Alumni Profile: Brie Kishel '05

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Buffalo, NY 14214
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February 19, 2013

By Josie Martin '13

Some students come to Medaille with a passion for animals, for words, for justice or sports. Brie Kishel came with a passion for helping people. Since earning her degree in Child and Youth Services in 2005, Kishel has continued her vocation at human services agency, People Inc. working with children with disabilities. Her contribution to their purpose is a very unique one.

Kishel took over the educational puppet troupe known as "Kids on the Block” in 2006 and is also an active participant. The program is geared toward grades K-3 and utilizes puppet characters to teach lessons about "celebrating differences.” Kishel said of the nontraditional approach, "The method is so successful because it’s not intimidating.”

The success of this technique combined with the recent stir about bullying inspired Kishel to take it one step further.

The New York State legislation, "Dignity for all Students Act" required that all schools have a bullying awareness program. Kishel spoke fervently of "difference as a universal condition” and of her group’s new initiative "kNOw Bullying.” The goal is to teach kids to "stand by their peers rather than just be bystanders,” said Kishel.

The program will premier in January 2013 with sponsorship from the Museum of disABILITY History and will be aimed at educating 4th graders about what constitutes bullying and what they can do to protect themselves from becoming targets or witnessing bullying of someone else. It will place emphasis on disabilities.

You will find Medaille alum Brie Kishel on the front lines of the effort to eradicate bullying and to make a better world for the children of Western New York.

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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