SUNY Canton Adds Two co-Chief Diversity Officers

Lashawanda-Ingram2 William-JonesJoining the State University of New York system-wide initiative, SUNY Canton has appointed one faculty and one staff member to help lead efforts to foster diversity on its campus.

“Our unique and diverse student population is by far one of our greatest assets,” SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran said. “I strongly believe that our two newest executive-level positions will expand on our strengths and reinforce our campus mantra ‘Everyone is Welcome Here’.”

Lashawanda Ingram, the college’s director of diversity and new student orientation, and Professor William T. Jones, who teaches in the Business Administration and Legal Studies programs, have both been selected to serve as the college’s co-chief diversity officers.

“Lashawanda has a well-established connection with our students,” Szafran said. “She has played a lead role in providing resources on issues related to cultural diversity and mentoring students on advocacy, sensitivity and leadership.”

Ingram has been with the college for approximately 10 years working directly with the Residence Life and Student Activities offices to schedule diverse programs, events and guest presentations.

Jones has established himself as one of the college’s top advocates for Native American students. He helped orchestrate the first-ever statewide round table discussion with members of the Six Nations tribes last year and is the faculty advisor for the newly formed Native American Student Association.

“He has played a key role in establishing and developing the College’s relationship with the Mohawk Nation, and in supporting Native American students,” Szafran said.

In their role as co-chief diversity officers, both Ingram and Jones will report directly to Szafran while maintaining their positions on campus. They will meet regularly with the president’s steering committee on diversity, which includes many of the college’s top administrators, and will be involved with the Student Government Association.

In addition to adding the two new positions, the college continues to expand its support for students from diverse backgrounds.  Among these initiatives, a new diversity center for students is slated to open later during the fall 2016 semester. The Admissions Office has also made it easier for non-native English speaking families to file relevant information by providing Spanish translations of pertinent admissions forms.


About SUNY Canton 

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as ten exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete as members of the NCAA Division III.

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