Archive for May, 2010

World War II Veteran Receiving Honors at SUNY Canton Commencement

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

A World War II Veteran who stepped forward as the first donor for SUNY Canton’s new athletic and convocation facility is slated to receive the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus award.

John L. Halford (class of 1949) will receive the prestigious honor at the 102nd Commencement Ceremony, to be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 22, in an outdoor ceremony adjacent to the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

“John has been an extraordinary supporter of SUNY Canton and his hometown of Gouverneur,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “His commitment and dedication to our country and this College makes us proud in so many ways. His support and generosity toward his alma mater have been remarkable. We are proud to honor him with this award as a small token of our appreciation for his wonderful and productive involvement with us and his lifetime of exceptional achievements.”

Halford and his wife Nelta recently made a donation in support of the Convocation, Athletic, and Recreation Center, which has been nicknamed Roos House. His donation secured the naming rights to an elevated seating and viewing area overlooking the new rink. Through their pledge, the exclusive area will be forever named the “Halford Alumni Suite.”

The Roos House seating area will be the second location on campus honored with the Halford name. In 2005, they pledged further support to the College Foundation, which led to the creation of the Halford Lobby on the entry level of the Faculty Office Building. They have also created an equipment endowment for the air conditioning technology programs and sponsor nine students annually through two scholarships.

“John has been a devoted SUNY Canton Alumnus for decades,” said Marti King MacArthur of the class of 1974 and 1978 and the 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Alumna award. “He has diligently supported and encouraged students and is committed to the value of a SUNY Canton education. He’s also an active community member.”

Through his endowments, Halford strives to help students realize their dreams and create chances where none previously existed. “College is all about opportunities in life,” he said. “I hope that through my scholarships I can help students see all the possibilities that lay ahead.”

At the age of 17, Halford entered the U.S. Marine Corps and served his country during World War II. After being honorably discharged, he returned to Gouverneur, finished high school, and went on to SUNY Canton (then called the Agricultural and Technical Institute) to study air conditioning technology. He then moved to Long Island and worked for Brookhaven National Laboratory as a technology specialist. He later became Suffolk County maintenance supervisor of buildings and grounds.

“John is one of the most impressive individuals I have ever met,” said Vice President for Advancement David M. Gerlach. “He fought for our country in World War II. He achieved tremendous success in his professional life. And throughout his entire life and even now, he is a complete gentleman who assists others whenever possible, particularly the young people of Gouverneur and Northern New York.”

He is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Gouverneur and a Mason of more than 50 years. He is a supporter of the E.J. Noble Hospital, Hermon-DeKalb Senior Citizens Center, and the Gouverneur Senior Citizens Center. He also volunteers for the Richville Library.

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


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Associate Professor of Physics Selected as SUNY Canton’s Distinguished Faculty

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

An innovative faculty member in the SUNY Canton Canino School of Engineering Technology has been selected as the recipient of the College Council’s 2010 Distinguished Faculty Award.

Associate Professor of Physics Feng Hong, Ph.D., will be among those recognized at the College’s 102nd Commencement Ceremony held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 22, in an outdoor ceremony adjacent to the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

Students and faculty members have praised Hong for his advanced mastery of the field of physics in addition to his ability to make it tangible for his students.

“Dr. Hong is one our most accomplished and supportive faculty members,” said Canino School of Engineering Technology Dean David J. Wells. “Physics is a foundational topic for all of the engineering technology curricula. Dr. Hong helps students acquire the knowledge and ability necessary for their career-driven fields of study.”

In addition to his teaching accolades, Hong has been integral in introducing the global community to SUNY Canton by serving as the Chinese program coordinator. He also worked as a liaison to students in the SUNY China 150 program and helped them learn adapt to college life in Canton. Many of his colleagues noted his countless hours of dedication to his volunteer work.

“His efforts and dedication have helped SUNY Canton meet with several potential partner institutions in China,” said Ryan P. Deuel, the college’s chief of staff. “He has helped to draw visiting scholars from China to the campus, helping SUNY Canton become a more culturally diverse and internationalized institution.”

Hong has also worked on numerous grant proposals on behalf of the College for the National Science Foundation including, Women in Engineering Day, a solar energy research project for Girl Scouts funded through Corning Foundation, and a program for the Salmon River School District exposing students to science, technology, and math.

“Anyone who has had the honor of working with Dr. Hong knows that he exceeds all expectations for any given task,” said Maureen P. Maiocco, director of the early childhood program and Hong’s colleague. “He is passionate about the education of his students, his field of study, his colleagues, and SUNY Canton.”

He received his bachelor of science degree in physics from Zhejiang University in China in 1986 and went on to earn his master’s and doctorate degrees from North Dakota State University in 2001 and 2004, respectively. While at North Dakota State, Hong worked as a research assistant, a lab instructor, and served as a BRIN Graduate Teaching Internship Fellow, teaching both physical science and tutored mathematics at Fort Berthold Community College.

Upon graduation from North Dakota State, he served as a postdoctoral research associate in the chemistry department at Washington State University until July 2005 when he began his work with SUNY Canton. He has won four golden apple awards from incoming Phi Theta Kappa honor society students denoting his excellence as an educator.

Hong lives in Potsdam with his wife Yimei Zhu, they have one daughter, Kaelynn.

The Distinguished Faculty Award is given annually to a current member of the SUNY Canton faculty who demonstrates a mastery of subject matter, effectiveness in teaching, the ability to contribute to the College in a scholarly way, a commitment to the College, and a desire to continue growing professionally. Hong is the 30th recipient of the award.

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


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