Archive for June, 2007

SUNY Canton Chief of Staff Named Dean at Yakima Community College

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

SUNY Canton Chief of Staff Carli Schiffner has been selected to serve as the new Dean of Arts and Sciences at Yakima Valley Community College in Washington. Schiffner will begin her new position in late July.

“Carli has been an integral part of our management team during one of the most progressive and successful eras in the college’s history,” said President Joseph L. Kennedy. “Given her accomplishments as an administrator and professor combined with her academic credentials, it’s not a surprise that another college would recruit her to join their staff. I’m certain she will continue to be tremendously successful. We’re going to miss Carli both professionally and personally, but we are happy for her and her family.”

In her new position as Dean of Arts and Sciences, Schiffner will lead the academic initiatives of more than 50 faculty members along with 10 staff members.

Schiffner joined SUNY Canton in August 2003. Her responsibilities as Chief of Staff have included: acting as the college liaison for local, state, and federal government officials; advising the president on matters of academics, budget, and staffing; serving as the president’s representative on and off campus; and mediating student and faculty concerns. She has also played a leading role as an advocate of women’s issues on campus.

“I am really excited about this next step in my career and to be back in my ‘home state’ near family and friends,” said Schiffner. “However, I am very sad to leave my SUNY Canton family, particularly my mentors here – President Kennedy, Provost Brown, and Dean Graveline. Above all, I will miss the students at SUNY Canton who have helped me grow as a professor.”

Yakima Valley Community College is one of the oldest community colleges in the state of Washington. Founded in 1928, the college has a long tradition of quality in teaching and in its commitment to students. Yakima Valley Community College is a public, two-year institution of higher education which is a part of one of the best comprehensive community college systems in the nation. The college offers programs in adult basic education, English-as-a-second-language, lower division arts and sciences, professional and technical education, and community services.

Schiffner received a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University in 1996, followed by a master’s degree at Drew University in 1998 and a doctorate from Washington State University in 2004.


New Athletic Fields Under Construction

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Construction is progressing on the new all-weather, lighted, synthetic turf field for soccer and lacrosse and the new men’s baseball field at SUNY Canton. The fields are slated to be completed later this summer with anticipation of a Kangaroos home game this Fall. A new women’s softball field was previously constructed. The college has also started plans for construction of a new $18 million Athletic and Convocation Center near the Edson A. Martin athletic fields next summer. Pictured is a few of the machines to move the earth used by Fiacco and Riley Construction of Norwood to build the new fields.

Construction Vehicles

SUNY Canton Summer Enrollment Hits Record High

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

SUNY Canton has hit an all-time summer enrollment high already and the college is continuing to accept students for two more sessions slated to begin on June 25 and July 30.

“We’ve had 715 students enroll in classes so far,” noted SUNY Canton Interim Provost Pauline A. Graveline. “Nearly 75 percent of students (more than 530 students) are joining the college through SUNY Canton Online.”

Last year’s Summer Session saw 469 students with 363 enrolled in online courses. Summer Session 2005 totaled 385 students with 205 taking online courses.

The next on-campus and online classes begin Monday, June 25, and the final summer session begins Monday, July 30. For a complete listing of classes and other information, visit

The tremendous growth in SUNY Canton OnLine, or SUNY Canton OL, has been remarkable. “Each semester we are seeing more and more students enroll in online classes from all over the world,” said Director of OnLine Education Molly A. Mott. “Much of this growth can be attributed to wonderful faculty members who are presenting interesting courses with in-demand topics in a cutting-edge format.”

Register online for classes online at or by calling the SUNY Canton Student Service Center at 315-386-7616.


International Students Visiting SUNY Canton This Summer

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Students from Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia and Kherson State University in Ukraine will be coming to SUNY Canton and the college is looking for North Country families to host the international visitors on the weekends.

Approximately 15 students will be traveling from Russia and Ukraine to take summer classes from July 9 to August 17. During the week, the students will be living in the college’s residences.

“We are hoping that these students will be able to spend some weekends with families who have college-age children or high school seniors living at home,” said Jodi L. Revill, Special Assistant to the Provost. “By spending a few days with families from the community, these students will be totally immersed in our culture and learn even more from their experience here in the North Country.”

Specifically, the college is looking for host families for the weekends of July 27-29, August 3-5, and August 10-12.

This is the first international exchange built from SUNY Canton’s partnerships with Moscow State University and Kherson State University, according to Interim Provost Pauline A. Graveline.

“The students who are visiting the campus will potentially be future full-time SUNY Canton students,” Graveline said. “They will most likely take the dual-degree program from their home country, but they also have the option of attending SUNY Canton as on-campus students.”

Next year, the college plans to send students to Moscow State University so that on campus students from places including Syracuse, Massena, Potsdam, and New York City can travel abroad as part of their four year studies at SUNY Canton.

