Posts Tagged ‘Veterans’ Affairs’

Military Times Magazine Names SUNY Canton a ‘Best for Vets’ College

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Best for Vets Colleges 2019 badge
Military Times magazine has once again named SUNY Canton as a top school for veterans, services members and military families in its annual “Best for Vets” issue.

The college was ranked among the top 20 career and technical schools in the nation that demonstrate “a record of steadfast service and dedication to those who have served,” according to Military Times Editor George Altman.

“Fewer than half of the roughly 500 colleges and universities that competed for the recognition earned the right to call themselves Best for Vets in 2019. Their efforts should be commended,” he added.

This is the fourth year in a row SUNY Canton has been named to the list, primarily due to the outstanding support services the college offers veterans and service members. A dedicated Military and Veteran Student Service Coordinator helps students navigate the programs and services needed to attain their educational goals, and the Raymond G. Modell ’62 Veterans Lounge and Battle Buddy Center offers a space on campus where veterans and active duty members can socialize and build camaraderie. 

“Without the services SUNY Canton has provided, I would not have been able to make it this far in a traditional college setting,” said senior Nursing student and Army veteran Melissa G. Thomas. “The support of staff and faculty, along with the ability to connect with my fellow veterans, have allowed me to be successful.”

The college also became the first four-year SUNY institution to implement an application fee waiver policy for all active-duty, National Guard, reserve and veteran students. 

In addition, the SUNY Canton Career Ready Education and Success Training (CREST) Center for Workforce Development has partnered with Fort Drum to help service members who are transitioning out of the military develop the skills needed to work in the solar energy industry. The program, called “Solar Ready Vets,” launched in 2016 and has trained more than 100 soldiers.

In recognition of Veterans Day, a luncheon will be held on campus Nov. 14 for all SUNY Canton faculty, staff and students who have served the nation.

View he 2019 Military Times rankings. 

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. The college’s 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 16 online degree programs. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. 

SUNY Awards More Than $1 Million to SUNY Canton and Jefferson Community College

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

suny-logoState University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher recently awarded SUNY Canton and Jefferson Community College more than $1 million for two initiatives aimed at increasing enrollment.

The grants are part of SUNY’s Investment and Performance Fund, which helps support the goal of boosting the number of degrees awarded annually statewide to 150,000 by 2020.

“These awards are a remarkable sample of what SUNY campuses are prepared to do in order to help more students complete their degree,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Whether it’s working with area high schools to get students ready for college, supporting students at risk of falling behind, or providing an applied learning opportunity to ensure career success, SUNY is committed to improving student outcomes at every stage.”

SUNY CantonSUNY Canton will receive $575,000 to expand “Jump Start,” a program that furthers the college’s mission of accessibility. The eight-week intensive boot camp is designed to allow more than 100 incoming freshmen students fulfill general education requirements before the start of their first semester. They will also take three credits of life-skills training, including the college’s First Year Experience class, and will have full access to the college’s outstanding tutoring and academic support services.

“The Jump Start award will allow hundreds of students the possibility of a college degree and a life-changing experience,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “It will strengthen their foundation in Math, Science, and English, and provide coaching in time management, critical thinking and public speaking.”

Jefferson Community CollegeIn addition, SUNY Canton and Jefferson Community College will be awarded $500,000 to implement an initiative called “Transitioning Veterans from Boots and Books and Beyond.” The program will provide support services exclusively for former military members who are transitioning to a college environment.

“We are simply thrilled that our veterans services proposal developed in partnership with SUNY Canton has been funded by SUNY,” said Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College. “Research tells us that one of the biggest obstacles for degree completion among veterans is the transition from the highly structured military culture to a less structured, self-driven learning culture. This grant will allow the veterans services offices at both campuses to provide enhanced support tailored specifically for veterans.”

The colleges will work together to develop a strong advising and academic support network for veterans who begin their academic career by earning an associate degree at Jefferson Community College and transfer to SUNY Canton to complete a bachelor’s degree. Services will include academic coaching, financial literacy training, a free book loan program and specialized workshops.

