Physical Therapist Assistant Professor Receives 2014 Distinguished Faculty Award

A professor who has dedicated her career at SUNY Canton to ensuring student success will receive this year’s Distinguished Faculty Award.

The College Council will present Deborah S. Molnar, DPT, with the award during the David V. Guccione Honors Convocation ceremony at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in the SUNY Canton Roos House Athletic Center. Molnar is a professor and also the program director of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director Deborah S. Molnar (second from left) demonstrates laboratory equipment to students Kaylee M. O’Donnell of DeKalb Junction, Stephanie R. Rondeau of Watertown and Alyssa R. Recny of Keeseville.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director Deborah S. Molnar (second from left) demonstrates laboratory equipment to students Kaylee M. O’Donnell of DeKalb Junction, Stephanie R. Rondeau of Watertown and Alyssa R. Recny of Keeseville.

She was chosen for her unwavering dedication to developing the PTA degree into one of SUNY Canton’s premier offerings. She successfully guided the program through two rigorous reaccreditation processes in 2002 and 2013, and the degree boasts students who consistently pass the national exam at a higher rate than other graduates nationwide.

“It is Deborah’s passion for the subject matter and engagement with her students that uniquely qualifies her for this award,” said SUNY Canton Dean of Academic Support Services and Instructional Technologies Molly A. Mott, Ph.D. “Her commitment to excellence in her teaching and the PTA program has enriched the lives of our students and that of the campus community.”

Molnar was also instrumental in crafting a highly successful partnership between SUNY Canton and the International Institute for Health Sciences (IIHS) in Sri Lanka. Students enrolled in the program attend IIHS for a year and a half before traveling to the U.S. to complete an additional three semesters at SUNY Canton. The first international students graduated in May 2013.

“Deborah has worked tirelessly to ensure the international initiative is reviewed properly, accreditation guidelines are met and the students are given an opportunity to change not only their lives but also the future of their country,” said SUNY Canton Visiting Professor and former Director of International Programs Marela Fiacco. “Bringing students from IIHS has also ensured that SUNY Canton students benefit from working side by side with students from Sri Lanka and gaining a better cultural understanding.”

Students are quick to note Molnar’s exceptional repertoire in the classroom and her dedication to helping others succeed.

“She was not just an instructor for us – she became one of the greatest teachers and friends we have ever met in our lives,” said Roshan Peiris, a PTA graduate from Sri Lanka. “She was always with us – supporting every way she could.”

Outside the classroom, Molnar is a member of numerous academic committees and serves as a faculty mentor. Her expertise in program development was instrumental in crafting the curriculum for the popular Health and Fitness Promotion bachelor’s degree, and she assisted with developing the four-year Veterinary Science program.

“Deborah has distinguished herself by maintaining an exceptional quality of work while ensuring attention and kindness to the people around her,” said colleague and Physical Therapist Assistant Professor Jennifer S. McDonald. “Her ability to listen attentively and act as a sounding board is unmatched. I consider it a privilege to work with her.”

Molnar resides in Norfolk with her husband, George, and two children, Sidney and Bodie.

 

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier College for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The College delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management, and public service to students in the North Country, New York State, and beyond. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The College’s 14 athletic teams compete in state-of-the-art facilities as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.

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