announced a one-time student loan relief for people who are making less than $125,00, according to studentaid.gov With this debt relief you could get up to $20,000 in relief if you received a Federal Pell grant in college and meet the income requirements. Or you can get up to $10,000 in debt relief if you didn’t receive a Federal Pell grant in college and meet the income requirements.

A graduate student from Hilbert college Samantha said her student loan debt has caused her a great deal of stress.

“I’ve had to work a lot more hours in order to be able to pay all my bills along with my student loans,” said Samantha.

She said she recently applied for the student loan debt relief and if accepted the relief will lift a big weight off her shoulders.

“If my application goes through it’ll drop my debt from $23,000 to $3,000, and I can put all my focus back onto helping my family,” said Samantha.

To see if you qualify for the one-time Federal Student Loan Debt Relief you can visit studentaid.gov. Applying for this one-time debt relief ends on December 31st, 2022.

Hilbert’s Associate Bursar Beverly Szczur said “with people getting their debt forgiven they may consider going back to school to further their education.”

Hilbert Reads Welcomes Grossi and Fred

One of the most anticipated events of the semester took place in early November in the Swan auditorium.

Hilbert Reads, the annual campuswide collective reading event, welcomed author Craig Grossi, and his dog Fred, to Swan Auditorium  where he spoke about his journey and message early this month..

Gross is the author of the book “Craig and Fred”, a story about how he found his dog, and how they rescued each other.

Those attending showed support for Grossi and his dog from the start, giving a round of applause and some cheers for Fred. It was a positive atmosphere filled with laughs, some tears, and a few naps from Fred. After telling his story, Grossi was welcoming to questions and said he was “most excited” to talk and answer questions for students.

Grossi was a marine and served in Afghanistan, and found Fred while deployed. In his books, he talks about his experiences while serving and the post-war struggles he faces. Fred taught Craig an important lesson, he said.

“We can find ways to wag our tails regardless of what we’re going through.”

Grossi preached “stubborn positivity” to the audience.

“It’s most important to focus on the bad, when you focus on the bad, you can find the good in it” he added.

Grossi ended off the night with a book signing, (Fred a paw signing) after answering numerous questions from the audience. Struggling with PTSD hasn’t been an easy road for him. Being able to talk to the youth and publish a book about them hasn’t felt “real” to him, he said.

One of the freshmen attending shared that it was an “inspirational” experience. Grossi “was open and honest about his experiences” using these experiences he “found strength to share his problems with others to help benefit and inspire them.”

He ended with a final takeaway to share with students.

“As humans, there is always a reason for us to be happy,” Grossi said. “It may just be difficult to find it sometimes.”

Hilbert Sports an Important Part of Campus Life

For Hilbert College, sports are very important  and key to day-to-day operations.

As such, the college felt the need to expand its college program this year to include Women Ice Hockey, Football and Track & Field.

 When Tim Seil, who came to Hilbert in January of 2022 to take over as Athletic Director, he knew  he was interviewing for the job that Hilbert would be expanding its sports programs.

“When I interviewed for the position I knew that we were going to be adding additional sports programs,” he said.

Siel doesn’t consider it a challenge, saying that it just makes the job more exciting and that he was excited to put his stamp on the athletic department helping the growth of Hilbert College Athletic Programs.

Rehbaum said Hilbert offer a lot to perspective students.

“We have some great opportunities for local College athletes and high school seniors. With the addition of the football program,”  Rehbuam said. ”This helps to provide an opportunity as only  Hilbert and Buffalo State Colleges have Division Three athletic programs to offer football programs”.

Rehbaum said they really have some terrific coaches here at Hilbert that buy in to the system here and they generally care about the student athletes that is necessary for success at Division III.

 “Those coaches have the drive and desire to bring them to competing the top 3 in their league and ultimately competing in the AMCC (Allegany Mountain Colleague Conference),” she said.

Seil said growing and expanding the Hilbert Athletic Programs in the Covid-19 pandemic was difficult given the many limitations put on athletics at that time,Seil talks about

“The pandemic forced everybody’s hand with everything in higher education,” he said.

He said recruiting was difficult because coaches could not go on the road as much due to restrictions.

“The pandemic did not have too much of an effect on  whether they were going to continue to add sports programs they wanted to add, Siel said.

