Bridge Team Advisers Receive Prestigious SUNY Canton Excellence in College Service Award

SUNY Canton’s College Council recently honored two instructional support associates for their contributions to the Canino School of Engineering Technology and to the incredible success of the College’s student steel bridge team.

Paul D. Hitchman ’95 and Dennis E. Tuper ’02 received the 2013 Excellence in College Service Award for their countless hours of dedication and work with the SUNY Canton student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers in preparation for regional and national intercollegiate competition.

paul denis

Dennis E. Tuper and Paul D. Hitchman, instructional support
Associates in the Canino School of Engineering Technology and ASCE Steel Bridge Team advisors, both received the SUNY Canton Excellence in College Service Award.

“Paul’s and Dennis’ enthusiasm and commitment to student success are well known across the SUNY Canton community,” said SUNY Canton Interim President Carli C. Schiffner. “Their contributions to the College and to the bridge team have been invaluable and are most deserving of this award.”

Each year, engineering student teams from across North America construct a one-tenth-scale model bridge designed to meet certain criteria, such as construction speed, lightness, display, stiffness, economy and efficiency. Under Hitchman’s and Tuper’s guidance, the SUNY Canton team placed first in regional competition 14 times in the past 17 years, including this year, by besting rivals like Cornell University, Clarkson University and the Rochester Institute of Technology and even captured the national championship title in 2009.


Hitchman previously worked as a designer and draftsman for engineering firms before joining SUNY Canton as a Civil Engineering Technology instructional support associate. He advises the students in designing, drawing and fabricating the bridge. Tuper, an Automotive Technology instructional support associate, is a certified master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. In addition to advising the students on bridge assembly, he welds all the bridge components for competition.

Outside the classroom, Hitchman and Tuper have worked with the Canton College Foundation to raise the necessary funds needed to purchase bridge materials and cover travel expenses for the team. They both also regularly volunteer their time to assist with other College events.

The Excellence in College Service Award is presented annually to a member of the professional staff who demonstrates effectiveness in performance and university service, professional ability and mastery in their specialization.

SUNY Canton offers a variety of career-driven bachelor’s degrees in addition to its associate and certificate programs. In the past year, the College added two new bachelor’s degrees and expanded its facilities with a new athletic center, nicknamed Roos House, and the Grasse River Suites Residence Hall. The College’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers flexible and convenient online courses and programs. The College’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III as well as the USCAA.


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