IMC Panel: The Power of Influence

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in ComLead

The buzz over Monday’s IMC Panel: The Power of Influence, is still going strong not only in the Communication Studies department, but far beyond the walls of Canisius College.

Faculty and students alike were impressed by the panelists and the discussion, leaving Monday’s event with a sense of pride to belong to such a dynamic and supportive program.

“I loved the fact that all the panelists on Monday were able to tell us how the program helped them with their career path. It really shows the advantage you have by being part of such a solid program with a very successful and accessible alumni base.” –  Kenneth Liszewski, current ComLead student


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The panelists are all alumni of the M.S. Communication & Leadership program with concentrations in Integrated Marketing Communication. In front of a diverse audience made up of undergraduates, graduates, faculty and friends of the College, the panelists responded to specific questions about the marketing field and their careers as professional marketers.

Some of the topics included:

  • brand development   
  • social media
  • mobile marketing
  • consumer behavior

Here’s a look at our alumni panelists:


Hussam AlMukhtar ’13 – Director of Communications and Technology, Chebat Financial Group

Aside from Hussam’s full-time position at Chebat Financial Group, he is also a freelancer for a few small, local businesses. Hussam is a marketer with a focus in mobile and experiential marketing. He has recently become a Google Advertising Partner and a Certified Social Media Specialist by HootSuite University. Hussam’s Master’s research at Canisius explored and experimented with Branded Mobile Apps and Brand Attitude.

Erin Harvey ’13 – Senior Marketing Associate, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo

Prior to working at Women & Children’s Hospital, Erin spent three years as the Marketing Director at Rupp, Baase, Pfalzgraf, Cunningham & Coppola LLC. She is very involved in the community, having served a three year term as Community Relations Officer of the Board of Directors of Danceability, Inc., holding membership in the YNPN Greater Buffalo (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network) and actively volunteering at the SPCA of Erie County.  Erin was named one of Buffalo Business First’s 30 Under 30 on the rise leaders in WNY in 2012.

Karen Lemischak ’11– Senior Marketing Associate, Fisher-Price

Karen Lemischak ’11– Senior Marketing Associate, Fisher-Price

Karen began her days at Fisher-Price as a Marketing Intern while also working as Dr. Hartman’s Graduate Assistant in the ComLead program. She has now been with Fisher-Price for two years, and currently works on the Global Brand Team to help create baby toys. Her position involves daily communication to drive product development for one of the largest businesses in the Fisher-Price portfolio.

Julia Maher ’08 – Senior Marketing Manager, Global Brands, Fisher-Price

Julia Maher ’08 – Senior Marketing Manager, Global Brands, Fisher-Price

Julia has been working in marketing at Fisher-Price for five years. She spent time in Hong-Kong learning marketing strategies for a world-wide market, and is an expert in communication strategies and brand development. Julia studied communication both in her undergraduate education at SUNY Geneseo and at Canisius College in the ComLead program.

Monica Radel ’14 – Customer Care Agent, Yahoo!

Monica Radel ’14 – Customer Care Agent, Yahoo!

Monica graduated from the ComLead program last spring with a concentration in IMC. In her current position, Monica provides users with technical knowledge while promoting the Yahoo brand. Prior to this position, she worked as a manager at Tim Hortons both in Buffalo and Syracuse while the chain went through its recent rebranding.

Now, I know you’re already impressed with our young alumni’s professional titles at some of the most respected companies in Western New York and around the world, but just to make it hit home for you, here’s what Dr. John Dahlberg says, the man who taught them a lot of what they know:

“I knew the panel was a group of very smart people; I’ve had all of them in classes. But the level of information and insights they provided was really impressive and went beyond what I expected. I learned a lot, and I’m sure so did the audience. I’m very glad I went.”

The ComLead program is a tight knit group of individuals who look out for each other long after they’ve already graduated. It is inspiring to see how all of our panelists were so eager to come back and talk to current students about marketing and their personal career successes. As a newcomer to the program myself, I felt honored to lead the discussion and listen to the thoughtful responses and feedback each panelist gave to the audience.

Nina Pierino, a current student who’s new to the ComLead program as well, felt similarly saying,

“It was eye opening to see the multitude of fields and job positions the ComLead program can apply to. I felt very confident in my decision to join this program after all of the wonderful experiences these graduates shared, as well as seeing the numerous successes they have encountered in their professional lives.”

I hope you enjoyed reading a little about the IMC Panel event, but it’s never the same as actually experiencing it. We hold several events throughout the year, so don’t miss out on the next one.  Check out our upcoming ComLead Events here!


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