Rhebaum said with their plans of expanding they hired full time coaches that needed workspaces and they also needed to make locker room spaces for this new and expanding sports programs. With that Rhebaum said they reduced student space and had to add more coaches’ space and states that was one of their administrative issues.

Seil says he “sees in the five-to-ten-year plan about adding facilities to accommodate adding teams because you need to add  facilities and talks about how they needed to attract more student athletes.”

Theater Class Offers Changes Perspectives

Theater is something that people will enjoy getting to perform in front of a crowd or will find it nerve wracking to do.

Taylor Doherty, a theater professor at Hilbert, said… paraphrase something he said. “The chance to inhabit the psychological shoes of another person can be a wonderful, transformative experience,” Doherty said.

Doherty said that the idea that “theater and film people” are liberal, is a stereotype. “And I think it’s because when you’re acting a role – REALLY fully immersing yourself in the role – you see the world from their perspective,” he said. “You understand their hopes and fears. And you realize that we’re all the same deep down. So it becomes they’re ‘different from you’ when you’ve have seen the world from their perspective.”

Doherty said if there’s nervousness to performing.

“Yes there is,” Doherty said. “After all, when you’re acting in a film or on stage, you’re in a very vulnerable position. You’re experiencing intense emotions… for real… and people are watching you do it.”

But it’s all about practicing. The more someone does it, the more it gets easier to do. And he disagrees with the idea that people in media professions do no need to try acting, Doherty said.

“Everyone should try acting at least once,” he said of acting. “And I don’t mean a quick improv, I mean a REAL acting experience. I bet it would give people a greater understanding of the films they know and love.”

Students should be given an understanding on the process of what gets people interested in being a part of theater and the experience that a student gets when doing it.

Emmanuel McClain, a Digital Media and Communication student who took Doherty’s introduction to theater course, said performing theater is an experience that people will enjoy if they try.

“I needed a class to take for an elective,” McClain said. “It turned out to be great. It was a fun and humbling experience.”

After doing the class, McClain said people should try doing theater more often. “Yes. 100% yes,” He said.

Hilbert Cheer Celebrates a Successful Fall

Hilbert College’s cheerleading team has been working hard throughout the last few months to support the football and basketball teams at their games.

Julia Dombrowski a cheer team member, said she enjoys the camaraderie the team has built throughout the semester.

“A favorite part for me is having everyone come together and getting closer as friends which help our stunts improve too from everyone working together as a team,” she said.

Since Hilbert Athletics fall under division III, the cheer team is equally present for both, men and women’s games.

The girls have been practicing four times per week as of now where they work on cheers, stunts, creative time-outs, and a halftime dance.

“It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get where we want to be,” said Krista Stephany, another team member. “It doesn’t just happen over night.”

The team holds try-outs for anyone who is interested and being a part of the semester. The team does not require past experience. The team, as of now, has a cap of 15 people, as there are only 15 uniforms available.

The three team captains, Dombrowski, Stephany and Kat Pappas explain how they help the team lead practice and focus on getting everyone on the same rhythm.

Pappas says she’s enjoyed seeing the team strengthen their bonds with one another.

“Watching the team change from freshman year until senior year and seeing how much everyone has connected is my favorite part about this team,” Pappas said.

Due to funding shortages, the cheerleading team does not currently fall under Hilbert Athletics. They are student government funded which means they also are expected to follow student government regulations. However, they are really trying to be under athletics in the near future.

The team hopes to hold their first cheer clinic this upcoming February for anyone interested. This clinic is a great fundraising opportunity for the team.

Head coach Colleen Kumiega says she’s extremely proud of the girls and wishes people would take it more seriously and give them the credit they deserve.

“These girls are my spirit. They give me the energy and enthusiasm to live the cheerleading life that I missed myself. I am literally so proud of them,” Kumiega said. “They work so hard day in and day out and people don’t take it as seriously as an athletic sport as it really should be.”

Hawks Basketball Off to a Solid Start

The Hilbert Hawks Men’s Basketball team is off to a good start for  the 2022 – 2023 season.

The Hawks are currently sitting at .500 with a record of 3-3 overall and sit at first place in conference play despite not playing a conference game as of yet.

