Posts Tagged ‘President Zvi Szafran’

SUNY Canton Adds Fortnite and FIFA Esports Teams

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

SUNY Canton will add Epic Games’ wildly popular Fortnite Battle Royale and EA Sports’ FIFA to its growing lineup of varsity esports. The announcement follows the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s (ECAC) announcement formally sponsoring intercollegiate competition in both games.

The addition continues SUNY Canton’s string of firsts in the emerging field of esports as it becomes one of the very first schools with both Fortnite and FIFA collegiate teams.

SUNY Canton eSports Logo

“We’re proud to be among the nation’s first colleges to offer both Fortnite and FIFA,” said Randy B. Sieminski, SUNY Canton director of athletics. “We plan to begin competition this fall as we continue to grow our esports program and we’re happy to work closely with the ECAC the National Association of Collegiate Esports  (NACE) for competitions and tournaments.”

Fortnite is an extremely popular online game where players are dropped on an island and battle to be the last person standing. In collegiate competition, gamers play in teams and get points for the number of enemies they defeat and how long they survive.

Robert J. Snow, head coach for the college’s esports teams, said there will be open tryouts for the new team at 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31 in SUNY Canton’s new eSports Arena. SUNY Canton Online students are encouraged to participate from wherever they are enrolled and should contact Snow for tryout information.

Fortnite

“Fortnite has been the most asked about game among prospective students,” Snow said. “We will see a high level of competition right away to make the team, and we look forward to competing against other schools around the nation.”

FIFA is a two-versus-two soccer (football) simulation game with widespread appeal. It will be played on one of the console systems in the college’s new $500,000 gaming space in Nevaldine Hall. The eSports Arena features 24 competition-ready Alienware Area 51 computers and high-end peripherals. The college has partnered with Extreme Networks for high-speed connections to give its teams a competitive edge.

FIFA tryouts will be announced at a later date.

FIFA 19 Logo

Other teams play Blizzard’s Overwatch and Hearthstone, and Riot Games’ League of Legends. The college also has an all-women’s Overwatch team.

“SUNY Canton eSports offers many benefits similar to traditional athletics: teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership, school pride, competition and much more,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “At SUNY Canton, it also has a strong connection to several of our academic majors, such as Game Design and Development, Graphic and Multimedia Design, Technological Communications and Sports Management.”

SUNY Canton became the first SUNY college to offer varsity esports in December 2017. Teams play as members of the NACE, the most prominent nationally recognized organization dedicated to competitive collegiate video gaming. The college also orchestrates matches through the ECAC in addition to University League of Legends.

 

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.

SUNY Canton Announces Four-Year Mechatronics Degree

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

The new program is designed to lead students directly into an advanced degree and respond to the growing need for qualified employees with automated manufacturing experience.

SUNY Canton’s newest Bachelor of Science degree integrates mechanical engineering, computer science and electronics into one program.

The college has received approval from the State University of New York and the New York State Education Department to offer Mechatronics Technology alongside its career-driven engineering technology programs in the Canino School of Engineering Technology.

“I’m very excited to announce that we have received approval for this new degree,” said President Zvi Szafran. “Mechatronics is a contemporary integrated form of engineering, incorporating elements of mechanical, electrical, computer/telecommunication and systems engineering areas. Lots of modern devices use mechatronic systems, including smart phones and thermostats, robot vacuum cleaners and robotic cars.”

Two students work on the functionality of a robot.

Szafran added that mechatronics is also important to the dairy industry, where modern milking parlors, cow barns and the packaging of dairy products make use of many mechatronic systems.

“Our new degree will be an important component in the economic growth of the North Country and the State of New York,” he said.

“Instead of learning just one aspect of engineering technology, Mechatronics students will be well-versed in numerous aspects of the field,” said Michael J. Newtown, dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology. “This program sets students up for graduate degrees in addition to preparing them for careers in a variety of sectors, including the agriculture, aerospace, automotive, consumer products, defense, and biomedical industries.”

