Posts Tagged ‘Cybersecurity’

SUNY Canton Announces Varsity eSports Program

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

SUNY Canton eSports LogoSUNY Canton announced today the college will begin competing nationally in eSports this spring. The college will become the first New York State eSports team to join the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), the most prominent nationally recognized organization dedicated to competitive collegiate video gaming.

“Similar to traditional athletics, eSports will provide our students with new and enhanced opportunities for competitive excellence, academic achievement, and commitment to community and service,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “Membership on a varsity collegiate sports team is an extremely rewarding experience, so being able to expand those opportunities, including to online students, combined with the type of high achievers we will attract, makes this a fantastic addition to our college.”

Plans for the eSports team include specialized computer stations for practice and competition located in a newly designed gaming area in Nevaldine Hall. Additionally, the college plans to develop an eSports wing in a residence hall with a gaming computer area adjacent to student’s rooms. The eSports wing would be similar to the college’s current Pet Friendly wing where academic interests and lifestyles intersect with themed residential living.

A student sits behind dual computer screens.

SUNY Canton Game Design and Development major and eSports athlete Emily A. Oeser of Canajoharie in the college’s Digital Studio and Game Lab.

“The timing of our eSports program corresponds perfectly with our newly announced majors in Game Design and Development, Technological Communication, Cybersecurity and Graphic and Multimedia Design,” said Michael J. Newtown, Dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology. “Being able to offer opportunities in eSports will undoubtedly assist in recruiting efforts to attract top students to a wide variety of majors. We are also looking forward to extending these opportunities to online students, so they can become more involved in eSports and athletics.”

As a spectator event, eSports is experiencing unparalleled growth in popularity.  According to Newzoo, a market research firm specializing in digital gaming, 22 percent of American male millennials watch eSports, which is essentially on par with viewership numbers for baseball and hockey. Women are also increasingly becoming interested in gaming: statistics indicate 38 percent of eSports fans are female.

President Szafran envisions three types of competitive teams at SUNY Canton: traditional varsity athletics, eSports and A-Sports. A-Sports stands for Academic Sports and would include teams like the school’s Steel Bridge Team, which competes in bridge building competitions regionally and nationally each year.

“Students on teams generally experience more academic success, are more likely to graduate and have more satisfying college experiences,” said Szafran, who points out current student-athlete grade point averages tend to be higher than non-student-athletes. “We continue to look for more and more opportunities like this to promote the education and development of our students, build school pride, and develop leadership, sportsmanship and character-building.”

eSports teams are already forming on campus to compete in games such as “League of Legends,” “HearthStone” and “Overwatch.” Those three games are organized and supported by NACE. SUNY Canton is also among a sizable group of colleges and universities working with the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) to form leagues and competitions in competitive games such as EA Sports titles “FIFA” and “Madden NFL.” ECAC competition may also begin as soon as this spring.

“Prior to any official announcement, we already had more than 40 students on campus express interest in joining the eSports program,” said eSports Head Coach Robert J. Snow, who is an Instructional Support Assistant in the Canino School of Engineering Technology. “I’ve also met numerous prospective students at admissions open houses who are ready to commit to SUNY Canton because of our new eSports program.”

First-year student Emily A. Oeser from Canajoharie has decided to pursue a degree in Game Design and Development while joining the eSports team. She has helped organize current students and looks forward to competing at the varsity level.

“After originally considering a musical career, I’ve decided instead to enroll in the Game Design and Development major,” said Oeser. “Being able to represent SUNY Canton and compete against other schools will be a fantastic experience. I can’t wait.”

Current and prospective students who are interested in learning more about joining SUNY Canton’s eSports program should contact eSports Head Coach Rob Snow (, 315-742-7806.)

eSports Logo


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 13 exclusively online degrees. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level and are joining the North Atlantic Conference beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.

SUNY Canton Adds Cybersecurity to its List of Tech-Focused Four-Year Programs

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

SUNY Canton continues its career-driven academic expansion by creating a new Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity.

“Our newest program leverages our strength in Information Technology,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “The field of Cybersecurity continues to grow as we continually adopt an omnipresent digital lifestyle and become more aware of digital security concerns. SUNY Canton will now be the college to train new students for placement in these much-needed areas.”

A student works at a desktop computer.

The increased demand for professionals who are able to prevent or overcome cyber-attacks follows the rise of cyber threats in both private organizations and to national security. Such threats are a major concern for financial institutions, medical services providers, and government agencies.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook through 2026 is about 28 percent, or much faster than average for all occupations. The median pay for an information security analyst, a position obtainable with a bachelor’s degree, is $92,600.

“We saw a need for qualified professionals who can help combat cybercrime, and we made a program to fill that need,” said SUNY Canton Provost Douglas M. Scheidt. “In addition to providing another career path for incoming students, Cybersecurity will enhance the college’s reputation and educational capabilities in computing technologies.”

A student types code into a desktop computer.

SUNY Canton’s program prepares students to assess security needs within computer and network systems, recommend safeguard solutions and manage the implementation and maintenance of security devices. The program will be taught by qualified faculty from the Canino School of Engineering Technology, including Associate Professor Yu Chin “Eric” Cheng and Lecturer Minhua Wang. Wang is the college’s authority on cybercrime and teaches a course on ethical hacking.

“To create an effective defense, we need to understand how people could exploit security weaknesses,” Wang said. “Hackers try to find all of the holes in a security system. We try to block those holes.”

The program runs parallel to the college’s Information Technology curriculum, and works well with SUNY Canton’s established Criminal Justice, Health Care Management, Homeland Security and Legal Studies offerings, among others.

Cybersecurity is the college’s 26th bachelor’s degree and one of nine available bachelor of science programs. Both the State University of New York and the New York State Education Department have approved the four-year offering. The program will be available for both freshmen and transfer students for the Fall 2018 semester.

The college’s other newest four-year programs include Technological Communications, Game Design and Development and Agribusiness Management. To apply for admission into any of these programs, contact the SUNY Canton Office of Admissions by phone at 315-386-7123 or email