Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

SUNY Canton Advances Three Spots in U.S. News Best College Rankings

Monday, September 9th, 2019

SUNY Canton moved up three spots to tie for 23rdposition in “Regional Colleges North” in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. The college was previously listed 26thin 2019.

US News Rankings

SUNY Canton also tied for a 13thplace spot on the 2020 “Top Public Schools” ranking category and was similarly tied for 13thamong “Best Colleges for Veterans.” It also picked up a 14thposition in “Best Value Schools” and was ranked 33rdin “Top Performers on Social Mobility.” All of the rankings were established in comparison to similar colleges within the Regional Colleges North division.

“Our strong U.S. News rankings are a point of pride for the entire college community,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “At the heart of our success are the progressive applied academic programs we offer to prepare students for tomorrow’s careers.”

This year’s rankings were released Monday, Sept. 9, and are based on graduation and retention rates, assessment of academic standing, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates, alumni giving, and other statistics.

Students walk outside Kennedy Hall

Supporting the move, the college has maintained enrollment goals in the face of a state-wide decline in high school graduates. Additionally, graduation rates and placement rates have increased in the past year. With increased popularity in programs, the college has significantly improved its selectivity while maintaining its mission as an accessible, affordable institution. Friends and alumni donated more than $2 million in the last year, which represents a 67% increase from the previous year. 

SUNY Canton also was ranked within the top 100 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Programs for 2019. The college has 18 fully online majors and about 31 percent of its student population is completely online. 

Much of the college’s recent success is outlined in the online version of the 2018-19 SUNY Canton Annual Report prepared for SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson.

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

SUNY Canton Dining Services Team Receives College Council Award

Monday, August 5th, 2019

The SUNY Canton College Council has selected the entire staff of the campus’ newly renovated Chaney Dining Center to receive a prestigious award.

Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill presented the Employee Recognition Award to several   representatives at the annual Recognition Day luncheon in May.

Chairman O'Neill presents the award to Chaney staff
SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill presented the 2019 Employee Recognition Award to representatives of College Association’s Chaney Dining Center staff. Pictured (l to r) are: SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran, Dining Associate Kira L. Locy, Facilities Associate Robert M. Horton, Catering Associate Nichole M. Fullerton, and O’Neill.

More than 60 full-time College Association employees and several part-time student workers were recognized for their ability to provide outstanding customer service during Chaney Dining Center’s renovation last year.

During the fall 2018 semester, while construction was ongoing, the team operated out of a temporary kitchen and dining room in Dana Hall. During winter recess, they orchestrated a seamless transition back to Chaney to minimize service disruption.

In his nomination letter to the council, College Association Board President and Dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology Michael J. Newtown said, “I cannot be more grateful for what the entire staff has accomplished in just a few short months. Everyone—from the executive chef to the student workers—went above and beyond what was required to serve our students.”

Chaney staff
Chaney Dining Center staff pose at the 2019 Recognition Day Ceremony.

Other supporters commended the team’s ability to quickly adapt to a new kitchen facility and serving stations. Culinary staff also learned how to operate new equipment, including two brick pizza ovens. Enhanced menu options, including vegan and vegetarian dishes, required the development and refinement of recipes.

According to College Association Director of Dining Services Susan D. Law, the team’s innovative  spirit was an important component during the transition. 

“They created a smoothie bar and waffle station while operating in the temporary space, which were very popular with students,” she said. “It’s those special touches that are most recognized and appreciated.”

The Employee Recognition Award is given annually to members of SUNY Canton’s classified staff, which includes College Association employees. Award winners receive a plaque and gift from the College Council.

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

Two SUNY Canton Employees Recognized for Meritorious Service

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran has selected two college employees to receive the 2019 President’s Meritorious Service Award.

In addition to their exemplary job performance, Szafran said both were chosen for their efforts to strengthen the college through academic innovation, advocacy and university service.

President Szafran poses with Christina Smith

Instructional Technologist Christina Smith was recognized for her work to assist faculty with creating multidimensional, engaging educational experiences for online students. She was also instrumental in developing an interactive, versatile flex class learning space that accommodates on-campus and distance learners alike.

“Christina has supported the incredible growth of our online course offerings and programs over the past seven years,” Szafran said. “Her accomplishments have helped the college remain SUNY’s online learning leader and have laid the groundwork for our next chapter.”