Mechatronics can also lead to future jobs for technologists responsible for designing, programming and maintaining precision manufacturing robots, according to Newtown. SUNY Canton’s new program supports the development of automated systems.

A student works on a computer motherboard.

Assistant Professor Joel M. “Miles” Canino will be serving as the program’s lead faculty member. Canino is a SUNY Canton Mechanical Engineering Technology graduate who earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Clarkson University, Potsdam, and specializes in rehabilitation robotics.

“The diversity of this program is invaluable,” Canino said. “It will be a rigorous curriculum, but very rewarding for our most inventive students. With the recent growth in advanced manufacturing and the demand for high-tech goods, there are currently more jobs available in this field than there are qualified employees.”

New and transfer students can apply for entrance into the Mechatronics program immediately, with new courses starting at the onset of the fall semester. Classes begin Thursday, Aug. 23 at SUNY Canton.

Mechatronics is the sixth new bachelor’s degree program announced in the past three years. Other new programs include Agribusiness Management, Cybersecurity, Game Design and Development, Early Childhood Care and Management and Technological Communications.

SUNY Canton Plants Tree in Memory of Campus Construction Worker

Monday, June 18th, 2018

SUNY Canton has planted a tree in remembrance of an area worker who lost his life during the construction of the new hill campus more than 50 years ago.

“During the course of our research into our history corresponding with our milestone ‘50 Years on the Hill’ anniversary, we learned that Merlin L. Rafter was involved in a tragic accident,” said Vice President for Advancement Anne M. Sibley. “We are remembering this historically significant event to recognize the devoted worker who spent his final days building SUNY Canton.”

Merlin’s sister Sandra Mattice, his brother Randy Rafter, his daughter Judy Hargrave, his other daughter Linda Dixson, his widow Geraldine Gale, his son Terry Rafter, and Terry’s daughter, Sherry Rafter

The family of Merlin L. Rafter, a construction worker who lost his life during the initial construction of SUNY Canton, attended a memorial tree planting ceremony on campus. Pictured are (l to r) Merlin’s sister Sandra Mattice, his brother Randy Rafter, his daughter Judy Hargrave, his other daughter Linda Dixson, his widow Geraldine Gale, his son Terry Rafter, and Terry’s daughter, Sherry Rafter. The family is from Madrid.

On Oct. 10, 1966, Rafter was killed while the campus was beginning to take shape, according to John A. Goetze, who served as both a faculty member and the facilities project coordinator at the college. Rafter and two other workmen descended into a trench to help lay a section of pipe. Without warning, the trench suddenly collapsed on them. Two other workers involved with the accident escaped injury, according to the Oct. 11, 1966 edition of the St. Lawrence Plaindealer. Rafter was a resident of Norwood and hailed from Madrid.

Merlin Rafter

A portrait of Merlin L. Rafter provided by his family. Rafter lost his life during a construction accident at SUNY Canton in 1966.

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran encouraged the college to plant an Ivory Lilac (syringa reticula) tree overlooking the campus to celebrate Rafter and his family.

“Planting a tree lets us reflect on the longtime friends of the college,” said Szafran. “As it blooms each spring, we’ll be reminded that Merlin gave everything as part of the effort to help us build this great college. Students, faculty and staff will all enjoy this beautiful addition to the campus for many years to come.”

Terry Rafter, Judy Hargrave, Linda Dixson, and Geraldine Gale helping to plant a tree in memory of Merlin L. Rafter

Pictured are (l to r) Terry Rafter, Judy Hargrave, Linda Dixson, and Geraldine Gale helping to plant a tree in memory of Merlin L. Rafter, who died in 1966 during the construction of the SUNY Canton hill campus.

Rafter’s family attended the tree planting ceremony held during the college’s alumni weekend celebration (Saturday, June 2). The tree and a memorial plaque were purchased by the Canton College Foundation and Szafran.

“It’s impossible to know what Merlin was thinking about on that day he came to work in 1966,” Szafran said. “Perhaps he was thinking about his upcoming plans to hunt or fish here in St. Lawrence County. He may have been thinking about his family, including his wife, Geraldine, and their sons and daughters. We’d like to speculate he was thinking about all of those things in addition to feeling the pride and accomplishment in creating a place where future generations would come to learn and better their lives.”

