Lucas C. Coyne, a SUNY Canton senior in the Homeland Security program, will join 500 fellow SUNY and CUNY student volunteers traveling to Puerto Rico this summer to assist in recovery efforts of communities damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The service learning opportunity is in partnership with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s New York Stands with Puerto Rico Initiative.
Coyne, who is from Rensselaer, will deploy to the island July 1 for two weeks to support the All Hands and Hearts organization, a U.S.-based non-profit that specializes in natural disaster recovery.
“This is a great way for me to help those affected by the hurricanes while learning first-hand about crisis response management,” Coyne said.
All student expenses, such as travel, food and lodging will be paid for, and volunteers will also have the opportunity to earn college credit.
Coyne was selected from thousands of applicants, and preference was given to those who had a background in construction or landscaping.
“I worked several summers as a landscaper, and I also have experience in the construction field,” he said.
Eligibility criteria also required that students be in good academic standing. Coyne is a member of the national honor societies Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice) and the Order of the Sword and Shield (Homeland Security).
“Lucas is an excellent student who is engaged in class, has a very strong work ethic and is helpful to his peers,” said Justin C. Spaulding, SUNY Canton instructor and curriculum coordinator for the Homeland Security program. “I know he will make SUNY Canton proud in Puerto Rico.”
This is the second time the college has teamed up with the New York Stands with Puerto Rico initiative to assist with humanitarian efforts. In fall 2017, students led a campus donation drive to collect emergency supplies for the 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 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 online degree programs. 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.