“Winning a college basketball game is not easy, “said head coach Rob deGrandpre, “Being more disciplined and executing when games are on the line would assist us greatly.  We have some young players that are learning how to manage games in critical situations. We’ve had the luxury of playing at home in five of our first six games. The job will definitely get more challenging when we hit conference play and face more nights on the road.”

DeGrandpre said he believes the team needs to work on defending in order to keep playing basketball at a high level.

“Scoring isn’t a problem for this team,” he said. “We have lots of guys that can put up points.  But playing great defense and helping one another on the defensive end has to be a priority if we are going to get where we want to go.  At the end of the day, if you want to be a great player, you have to dedicate yourself to being great on both ends of the floor. We have good players that are learning this component of college basketball.” 

On Friday November 11th, the Hawks opened their season with the annual Hawks Against Hunger Tip-off Tournament against Morrisville State. In the first half, it looked like it was going to be a close game as the score at halftime was 43-38 in favor of Hawks. However, that began to change in the second half as the Hawks began to pull away out scoring Morrisville State 47-30 winning the game with a final score of 90-68. The Hawks were led by guard Quran Briggs with 18 points, and forward Jahmel Demery with 15 points.

In their most recent game on Tuesday November 29th, the Hawks hosted Medaille College. In the first half, the Hawks looked like the better team overall, leading the Mavericks by a score of 48-38 at the half. By the second half, the Hawks continued to out play Medaille outscoring them 39-33. When the clock hit zero, the Hawks dominated Medaille, beating them 87-71. Forwards Nevada Eldridge and Jahmel Demery led the Hawks in points, 15 and 14 respectively.

Forward Jahmel Demery said he was proud of the way he and the team have performed so far this season.

“I think as a player, I played pretty good in the first game,” Demery said. “The team’s performance was good, but there are still a few things we need to work on. Last games performance was great for me as a player, and for the team as well. That was our first time playing a full complete game overall. As a player my goal is to remain consistent and to continue to play at a high level while pushing my teammates to play better and work harder each day in order to improve our overall performance on the court.”

The Hawks have proved that they are a much better team than their record shows. Many players have contributed to the Hawks success so far, but there are a few that stand out. Sophomore guard Quran Briggs leads the Hawks in scoring with 116 total points (19.3 points per game), and fellow sophomore forward Nevada Eldridge, second in scoring with 73 total points (12.2 points per game). Junior Jahmel Demery leads the Hawks in rebounds with 45 total rebounds and 7.7 rebounds per game.

“Our group never appears to be satisfied. They like challenges, and truly see themselves as being able to compete for post season play come February”, deGrandpre said.  “There are a lot of games left to be played (3-3, 0-0).  We’ll prepare the team like we always have… one opponent at a time.” 

 The Hawks look to keep up the great work this season as they travel to Aurora, New York on Tuesday December 6th to take on a well-coached Wells College Express team, but look to get the job done.

“Wells College is a good program and they are well coached”, deGrandpre said.  “We have spent the week combing through film and putting in some extra fundamental work in practice which we feel will be beneficial as we play out the rest of the semester.”

Women’s Basketball Looks Forward to Upcoming Season

The Lady Hawks are excited about their prospects in the upcoming basketball season.

Coming off a season in which they finished 4th in the conference standings and hosted a home playoff game which they ended up losing 60-68, they are looking to improve on last years disappointing end to the season.

Head Coach Nicole Bullock said she is excited about some of the teams new additions.

“Obviously if you look at are roster now were deeper in a lot of areas but were still young,” Bullock said. “Allowing Macy and Ashley to be leaders of the group and continuing to push are newcomers to expand there game at the collegiate level.”

Macy Kisner and Ashley Schroeder have re-joined the team for their 4th and final season, both earning all-conference 3rd team honors last season.

Bullock also mentioned the newcomers who “bring a lot of energy, passion, and excitement to the game.”

“It’s just a matter of making that high school to college level transition in a timely manner,” she said. “So the quicker we can do that and allow them to still be successful with what there good at will be advantageous to us.”

The Lady Hawks have started there season off 0-2, losing close games to SUNY Oswego and Fredonia. They take on Medaille University tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Hafner.

Men’s Volleyball prepares for its Upcoming Season

The Men’s Volleyball Program was reformed in the Spring of 2020 and has slowly started to find success that it had back when it was in its first iteration.