Assistant Professor Barat Wolfe, Ph.D., was selected for her teaching excellence, university service and research achievements. As a result of her leadership to develop an online pathway for the four-year Applied Psychology degree, students can now choose to complete the program on-campus, online or through a combination of both.

Barat Wolfe poses with President Szafran

In 2016, she was elected by her peers to serve as SUNY Canton’s representative to the SUNY-wide Faculty Senate, and the following year was chosen to serve as the colleges of technology representative to the Senate’s Executive Committee.

Wolfe is also the lead researcher for a grant-funded study of the biopsychosocial health of collegiate esports competitors. She recently presented her initial findings at the SUNY Conference on Instruction and Technology.

“Barat brings an incredible energy to every endeavor she’s involved in,” said Szafran. “She is an outstanding faculty leader who we are pleased to recognize with this award.”

Smith and Wolfe were presented with their awards at the college’s annual Recognition Day event May 17.

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

SUNY Canton Media Relations Manager Receives Chancellor’s Award

Monday, July 1st, 2019

A member of the award-winning SUNY Canton Public Relations team has been selected by SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson to receive the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Gregory E. Kie, senior media relations manager and college photographer, was nominated by his peers for the system-wide honor. It is bestowed in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. He received a medal denoting his success at the college’s Faculty and Community Awards Dinner held May 9.

Greg Kie stands with his camera outside Payson Hall

“Greg has helped improve the college’s image through his outstanding photography and news writing abilities,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “He’s contributed to every major college publication during his 15-year career and helped develop positive working relationships with the local media. His work has helped tell the ‘SUNY Canton story’ and elevated the college’s profile and prestige.”

Kie began as a temporary part-time writer and photographer in 2004, after a brief career as a correspondent reporter for the Massena-Potsdam Courier Observer. The year following, he was granted a full-time position under the direction of Randy B. Sieminski, who is now the college’s athletic director. He received his current title in 2014 while working for the college’s current Director of Public Relations, Travis G. Smith.

“Greg embodies the spirit of SUNY Canton through his unique skill set, work ethic and welcoming demeanor,” Smith said. “Throughout his tenure, he has juggled his media relations and photography responsibilities with great skill, professionalism and collegiality.”

As an adjunct instructor in the college’s Graphic and Multimedia Design program, Kie has helped several students start careers in photography. He was described as a focal point for mentorships and recognized for helping to foster an entrepreneurial spirit for students by Professor Charles R. Fenner, who teaches in the Management program.

Kie also volunteered as a Riot Games’ “League of Legends” coach in the college’s thriving esports program during the past year. He also supports the SUNY Canton Steel Bridge Team by helping students paint their bridge in preparation for their annual competitions.

SUNY Canton’s entire Public Relations Department received the Excellence in College Service Award in 2017. Kie contributed three of the department’s 12 State University of New York Council for University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) awards during his career, picking up two Excellence in Writing citations and a Judge’s Citation for news releases.

“I’m so very proud that my colleagues chose to nominate me for this career-defining achievement,” Kie said. “I’ve been exceptionally lucky to be a part of a continually innovating and evolving college that has allowed me to grow within my position. I look forward to everything that will happen next.”

Kie is a Plattsburgh native who graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Studio Arts in 1998.

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 19 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

SUNY Canton Public Relations Wins Four SUNYCUAD Awards for Excellence

Monday, June 24th, 2019

The State University of New York Council for Advancement (SUNYCUAD) presented the SUNY Canton Public Relations Department with four first-place awards for video production, advertising and community relations at the council’s annual conference June 12-14 in Saratoga.

Greg Kie, Travis Smith, and Lorette Murray showcase the College's SUNYCUAD awards.
Pictured (l to r) are SUNY Canton Senior Media Relations Manager Gregory E. Kie, Director of Public Relations Travis G. Smith and Public Relations Manager Lorette Murray holding the department’s four State University of New York Council for Advancement awards.

The department earned the top spot in the “Excellence in Digital Marketing” and “Communications on a Budget” video categories for their 2019 esports promotional video. They also captured a win in the “Excellence in Advertising Campaigns” and “Excellence in Community Relations Campaigns” categories for the“It’s Your Time” and “50 Acts of Kindness” projects, respectively.

“Earning four first-place SUNYCUAD awards in one year is unprecedented for our department, and it’s a reflection of the depth of talent we have on our team,” said Public Relations Director Travis G. Smith. “We’re competing against some of the most creative professionals in higher education, so it’s quite an achievement to be recognized in this way.”

