Archive for May, 2019

Funeral Services Administration Professor Receives Distinguished Faculty Award

Friday, May 24th, 2019

The SUNY Canton College Council has selected a highly respected expert in the funeral services field as the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Faculty Award.

Professor Emeritus Barry W. Walch was recognized at the college’s William J. Mein Honors Convocation Ceremony April 24.

Barry Walch speaks at Honors Convocation 2019

Walch’s career at SUNY Canton has spanned 30 years, during which time he played a key role in developing two academic programs: an associate degree in Mortuary Science, and a bachelor’s degree in Funeral Services Administration. His ongoing work to revise and update the four-year program’s curriculum has resulted in improved student test scores on the National Board Exam. His university service also includes 16 years as chair of the Curriculum Committee.

Many of Walch’s current and former students supported his nomination, saying he was an influential mentor and professor. The Phi Theta Kappa honor society has presented him with six Golden Apple Awards, which honors outstanding faculty members. 

“Barry’s teaching style exemplifies quality education at a collegiate level,” said Walch’s former student Steven L. Johnson, class of 2005 and 2016, a licensed funeral director and an adjunct instructor in SUNY Canton’s Funeral Services Administration program. “His ability to take complicated concepts and make them understandable by providing real-life examples and interesting anecdotes is what makes him unique.”

Walch’s colleagues also praised his skill in developing the right learning environment necessary to promote success.

Barry Walch receives his award from Brayden White and President Szafran

“Barry is a skilled educator who is passionate about teaching. His ability to engage and involve students in obtaining knowledge of subject matter is exemplary,” said SUNY Canton Professor Maureen P. Maiocco, Ed.D., director of the Early Childhood and Early Childhood Care and Management degree programs. “Students and colleagues appreciate his friendly demeanor, humor and collaborative nature.”

Walch’s position as a leader in his field was also a contributing factor to his selection. He is the former director of the New York State Funeral Directors Association and a founding director of the Tribute Foundation, the association’s philanthropic arm. The foundation seeks to stimulate research, improve and support professional education, increase public outreach, and sponsor forums to foster policy dialogue on end-of-life issues.

His commitment to education extends beyond campus, and he frequently leads continuing education seminars for licensed embalmers and funeral directors, as well as for hospice volunteers.  

Upon receiving his award, Walch spoke to the audience about the importance of college’s mission as an applied learning institution.

“We equip students with the skills and competencies to be on the front lines of socially significant fields like law enforcement, disaster mitigation and emergency health care,” he said. “You take care of our pets and farm animals; our young children and our computers. Our graduates serve the community, and I feel great about that.”

Walch holds an Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science from the New England Institute of Anatomy, Sanitary Science and Embalming; a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Colby College; and a Master of Education in Counseling from the University of New Hampshire.

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. 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 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

SUNY Canton Announces 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

Friday, May 24th, 2019

SUNY Canton has selected seven individuals to be added to the illustrious college-wide Hall of Fame. 

SUNY Canton Hall of Fame Trophy

“With each Hall of Fame induction, we are reminded of the impressive accomplishments of SUNY Canton alumni and friends,” said Vice President for Advancement Anne M. Sibley. “This year we will celebrate alumni who have built substantial businesses, professors who helped start the college’s first four-year program, and an engineer who worked on all of the Apollo space missions.”

The college will honor its 2019 inductees during a dinner celebration to be held at 5 p.m. Friday, June 7, in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center. The event is part of the college’s annual Alumni Weekend celebration and will be open to the public, but preregistration is required. Contact the Canton College Foundation and Alumni Offices for more information at 315-386-7127 or email alumni@canton.edu

The 2019 Hall of Fame inductees are:

Edward W. Bedell is a 1969 graduate and the president and CEO of COP Construction based in Salt Lake City, Utah. COP is a general contracting company that specializes in bridges, dams and other concrete structures. Bedell serves on the Civil Engineering Technology program’s curriculum advisory board and sponsors SUNY Canton interns at COP. 

Francis A. “Ike” Cook was a 1993 graduate and cofounded the Watertown-based Blue Line Engineering in 2015 with his close friend and 1996 alumnus Jeffrey J. Tubolino. He served on the Canton College Foundation Board of Directors and was a lifelong friend of the college. Cook passed away in Sept. 2018. 

Janet E. Felosky is a 1970 graduate and the president and CEO of Monroe Tractor in central and western New York. She became CEO of the 11-outlet family-run agriculture and construction equipment company in 2013. Monroe Tractor was recently named one of the “Top Workplaces” among small businesses. 

