Archive for July, 2011

Camp Invention Underway at SUNY Canton

Monday, July 18th, 2011

More than 80 children from across New York State are letting their creative sides run wild at SUNY Canton as part of a week-long day camp focused on innovation and hands-on learning.

Camp Invention, a program of Invent Now, is underway on the College’s campus and will conclude on Friday, July 22. The camp is being held in the North Country for the first time and is for students entering grades one through six.

Camp Invention

Roody the Roo visits with campers during their first day of Camp Invention.

The program includes themed modules where they will work in teams and explore, discover and create solutions to certain problems. Participants will have a chance to present their findings and inventions to family and friends at an Inventors’ Showcase at the end of the week.

Participants hail from at least 12 local school districts including Canton, Clifton-Fine, Gouverneur, Hermon-DeKalb, Heuvelton, Lisbon, Madrid-Waddington, Norwood-Norfolk, Parishville-Hopkinton, Ogdensburg, Massena, and Potsdam. Students have traveled from as far away as Buffalo to take part in the program.

Before registration opened earlier in the spring, organizers were told to expect around 30 students to sign up since the camp is new to the area, but enrollment skyrocketed and nearly tripled the original estimate.

Camp Invention

Noah Bohl, 9, and Tommy Sauer, 8, both of Potsdam, work with Douglass Welsh, 7, of Canton on an improvised spacecraft made from cardboard tubes, bubble wrap, and masking tape at SUNY Canton’s Camp Invention.

“The number of students in the program being held at SUNY Canton far exceeds the expected numbers for a program in its first year,” said Lori Byrne, senior regional program manager at Invent Now.

Camp Invention Director April Barnes, a teacher at Potsdam High School and a cross country coach, is being assisted by four teachers, five camp counselors, and several parent volunteers who are helping with the many young forward-thinkers.

“We have a wonderful team of enthusiastic educators who will help teach the children math and science in an innovative and a hands-on way,” Barnes said. “We are just as excited as the kids are about the week.”

Interested parents and students made sure to keep this week open in their busy summer plans. “We decided to return home from our vacation early so our son could attend,” said Melanie Sauer of Potsdam. “This is such a high quality and amazing program that we did not want to miss it.”

“We knew immediately we would sign our daughter up for the camp,” said Robin Rhodes-Crowell of Canton. “Research shows girls generally score lower in math and science as they get older.  Naomi loves inventing, science, creating, and exploring and we want to keep it that way. Programs such as Camp Invention are a great way for her to keep her excitement while learning and growing all at the same time.”

Five attendees with financial need were awarded scholarships that allowed them to attend the program. Two students received scholarships from Open Windows for Girls, a program of the St. Lawrence County American Association of University Women, while the others were sponsored by community members.

In keeping with the “green” theme of the Camp Invention program, the Potsdam Wal-Mart donated 80 reusable water bottles to help keep Camp Invention participants hydrated during the week.

Ronald J. Tavernier, Jr. and David Barnes, both faculty members at SUNY Canton, and Mary E. Graham, a faculty member from Clarkson University, are the site organizers.

For more information about Camp Invention, visit


SUNY Canton Anticipating Record Enrollment, Record Applications

Friday, July 15th, 2011

The fall semester is quickly approaching and SUNY Canton is expecting a record number of students for the fourth consecutive year.

Total applicants and deposits have both increased since 2010 when the College shattered previous records in nearly every admissions category.

“There are a variety of reasons why our numbers continue to increase each year,” said Vice President for Advancement David M. Gerlach. “We have added six in-demand bachelor’s degree programs in the last 12 months and we also have a new athletic facility and a new residence hall. Those reasons coupled with our affordability make us more attractive to incoming students than we have ever been.”

