Posts Tagged ‘Diane Para’

SUNY Canton Sports Management Program Awarded Accreditation by COSMA

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

SUNY Canton’s Sports Management bachelor’s degree has recently received a prestigious accreditation by the leading organization that recognizes sports management educational excellence.

COSMA Accredited Institution

The Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) Board of Commissioners granted the status after a multi-step process that included the completion of a candidacy application, a self-study and a site visit by the accreditation team. 

“Our top priority has always been to provide students with a quality education using a hands-on approach to enhance learning and skill development, and recognition and accreditation through COSMA affirms our high standards,” said Sports Management Program Director Diane J. Para, Ph.D.  “Our faculty are committed teaching practitioners with years of professional experience in the field which enhances the quality of education. Earning COSMA’s accreditation was a long and fruitful process that will help ensure our continued commitment to this goal.”

SUNY Canton joins an elite group of 53 colleges in the nation that are approved by COSMA, and it is the only SUNY school currently accredited by the organization. 

Para said students learn skills that will prepare them for a variety of career options. Course topics include sports event coordination, operations and facilities management, marketing, public relations, legal issues, and sales and finance.

Patrick Murray and Kyle Dora ´stand outside the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida during the 2018 NHL All-Star game.
Patrick Murray ´17 and Kyle Dora ´17 stand outside the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida during the 2018 NHL All-Star game.

Since the college launched the degree in 2010, graduates have gone on to work at prominent professional and collegiate athletic organizations such as the Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, Ontario Reign, Syracuse Crunch, St. Lawrence University, and Penn State University. Other alumni have elected to pursue advanced degrees at prestigious institutions such as Georgetown University, St. John’s University, Boston College, Arizona State University, Clarkson University and the University of Tennessee. 

Sports Management graduate and Assistant Director of Sports Information at George Fox University Jenea Shoemaker, class of 2017, credits the faculty with providing a solid foundation to begin her career.

“I could not have asked for a better learning environment with more dedicated professors who combine passion with years of industry involvement,” she said. “They prepare students with a curriculum full of real-world experiences and help each individual achieve their goals.”

During their final semester, seniors can elect to complete an internship to gain additional hands-on experience and build a strong professional network. Many students have completed their final requirements at prominent organizations such as the Baltimore Orioles, Charlotte Speedway, USA Luge, Special Olympics, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Manchester Monarchs, and Syracuse University Athletics.

View more information about COSMA and its member institutions.

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 Chancellor’s Award Winners Honored at SUNY Canton Commencement

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

SUNY Canton will be honoring four faculty and staff members alongside nearly 900 graduates at its 108th Commencement Ceremony.

Commencement will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 7, at SUNY Canton’s Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center.

Among those receiving special recognition this year are:

  • Michelle CurrierMichelle L. Currier, director of library services, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service for helping to transform Southworth Library Learning Commons into one of the best libraries in the SUNY System. Among other improvements, Currier has increased the library’s technology offerings by adding iPads, expanding the electronic textbook collection and increasing the number of circulating laptops. She has engaged students through the use of platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud. Currier has also met student requests for expanded library hours on weekends and 24-hour availability during midterms and finals. As a result of improved customer service, the library won the prestigious Joseph F. Shubert Excellence Award from the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, in addition to becoming the highest-ranked library as determined by students in the SUNY-wide student opinion survey.
  • William JonesAssociate Professor William T. Jones, J.D., received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. Jones teaches in the Business Administration and Legal Studies programs and is also the chair of the Business Department. He has become one of the college’s top advocates for Native American students. He helped orchestrate the first-ever round table discussion with members of the Six Nations tribes to help envision and guide the creation of a Haudenosaunee University. He is the faculty advisor for the new Native American Student Association and the men’s soccer team. Jones’ educational and professional careers have been built on public service. Prior to joining SUNY Canton, he held faculty positions at SUNY Oswego, was a law enforcement officer with the Sackets Harbor Police Department, was a New York State certified police instructor and a corrections officer.
  • Umesh KumarAssistant Professor Umesh Kumar received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities for his role as a collaborative scholar. Kumar teaches in the Finance program and recently advocated for and assisted with the design of the college’s Business Learning Center, which employs new technology to help students analyze stock market data in real time. He’s held in high regard for helping students develop a comprehensive understanding of the financial industry. He also led the creation of the Investment Club, which has allowed more than 600 students to gain real-world investing experience. He has won four awards from the Academy of Business Research with collaborator Brian K. Harte, Ph.D. Together, they have presented research related to retirement investing and the financial implications of corporate crime. His work has also been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, including Climate and Development, the Journal of Future Markets, and the Global Finance Journal.
  • Di ParaProfessor Diane J. Para, Ph.D., received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In addition to her faculty position, Para is the director of the Sports Management and Health and Fitness Promotion programs. She was nominated by her peers for this award for enriching athletic and academic experience for students during her 27-year career at the college. Prior to her academic career, Para served as the college’s athletic director and helped lead the transition from a two to a four-year athletic program. She was a member of the design team for the college’s Roos House Convocation, Athletic, and Recreation Center and was instrumental in advocating for facility improvements such as a new turf field, baseball field and softball field. She earned the SUNY Canton President’s Meritorious Service Award in 2007.

