Archive for December, 2012

SUNY Canton Foundation Awards $30,000 for Campus Enhancements

Friday, December 21st, 2012
Mary Karr

Mary Karr, author of award-winning memoirs, was one of the previous guest speakers at SUNY Canton’s Living Writers Series. The series will be funded through the College Foundation this spring.

The SUNY Canton College Foundation recently announced the recipients of the 7th annual Campus Enhancement Awards.

“These projects are made possible through unrestricted donations, which are an important resource the College utilizes to fund creative and innovative projects that benefit our community,” said Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the SUNY Canton College Foundation David M. Gerlach. “We are extremely grateful to all of the donors who have supported the Foundation.”

Some unrestricted donations come directly from SUNY Canton faculty and staff members. Last year, more than 230 employees donated approximately $60,000 to the Foundation via payroll deductions.

Among this year’s Campus Enhancement Awards are:

  • The Living Writers lecture series during the spring semester.
  • Instructional software for nursing students.
  • A professional practice field trip for students in the graphic and multimedia design program.
  • Healthy lifestyle training programs.
  • A student field trip to the United Nations building in New York City.
  • Funds for students to attend the 2013 Regional Steel Bridge Competition.
  • New equipment and other upgrades to the student resource library.
  • Problem-solving software for engineering students.

In addition to the annual Campus Enhancement Awards, the College Foundation also funds student scholarships, professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and unique learning and research fellowships.

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SUNY Canton Seeks Distinguished Citizen Nominations

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

SUNY CantonSUNY Canton is seeking nominations for its annual College Council Distinguished Citizen Award.

Since 1976, the College has given this prestigious award in recognition of exceptional, unusual, and distinguished service to SUNY Canton, to the community, to the state, or to the nation.

Members of the community are invited to submit nominations for the award. Nominations, which must be submitted in writing, should include the name; position/title; a description; and a brief biography of the nominee. At least three letters of support from non-family members should accompany the nomination. Nominations, which are due Feb. 1, 2013, should be submitted to Mr. Ronald O’Neill, College Council Chairman, SUNY Canton, 34 Cornell Drive – FOB 616, Canton, NY 13617.

The SUNY Canton College Council will select the recipient at its March 2013 meeting. The award will be announced at the President’s Gala reception, just before Commencement 2013, and the recipient’s name will be prominently displayed on a plaque in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

Last year’s recipient of the prestigious award was Town Supervisor David T. Button.

For more information, contact Michaela Young, secretary to the president, at (315) 386-7204 or by email at youngm@canton.edu.

 

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SUNY Canton Unveils New Television Commercials

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

SUNY Canton is debuting two new television advertisements, which highlight what’s new at the College.

“Our new commercials help get the word out about the tremendous growth that has been occurring at SUNY Canton,” said SUNY Canton Interim President Carli C. Schiffner. “But they also reinforce what remains unchanged — our commitment to providing a career-focused education.”

The new advertisements feature current students and employers promoting new four-year degree programs, including applied psychology, homeland security, and civil and environmental technology. The commercials’ backdrop consists of scenic campus settings, such as the newly constructed footbridges, which connect the campus to downtown Canton, as well as the new athletic center and Grasse River Housing Suites.

The spots also emphasize unique aspects of the campus, including the pet-friendly residence hall wing and the College’s proximity to the Grasse River, which allows students to enjoy canoeing and kayaking.

Earlier this year, SUNY Canton received a best of category award for their 2011-12 television advertising campaign from the SUNY Council on University Advancement. In 2011, the College received a judges’ citation for its previous 30-second spots in the same category.

“We’ve stuck with our award-winning formula, but made key changes to the commercials,” noted SUNY Canton Director of Public Relations Randy B. Sieminski. “We’ve changed the music, the settings, and the footage while maintaining our branding and reputation.”

The College contracts the Plattsburgh-based production company Media Central to film and edit the commercials. They will appear throughout the state and on local North Country channels. The videos are also posted to the College’s YouTube channel and are available at: http://www.canton.edu/public_relations/video.html

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.

 

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SUNY Potsdam & SUNY Canton Making Strides On Shared Services

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Colleges Work Together on Payroll, HR, Budget, Environmental Health & Safety and Sustainability

SUNY Canton & SUNY Potsdam

As the fall semester draws to a close, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton are continuing to make great strides toward shared services offerings to streamline and bolster services on both campuses. The campus alliance work is advancing in several important areas.

“Shared services is paying off in a number of ways for us at SUNY Canton,” said SUNY Canton Interim President Carli C. Schiffner. “It has allowed both schools to collaborate on best practices so that we can streamline operations and improve services for our students. Faculty and staff at both schools deserve a lot of credit for their accomplishments and innovative approaches.”

“This has been a remarkable semester of conversation and collaboration. SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton staff and faculty have been reaching out to colleagues at the other campus to discuss ideas, with a renewed respect for the important role both campuses play in the region,” said SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller. “The strides we have made in administrative areas will allow both campuses to harness the power of systemness to redirect resources toward the unique academic experiences both colleges offer.”