SUNYCUAD is an organization representing public relations, alumni and development, and marketing specialists at every SUNY campus. The annual awards competition recognizes excellence in more than 40 categories.

The winning esports video, created by Videographer Morgan D. Elliott, documents the college’s efforts to become a leader in the field of collegiate competitive video gaming. It features the college’s new state-of-the-art esports arena, which is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the Northeast. It also includes testimonials from SUNY Canton varsity esports team members and incorporates footage from their matches and tournaments.

“Morgan did an outstanding job of capturing the excitement our entire campus feels about esports,” Smith said. “Viewers come away with an understanding of what the college has accomplished in a short period of time, and they get a sense of the program’s potential to grow exponentially.”

SUNY Canton It's Your Time logo

The first-place “It’s Your Time” campaign is a series of video and digital advertisements that promote SUNY Canton’s wide variety of in-demand online degrees. They were seen across several online mediums in 14 cities throughout the East Coast, as well as Southeastern Canada.

“The slogan and visual elements effectively convey the convenience and flexibility of our distance-learning options, particularly for those who may already be working full-time and want to continue their education simultaneously,” Smith said.

50 Acts of Kindness website screenshot

SUNYCUAD judges also gave a top prize to the “50 Acts of Kindness” community relations campaign, which promoted a volunteer challenge in conjunction with SUNY Canton’s “50 Years on the Hill” celebration.

“Our goal was to increase awareness about the positive impact that our students have on the surrounding community,” Smith said. “The project also represents SUNY Canton’s commitment to citizenship and commitment to strengthening our relationships with our North Country neighbors.”

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 19 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

Plant Engineer Receives SUNY Chancellor’s Award

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

A SUNY Canton employee and alumnus has been selected by SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson to receive the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

Plant Utility Engineer Brett M. Furnia was presented with the honor at the college’s annual Recognition Day event.

Szafran and Furnia
Pictured (l to r) are SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran and Plant Utility Engineer Brett M. Furnia. Furnia is a 2012 graduate of SUNY Canton who won the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

Furnia started his career at SUNY Canton in 2002 as a University Police Officer, obtaining the rank of lieutenant. He then began working for the Physical Plant as a utility assistant while taking courses to earn an associate degree in General Technology. After passing the Civil Service examination, he was promoted to plant utility engineer in 2009 and graduated from SUNY Canton in 2012.

Colleagues credit his willingness to proactively seek out professional development opportunities that benefit the college. Most recently, Furnia completed the rigorous requirements to become a New York State-certified code enforcement official (CEO). In this role, he will assist other campus CEOs with keeping staff, students and visitors safe.

He also gives back by serving as vice president of the SUNY Canton Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) chapter and as a member of the association’s Central New York Safety and Health Committee.

In addition to his exemplary job performance, Furnia has distinguished himself by being a positive role model for student workers and junior staff.

“Brett’s contributions to the campus and his commitment to lifelong learning make him the ideal candidate to receive this award,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “His outstanding work ethic, skill in mentoring students and staff, and efforts to promote a safe, welcoming campus environment have created a positive ripple effect that will be felt far beyond our community.”

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

SUNY Canton Retail Dining Associate Receives Northstar Award

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

The SUNY Canton student body has selected a College Association retail dining associate to receive the 2019 Northstar Award.

Vicki J. Lavoie, who has worked at the college for 20 years, was presented with the honor by student representatives from the College Activities Board and the Student Government Association.

Courtney Bish, Kaitlyn Trusty, Sidei Clouden, Vicki Lavoie, and President Szafran
Pictured (l to r) are SUNY Canton Vice President for Student Affairs Courtney B. Bish, Student Government Association Vice President Kaitlyn Trusty, College Activities Board President Sidei Clouden, College Association Retail Dining Associate Vicki J. Lavoie, and SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran.

The annual Northstar Award is given to one faculty or staff member who has made outstanding contributions to the college. Lavoie has worked as the lead dining associate at one of the most popular eateries on campus, Cyber Café, since 2004. Prior to that, she was a supervisor at Chaney Dining Center. Students praised her dedication to customer service and efforts to create a welcoming environment throughout her entire career.

“Vicki is a beloved member of the campus community because of her warm and caring personality,” said College Activities Board President Sidei Clouden, a Veterinary Services Administration major from Brooklyn. “She has made significant contributions to the overall student experience, and we believe she is one of the many people who make SUNY Canton an outstanding place.”

Lavoie said she enjoys seeing students succeed in and out of the classroom, and it’s the relationships she forms with them that make her job worthwhile.

