New Online Student Newspaper Launches at Hilbert !

To the Hilbert Community:

I’m proud and excited to tell you about a new, student-run publication, tentatively named Hilbert College News. The publication operates as Journalism Practicum, COM 443.

Please visit the link here and come back often: Please consider sharing this link.

We will have much to talk about with you in the future — not the least of which, we will need the college community’s help in choosing a permanent name. More on that soon. But for now, we’d like to say hello, and let our student journalists’ work speak for itself.

At the moment, we plan to publish weekly, with new content available every Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, do you have a story tip? Is there an event or an issue you think we should cover? You can reach us at

Any student interested in writing is also welcome to be a part of this publication by submitting a story idea or photo, regardless of major. They should contact me if they are interested.

Thanks to Hilbert for launching this project, and to Professors Amy Smith and Chris Gallant for helping us get under way.

It’s an honor to advise these students and to be a part of this warm and welcoming community.



Dan Higgins

Adviser, Hilbert College News



Be sure to watch the weekly video feature Hawks On: Hilbert


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Matt Diegelman Introduced as First Strength & Conditioning Coach at Hilbert

HAMBURG, N.Y. – Hilbert College is pleased to announce Matthew Diegelman as the athletic department’s first strength & conditioning coach since the college began competing at the NCAA Division III level in 1992.  Prior to his arrival at Hilbert, Diegelman built a local Division I strength program from scratch and he is ready for that same challenge in Hamburg.

John Czarnecki, director of athletics, is excited for the opportunities available for the Hawk athletes.

“Matt brings a wealth of experience with him into the strength program,” said Czarnecki.  “The student-athletes will be able to gain a lot from his knowledge; ultimately becoming healthier, growing stronger and having a more positive experience representing Hilbert College on any one of our 13 teams.”

Diegelman also becomes the first strength & conditioning coach within the ten-member Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference and this full-time position was the result of a restructured position (after the full-time facilities coordinator left the post) to help improve and expand the student-athlete Division III experience.

“I’m very excited and grateful about this opportunity to start the first ever strength & conditioning program for Hilbert College,” said Diegelman. “We have a great group of coaches and athletes that I’m really looking forward to working with.”

From 2006 through 2015, Diegelman served as Niagara University’s first full-time head strength & conditioning coach.  He implemented specific strength, agility, speed and power programs for the 18 Purple Eagles Division I programs.  He worked closely with the sports medicine department to assist and prepare an injured athlete for return to competition.  Additionally, Diegelman provided comprehensive plans for strength training, speed development, agility training as well as nutritional plans for Niagara’s athletes during their non-traditional seasons.

For the last three years, Diegelman has been an adjunct professor at Canisius College, teaching masters-level courses for the Health and Human Performance Department.

Before his ten-year experience on Monteagle Ridge, Diegelman worked as a Pro-Formance Athletic Trainer and a Prism Health and Fitness instructor from 2004-2006.

He also gained valuable experience during his 2002 internship with the Buffalo Bills working for Rusty Jones and Rich Gray and in his 2005 Pro-Formance Athletic Training internship when he worked alongside Doug McKenny, the Buffalo Sabres’ strength and conditioning coach.

Diegelman has been a National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) member since 2003 and has been C.S.C.S. certified since April 2003.  He holds a NSCA C.S.C.S. and USAW Sports Performance Coach certifications and is a Professional Rescuer / AED administrator.

Diegelman will also serve as the department’s athletic facility coordinator responsible for the Hawks practice and  game field scheduling, safety and upkeep of the Hafner Recreation Center’s Fitness Center as well as game management supervision.

Diegelman earned his master of science in health and human performance from Canisius College in May 2008 after he attained his bachelor of science in health and wellness from the State University College at Buffalo in 2002.

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Update on Hilbert Social Media and Blogs

With the new online student newspaper, there is another great source for Hilbert College news!! It also provides our students with a voice and the chance to expand their portfolios.  If you haven’t already, check out the online newspaper:

As a reminder, other sources for Hilbert College News include:

— This newsletter (Hilbert Weekly – internal/employee communication)

— Hilbert Today – (students & external audiences)

If you have a news/info/event item you would like to submit for any of these sources (including social media, below), please send to Matt Heidt (  If you submit an item and don’t see it appear, via any of these sources, please follow up with Matt.