“We look forward to this collaboration with Jefferson Community College in helping our nation’s veterans reach their educational goals,” Szafran added. “This program will improve retention and graduation rates among former military service members, which aligns perfectly with SUNY’s objective to increase the number of degrees by 2020.”


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 14 athletic teams compete as members of the NCAA Division III.


About Jefferson Community College

One of 30 community colleges supervised by the State University of New York, Jefferson was chartered in 1961 and is accredited by the Middle States Association. Jefferson is the community’s leading resource for leading better lives, offering Associate degrees for career preparation or for transfer to a 4-year college, certificate programs; online learning; lifelong learning through personal enrichment workshops; business and industry training; and cultural enrichment opportunities for the entire Watertown/Fort Drum region.  It currently serves approximately 4,000 full- and part-time students from Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties, including a significant number of service members and their families from nearby Fort Drum.

SUNY Canton Among Nation’s Most ‘Military-Friendly’ Colleges

Friday, November 30th, 2012

SUNY Canton has been named to the 2013 Guide of Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities by Military Advanced Education magazine. This is the second time the College has been recognized by the publication.

“We take great pride in SUNY Canton’s standing as a military-friendly school, and we work diligently to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and accommodating for our nation’s service members, veterans and their families,” said Interim President Carli C. Schiffner. “It’s an honor to help those who have served our country reach their educational goals.”

Military FriendlySUNY Canton assists its military students by offering a dedicated study lounge and flexible online learning options for service members living stateside and abroad. Military personnel have enrolled from all over the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition, the College’s counseling staff receives regular Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) training, and former service members can now take advantage of the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), which offers 12 months of financial assistance to veterans who are between 35 and 60 years of age and are unemployed, among other criteria.

Earlier this year, SUNY Canton hired its first Veterans Affairs Officer Patrick S. Massaro. This is a shared position with SUNY Potsdam, and Massaro is charged with advising veterans as they navigate the admissions process. “I serve as the main point of contact for the College’s military students and their families,” Massaro said. “One piece of my responsibility is to ensure they are aware of the programs and services that can assist them with their educational goals, such as VRAP.”

The 2013 guide will be published in the December issue. Military Advanced Education is a journal of higher learning for American service members, and is published by KMI Media Group.

SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam Hire Joint Veterans Affairs Officer

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Patrick MassaroPatrick Massaro, veteran and alumnus of both institutions is set to serve two campuses.

SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam are pleased to announce the appointment of the first employee who will serve both institutions. Patrick Massaro is a unique fit for the newly created position of veterans and military services coordinator, a joint position that will serve students on both campuses.

Massaro will be the primary point of contact for the military families and serve as an advisor to the veteran’s organizations on each campus.

“This is a great opportunity for me to give back to both colleges and to those that have served and to the families of those that have served,” he said.

The veterans affairs position will enhance the student experience for veterans at both institutions and is the first joint hire to result from the ongoing shared services discussions between SUNY Potsdam’s and SUNY Canton’s Campus Alliance Network.

“Filling this position was a significant step in the goal of greater shared services for our colleges. We learned a lot about the search process and what we need to do in the next years to more efficiently use our resources,” SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy said.

“First and foremost, this hiring will positively impact the lives of service members and veterans working toward their higher education goals at the two colleges,” said SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller. “Both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton will benefit and learn from the experience of filling our first joint position, as Patrick navigates the unique learning environments at both campuses.”

Patrick Massaro is uniquely qualified to tackle the job, given his military background and the fact that he is an alumnus of both colleges. In 2003, he graduated from SUNY Canton and in 2005 from SUNY Potsdam. The Massena Central High School graduate then served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010, including one tour of duty in Iraq. He now holds the rank of Captain in the U.S. Marine Reserves. Most recently, Massaro completed his Master of Science degree in sports administration while working as the director of hockey operations at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.

