Posts Tagged ‘Bill Owens’

More Than 1,150 Students Receive Degrees at SUNY Canton’s 107th Commencement

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

SUNY Canton recognized the accomplishments of approximately 1,150 graduates at the college’s 107th Commencement Ceremony held today, May 9, in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center.


Pierre Nzuah, an international student from Cameroon who has lived in Canton for the past four years, sits among his peers at SUNY Canton’s 107th Commencement.

“I am extremely proud of everyone as you achieve this major goal in your lives,” said President Zvi Szafran, Ph.D.  “I know that as you move forward in life, you’ll be able to accomplish many great things, as have the alumni from SUNY Canton who have preceded you.”

This is Szafran’s first commencement as SUNY Canton’s president. He was officially inaugurated April 10.

Among the faculty members recognized at the ceremony was Associate Professor of Mathematics Daniel J. Gagliardi, Ph.D., who received the 2015 Distinguished Faculty award.


Associate Professor of Mathematics Daniel J. Gagliardi addresses the audience at SUNY Canton’s commencement after receiving the Distinguished Faculty award.

“SUNY Canton is a place where people can make a new life for themselves,” Gagliardi said. “Some people go from a minimum wage job to a meaningful career with the potential for unlimited growth. I’ve seen this happen year after year with every graduating class, and I’m very proud to be a part of the institution that’s making it happen.”

The keynote address was given by retired Congressman William L. “Bill” Owens, who received an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree in recognition of his advocacy for the North Country and his devoted support of SUNY Canton.


SUNY Canton’s Commencement keynote address was delivered by former U.S. Congressman William L. “Bill” Owens. He was presented an honorary doctorate at the ceremony.

“When I look around the audience today and see the fresh faces of graduates, I think of how you are going to lead us as we go forward,” Owens said. “I want you to focus on the idea that you are going to lead us. Whether if that is leading in your community, whether it is in your job, you need to understand what it means to be a leader.”


Students prepare to hear their names called at SUNY Canton’s 107th Commencement. More than 1,150 students were recognized on stage for their accomplishments.

A number of students were recognized at the ceremony, including:

  • Electrical Engineering Technology major Christopher A. Dwyer from Chittenango, who earned the Outstanding Associate Graduate award. Dwyer now resides in Ogdensburg.
  • Civil Engineering Technology major Alyssa M. Baker from Boonville, who received the Outstanding Baccalaureate Graduate award.
  • Electrical Engineering Technology major Pierre Nzuah from Cameroon, and Veterinary Science Technology major Danielle St-Denis from Massena, who both earned the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

A student celebrates the joyous occasion with a graduation “selfie.”

The top five bachelor’s degrees awarded, in order of popularity, were Legal Studies, Management, Finance, Nursing and Criminal Investigation.

The five most popular associate degrees were Criminal Justice, Nursing, Liberal Arts, Veterinary Science Technology and Individual Studies.

SUNY Canton Students Help Defend a K-9 Deputy

Thursday, March 7th, 2013


SUNY Canton students outfitted the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 officer with new gear that could save his life.

A chocolate Labrador retriever named Hershey now wears dog-fitted body armor that almost completely matches the bulletproof protection worn by his partner, Deputy Andrew J. Ashley.

Hershey with students

Undersheriff Scott F. Bono noted Hershey faces danger every day alongside his human companion.

“Three student-run organizations pooled resources to purchase body armor for Hershey,” said Professor William J. Fassinger, who teaches in the Criminal Investigation program. “The American Criminal Justice Association, the Criminal Justice Student Association, and the Veterinary Technology Club all pitched in to purchase the Kevlar vest.”

Fassinger explained that Eli Max, a Criminal Investigation major and a cadet in the St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy, spearheaded fundraising efforts. Max ran raffles, and assisted his club with t-shirt sales, and sold flowers. “The vest cost about $1,000 and we spent about four months raising money,” he said.

Hershey 2013 Photo 2

The generosity of the student organizations gained the attention of Congressman Bill Owens. In a letter, Owens complemented the excellent work the clubs had done to equip Hershey with the new armor. “K-9 units substantially augment law enforcement capabilities in rural communities, and your efforts are greatly appreciated,” he wrote.

The clubs are prepared to donate a second vest, and hope to make more K-9 body armor donations in the future. For further information on the SUNY Canton K-9 Armor project, contact Fassinger at, or call (315) 386-7917.

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