Welcome to the Center for Professional Development (CPD) at Canisius College. For over 40 years, the Center for Professional Development (CPD) has been dedicated to providing lifelong professional education, developing workforce talent and promoting education in our community. The CPD offers a wide array of business seminars, custom training, and consulting, and has delivered its program to scores of firms and thousands of employees. We invite you to explore our website, speak with us over the phone or tour our campus to learn more about the Center for Professional Development and what we have to offer.

Transformation Learning

Regardless of whether you are participating in a structured course or a consulting offering, all of our professional facilitators and instructors are committed to transformational learning. This means that by creating curiosity; changing how a learned thinks about how they do their work; and ensuring that learners can apply their new-found knowledge immediately on the job, are critically important to us.

Needs Assessment – The Survey

Before engaging in working with you, we offer an advance survey function that is intended to specifically identify what you need. These are not abstract questions but customized questions that can target your firm in its entirety, particular practices or departments, staffing levels or those across the organization affected by certain issues.

Train – the – Trainer

It goes without saying that we would love to work with you on an on-going basis but that’s not always practical. You can optimize your training or consulting investment by allowing us to train-your-trainer. Needless to say, we are happy to create the “tools” and resources that your trainer needs so they can get a strong start and, more importantly, ensure learning momentum is not lost.


Canisius College is the premier private university in Western New York, one of 28 Jesuit, Catholic colleges in the nation, and is consistently ranked among the top regional colleges in the Northeast. Founded in 1870 by German Jesuits, Canisius College is named for St. Peter Canisius, a renowned Dutch educator and one of the original members of the Society of Jesus. What began in a single building in downtown Buffalo now consists of 56 buildings located on 72 acres in a residential neighborhood in North-Central Buffalo.

Canisius is an independent, co-education, medium size institution of higher education offering undergraduate and graduate programs leading to Associate, Baccalaureate and Masters Degrees.

Canisius also offers business services in the community with the Women’s Business Center (WBC) and Center for Professional Development (CPD). By partnering with Canisius CPD, you’ll be assured of the most up-to-date training available in the area.

Our 40 years of experience with business, not for profits and various industries attests to our ability to provide customized and specific training for your professionals. Throughout its history, the Canisius CPD has designed and offered unique seminars and workshops for the public and private sector. All of our training programs are custom designed to meet the specific needs of our client.

Canisius CPD prides itself in developing strong relationships and partnerships with our clients. We are focused on helping you continually grow your organization and your people. We will be happy to provide references at companies who will attest to the quality of our training programs upon request.


Jennifer Patrick, MBA

Jennifer Patrick, MBA

Executive Director

Jennifer Patrick is a 2000 MBA graduate of Canisius College. She brings 25 years of management and facilitation experience to her role as Executive Director of Canisius‘ Center for Professional Development. Having worked in private and public sectors in both the US and Canada, she is a seasoned Consultant specializing in transformational management. Jennifer has taught entrepreneurship at Brock University’s School of Business and currently teaches sessionally at the University of Toronto’s Centre for the Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (School of Engineering). She is known for her ability to mobilize the intelligence of her clients into actionable strategies and results.

Colleen Kowtun, MBA

Colleen Kowtun, MBA

Manager of Sales Operations

Colleen has a Master‘s degree in Business Administration from Medaille College as well as a Bachelor’s of Science from Alfred University. Colleen has held progressively responsible positions in marketing, sales and management in sectors such as manufacturing, market research and retail. She brings significant analytical skills to the CPD team and is the lead for data analysis and customer relationship management (CRM). As a key influence of the nature and delivery of CPD learning programs and Consulting Services, Colleen is also responsible for the Center’s operational functions.

Christina Yensan, MAdEd

Christina Yensan, MAdEd

Client Specialist

Christina has a Master‘s degree in Adult Education from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from SUNY Brockport, and also an Associate‘s Degree in Travel and Tourism from Herkimer Community College. Before coming to Canisius, Christina established a track record in student counseling and engagement at other colleges. This was in addition to an earlier and successful career as an executive in the travel industry. Christina’s skill in client relations and developing educational products for the CPD make her a critical partner in shaping Canisius’ Consulting Services.

Learn more about the benefits of our training seminars and programs from past attendees!