Various Social Media Accounts

— Hilbert College

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

Hilbert Graduates Facebook –


— Student Activities (Hawktivities)

Twitter –

Instagram –


— Athletics

Athletics Facebook –

Athletics Twitter –



— Career Development & Service Learning

Career Center Twitter –

Career Facebook –

Service Learning Twitter –

SL Facebook –


— Campus Ministry (FranciscanHawks)

Ministry Twitter –

Ministry Instagram –

Ministry Facebook –



Twitter –

Facebook –

Instagram –


— Admissions

Instagram –

Facebook –

Twitter –


There are many more social media accounts, for student clubs, academic departments, athletic teams, etc.  Some of these accounts are the best to follow for specific information about those areas.  Soon there will be a webpage on that will list all of the available Hilbert College social outlets.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Matt Heidt.

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Lenten Reflection: Don’t Just Give Up Chocolate!

Catholics are often accused of “going through the motions” and this can easily occur during Lent. Throughout this season, Catholics and many other Christian denominations try to become more like Jesus, who spent forty days in the desert prior to his public ministry. In particular, we are called to pray, fast, and give alms (acts of charity). Over time, this beautiful season has been reduced to two common practices, namely, giving up chocolate and avoiding meat on Friday’s. Of course, observed with the right spirit and intention, these can be wonderful practices. However, our Franciscan heritage invites us to consider so much more.

In the Franciscan tradition, a vision of the human person does not begin with sin. Instead, it focuses on the inherent goodness of every individual. In fact, our view of all creation emphasizes what is good because everything comes from the same source: A Good and Loving God. Lent should be no different. Rather than simply refraining from something “bad” as a form of self-punishment, let us celebrate what is good and, more importantly, DO good.

If you are giving something up this Lent, consider how this act of detachment from one thing can open you up to the goodness of another. For instance, detachment from electronic devices can be accompanied by a commitment to spend more time with friends and relatives. In other words, consider how our observance of Lent can be directed towards others, particularly those in need. This Year of Mercy invites us to give alms by providing necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and water to the poor. If you are looking for ways to do this at Hilbert, consider “Giving the Gift of Hope” this Lent.

Below, you will find a link to the Catholic Relief Services Gift Catalog. Divided into several main categories, this catalog conveniently lists individual gifts that you can purchase including everything from school supplies and teacher training’s to vaccinations, clean water, and food, all for very reasonable prices! I invite our offices and departments to join together in finding and purchasing a gift that is meaningful to them. Of course, people are encouraged to pool together in the purchase of larger items as well. If you are a club advisor, invite your students to participate as well!

Please give all monetary donations to me by Friday, March 18th, indicate which gift you’d like to buy, and I will make all of the purchases together on behalf of us all by depositing the funds into an Even Exchange Account.

May this Lent lead us to a greater awareness of God’s love and mercy!




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New Accepted Student Video

Please feel free to check out these new videos that will be sent to accepted students from the admissions office.

4-Year Students –

Transfer Students –

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Hilbert: Give the Gift of Hope!

Calling to all Administration, Faculty, and Staff!

In the Catholic Tradition, the season of Lent is a time in which people are called to grow deeper in faith and strengthen their relationship with God. In particular, Catholics engage in prayer, fasting, and alms-giving as a way of imitating the person of Jesus Christ, who spent forty days in the desert prior to his public ministry. This year, rather than simply giving up chocolate, our Franciscan heritage encourages to consider how we can impact the lives of the poor.

Here at Hilbert, I would like to invite the entire community to give the gift of hope to people in need. Below, you will find a link to the Catholic Relief Services Gift Catalog. Divided into several main categories, this catalog conveniently lists individual gifts that you can purchase including everything from school supplies and teacher training’s to vaccinations, clean water, and food, all for very reasonable prices!

I invite our offices and departments to join together in finding and purchasing a gift that is meaningful to them. Even a jar for your extra change can add up to something great! Of course, feel free to pool together in the purchase of larger items as well. If you are a club advisor or faculty member, invite your students to participate as well!

Please give all monetary donations to me by Friday, March 18th, indicate which gift you’d like to buy, and I will make all of the purchases together on behalf of us all by depositing the funds into an Even Exchange Account.

Thank you for all of your kindness and generosity to the lost and least among us!



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News & Notes – Feb. 12

— From the Hilbert College Wellness Center – Avoiding the Cold and Flu Virus

— Hilbert College’s CSIA professor Alan Katerinsky’s poem “65 in a 30” appeared in the British web-journal Ink, Sweat, and Tears on January 26, 2016.


— Hilbert College’s English professor Herb Kauderer’s poem “On the Bounce” appeared in Ink, Sweat, and Tears on February 3, 2016.