A member of the search committee, SUNY Canton Associate Professor William Fassinger, a retired Military Police First Sergeant, said, “If we could have built a person for this job, it would look like Patrick. He is a graduate of both institutions, with recent military service, and in the past two years having dealt with the Veteran’s Administration for his own education.”

“He will inherit the work done by others at Canton and bring those ideas to Potsdam, and then in turn assess how the things we do well at SUNY Potsdam might benefit Canton,” said SUNY Potsdam Director of Extended Education Thomas Fuhr, who co-chaired the search with SUNY Canton Professor Robert Edwards.

Both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton have been named military-friendly colleges for their dedication to serving service members, veterans and their families.

About SUNY Canton:

The State University of New York at Canton offers 22 career-driven bachelor’s degrees in addition to its associate and certificate programs. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 190 courses online each semester. The College’s athletic teams belong to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. The College is home to a brand-new athletic facility, nicknamed Roos House, and the Grasse River Suites, offering students single rooms in apartment-style settings while they live on campus.

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.

SUNY Canton Garners Another Military Honor

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

For the second time in just a few months, SUNY Canton was recognized for their military friendliness.

The College has been selected as a “Top Military Friendly Colleges and Universities” honoree by Military Advanced Education magazine. The list will be published in the upcoming December 2010 issue.

Military student in Southworth Library

“This recognition reaffirms SUNY Canton’s outstanding efforts to be a welcoming and accommodating campus for the military community,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “It’s gratifying to stand out in comparison to other colleges and universities across the country.”

Over the last several years, the College’s Military Friendly Committee has assessed all programs on campus and their responsiveness to the needs of the military community. The College now features a Veterans Lounge, a specific individual within the Admissions office to work with military personnel, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) training for the College’s counseling staff, and an on-campus Veteran’s Day ceremony.

In 2008, SUNY Canton illustrated the importance of the College’s veterans to its graduating class. In 1943, twenty-seven students were called into service just weeks before their commencement. The veterans, who have come to be known as SUNY Canton’s Greatest Graduates, left to serve the country in World War II. In a heartfelt and emotional ceremony, President Kennedy presented four members of the class and a spouse of a deceased veteran with honorary certificates in their respective programs. Those veterans who could not attend the ceremony were also honored for their sacrifice, some of them posthumously.

Earlier this year, SUNY Canton was among only 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools throughout the country to be recognized as a 2011 Military Friendly School by the magazine G.I. Jobs.

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

Renowned Women Veterans Speaker at SUNY Canton, Nov. 19

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Military speaker and veteran Tia Christopher challenges audiences to walk a mile in a pair of women’s combat boots.

Christopher tours the United States, educating civilians and military personnel on the issues faced by women in the military. She will be presenting at 7 p.m. Thursday Nov. 19 in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center’s Kingston Theater.

Christopher is a disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Navy. She now works with the non-profit organization Swords to Plowshares with the title of women veteran’s coordinator.

“Swords created my position to respond to the specific needs of the fastest growing cohort of the U.S. veteran population: Women,” Christopher said in a prepared statement to U.S. Senate’s Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “My experiences have given me the passion and perseverance to do advocacy work on behalf of Swords to Plowshares. I mention this to illustrate that I am a VA consumer as well as a community avenue for my peers to seek and access care.”

Christopher will cover topics including:

  • The history of women in the military.
  • Current issues facing women veterans and women in the military.
  • Current research and pending legislation regarding women associated with the military.
  • Women veterans and military in the media.
  • Women veterans’ stories and art.

This event is co-sponsored by the SUNY Canton Veteran’s Association, which helps maintain SUNY Canton as one of the premiere military friendly colleges in the North Country.

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 100 courses online each semester. The College’s athletic teams belong to the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years. Construction is now underway for the College’s new Convocation, Athletic, and Recreation Center.

Media arrangements should be made in advance by contacting SUNY Canton Public Relations at 315-386-7300, or email