For more information about SUNY Canton’s Commencement, visit

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.

Sports Management Students Learn Professional Lessons at Syracuse University

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Senior Sports Management students recently received a first-hand look at the behind-the-scenes operations of Syracuse University’s Manley Field House and the Carrier Dome. Students taking Applied Sports Event Management and Applied Sports Media and Broadcasting courses also learned event management operations during a Division I Men’s Basketball game.

Sports Management students at SU

Among the highlights of the tour were visiting the ESPN production truck which was on site to live broadcast the men’s basketball between Syracuse and Boston College. ESPN producer Anthony Holeman walked the students through the truck and explained every detail that went into broadcasting a game.

The students also met with several of Syracuse University’s facility managers and given an-in-depth tour of the Carrier Dome. Starting at halftime, the students became part of the SU operations crew as they assisted in all stages of the transition to convert the Carrier Dome back to its turf flooring to ready for lacrosse games the following day. The SUNY Canton students made a memorable impression with their hard work after the game being referred to as “rock stars” by one of the SU athletic assistants.

“This was a tremendous opportunity for the students to not only see the behind the scenes operations of a major Division I program and be an active part of it,” said Diane J. Para, sports management program director. “The Carrier Dome staff members were tremendous. We can’t thank them enough for giving up their time during a very busy work night. The students were very impressed and came away with a new respect for doing that job. Learning from professionals what they have heard in the classroom is a valuable component to the learning process and we are very thankful for the opportunity afforded to the students by Carrier Dome Managing Director Peter Sala, and his staff.”

ESPN production truck

Matt Metcalf, who teaches the Sports Media and Broadcasting class in the Sports Management program echoed similar praise to the ESPN crew.  “Having the students walk into an ESPN production truck an hour before going live was an incredible opportunity and the ESPN producer could not have been more gracious and accommodating,” said Metcalf.

Former Syracuse volleyball player and assistant coach Carol LaMarche, who now serves as the SUNY Canton head women’s volleyball coach, arranged the tours.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier College for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The College delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management, and public service to students in the North Country, New York State, and beyond. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The College’s 14 athletic teams compete in state-of-the-art facilities as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.

SUNY Canton Adds Health and Fitness Promotion Bachelor’s Degree

Monday, February 21st, 2011

SUNY Canton Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) majors Katie Campbell of Avon, Ct., and Gary Travers of North Bangor monitor Chelsey MacDonald of Massena’s performance on the treadmill.

SUNY Canton Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) majors Katie Campbell of Avon, Ct., and Gary Travers of North Bangor monitor Chelsey MacDonald of Massena’s performance on the treadmill. The PTA program will serve as the first two years in the College’s new health and fitness promotion four-year degree.