Families interested in hosting a summer student should contact Revill by email at, or by phone at 386-7303.


Law Enforcement Academy Receives Ethics Training Donation

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Police officers from the North Country and beyond recently benefited from a donation provided by the Institute for Ethical Behavior, Inc.

The David Sullivan/St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy hosted an ethics instructors training course to law enforcement officers. Among the course topics were the historical and philosophical significance of ethics coupled with the modern consequences for officers.

“The Ethics course was made possible by a $1,000 donation from the Institute for Ethical Behavior,” said University Police Deputy Chief and academy director Steven L. Livernois. “Their funding helps the academy bring in guest instructors for police officers who will benefit from their expertise.”

Livernois explained that each officer will, in turn, be headed back to their home police agency to teach similar courses on ethics.

The Institute for Ethical Behavior also created an endowed scholarship in 2000 as a memorial tribute to its founder, Harold K. Hughes. The scholarship is awarded annually to a Criminal Justice student who will promote awareness of the importance of individual character and ethical behavior.


Small Business Development Center Counselor and Two Businesses Receive Accolades

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

A SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business advisor and two of the businesses the agency works with have won prestigious business awards.

Business Advisor Michelle Collins’ counseling has helped women entrepreneurs and young business people from across the North Country, and now, has earned her a Lead by Example Award through the New York State SBDC. Additionally, the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, under the direction of Karen M. St. Hilaire, was selected as the 2007 Home-Based Business Champion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Region II, and Sandy Maine, founder of SunFeather Natural Soap Company in Parishville received the Small Business Excellence Award also through the SBA.

Michelle Collins

COLLINS LAUDED – SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Advisor Michelle Collins has earned a Lead by Example Award through the New York State SBDC. Pictured are (l to r) Business Advisor Julie Williams, Canton SBDC Director Dale Rice, Collins, SBDC Office Manager Linda LaParr, and SBA Region II Administrator William Manger.

“Michelle has become the ‘go to’ person in Saint Lawrence County for women in business,” said Canton SBDC Director Dale Rice.

“She has been a mentor to many women entrepreneurs and has reached out to many more with her roundtable meetings and through the recent Women in Business Conference.”

Karen St. Hilaire

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY CHAMBER AWARDED - The St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, under the direction of Karen M. St. Hilaire, was selected as the 2007 Home-Based Business Champion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Syracuse District. Pictured are (l to r) SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center Director Dale Rice, St. Hilaire, and SBA Syracuse District Director BJ Paprocki.

Collins has developed training events for existing business owners to assist in their ever changing business needs. She is an avid writer, and lends her talents for local organizations and for Absolutely Business magazine. She is a board member of the Norfolk-Norwood Minor Hockey Association and the SunFeather Soap Foundation, which was started to help raise funds to make it easier for small businesses to get started in the area. “Michelle created the strategic plan for the foundation and is instrumental in keeping the foundation on task,” Rice pointed out.

While all the initiatives the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce spearheads are for the benefit and improvement of the small business environment, one particular chamber effort has resulted in positive outcomes for home-based businesses specifically. The chamber’s Northern Adirondack Trading Cooperative (NATC) has served nearly 100 home based businesses with training and business development assistance. The program has gained wide recognition for its success in successfully bringing the area’s cottage industry into the world of e-commerce.

The NATC initiative was endorsed by U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Assemblywoman Deirdre Scozzafava.

“I am so pleased that the St Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is being recognized again for this incredible initiative. What started as a great idea has now become an engine of growth and employment,” said Clinton. “Our purpose was to combine the buying and selling power of eBay with the principles of micro enterprise to create employment and wealth in the North Country and now we are seeing the fruits of our labor across the state and beyond. We wanted to create a global marketplace for local products and thanks to the incredible work of Karen St Hilaire, the St Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and everyone involved in this project, we continue to see incredible results. Not only are our local companies competing on the global stage, this initiative is creating jobs and providing the essential infrastructure to help the trend continue.”

Sandy Maine

SUNFEATHER DECORATED - SunFeather Natural Soap Company Owner and CEO Sandy Maine of Parishville received the Small Business Excellence Award through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Pictured are (l to r) New York Business Development Corporation President and CEO Patrick J. McKrell, Maine, Sandy's daughter Clara Maine, SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center Business Advisor Michelle Collins; and SBA Syracuse District Director BJ Paprocki.

SunFeather Natural Soap Company has been making artisan body care products for over 26 years. The business began with a $15 investment in Sandy Maine’s farm house kitchen and SunFeather is now a thriving wholesale and retail business that markets 4,000 pounds of soap weekly.

The company enjoys immense web traffic, owns affiliate bath and beauty stores and has received international acclaim.

