Welcome to UB Campus Ministry!
Campus Ministers Sarah Farnett & Josh Merlo
Our vision is to prepare UB students to transform their families, professions, churches, and communities through their faith in Jesus and their love for God and all other persons.
Our mission is to listen, teach, support, and challenge as students become persons of transformative faith and love.
We value welcome, presence, exploration, growth, and love.
CAMPUS MINISTRY TEAM
Msgr. J. Patrick Keleher
Fr. Pat Keleher, Director and Campus Minister
We are honored to be among the first to welcome you to University at Buffalo! We hope that this page about opportunities to participate in your faith life during college will either inspire you to come to UB, or excite you about the years that await you in Buffalo. You will be among the first generation of UB students who will have a permanent sacred place for celebration of the Word, Sacraments, prayer, community building and so much more. College is full of new experiences — some exciting, some difficult — and both faith in God and a supportive faith community can help ease the transition.
We here at the Newman Center feel privileged for the opportunity to walk alongside you during your time at UB and share with you in prayer, fellowship and other activities. The Newman Center, Catholic Campus Ministry at UB, often acts as a “home away from home” for students. We offer a warm, welcoming environment for prayer and faith, as well as a dynamic community that relishes in sharing time and energy with one another.
Assistant Director and Campus Minister
Sarah has worked at the Newman Center for the last four years and is currently serving as the Assistant Director and as a Campus Minister. She has recently earned her Masters in Science for Clinical Counseling at Canisius College and is excited to incorporate her counseling skills into her work at Newman.
As the Assistant Director and a Campus Minister, Sarah’s main goal is to unify the Newman community with the UB campus. She is passionate about advocating for mental health and believes that community is the cornerstone for a fulfilling spiritual life. She feels extremely blessed to be a part of such a vibrant and engaging parish and has grown close to many of the community members.
In her spare time, she likes to read and go on long walks with her wonderful fiancé Ryan. She is also an (embarrassingly) avid fan of “The Bachelor” franchise and loves “The West Wing”. If you have a dog, she requests that you show her a picture of them!
Campus Minister and Research Analyst
Josh is a doctoral student in philosophy at UB who also adjuncts at several Buffalo colleges. He’s been at Newman for five years now and has worked in campus ministry for almost four.
As a campus minister, Josh is particularly concerned with students’ maturation from young adults raised in a faith tradition to adults committing themselves to living out their chosen faith tradition consistently and devotedly. Josh is likewise and equally concerned with empathetically listening to and supporting religiously-unaffiliated young adults and young adults questioning their faith traditions.
Josh, for fun, reads articles and books about sports analytics (especially hockey analytics). He also watches some hockey and basketball, wins his fantasy hockey leagues, fights aliens on his Xbox, and does not like getting caught in the rain. He does have half a brain.
Edneraldine (Edna) Simon
Campus Ministry Intern
Edneraldine Simon (‘Edna’ for short) is a graduate student at the University at Buffalo. She is enrolled in the advanced graduate certificate program in public health; this is her last semester in the program. Her goal is to obtain a master’s degree in public health so that she can help serve underprivileged communities by addressing their collective healthcare needs.
Edna works at the UB Newman Center as a campus ministry intern. She helps organize events and activities for students and community members – including weekly prayer groups, Takeout Tuesdays, the UBRooted women’s group, masses, and seasonal liturgical celebrations – and assists the pandemic response team by cleaning and disinfecting and monitoring adherence to CDC, state department of health, and Erie county department of health guidelines.
Edna is also an AHEC scholar intern for the Erie-Niagara NYS AHEC scholars program. As a AHEC scholar, Edna works with interdisciplinary majors to reduce the healthcare burden in low-income communities.
Finally, Edna is currently employed as a contact tracer for western New York.
Campus Ministry Intern
Olivia Zanelli is a sophomore at the University of Buffalo studying biomedical engineering. She is also a member of the UB Honors College. She is a co-founder of the UBRooted women’s group here at the Newman Center. Outside of UB, Olivia is an Edge youth minister at St. John Vianney Parish and volunteers with 716 Ministries.
Olivia is a hopeful Buffalo Bills fan, a lake effect snow enthusiast, and a dedicated music hummer. She spends her evenings playing piano and guitar, tries to snuggle any animal that comes her way, and would ideally like to eat pasta at least once a day. She also loves to spend time outdoors exploring the earth with family & friends!