SUNY Canton ApplicationsTo date, SUNY Canton has received 5,369 applications for the upcoming academic year, an increase of more than 200 from the same time last year. The College is expecting to surpass SUNY Canton’s all-time record of nearly 5,500 applications set last year. The previous record was set in 1977 when 5,331 students applied. Applications have nearly doubled in the past five years when SUNY Canton had just under 2,800 people apply in 2006.

One of the most impressive aspects of the College’s growth is in the number of transfer student applicants, which has jumped by 25 percent since last year and more than 100 percent in the last five years.

“We offer the opportunity for more than just first-time college students to get a great education,” said Assistant Vice President for Advancement Randy B. Sieminski. “Our wide variety of course offerings both on-campus and online opens up doors for a lot of transfer, part-time and non-traditional students who may not have considered pursuing or continuing with their degree. Both our flexibility and our growth in academic programs are attractive for students of all ages.”

Bachelor’s degrees added in the last year include sports management, civil and environmental technology, electrical technology, mechanical technology, health and fitness promotion, and veterinary technology.

Students visiting campus throughout the last year were impressed by SUNY Canton’s brand-new Roos House athletic facility, which will be open upon their arrival to campus. More than 300 students will have the chance to enjoy living on campus in the College’s newest apartment-style residence hall, which will open just in time for the Fall 2011 semester.

SUNY Canton Welcomes New Director of Admissions

The College recently welcomed Nicole Campbell to SUNY Canton as the new Director of Admissions. Campbell has more than 13 years of admissions and marketing experience and earlier in her career served as the Director of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. She then served as the Director of Admissions and Marketing before becoming the Director of Communications and Marketing at The Barnesville School in Barnesville, Md.

“Nicole brings with her a wealth of knowledge and an abundant amount of excitement as she takes on this new position,” Sieminski said. “She has jumped right in with our phenomenal admissions staff and begun setting goals for what we believe will be another exceptional year for us.”

Campbell is a graduate of American University with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a master’s degree in public administration. She replaces Interim Director of Admissions David Norenberg, who is returning to his role as Director of Career Services.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

International Programs Hosts Russian and Chinese Students

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
International Students

Olga Shaldymova of Kazan State Finance and Economics Institute in Russia and Zhong Dongjing of Guangdong Women’s Polytechnic College in China participate in a team building exercise in the SUNY Canton Roos House Athletic Center as part of the College’s International Summer Program.

Twenty-five international students have traveled to the North Country this summer to immerse themselves in American culture and take part in SUNY Canton’s international summer program.

The students arrived on Sunday, July 11 and will be on campus for almost a month. They are visiting from Kazan State Finance and Economics Institute and Lomonsov Moscow State University, both in Russia, as well as Guangdong Women’s Polytechnic College in China.

“Each summer, our international summer program allows students to experience both our culture and our higher education system,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “The campus and local communities greatly benefit from the interactions with the students while we provide them with an educational opportunity most international students never have.”

Students will study English as a Second Language and Global Finance, Economics and Culture. The students will earn participation certificates for completing their respective courses at the program’s graduation ceremony on Thursday, July 28.

Director of International Programs Marela Fiacco noted it is the first time students from Guangdong Women’s Polytechnic College will step foot on campus and take courses.

“Guangdong’s participation in our summer program will further SUNY Canton’s relationship with the institution, which we have been developing since 2009,” Fiacco said. “We have hosted two short-term scholars here who have observed classes and we hope as the partnership grows we are able to host another who will teach Chinese at the College.”

International Students

Fiacco said the next steps in collaborating with Guangdong include accepting students into SUNY Canton’s programs and having Assistant Professor of Business and Public Administration William T. Jones lead students in a visit to China where they will study at the institution in Summer 2012. Jones will propose to teach a course in international business communication while visiting overseas, according to Fiacco.

The students’ visit to the United States will be highlighted by visits to Niagara Falls, Lake Placid, the Thousand Islands and the Adirondacks. Students will also have the chance to experience many local businesses and events including visits to the Canton Farmer’s Market, North Country Public Radio, the Frederick Remington Art Museum, and the annual Potsdam Festival.