“Both of the local honorees are guiding examples of what it takes to make business thrive in northern New York,” said Rice. “St. Lawrence County should be proud of the accomplishments of these two women.”

Mrs. Maine’s efforts also extend to fostering other micro business enterprises. She routinely consults with soap makers who are working to grow their businesses. Recently, Maine formed the SunFeather Foundation which will soon offer micro-business loans to economically and educationally challenged entrepreneurs. The Foundation is funded by private contributions and services are administered by a non-profit board. All micro-loan recipients receive business guidance from SunFeather management and employees.

SUNY Canton Alumni Weekend, June 8-10

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

SUNY Canton’s annual Alumni Weekend festivities will be held Friday, June 8, through Sunday, June 10.

Some of the highlights at this year’s reunion include:

  • The second annual Clam Bake and Chicken Barbeque honoring the class of 1982 from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 8, in the Roselle Academic Plaza, just outside of the Richard W. Miller Campus Center. Music will be provided by Fred and the Eds, a favorite band at the college.
  • The alumni golf outing will be starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, at Potsdam Country Club.
  • A “Murder Mystery Dinner” from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 9, in Chaney Dining Center presented by Finger Lakes, Ltd., theatrical troupe. This event is open to the public. Tickets are $35 through the SUNY Canton Foundation and the evening includes admission to the President’s reception.
  • The SUNY Canton Ropes course will be open for alumni to zip across the Grasse River during “SUNY Canton Fear Factor” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday near the footbridges.
  • From 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, on the Roselle Academic Plaza, multiple generations of Delta Kappa Sigma (DKS) fraternity members will be holding a 30th anniversary reunion barbeque. All current and alumni DKS members and their families are invited.

For a complete listing of the weekend’s events, or for more information, contact 315-386-7127, or email


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.


Murder Mystery Dinner Comes to SUNY Canton

Monday, June 4th, 2007

SUNY Canton will be hosting a classic “who done it” style murder mystery dinner and community members are invited to help crack the case.

The college will step back in time to prohibition-era Chicago, as a group of guest detectives attempt to solve a Dick Tracey style caper during the “Murder Mystery Dinner” from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 9, in Chaney Dining Center. The event is being presented by Finger Lakes, Ltd., a theatrical group that specializes in intrigue.

The theatrical troupe and some guests will be donning their 1930’s vintage attire. Amidst the hilarity and theatrics, each table is presented a series of clues as the case unfolds.

Tickets to the Murder Mystery Dinner are $35 and include an invitation to President Joseph L. Kennedy’s personal reception from 5 to 6 p.m. also on Saturday at Chaney Dining Center. For more information, please contact the SUNY Canton office of Alumni and Development at 315.386.7127 or email


SUNY Canton and Moscow State to Expand Relations

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Several academic administrators from Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) in Russia recently visited SUNY Canton to build upon the strengths of the two colleges’ dual degree program.

“We are looking to create a deeper partnership and expand upon our existing programs,” noted Pauline A. Graveline, School of Liberal Studies and Support Services Dean. “We are finding that many possibilities for academic development and professional development, and overall collegiate expansion exist through SUNY Canton OnLine.”

Approximately two years ago, SUNY Canton was the first college within the State University of New York system to implement a dual degree program with Moscow State University. “Realizing the tremendous opportunities that our agreement affords students at Moscow State University, college administrators and educators from Russia are seeking to develop more dual degree programs with other colleges within SUNY, as well as with SUNY Canton,” said Provost Jeremy D. Brown.

The collected college officials, which included several faculty members who teach or participate in SUNY Canton OnLine courses, discussed several key areas of growth, including:

  • Creating courses or clusters of programs leading to certificates for students.
  • Professional training workshops for professionals at both colleges, delivered either face-to-face, or through video conferences.
  • Expanded training seminars for faculty members from both colleges to aid in online course development.
  • Developing courses for SUNY Canton students presented by International Scholars.
  • Continuing summer programs that offer immersion into English speaking homes and communities, while earning college credit.

SUNYIT School of Business Dean Stephen J. Havlovic also discussed expanding the Master of Business Administration program, so students at MSU who are enrolled in SUNY Canton’s Financial Services program can seamlessly earn their master’s degree. “We strive to present every opportunity available to our students, regardless of their geographic location,” said Brown.

The dignitaries and faculty members who visited the college included:

  • Alexander Mikhialev, Vice Rector for Distance Learning
  • Alexander Lukshin, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics at MSU
  • Petr Vrzheshch, Vice Rector for Science and Development from MSU
  • John Ryder, Director of International Programs from the State University of New York
  • Olga Zinovieva, Director the State University of New York Moscow Office of International Programs

SUNY Canton OnLine is one of the fastest growing sections of SUNY Canton and is open to students on-campus, in addition to those who live in a different state, or country.