Vicki Lavoie gives an acceptance speech behind a podium.
College Association Retail Dining Associate Vicki J. Lavoie addresses a group of college students upon winning the Northstar Award. The accolade is bestowed upon a faculty or staff member who has made outstanding contributions to the college.

“It has always been my pleasure to be a part of their journey here,” she said. “I’m very grateful to the students for selecting me to receive this prestigious award.”

Lavoie’s dedication was previously recognized by the SUNY Canton College Council, who presented her with the annual Employee Recognition Award in 2010.

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

Funeral Services Administration Professor Receives Distinguished Faculty Award

Friday, May 24th, 2019

The SUNY Canton College Council has selected a highly respected expert in the funeral services field as the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Faculty Award.

Professor Emeritus Barry W. Walch was recognized at the college’s William J. Mein Honors Convocation Ceremony April 24.

Barry Walch speaks at Honors Convocation 2019

Walch’s career at SUNY Canton has spanned 30 years, during which time he played a key role in developing two academic programs: an associate degree in Mortuary Science, and a bachelor’s degree in Funeral Services Administration. His ongoing work to revise and update the four-year program’s curriculum has resulted in improved student test scores on the National Board Exam. His university service also includes 16 years as chair of the Curriculum Committee.

Many of Walch’s current and former students supported his nomination, saying he was an influential mentor and professor. The Phi Theta Kappa honor society has presented him with six Golden Apple Awards, which honors outstanding faculty members. 

“Barry’s teaching style exemplifies quality education at a collegiate level,” said Walch’s former student Steven L. Johnson, class of 2005 and 2016, a licensed funeral director and an adjunct instructor in SUNY Canton’s Funeral Services Administration program. “His ability to take complicated concepts and make them understandable by providing real-life examples and interesting anecdotes is what makes him unique.”

Walch’s colleagues also praised his skill in developing the right learning environment necessary to promote success.

Barry Walch receives his award from Brayden White and President Szafran

“Barry is a skilled educator who is passionate about teaching. His ability to engage and involve students in obtaining knowledge of subject matter is exemplary,” said SUNY Canton Professor Maureen P. Maiocco, Ed.D., director of the Early Childhood and Early Childhood Care and Management degree programs. “Students and colleagues appreciate his friendly demeanor, humor and collaborative nature.”

Walch’s position as a leader in his field was also a contributing factor to his selection. He is the former director of the New York State Funeral Directors Association and a founding director of the Tribute Foundation, the association’s philanthropic arm. The foundation seeks to stimulate research, improve and support professional education, increase public outreach, and sponsor forums to foster policy dialogue on end-of-life issues.

His commitment to education extends beyond campus, and he frequently leads continuing education seminars for licensed embalmers and funeral directors, as well as for hospice volunteers.  

Upon receiving his award, Walch spoke to the audience about the importance of college’s mission as an applied learning institution.

“We equip students with the skills and competencies to be on the front lines of socially significant fields like law enforcement, disaster mitigation and emergency health care,” he said. “You take care of our pets and farm animals; our young children and our computers. Our graduates serve the community, and I feel great about that.”

Walch holds an Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science from the New England Institute of Anatomy, Sanitary Science and Embalming; a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Colby College; and a Master of Education in Counseling from the University of New Hampshire.

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

SUNY Canton Graduates Nearly 900 Students at 111th Commencement

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

SUNY Canton celebrated the class of 2019 at the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony held Saturday, May 11, at the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center.

SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill, class of 1963, opened the ceremony by asking the graduates to reflect on the memories and lifelong friendships they have made.

Dan Miller opens the 111th Commencement
Dan Miller ’83 opens the 111th Commencement Ceremony.

“I hope that as you move forward in your lives and careers, you will not only remember this day, but remember all those remarkable people who helped you along the way,” he said.

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran noted this year’s class comprises nearly 900 graduates who range in age from 18 to 63 years old and represent 22 U.S. states and 6 foreign countries, including Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

President Szafran, Andrew Fitch, and Courtney Bish
Pictured are (l to r) SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran, Outstanding Graduate Andrew P. Fitch and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish during the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony held May 11.

He then introduced two graduates who earned outstanding graduate awards: Andrew P. Fitch, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Australia, and Tia M. Tassava, a Management major from Chubbuck, Idaho. Ashley J. Livingston, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Lisbon, was also recognized as the winner of the David R. Maynard Student Activities Award.