—  The Kenya Krew/Hilbert Helpers Used Book Drive is wrapping up soon.  If you have books that you would like to donate, please do so by Tuesday, Feb. 16.  Books can be brought to Amy Smith’s office (PAC 161) or dropped off in one of the collection boxes (outside Academic Services and in West Herr Atrium).

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Hilbert’s 12th Annual Lenten Project — Can You Help?

Just in because you have been looking for a way to spend your Lenten season by doing something really nice for someone else who could truly use the help

Colleen Kumiega, The Human Services Association, and my children, Cailey and Nick, are inviting you to be a part of our 12th annual Lenten Project to “adopt” a family that is going through hard times. The Hilbert community has always been so gracious about contributing to this project in the past and I know that a number of you have been asking whether we are doing it again. We are still waiting to learn about the family we will be assigned to adopt, but we are starting our collection.  As in the past, we will be sure to send out an update with a family profile and their needs as soon as the Family Support Center selects a family for this year’s project.  If any donations are made that cannot be used by this family, we have been learning of others with needs to whom we will also offer assistance.

So how can you help? Here are some possibilities:

  • You can donate any new or gently used items that a family might be able to use
  • You can make a cash donation to the project (my children put out fliers to neighbors and collect recyclables to raise money throughout Lent…so far we have about $68.00…yes, some folks have actually started donating early!  J)
  • Assuming most of you aren’t too interested in collecting recyclables in your neighborhood, feel free to bag up your recyclables and either donate the cash or receipts to our project, or let us know if we can help by returning them to the store for you

 Any questions? Please email me or call my office (Julie Kusmierz, ext. 303) or Colleen Kumiega (ext. 306)

Any donations may be made up until Tuesday, March 22 so we can coordinate our delivery to the agency for early Good Friday morning.

Thank you so much for your kind attention and for all you have done in the past to help our project!

Julie, Cailey, Nick, Colleen, and the HSA

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Athletics Update – Feb. 12

Michael Podgorny Named All Tourney; Hawks Fall to #9 Elmira

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Hilbert opened day two of the Golden Flyer Invitational with a three-set loss against the #9 ranked Soaring Eagles of Elmira College and then closed the four-game tourney with a 3-0 loss to Medaille College (4-2).

Elmira (7-2) collected 34 kills and seven blocks while Hilbert finished with 25 kills and only two blocks.  The Soaring Eagles were hot at the net in the final set, hitting at a .400 clip (.294 overall) while the Hawks were consistent each set and closed with a .157 attack percentage.

Elmira started fast, winning the first set 25-13, before they fought to a pair of 25-22 and 25-18 sets.

Michael Podgorny gathered seven kills and five digs, both team highs.  Korey Schwab and Brett Kane chipped in six kills each while Schwab picked up three more service aces.   Ryan Schwab shared four digs with his brother Korey, whileTanner Makowski, Tyler Sieczkarek and Trevor Gabamore bumped three digs too.

In the mid-afternoon match, Hilbert was a great match-up against the Mavericks from Medaille.  Each team collected 26 digs and were close in kills (Med 39 v Hil 31).

But it was the service line and hitting percentage that created the separation in the match.  Hilbert was credited with three aces as opposed to Medaille’s 13 quick-strikes while the Mav’s struck for .405 attack-rate compared to Hilbert’s .177.

Medaille won the first set 25-14 by pulling away late in the game.

After playing through eight ties in the second set, Medaille built their largest lead (17-13) and looked as if they were going to pull away again.

Tanner Makowski, Michael Podgorny, Korey Schwab and Tyler Sieczkarek each tacked on kills in addition to Makowski’s service ace to force a 19-19 tie.  Twice the Mav’s extended their lead to two points only to watch the Hawks close the gap again to 22-22.  Medaille captured the final point on a kill for the 25-23 victory.

Medaille strung together a few service aces in the middle of the third set and padded their score with three more points late in the match to claim the victory, 25-15.

Left-handed Brett Kane was successful on the front line finishing with 10 kills but it was Tyler Sieczkarek who didn’t miss a beat, collecting seven kills with zero errors in 12 attacks (.583).  Adam Heftka picked up 29 more assists and four digs this afternoon.

Kane (two service aces) and Michael Podgorny reached for six digs each.

At the conclusion of the two-day invitational, Nazareth College announced a 9-man All Tournament team.  Hilbert freshman Michael Podgorny joined Mike Ellison (Elmira), Jake Kemp (Nazareth), Grant Levermore (Naz), Matt Loos (D’Youville), Pete McKelvey (Medaille), Cameron Ponce (Johnson & Wales), Brad Schneider (Medaille) and Tim Zyburt, MVP (Naz).