SUNY Canton College Council Honors Two Employees at Recognition Day

Friday, June 1st, 2018

SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill recognized two employees for exceptional job performance at the annual Recognition Day event Friday, May 18.

Director of Career Services Julie A. Parkman received the Excellence in College Service Award, and Payroll Assistant Amber Riordan received the Employee Recognition Award.

O’Neill presented the awards to Parkman and Riordan on behalf of the entire College Council.

“The council selected Julie and Amber because of their commitment to excellence and dedication to improving the student experience,” O’Neill said. “Both are also highly regarded for their creative problem-solving abilities and willingness to work collaboratively with departments across campus.”

President Szafran and Ron O'Neill present Julie Parkman with her award.

SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill (right) presents the Excellence in College Service Award to Director of Career Services Julie A. Parkman. Also pictured is SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran.

Parkman began working for the college in 2001 as the associate director for advancement, where she helped manage an unprecedented capital campaign fundraiser that raised more than $11 million. She also sought to develop scholarship opportunities for students by matching their interests with donors.

In her current position as director of career services, she leads a knowledgeable staff of trusted advisors who provide training and guidance to students entering the workforce. Under her leadership, the Career Services Office earned a prestigious first-place ranking among technology-sector SUNY schools and a second-place ranking in all of SUNY in the latest Student Opinion Survey.

“Julie has propelled Career Services into meeting the needs of our fully online students and has spearheaded an industry-centric approach to helping graduates seek and secure employment,” said SUNY Canton Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Support Services Molly A. Mott.

President Szafran and Ron O'Neill present Amber Riordan with her award.

SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill (right) presents the Employee Recognition Award to Payroll Assistant Amber Riordan. Also pictured is SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran.

Riordan received the Employee Recognition Award for her outstanding customer service skills, which she demonstrated in her former position as an agency service representative in the Financial Aid Office and her current role as a payroll assistant in Human Resources.

Most recently, she led an initiative to train the college’s classified administrative staff on new time and attendance procedures and implemented an online timecard system for student employees.

“Her job duties require excellent organizational skills and knowledge of specific processes, which Amber is able to handle flawlessly,” said SUNY Canton Vice President for Administration Shawn K. Miller. “She is extremely valuable to the Human Resources team and the campus as a whole.”

The Excellence in College Service Award is given annually to SUNY Canton non-teaching professional employees, and the Employee Recognition Award is presented to members of SUNY Canton’s classified staff. Both award winners received a plaque and a 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 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.

SUNY Canton Promotes Community Engagement with ‘50 Acts of Kindness’ Challenge

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

SUNY Canton has exceeded its goal to carry out 50 acts of kindness in commemoration of the college’s “50 Years on the Hill” celebration.

Students, faculty and staff completed more than 1,600 volunteer hours throughout the past eight months on more than 50 projects, which ranged from fundraising to community service.

Students carry a log down a path at the Grasse River Heritage Park.

“It’s incredible that nearly every person on campus contributed to reaching this goal,” said President Zvi Szafran. “This endeavor represents our commitment to citizenship, which is at the heart of our Campus Creed, and, more importantly, strengthens our bond with those who share this community with us.”

Five students hold a Puerto Rican flag in front of the SUNY Canton digital sign.

Notable projects included a student-led effort last fall to collect supplies for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The drive was in support of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, and the governor’s office said SUNY Canton’s donation was one of the largest they had received thus far.

The Men's Basketball team poses in front of a bag of leaves.

In addition to earning praise from community and state leaders, the 50 acts project also received accolades from SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson.

“Congratulations to the entire SUNY Canton community on reaching the ‘50 Acts of Kindness’ goal in honor of a historic milestone,” said Johnson. “SUNY campuses are known as hubs for knowledge and economic development in their communities, but they are also forces for positive community action and service. Your effort is a perfect example of SUNY Generosity at work. It’s remarkable that through this project, your collective impact was felt as close as Canton and as far away as Puerto Rico. Thank you for being a positive force in your community and outstanding ambassadors for SUNY.”