Professor Emeritus David V. Guccione and his colleague, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Theodore E. Marlowe, played a key role in establishing a strong Criminal Justice presence at SUNY Canton. The two professors started the David Sullivan St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy in 1996 and launched the college’s first four-year degree, Criminal Investigation, in 1997. David has continued to teach during his retirement and volunteers with many local organizations.

Camille Howland Mariani was a 1976 graduate who established her career as a journalist and lifelong writer. Mariani was the editor of Canton’s St. Lawrence Plaindealer prior to serving as assistant to the president for public affairs at SUNY Canton. She also wrote the history of the college titled “70 Years of Change.” After she retired, she wrote suspense novels and published 11 books before her passing in 2017.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Theodore E. Marlowe helped establish SUNY Canton as a leader in the Criminal Justice field. As noted, Marlow and Guccione launched the David Sullivan St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy in 1996 and helped create the college’s first four-year degree, Criminal Investigation, in 1997. After retiring, he established the Criminal Justice Alumni Award to assist students with internship expenses.

Robert M. Mucica is a 1956 graduate who worked on all of the Apollo space missions. After graduating, he went to work for Rocketdyne, a division of North American Aviation, later acquired by Rockwell International and finally by Boeing. He retired as the company’s manager of power systems. He’s been a strong supporter of the Canton College Foundation. 

In addition to inducting the newest members of the Hall of Fame, the college will also celebrate its newest Distinguished Alumni award recipients, Elizabeth B. and Walter J. Haig, who are graduates of the classes of 1988 and 1989, respectively. The couple credit their successful careers to the start they got at SUNY Canton. Elizabeth is a registered nurse who works as a manager with Eddy Visiting Nurse and Rehab Association. Walter is Vice President of Bentley Systems. They have been strong organizers as alumni, maintaining connections among classmates and their fraternity and sorority fellows. Elizabeth is on the Board of Directors of Hannah’s Hope Fund, a charity in Rexford, and Walter serves on the Board of Directors of the Canton College Foundation. They established a scholarship endowment at SUNY Canton to assist students with financial need.

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. 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 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

SUNY Canton Graduates Nearly 900 Students at 111th Commencement

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

SUNY Canton celebrated the class of 2019 at the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony held Saturday, May 11, at the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center.

SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill, class of 1963, opened the ceremony by asking the graduates to reflect on the memories and lifelong friendships they have made.

Dan Miller opens the 111th Commencement
Dan Miller ’83 opens the 111th Commencement Ceremony.

“I hope that as you move forward in your lives and careers, you will not only remember this day, but remember all those remarkable people who helped you along the way,” he said.

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran noted this year’s class comprises nearly 900 graduates who range in age from 18 to 63 years old and represent 22 U.S. states and 6 foreign countries, including Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

President Szafran, Andrew Fitch, and Courtney Bish
Pictured are (l to r) SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran, Outstanding Graduate Andrew P. Fitch and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish during the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony held May 11.

He then introduced two graduates who earned outstanding graduate awards: Andrew P. Fitch, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Australia, and Tia M. Tassava, a Management major from Chubbuck, Idaho. Ashley J. Livingston, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Lisbon, was also recognized as the winner of the David R. Maynard Student Activities Award.

Student Government Association President Brayden S. White gave the senior class address, noting the college’s commitment to its motto “everyone is welcome here.”

Ashley Livingston stands up to be honored for her David R. Maynard Student Activities Award
SUNY Canton graduate Ashley Livingston of Lisbon was recognized as the college’s David R. Maynard Student Activities Award winner during the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are woven into the fabric of campus life, and because of that our education is holistically complete, which prepares us to go out and make a difference,” he said.

The keynote address was delivered by alumnus and retired Major General Fergal I. Foley, class of 1980. 

Foley, who earned an associate degree in Business Management and was commissioned as a second lieutenant from the ROTC program, said he owed much of his success to the college.

“SUNY Canton was a solid foundation for me, and my degree has been instrumental throughout my career. My experience was certainly a factor in building my confidence to take risks.”

Retired Major General Fergal Foley applauds graduates at the 111th Commencement Ceremony
Retired Major General Fergal I. Foley, class of 1980, applauds graduates at SUNY Canton’s 111th Commencement Ceremony. Foley was the keynote speaker and received an honorary doctorate at the event.

He served in the New York Army National Guard from 1982 until 2006, during which time his assignments included deputy commander and chief of staff for Joint Task Force “Operation World Trade Center” after 9/11. He has returned to campus several times to talk to students about his experiences.