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Student View: Reflections on Experience at El Buen Amigo

By: Emily Pawelski
GS 300: Service Learning Abroad – Dominican Republic

El-Buen-Amigo-12During the Fall 2015 semester, students from GS 300: Service Learning Abroad – Dominican Republic traveled to El Buen Amigo, which translates to: “A good friend” in English.  Founded by Santiago Masferrer, once a political prisoner in Chile, El Buen Amigo is a unique shop nestled in a quaint block on Elmwood Avenue in Allentown.  El Buen Amigo, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and was featured in The Public,  is a non-profit organization which offers “fair trade” goods such as: crafts, clothing, and coffee direct from artisans and farmers in Central America, Latin America, South America, and the Caribbean which helps support the artisans and their families by providing a fair wage for their services.  To that end, Hilbert College Enactus has collaborated with EBA over the past few years through its Artisan Support Project in the Dominican Republic by importing ornate, handcrafted items from local artisans which aims to provide impoverished individuals in a developing country earn a living wage.  Furthermore, El Buen Amigo is a Cultural Center that provides educational programming to enhance understanding of issues related to diversity, which was the focus of the day’s activities.

To start the day off… MarCe Zerrate, a native of Columbia and the Founder/Executive Director of Amor and Heritage Inc. – an Hispanic Traditional Dance Company, provided dance lessons. Amor and Heritage is a traditional Hispanic dance company dedicated to the promotion of multiculturalism and diversity, through the use of dance!   Through dance and movement, Amor and Heritage promotes tolerance, education, understanding of other cultures, the importance of self-confidence, sharing, kindness and staying healthy. Amor and Heritage teaches dance as school programming, special workshops and classes and performs at festivals and events all over WNY.  Through the use of choreography, MarCe explained how the styles of Latin dance have evolved over time and how many of the movements in Latin dance originated from slavery. For example, women would raise their skirts before the music commenced to give praise to God for the opportunity and freedom to dance.  However since slaves could not move their bodies freely while they were on transport ships, they moved their wrists and feet that were shackled together to produce a beat.  Other correlations between slavery and dance included women making swooping gestures with their hats in such a way to symbolize gathering water and men making motions with their arms to symbolize cutting cane with machetes to prove their worth to the ladies. Learning about the different types of Latin dance and the history behind the moves was really cool.  It was definitely more than just a dance class.  It was a really great way to experience some Latin culture firsthand!

After the dance lesson, Santiago engaged the group in a lesson of “Life by Numbers” by asking each individual their age and the age of their grandmother. He then subtracted the two ages (For example: 85-19=66). He then surmised that the number calculated was the estimated number of years left to live. With this, he asserted each day should never be taken for granted and lives should be lived to the fullest!

Last but not least, the most impactful part of the experience was Santiago’s Character Tower exercise as it made so much sense and related to life in so many ways.   To start, Santiago divided the individuals present into two groups. Each group was then to construct a freestanding tower on the hardwood floor using just wooden blocks. The base of the tower was composed of just four pillars.  Each pillar represented a vital component of one’s life, such as: faith, family, friends and finances. Each level of the tower represented a different time in life and with eight levels, they seemed to parallel the eight decades of expected life.  When finished with building the towers, Santiago asked which side the tower may be leaning towards; from there, he started adding blocks to the corner opposite to balance the structure.  After he did that, he removed the weak side pillar and the tower still stood strong on just three legs.  He connected this back to one’s key pillars in life: faith, family and friends.  He conveyed that with a supportive family and great friends (representative of community and society), it is possible to survive most hardships.  Santiago also modeled persistence by having us each throw a block at the other group’s character tower.  The blocks thrown demonstrated the challenges in life such as break-ups and personal losses.  Even with everyone trying to destroy the tower with their blocks, it took a lot longer than expected.  Santiago explained how character must stay strong and constant through life’s challenges. Throughout life, one will experience many obstacles and grueling challenges; however, one must never give up… One must rather persevere and overcome problems with grace and finesse.

Although time spent with MarCe and Santiago at El Buen Amigo was limited, the impact it had on the lives of GS 300 students will last a lifetime.  The dancing lesson rewarded everyone with very important cultural knowledge; while the exercises led by Santiago were thought-provoking and incredibly meaningful.  In summary, El Buen Amigo provided a fun and active learning environment that was engaging to all!

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