Construction Technology students cut lumber for the North Country Children's Museum

Students made an impact locally through a number of volunteer efforts, including sewing blankets for patients in area hospitals, raising funds for area animal shelters, renovating the North Country Children’s Museum in Potsdam and helping elderly residents with lawn maintenance in Canton. One of the culminating projects was a clean-up day at Grasse River Heritage Park in Canton.

“Our sincere thanks to students, faculty and staff who volunteered their time to repair our walking trails and boardwalk for the upcoming season,” said Grasse River Heritage Area Development Corporation’s Board of Directors Vice President Peter Wyckoff. “This was definitely the largest group we’ve hosted at a Grasse River Heritage work session in many years, if not for the life of the park.”

 

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.

Two SUNY Canton Staff Members Receive Prestigious Chancellor’s Award

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson selected two members of SUNY Canton’s staff to receive the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

Lashawanda T. Ingram, co-chief diversity officer and director of diversity affairs and new student orientation, was chosen to receive the Excellence in Professional Service Award, and Joette Terrance, a janitor who works in MacArthur Hall, was selected as a recipient of the Excellence in Classified Service Award.

Lashawanda Ingram and President Szafran

President Szafran presents the 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service to Lashawanda Ingram.

Ingram began working at the college in 2005 as a residence hall director and was subsequently promoted to director of diversity affairs and new student orientation. Since her appointment as SUNY Canton’s co-chief diversity officer and affirmative action officer in 2016, she has worked to build a more inclusive campus culture and ensures search committee procedures are equitable.

“Lashawanda champions diversity initiatives through her close work with the administration and the president,” said SUNY Canton Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish. “She is a voice for underrepresented students, faculty and staff and has led creative and engaging events that foster a sense of community and awareness.”

Ingram was instrumental in establishing the college’s Center for Diversities and Inclusion, which opened in 2017. The center hosts sensitivity training, student leadership development events, mediation, tutoring services and more.

Ingram’s colleagues note her unique ability to create a space where everyone is encouraged to pursue thoughtful dialogue and a respectful exchange of ideas and feelings, while mentoring students to find productive ways to confront the issues of social and cultural injustice.

She was presented with her award at the college’s annual Faculty and Community Awards dinner.

President Szafran and Joette Terrance

President Szafran presents the 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service to Joette Terrance.

Joette Terrance began working for the college as a temporary cleaner in 1997. She was hired as full time cleaner in 1998 and was promoted to janitor in 2010. Her colleagues praise the efficient and meticulous way in which she carries out her duties and her ability to boost morale by maintaining good relationships with her peers.

“Joette is known for her quick competency, kind words and smile for everyone,” said Assistant Professor Barat Wolfe, Ph.D., who teaches in the Applied Psychology program. “She also keeps the environment where we do our most important student engagement work spotless and positive. You will not find another person who cares more about our institution.”

Colleagues also praise Terrance’s working knowledge of the campus and ability to problem-solve with her coworkers to address issues in a timely manner. She is also relied upon to train new members of the custodial staff on providing effective customer service.

She was presented with her award at the college’s annual Recognition Day event.

 

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.

SUNY Canton Faculty Receive Chancellor’s Awards

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

The State University of New York recently announced three SUNY Canton faculty members had received chancellor’s awards.

“One of my themes for SUNY is individualized education, meaning the work we do to help our students navigate the programs and opportunities within our 64 campuses,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “Our faculty and staff educate, inspire, and support our students to pursue their passions; they are the driving force on campus. Those we honor today are leading this effort through their commitment to their craft and their dedication to our students.”

All three award recipients are noted for providing exceptional instruction and mentoring to students.

Rashid Aidun and President Szafran

Pictured is Associate Professor Rashid Aidun of Potsdam receiving the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service from SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran.

Rashid Aidun, Ph.D., an associate professor who teaches in the Electrical Engineering Technology and Engineering Science programs, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. He was recognized for his 13 years of academic service and his 16 years of professional industrial experience. He holds a patent on a non-destructive coating thickness measuring device.