SUNY Canton’s newest program will lead to careers in the growing fitness industry and offers students a gateway to health-related advanced degree programs, including a doctor of physical therapy.

The College has received approval from the State University of New York and the New York State Department of Education to offer the four-year health and fitness promotion degree.

“The health industry continues to grow and we expect this program to grow quickly as well,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “I can see it expanding as rapidly as our new sports management major, which already has more than 125 applicants for next year.”

The newest offering is a two plus two program that builds on the College’s existing two-year programs according to Deborah Molnar, a doctor of physical therapy and director of the College’s physical therapist assistant (PTA) program.

“One of the first questions incoming students ask about the two-year PTA program is ‘How do I become a physical therapist with this degree?’” Molnar said. “The health and fitness promotion program can close the gap between our associate degree and a doctorate of physical therapy.”

The program consists of student-selected tracks. During the first two years in an associate’s program, students can opt to take PTA specific courses, or other relevant associate degree courses with an emphasis in science and health. During the final two years, students can choose either a science or a business track depending on their personal interests. Students who wish to start a career immediately after college would typically select the business track, while those seeking to continue their education towards a doctor of physical therapy or other health-related degrees can choose the science track.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for fitness workers are expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations. There is rapid job growth in health clubs and other fitness facilities. Employment in the field is expected to grow 27 percent through 2016. Graduates of the program may pursue employment in settings that promote health and wellness including fitness centers, corporate fitness facilities, as personal trainers, with athletic teams, and community and health organizations.

“The benefits of good health and exercise have become increasingly prevalent and integrated into our society,” said Diane Para, Ph.D., an assistant professor and the director of the college’s sports management program. “Fitness is no longer reserved for elite athletes. It is equally important for all members of society as a means of disease prevention and longevity.”

The program will be a complement to the sports management program, according to Para, and will utilize shared faculty members and training resources. Students in the program will utilize the resources in the new “Roos House” Athletic Center scheduled to open later this spring, including the facility’s brand new state-of-the-art fitness center.

Similar to most of SUNY Canton’s four-year programs, courses in the health and fitness promotion program will be offered in face-to-face, hybrid, and online formats. For more information, or to seek admission into the program for the Fall 2011 semester, contact the SUNY Canton Admissions Office at 315-386-7123 or email

For additional information, view the curriculum Health & Fitness Promotion webpage.

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

SUNY Canton Adds Sports Management Degree

Friday, August 13th, 2010

SUNY CantonSUNY Canton has received state approval to offer a new Sports Management bachelor’s degree beginning this fall. Internships with professional sports organizations and college athletic departments are among the exciting possibilities for students in the program.

Several students who were anticipating the program’s approval have already enrolled to begin courses in the upcoming fall semester. The New York State Education Department and the State University of New York recently approved the Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Sports Management program, an addition to the College’s School of Business and Liberal Arts.

“As the only college within a three-hour radius to offer this type of degree, we anticipate a lot of eager students looking to enroll in the program,” SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy said. “We’re excited to be the place where employers will turn to find people who have the skills and talents needed to become successful members of any organizational management infrastructure.”

Among the professional sports organizations the college has established potential internship opportunities with are the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Syracuse Crunch (AHL), Binghamton Mets (AA Baseball), New Orleans Zurich Classic (PGA golf), Manchester Monarchs (AHL) and others. There are also numerous possibilities with collegiate and secondary education athletic programs.

The Bureau for Labor Statistics expects a 12 percent increase in employment for all educational administrators, including athletic directors. The Bureau also anticipates a 10-20 percent growth in sport-related and administrative managers’ positions over the next 10 years.

Students enrolled in the program will gain a sound background in administration and management. Topics that will be explored within the major include leadership for sports professionals, sports finance, legal issues of sport, event management, operations and facilities management, public relations, customer service, communications and marketing.

“We’ll provide students with an education using direct experience to enhance learning and skill development throughout the program,” according to Program Director and author of the program Diane Para, Ph.D. “Students will be able to bring the knowledge gained in the classroom to real work settings both on and off campus which will provide a more meaningful learning experience. This is one of the more exciting aspects of the program and we hope to take full advantage of all the applied learning opportunities out there.”