In addition to off-campus excursions, students will enjoy the College’s new Roos House athletic facility, movies, campus barbecues and bonfires among other activities. Students will also take part in two American Family Nights, where families around the North Country welcome the visiting students to their homes for dinner, take them out for ice cream, and introduce them to American customs and traditions.

Following the end of the program, the students will spend their final four days in the United States in New York City.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.


SUNY Canton’s Upward Bound Program Impacts Local Students

Monday, July 11th, 2011
Amber Arquette paints outside during Upward Bound's summer program.

Amber T. Arquette from Massena Central High School takes part in an art course during Upward Bound’s summer program.

Nearly 80 area high school students will spend five weeks of their summer vacation in SUNY Canton’s Upward Bound program. For two returning participants, the program has changed their lives.

Upward Bound, a federally-funded TRiO program, is designed to help first generation, low-income or at-risk high school students obtain the skills needed to earn a college degree. The five-week experience allows participants a chance to experience and acclimate to college life by taking classes, engaging in various educational extracurricular activities and living on-campus in the residence halls.

Kaleb D. Morrow-Simmons, Huevelton, and April A. VanOrman, Gouverneur, are spending their third and fourth summers, respectively, with Upward Bound at SUNY Canton. Both credit the program with providing them the guidance, direction and faith needed to become successful students and people.

“Upward Bound helped me realize my potential and aspire to become something great,” VanOrman said. “It has been a gateway for my future. It has been my savior.”

A music lover, VanOrman dreams of one day being an editor of a newspaper, magazine or publishing company. She is a music enthusiast and is a section leader in Gouverneur’s marching band, participates in jazz band and helps elementary school band members.

When Morrow-Simmons first attended Upward Bound, he admittedly was disinterested in school and learning. Upward Bound helped him mature and understand it was up to him to make the most of his education. When he isn’t studying, he volunteers at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, is a member of the Seaway Valley Screaming Eagles rocket team that competed at nationals this year, and tutors fifth graders during study halls.

“I always knew I wanted to go to college and that it would take a lot of hard work, but I didn’t know how to get myself there until I came to Upward Bound,” he said.

Students paint during Upward Bound's summer program.

The rising junior can’t decide between pursuing a career in the medical field or embracing his entrepreneurial side. Students in this year’s program will get a chance to hear about his business ideas in a seminar he is teaching with Upward Bound Instructional Director Hillary E. Wolfe.

“Each summer, I have the privilege of working with 80 students like Kaleb and April and witness a transformation within each of them,” Wolfe said. “It’s amazing how much they learn about themselves and their own abilities. By the end of the program, they understand that a successful future is both possible and inevitable because they are capable of achieving their dreams.”

High school students from Massena, Salmon River, Ogdensburg Free Academy, Gouverneur, Huevelton, Clifton-Fine, Parishville-Hopkinton, Canton, and Norwood-Norfolk take part in the program. Wolfe noted the program’s popularity has skyrocketed recently with a growing number of students placed on the waiting list each year.

VanOrman, Morrow-Simmons, and the other students will attend math, science, language, history and art-related classes each day. Special topic seminars such as ‘Life Skills Financial Tricks,’ environmental sustainability, people who have changed the world, learning to argue with style, social media, Business 101 for Entrepreneurs, social and professional networking and dining etiquette and elective classes will also be offered. All courses are taught by a number of SUNY Canton faculty and staff members as well as a few local educators.

Participants also enjoy a variety hour which includes watching foreign films, completing art projects, playing sports, visiting the public library, and volunteering. Other highlights include a social dance that was held on Thursday, July 7, the Wacky Olympics on Friday, July 15, an open house and family barbecue on Wednesday, July 27 and an awards dinner on Tuesday, August 2.

The program will conclude Friday, August 5 following a three-day trip to Boston for a whale watch excursion.