Aidun has made positive contributions to the Canino School of engineering technology, including developing new programs and courses, recruiting new students, helping current students secure scholarships, in addition to helping graduates continue on for their advanced degrees.

“What I most admire about Dr. Aidun is his remarkable ability to stimulate students and add personality to his course material,” said Associate Professor Feng Hong, who teaches physics at the college. “His dynamic teaching style engages students. They can feel the energy and optimism radiate from him.”

Aidun lives in Potsdam with his wife, Peggy Sue, and their daughter Savarah.

Charles Fenner and President Szafran

Professor Charles R. Fenner of Canton receives the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran.

Charles R. Fenner, Ph.D., the curriculum coordinator for the college’s management program, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. His creative approach to incorporating innovative teaching strategies encourages problem solving and critical thinking skills, giving graduates the tools they need to handle difficult situations head-on when they start their careers.

He was one of the first faculty members to embrace online learning. He has continued that forward-thinking philosophy and consistently utilizes new technology to enhance his classes.

Prior to his academic career, he served for 20 years in the Army, and takes the time to mentor both active duty and veteran learners. His students describe him as an engaged, motivational educator who deeply cares about their success. Under his guidance, four students helped north country businesses become more profitable. Many of his courses emphasize entrepreneurial strategies.

“Charles’ ability to engage students and to assist each with understanding the objectives is commendable,” said Maureen P. Maioco, Ed.D., one of the faculty members who nominated Fenner. “He uses humor to supplement his effective teaching strategies and incorporates a student-centered approach in his teaching practice. He prepares students to think on their feet, as they will need to do in a business or client meeting.”

Fenner lives in Canton with his wife, Dorothy. They have two grown daughters.

Jamie Gibson and President Szafran

Jamie L. Gibson of Edwards, a clinical instructor in SUNY Canton’s two-year Nursing program, won the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. Gibson is pictured with President Zvi Szafran.

Jamie L. Gibson, who is a clinical instructor in the two-year Nursing program, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. She is known for emphasizing critical thinking and reasoning skills that help students connect lecture concepts to real-life clinical scenarios.

Her students overwhelmingly described her as a dedicated professional who is kind, approachable, and supportive. In addition, her colleagues credit her with being a major contributing factor for student success during nursing certification exams.

Through her more than 10 years working as a nurse, she is able to impart the knowledge she has gained by working in a fast-paced emergency room setting, where quick thinking and sound decision-making skills save lives.

“She is committed to the college and its Nursing students,” said Debra Backus, Ph.D., a recently-retired Nursing curriculum coordinator. “She approaches each students’ education at whatever level they are at and guides them to higher levels of understanding. She provides outstanding support for their continuing intellectual growth.”

Gibson Lives in Edwards with her husband, Jonathan, their daughter, Marlow, and son, Aiden.

 

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.

SUNY Canton’s 110th Commencement Honors Class of 2018

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

SUNY Canton celebrated the accomplishments of nearly 900 graduates during the college’s 110th Commencement ceremony held Saturday, May 12, at the Roos House Convocation Athletic and Recreation Center.

President Zvi Szafran and SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill, class of 1963, welcomed family and friends and congratulated the class of 2018 on their accomplishments.

President Szafran congratulates a student on stage.

President Zvi Szafran congratulates graduates as they cross the stage.

Both also took the opportunity to acknowledge a special milestone in college history. It was five decades ago that SUNY Canton moved from a small cluster of buildings adjacent to the St. Lawrence University campus to its current location, marking a new era.

“All graduations are special, but you have the added distinction of being the class who graduates during our ‘50 Years on the Hill’ commemoration,” O’Neill said.

Szafran read a congratulatory message from alumna Rosella M. Todd Valentine, who was among the first cohort to graduate from the new campus in 1968.

Francesco Palumbo – SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran embraces Francesco Palumbo, a Sports Management graduate from Canton, as he crosses the stage during commencement.