Para adds the bachelor’s degree will also be an excellent feeder program for high achieving students who wish to continue pursuing advanced degree programs, such as a master’s in sport management, an MBA, or a sports law degree.

For more information view our Sports Management Program Description.

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

Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg Purchases Scoreboards for SUNY Canton's New Fields

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg, Inc. has purchased two custom-made outdoor scoreboards for SUNY Canton’s new all-weather, lighted synthetic turf soccer field and new baseball field.

Construction on the new fields and the installation of the scoreboards are expected to be completed early this fall.

“The scoreboards will be one of the most prominent additions to our new fields,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “We certainly can’t thank Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg enough for their generosity and commitment to our college and athletic teams.”

The Baseball Scoreboard will be approximately 18 feet long by 6 feet high with 14 and 18 inch light emitting diode (LED) displays and the soccer scoreboard is 18 feet by 9 feet with similar highly-visible red LED digits. Each scoreboard will include panels featuring Pepsi-Cola, or Pepsi products.

“The scoreboards will be the latest addition to our growing athletic department,” said Diane Para, Director of Athletics and Assistant Dean of Students. “During the past year, we have begun upgrading our athletic fields, adopted the Kangaroos as our team name, added men’s and women’s cross-country teams and switched to a four-year athletic conference.”

The college will also soon be constructing an $18 million Athletic and Convocation Center.

“Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg has been a long-time supporter of SUNY Canton,” said Director of Alumni and Development Peggy S. Levato. “We appreciate their contributions toward the scoreboards and the Centennial Campaign. Current and future athletes, students, and fans will benefit from the generosity of Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg.”


SUNY Canton Athletic Director Receives Prestigious President's Award

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Diane Para

ASSISTANT DEAN AND ATHLETIC DIRECTOR HONORED – SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy presents Assistant Dean of Students and Athletic Director Diane J. Para with the 2007 Meritorious Service Award.

Things have been hopping in the SUNY Athletic Department all year, even prior to the arrival of the Kangaroos.

SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy has awarded the 2007 President’s Meritorious Service Award to Assistant Dean of Students and Athletic Director Diane J. Para. This year included acceptance into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the change of the athletic nickname to Kangaroos, preparations to move to four-year athletics, plans to construct a new $18-million athletic and convocation facility, and the start of construction for the new outdoor, lighted synthetic turf field. The athletic program will also add men’s and women’s cross country this fall.

“It is a pleasure to present the Meritorious Service Award to someone who, to use a sports expression, bleeds SUNY Canton blue and green,” said Kennedy at a recent college-wide ceremony. “Diane, you’ve been with us for 18 years, and this may have been the craziest.”

Para began her career at SUNY Canton in 1989 as director of intramurals and recreation sports and as a technical assistant for the athletic department. She became an assistant to Athletic Director Al Chadwick and became the Athletic Director in 1993. Last year, she was named Assistant Dean of Students, and began the complete restructuring of the athletic teams, including their name, to accompany the college’s transition to a four-year college. She has served on numerous committees both on campus and in Region III of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

“Diane is a highly motivated and driven leader,” Assistant Director of Athletics Matthew G. Metcalf pointed out. “She is incredibly dedicated to the student-athletes and is committed to providing the best possible experience for them both athletically and academically.”

Para started the women’s volleyball team at SUNY Canton and coached for eight seasons. She was named the Mid-State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2003. She has also coached women’s softball at SUNY Canton and was named the Assistant Dean of Students. Para received her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a minor in Sports Management from Ithaca College, and a master’s degree in athletic and recreation management from Eastern Illinois University. She is currently working towards her doctorate degree in leadership in higher education from Capella University in Minnesota.

She is quick to praise her staff and for those who have mentored her during her career, most noticeably Chadwick, Associate Professor of Humanities Sue S. Rummel and School of Liberal Arts and Support Services Dean Pauline A. Graveline.