Welcome to UB Campus Ministry!
Campus Ministers Leah Merlo & 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
Josh, the previous campus minister at the Newman Center, is now the pastoral associate. In his new role, he’ll still be involved with ministering to you, our students. Josh’s passion is for helping students – especially those marginalized by or excluded by the Church – explore their beliefs and mature through the struggles that come with young adult life.
Josh is a doctoral student in philosophy at UB.. He’s excited for UB basketball to make another tournament run; thinks Dylan Cozens and Peyton Krebs will be excellent NHL’ers and will always go to a Sabres game; doesn’t like Buffalo-style pizza but enjoys Ted’s and Anderson’s; and can be persuaded that Josh Allen might be a top-10 quarterback … maybe.
Campus Minister and Program Coordinator
Leah Merlo is the new Campus Minister and Program Coordinator at the Newman Center. She is newly married to Josh Merlo whom many of you know and she is thrilled to be a part of the Newman family. As a campus minister, Leah is dedicated to helping students grow closer to God through taking advantage of all the little moments each day brings and working towards making the world a little brighter through all we do. She is a Florida native and an ocean girl through and through, so she is grateful for all the beautiful water escapes Buffalo has to offer!
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.
Social Media Intern
Victoria (Vicki) Loniewski is a student intern at the Newman Center while studying communications at the University at Buffalo. She is excited to run the Newman Center’s social media pages to reach fellow students who may be interested in joining us for our student parish shenanigans. Before entering the life of a UB college student, Vicki has a history of volunteering in various Catholic parishes in WNY, including altar serving, lectoring, helping lead youth ministry, and teaching faith formation. Vicki wants to make sure all feel unconditionally welcome in our community, no matter how far along you are on your faith journey (even if you don’t have one!)
When Vicki is not busy with Newman activities or schoolwork, she enjoys watching movies and shows, playing Rock Band with friends, and exploring various clubs on the UB campus. She wants everyone to know that she loves meeting new people and does not want anyone to be too afraid to say hi!