Francesco Palumbo – SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran embraces Francesco Palumbo, a Sports Management graduate from Canton, as he crosses the stage during commencement.

“The year 1968 was a tumultuous and pivotal year, and so is 2018,” she wrote. “You have much to look forward to, but also much to do. Go out, do good things, and always remember the wonderful start this college has given you.”

Szafran noted this year’s class comprises graduates who range in age from 18 to 62 years old and represent 17 different states and 7 foreign countries, including Angola, Australia, The Bahamas, Cameroon, Finland, Sweden and Canada.

He then introduced Student Government Association President and David R. Maynard Student Activities Award winner Rachel “Nikki” Zeitzmann, who delivered the senior class address. She encouraged her fellow graduates to build upon the lessons they learned while completing their degrees.

President Szafran hugs SGA President "Nikki" Zeitzman

President Szafran embraces Student Government Association President and David R. Maynard Student Activities Award winner Rachel “Nikki” Zeitzmann ’18.

“My hope is that we continue to expand what we have built as groundwork here into our future careers,” she said. “We may be separated, but we will never be divided from our SUNY Canton foundation.”

Several outstanding students received special recognition, including:

  • Criminal Justice major Michael J. Volpe of Centereach, who earned the Outstanding Associate Graduate Award.
  • Applied Psychology major Jamie L. Reed of Canton, who earned the Outstanding Baccalaureate Graduate Award.
Outstanding Graduate Jamie Reed receives her award from President Szafran and VP Courtney Bish

Jamie Reed – Jamie L. Reed of Canton earned the Outstanding Graduate award at the bachelor’s degree level. Pictured (l to r) are SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran, Reed, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish.

The keynote address was delivered by Pulitzer Prize winner John G. Maines III, who attended SUNY Canton from 1976 to 1977.

Maines earned the most prestigious award in American journalism while he was working for the South Florida Sun Sentinel in 2013. He and colleague Sally Kestin authored an in-depth investigative report about speeding by Florida’s off-duty police officers that earned the paper its first Pulitzer and led to sweeping reform and disciplinary action across the state.

He recounted the story of how he began his studies at SUNY Canton with the intention of becoming an engineer, but changed course once he began writing for the student newspaper.

“I had fun; I wrote stories and editorials,” he told the audience. “Newspaper work was what I really wanted to do—it was exciting and always challenging and changing. It wasn’t until years later that I first heard the phrase ‘follow your bliss,’ but that is exactly what I had done.”

John Maines receives his doctoral hood from President Szafran

ohn Maines – John G. Maines III receives a hood denoting his honorary doctorate from SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran at the college’s 110th Commencement Ceremony. Maines is Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who got his start with the SUNY Canton student newspaper.

After nearly twenty years of working as a reporter, Maines said he switched to a new area of investigative work in the late 1990s called computer-assisted reporting, or CAR. Ironically, he was able to draw upon the skills he learned while attending SUNY Canton as he learned about this highly technical field.

“I found the discipline, logic, science, critical thinking and other things I learned at Canton to be a tremendous help in that change,” he said. “It was database work, in fact, that helped investigative reporter Sally Kestin and I win the Pulitzer.”

Szafran presented Maines with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his contributions to the field of journalism.

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

Kelly Obermeyer awards a graduate with a medallion.

SUNY Canton Alumni Association President Kelly Obermayer presents David Russell, a Graphic and Multimedia Design major from New York, N.Y., with his graduation medallion.

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

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

Additionally, more than 90 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 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.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Alum to Speak at SUNY Canton Commencement

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

John Maines III holding a newspaper.A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who began his journalism career in the North Country will deliver the keynote speech at SUNY Canton’s 110th Commencement Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center.

John G. Maines III, who attended SUNY Canton from 1976 to 1977, earned the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper its first Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2013 for a groundbreaking investigative report about speeding by Florida off-duty police officers. Maines and colleague Sally Kestin authored a three-part series titled “Above the Law,” and their findings led to sweeping reform and disciplinary action by police departments across the state.

“John is one of the most esteemed members of our alumni family, and we’re pleased to welcome him back to campus,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “John’s life’s work is an example of journalism’s value as a government watchdog and ally of public safety.”