Student Government Association President Brayden S. White gave the senior class address, noting the college’s commitment to its motto “everyone is welcome here.”

Ashley Livingston stands up to be honored for her David R. Maynard Student Activities Award
SUNY Canton graduate Ashley Livingston of Lisbon was recognized as the college’s David R. Maynard Student Activities Award winner during the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are woven into the fabric of campus life, and because of that our education is holistically complete, which prepares us to go out and make a difference,” he said.

The keynote address was delivered by alumnus and retired Major General Fergal I. Foley, class of 1980. 

Foley, who earned an associate degree in Business Management and was commissioned as a second lieutenant from the ROTC program, said he owed much of his success to the college.

“SUNY Canton was a solid foundation for me, and my degree has been instrumental throughout my career. My experience was certainly a factor in building my confidence to take risks.”

Retired Major General Fergal Foley applauds graduates at the 111th Commencement Ceremony
Retired Major General Fergal I. Foley, class of 1980, applauds graduates at SUNY Canton’s 111th Commencement Ceremony. Foley was the keynote speaker and received an honorary doctorate at the event.

He served in the New York Army National Guard from 1982 until 2006, during which time his assignments included deputy commander and chief of staff for Joint Task Force “Operation World Trade Center” after 9/11. He has returned to campus several times to talk to students about his experiences.

Foley told the audience that graduation should signify a new chapter in their relationship with the college.

“When you cross the stage, it’s not the end—it’s a transition. You are part of this SUNY Canton family for life. I recommend remaining connected with alumni affairs to take advantage of all the great services and keeping in touch with your classmates. And if I can ever be of service to help you, I will. We’re all family now, and that’s what families do—we take care of each other.”

Upon presenting Foley with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, Szafran noted his “outstanding service to the nation, state and SUNY Canton.”

Fergal Foley awards a graduate with a medal.
Retired Major General Fergal I. Foley ’80 presents a graduate with a special medallion.

As the degrees were conferred, Foley and the President of the Alumni Board of Directors Kelly C. Obermayer, class of 1979, welcomed each graduate into the alumni family by presenting them with a special medallion.

The top five bachelor’s degrees awarded, in order of popularity, were Health Care Management, Criminal Investigation, Management, Nursing and Homeland Security.

The top five associate degrees awarded, in order of popularity, were Nursing, Criminal Justice, Veterinary Science Technology, Individual Studies and Liberal Arts.

Additionally, graduates from the college’s one and two-year Nursing programs were recognized at special pinning ceremonies held earlier in the week.

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

SUNY Canton Two-Sport Athlete Receives Outstanding Graduate Award

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

A Management major who played hockey and golf for the SUNY Canton Kangaroos will be receiving one of the college’s top awards.

Tia Tassava

Tia M. Tassava of Chubbuck, Idaho, will receive the Outstanding Graduate Award at the bachelor’s degree level at the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11, in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center. 

Tassava, who has lived and worked in Canton for the last four years, is earning her bachelor’s degree in Management with minors in both Marketing and Graphic and Multimedia Design. She’s been noted as an exceptionally quick learner who adapts to new situations easily. 

“Tia was tasked with a leadership role within her student ambassador position in SUNY Canton’s Admissions office,” said SUNY Canton Senior Admissions Counselor Jacob M. Yaeger. “She communicates well, often gives positive feedback to her peers, and always looks for ways to improve herself.”

She’s consistently held the highest GPA in her academic program and received President’s List honors during her entire four years at the college. She also won a Student Ambassador of the Year award for her hard work and exceptional dedication.

As part of an internship, Tassava ran the Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for the Actions for Change Food and Music Festival. The event was the grand finale of a weeklong series of concerts across the U.S. held with the goal of providing love, hope and healing in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Fla.

Tia Tassava hits a chip shot onto the green.

“Tia was chosen for this exclusive responsibility for her adept management and social skills,” said SUNY Canton Professor Charles R. Fenner, who teaches in the Management program. “Her organizational skills and attention to detail led her to perform above and beyond expectations.”

She originally came to SUNY Canton to play hockey but suffered a major injury in 2017. After recovering, she picked up women’s golf, where she tied for first place in the SUNY Canton Invitational and had four top-ten finishes in her final season. She was also named to the Colonial Hockey Conference All-Academic Team.

Following graduation, Tassava will work as a Client Advocate for Day & Nite All Service, a commercial refrigeration, kitchen equipment, HVAC, and plumbing company headquartered in Long Island.  

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.