This year the team is coming off a three-win season and hoping to add more. The season does not officially start until January, but they are starting Fall Ball in November. The team is looking much better then before with many new recruits being brought in to help make the team better.

The team is coached by Calvin Crosby who besides being the Men’s coach, is the women’s volleyball coach as well. Mr. Crosby is very confident in this team’s ability next season, he said,

“With the new recruits coming in and the returners all coming back I can see this team winning double digit games this season.” Crosby said. “I am really expecting a lot from this team this year, as we continue to grow as a program.”

With the season not starting until January this Fall “season” is going to be used to make sure the team is ready for the actual season to start. The next few seasons look really good for them as they look to make a name for themselves at Hilbert.

Hilbert Students have High Hopes for Buffalo Sports Teams

For decades, the people of Western New York have been obsessed with their sports teams, including the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills. As the 2022-2023 seasons are currently underway, Hilbert students talked about their views on the teams and their expectations for the seasons.

The Sabres’ season began October 13th, with a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, but anticipation for this year’s team began early last summer. In the 2022 NHL draft, the Sabres owned three first round picks, selecting Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund, and Jiri Kulich. During free agency they signed 6’2’’ defenseman Illya Lyubushkin and addressed their subpar goaltending situation with the addition of Eric Comrie. They even retained veterans such as Vinnie Hinostroza and named Kyle Okposo the team’s 20th captain in franchise history.

In addition to that, the Sabres are icing the NHL’s youngest team this season, with stars such as 2018’s first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin, 2021’s first overall pick Owen Power, and other first round picks including Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, and Jack Quinn. Rounding out the roster, are leaders of the team Alex Tuch, Tage Thompson, and Jeff Skinner.

With a roster as promising as this, Hilbert senior Jon Heck shared his thoughts on the team. Heck, who has followed the Sabres since 2009, is knowledgeable on the sport, familiarizing himself with not only the Sabres rosters each season, but with other NHL rosters and junior players in the OHL, WHL, and QMJHL.

While Heck hopes for a Stanley Cup this season, his realistic goal for the Sabres is to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

“I think they can very well compete for a wild card spot even though their division is stacked with good teams,” he said. “It would be a step in the right direction, given the twelve seasons without playoffs.”

It personally means a lot to him for the Sabres to succeed, given the fact that he’s never watched a live Sabres playoff game.

While Heck has high hopes for this current season, he sees better days ahead for the organization.

“This past draft was super exciting, with the three first rounds,” Heck said. “Even guys taken in the later rounds look really promising, and our goalie prospect pipeline is really good.”

Buffalo’s other major sports team is also booming this season, with even higher expectations. The Bills, who are 8-3 , are seen as a powerhouse team in the National Football League and were Superbowl favorites at times this season.

Last offseason, following their heartbreaking overtime loss to Kansas City, the Bills made several moves to solidify their position as a top team in the league. Most notably, the added outside linebacker Von Miller, who was fresh off a Superbowl victory in Los Angeles and drafted cornerback Kaiir Elam. At the start of this season, Quarterback Josh Allen led the team to blowing out the defending Superbowl Champions and defending top seed from the AFC. Their only loss to date was by two points to the Miami Dolphins.

Bills fans can be found all over Western New York, including Hilbert College. Junior Jamel Harris talked about his fandom, and what the Bills mean to him. Harris, who has been a diehard fan since 2017, is hoping for a Super Bowl this season. While talking about expectations, he said “Anything besides having a Super Bowl trophy at the end of the season will be falling short.” Despite quite high expectations, he believes its possible, as “they’re on track to lock up the number one seed, which is absolutely necessary to win a Super Bowl. I don’t believe a team can make it without a first-round bye.”

Compiled with that, Harris believes this year’s Bills is the deepest roster in the league. He said, “There are legit starters, with three to four quality players at almost every position on the team.” And so far this season, Harris beliefs are proving to be true, as key players such as Dawson Knox, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, and Tre White have all missed games at some point this season.

Sports will always be one of Buffalo’s defining points to the people who call it home, and those looking at it from across the country. Its fans are passionate, loyal, and tested. But the upcoming with current optimism and hope, it’s clear the future is bright in Buffalo.