A reporter for more than 40 years, he began his career writing for SUNY Canton’s student newspaper, the Insight, until he was recruited to work full-time for the Massena Observer. He subsequently went on to work for the Ithaca Journal and the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., before becoming a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. In the late 1980s, he became interested in computer-assisted reporting, or CAR, a technique that reporters use to gather and organize data for articles.

Upon joining the Sun Sentinel in 1993, he used his CAR background to assist the research team on a number of high-profile investigations, including voting irregularities in the 2000 presidential election, Florida’s connections to the Sept. 11 terrorists, and widespread FEMA fraud after Hurricane Frances in 2004.

He is the recipient of numerous journalism honors, including the Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service and First Amendment awards, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and the Roy W. Howard Award in Public Service Reporting from the Scripps Howard Foundation. He was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2006 for the FEMA series.

Maines attended SUNY Canton to study Agricultural Engineering and attributes his success in CAR to his interest in and aptitude for technology.

“I’ve been really lucky,” he said. “I took a sharp turn from engineering into journalism, but many of the skills I learned at SUNY Canton have stayed with me throughout my career.”

He was inducted into the SUNY Canton Hall of Fame in 2016 and will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of his accomplishments.

 

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.

SUNY Canton Management Courses Bolster Area Businesses

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

SUNY Canton’s Management program is helping four area businesses identify ways to become more profitable.

“Students are able to apply what they learned in class to real world business problems,” said Professor Charles R. Fenner, who teaches business classes in the Management program.  “It’s this application of theory to practice that is at the heart of SUNY technology sector education while preparing the students to follow their entrepreneurial dreams.”

Three students currently enrolled in the program have direct ties to area businesses and are using the course’s objectives to grow their enterprises.

Kevin B. Kingsbury of the Gouverneur-based Marble City Heating and Plumbing, who is working on his second major at SUNY Canton, is using his coursework to determine his operational capacity and create a plan for future growth.

“I’m trying to gear the whole project to grow our business into a medium-sized operation with 15-20 employees,” Kingsbury said.

Professor Charles R. Fenner, Kingsbury and Szafran

Kevin B. Kingsbury a Management student and owner of the Gouverneur-based Marble City Heating and Plumbing recently met with SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran to discuss his company’s growth. Pictured are (l to r) Professor Charles R. Fenner, Kingsbury and Szafran.

Kingsbury hires graduates of SUNY Canton’s Heating and Plumbing program to work at his company.

Maria L. Vecchio of Sergi’s Italian Restaurant in Canton, used her senior project to create a survey to help her learn more about their loyal customer base. As part of the survey, she had SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran hold a drawing for pizza rolls, one of the local restaurant’s signature servings.

President Zvi Szafran draws cards as Provost Douglas Scheidt, Charles Fenner and Maria Vecchio pose for the photo.

Pictured are (l to R) Professor Charles R. Fenner, Ph.D., SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Douglas M. Scheidt and Maria L. Vecchio, a Management student from Canton. Vecchio created a survey to poll customers at Sergi’s Italian Restaurant and asked Szafran to aid in a drawing for pizza rolls.

Other students are using the class as means of tracking revenues and expenditures for a family business. Ashley A. Martin and Logan W. Jones used their senior-level assignment to track expenditures related to sales at Martin’s Marina in Cape Vincent.

Fenner's class poses with Rick Gilchrist.

Rick Gilchrist, owner of Perry’s Market in Norwood, met with Management Professor Charles R. Fenner’s Strategic Policies and Issues class to develop a new business plan.

Additionally, students in Fenner’s Strategic Policies and Issues class helped Rick Gilchrist IV develop a plan to build upon his successful business, Perry’s Market in Norwood.

“It started as a brainstorming session about ways I could expand into other areas,” Gilchrist said about his time with the class. “The students created the beginnings of a solid plan, and I was able to finish it.”

Previously, students in this curriculum have partnered with the owners of Gamer Craze and Luna Boutique in Canton to develop new business strategies.