Foley told the audience that graduation should signify a new chapter in their relationship with the college.

“When you cross the stage, it’s not the end—it’s a transition. You are part of this SUNY Canton family for life. I recommend remaining connected with alumni affairs to take advantage of all the great services and keeping in touch with your classmates. And if I can ever be of service to help you, I will. We’re all family now, and that’s what families do—we take care of each other.”

Upon presenting Foley with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, Szafran noted his “outstanding service to the nation, state and SUNY Canton.”

Fergal Foley awards a graduate with a medal.
Retired Major General Fergal I. Foley ’80 presents a graduate with a special medallion.

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

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

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

Additionally, 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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. 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 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

SUNY Canton Two-Sport Athlete Receives Outstanding Graduate Award

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

A Management major who played hockey and golf for the SUNY Canton Kangaroos will be receiving one of the college’s top awards.

Tia Tassava

Tia M. Tassava of Chubbuck, Idaho, will receive the Outstanding Graduate Award at the bachelor’s degree level at the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11, in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center. 

Tassava, who has lived and worked in Canton for the last four years, is earning her bachelor’s degree in Management with minors in both Marketing and Graphic and Multimedia Design. She’s been noted as an exceptionally quick learner who adapts to new situations easily. 

“Tia was tasked with a leadership role within her student ambassador position in SUNY Canton’s Admissions office,” said SUNY Canton Senior Admissions Counselor Jacob M. Yaeger. “She communicates well, often gives positive feedback to her peers, and always looks for ways to improve herself.”

She’s consistently held the highest GPA in her academic program and received President’s List honors during her entire four years at the college. She also won a Student Ambassador of the Year award for her hard work and exceptional dedication.

As part of an internship, Tassava ran the Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for the Actions for Change Food and Music Festival. The event was the grand finale of a weeklong series of concerts across the U.S. held with the goal of providing love, hope and healing in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Fla.

Tia Tassava hits a chip shot onto the green.

“Tia was chosen for this exclusive responsibility for her adept management and social skills,” said SUNY Canton Professor Charles R. Fenner, who teaches in the Management program. “Her organizational skills and attention to detail led her to perform above and beyond expectations.”

She originally came to SUNY Canton to play hockey but suffered a major injury in 2017. After recovering, she picked up women’s golf, where she tied for first place in the SUNY Canton Invitational and had four top-ten finishes in her final season. She was also named to the Colonial Hockey Conference All-Academic Team.

Following graduation, Tassava will work as a Client Advocate for Day & Nite All Service, a commercial refrigeration, kitchen equipment, HVAC, and plumbing company headquartered in Long 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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. 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 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

Mechanical Engineering Technology Student and Basketball Standout Wins SUNY Canton’s Outstanding Graduate Award

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

A standout basketball player and Mechanical Engineering Technology graduate is being recognized for his humble manner and goal-driven attitude.

Andrew Fitch

Andrew P. Fitch will receive the Outstanding Graduate Award for the associate degree level at the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11, in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center. 

Fitch was born in Manitoba, Canada, and came to SUNY Canton from Melbourne, Australia. He has earned President’s List honors, has achieved the highest GPA in his program for two years in a row, and was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa honor society for his academic performance. 

“Andrew is a leader in the classroom,” said SUNY Canton Assistant Professor Daniel J. Miller, who teaches in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. “His peers seek his help on group problems and respect his knowledge.” 

He’s become an active member of the campus community, serving as a resident assistant and as a student representative on the College Association Board of Directors.

Fitch’s true passion is basketball. He began his athletic career as an exceptional freshman for the SUNY Canton Kangaroos, when he broke the school record for single season blocks. He earned the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) All-Second Team honors, three Eastern College Athletic Conference-North Rookie of the Week awards and an ACAA Player of the Week honor.

Andrew Fitch rises up for a two handed dunk.

“Andrew is one of the most well-rounded young men that I have ever had the pleasure of coaching,” said SUNY Canton Men’s Basketball Coach Benjamin P. Thompson. “He has done so many things for our program and this community behind the scenes and is always willing to lend a helping hand.” 

In his second season, the seven-foot-tall athlete broke his own record for blocks, placing him in the top five of all divisions in the NCAA. He has a career record of 170 blocks and counting. Most recently, Fitch has earned North Atlantic Conference (NAC) All-Second Team honors, NAC Defensive Player of the year, and was included on the NAC Sportsmanship Team.

Fitch plans to further his education in SUNY Canton’s four-year Mechanical Engineering Technology program, while continuing his basketball career at the college.

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. 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 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.