Budget

With the onset of the new SUNY budget resource allocation model, both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton have realized the benefit of updating the campus budgeting process. Both colleges are now searching for a shared executive director of budgets. This position will be responsible for assisting in the design and rollout of a standardized budget process, which would allow Potsdam and Canton to share knowledge and resources. The SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton budget offices are working closely together on a new budget policies and procedures manual. This is especially beneficial, in light of both campuses needing to learn the details of a new budget model. Both campus budgets will continue to remain independent, with no mingling of funds.

Payroll

The two colleges identified the payroll function as an area for possible cooperation in January 2012. It was quickly understood that there was a need for change to reduce redundancy, gain efficiency, integrate solutions, standardize processes and procedures where possible, and lower costs. To accomplish this, it was necessary to move from two separate transactional entities to a shared dynamic, innovative operation. The two campuses completed an analysis, designed a phased approach for integrated payroll and identified short-term needs, starting with student payroll. Full implementation of the payroll project will be complete in March 2013. This will result in the payroll function being processed completely as one unit for both campuses.

Human Resources

In addition to payroll, the area of human resources has made significant headway toward sharing services. Mary K. Dolan, who was formerly the director of human resources at SUNY Potsdam, has been named the assistant vice president for human resources for both campuses. Her new role is a shared position overseeing one Office of Human Resources for both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton.

“Human resources is a critical function, and in this time of budget constraint, we must be innovative and willing to change the way we do things. My team has stepped up to the challenge, and is already beginning to reap the benefits of efficiencies,” Dolan said.

Betty Connolly, the former director of human resources at SUNY Canton, has accepted a position there as the assistant vice president for administration.

A new human resources generalist search is underway to assist on the Canton campus. This will create a structure of three generalist roles that will focus on talent acquisition, workplace relations and practices and HR operations. The shared office is tackling tasks such as implementing an online applicant system that will be the same at both campuses. A cost savings is expected, as well as critical efficiencies.

Environmental Health & Safety

The Office of Environmental Health & Safety is also charging forward with the shared services initiative. Calvin Smith, the director at SUNY Potsdam, has accepted the position of director of environmental health and safety for both campuses. This means that his time and responsibilities will be split, and his salary will be shared. He reports to Vice President for Business Affairs and Administrative Services Natalie Higley.

“The focus on protecting our students, faculty, staff, visitors, contractors and our environment is something both campuses have always shared. I look forward to building stronger environmental health and safety programs at both campuses, and blending our efforts whenever possible,” Smith said.

SUNY Canton did not previously have an EH&S department on campus, and in order to expedite its formation, a private occupational health, safety and environmental consulting firm will conduct a compliance analysis of all campus programs. This third-party assessment process is a private sector model, one that Smith used to enhance and expand the existing EH&S department at SUNY Potsdam when he joined the campus six years ago. The Colden Corporation, which also led the Potsdam analysis, is conducting the Canton assessment. Smith’s team at Potsdam now includes one EH&S professional, two inspection/testing technicians, a fire inspection manager and one support staff member.

Following the third-party assessment, the analysis will be used as the compliance framework and guide for the new EH&S program at SUNY Canton. It will also serve as a tool during the selection process for a new EH&S professional who will be hired specifically to fill Canton’s needs. Additionally, the campus may hire inspection/testing technicians, depending on the results of the analysis. Colden Corp. anticipates that this analysis will be complete in Spring 2013.

Sustainability

In addition to the efforts in the area of environmental health and safety, both campuses are working together to make both campuses more “green.” SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton are currently seeking a joint sustainability coordinator, to oversee efforts to reduce the carbon footprint at both colleges. This will replace the part-time sustainability position that SUNY Potsdam used to have, and will add a part-time professional to work toward these important goals on the Canton campus.

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. For more information visit www.potsdam.edu.

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SUNY Canton Graduate Makes Music Video Promoting Peace in Ghana

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

A 2011 SUNY Canton graduate has unveiled a new music video to encourage peace and understanding a week before elections in his home country.

Okyere “Walter” Twumasi of Brooklyn recently contacted several of his former professors to share his production. Using his own musical resources and the artistry of his friends, he composed, arranged and produced a bilingual rap/hip-hop song to encourage his belief in peace for Ghana, and in the entire world.

Okyere Twumasi

Recent SUNY Canton graduate Okyere “Walter” Twumasi from his new music video.

“On December 7, Ghana will have their election for their next president,” Twumasi said. “On that note, I have composed a song to help promote peace among the various political parties, ethnic groups and tribes.”

Twumasi, who studied healthcare management at SUNY Canton, said his homeland is one of the most beautiful, but poorest and chaotic places in the world.

Previously, Twumasi composed a song about SUNY Canton while he was taking classes on campus and was a member of the Gospel Choir. He also won second place in the 2007 RooTube video contest.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.

 

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