Archive for the ‘Commencement’ Category

Canton’s Dan Fay Wins SUNY Chancellor’s Top Faculty Award

Monday, May 16th, 2011

SUNY Canton Accounting Professor and 2011 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service recipient Daniel G. Fay at the College's recent Honors Convocation celebration.

A faculty member with more than four decades of service to SUNY Canton and numerous ties to the Town and Village of Canton will receive one of the highest recognitions possible from the State University of New York.

Accounting Professor Daniel G. Fay will be recognized as a recipient of Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service at SUNY Canton’s 103rd Commencement Ceremony to be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21, in the College’s brand-new athletic center, nicknamed Roos House.

“Professor Fay has an indelible love for accounting and business education,” SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy said. “Within the SUNY Canton Community, he’s embraced and helped shape our College as it stands today, and his commitment will be recognized for years to come. I’m proud SUNY has chosen to bestow this award for his unwavering support and service to our College.”

As a faculty member, Fay has influenced generations of students who have become among the most prominent alumni at the College. He is well known and highly regarded as an outstanding educator and community leader. According to letters of support from faculty members and students, he strives to provide every opportunity to increase scholarship, diversity and positive relationships. His unwavering dedication has been described as “amazing” and “unsurpassed.”

“Professor Fay offers a high level of excellence in his professional knowledge and in the high standards he maintains in his teaching,” said Assistant Professor of Finance Umesh Kumar, Fay’s professional colleague. “He is simply an outstanding individual. I especially appreciate his ability to be a caring, proactive and effective educator.”

Fay has been an active board member of the SUNY Canton College Foundation for more than 20 years. He has helped create student scholarships through the Eileen and George Fay Endowment and the Linda Fay Endowment. Additionally, he’s helped create the SUNY Canton Investment Club, which analyzes and recommends investments for the College Foundation.

“We can learn a lot from Dan beyond his keen business sense and accounting abilities,” said Julie A. Parkman, Associate Director for Advancement. “He teaches his students and peers alike that they can accomplish anything by working hard, being confident and courteous, while remembering to help others.”

Fay is a Town of Canton Councilman, an area business owner, and an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He’s served as a St. Lawrence County Legislator and a member of the Canton Highway, Audit, and Recreation Committees.

Sports have played a large role in his life. Included in Fay’s athletic accomplishments are his intercollegiate wrestling career and his participation on the U.S. Bobsled team during the 1971 Winter Games. He has coached lacrosse for second-grade students and was an assistant varsity lacrosse coach at Canton’s Hugh C. Williams High School for numerous years. His excellent record has led him to be inducted into Clarkson University’s Hall of Fame and Massena Central High School’s Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Hugh C. Williams High School Hall of Fame as an outstanding supporter of local athletics.

After the recent retirement of Biology Professor Michael M. Peebles, Fay became the senior-most faculty member at the College. Peebles passed on his duties to Fay at SUNY Canton’s Honors Convocation, which included carrying the College’s ceremonial mace at formal events. Fay will lead the procession of faculty for the first time at this year’s Commencement – the very same day he will receive public recognition for this prestigious award.

Dan is married to SUNY Canton Distinguished Professor Emeritus Linda L. Fay, who was recognized last year when the College chose to name Honors Convocation in her honor. They have three children, Mrs. Steven (Kelley) Glasgow, Edward, and John, and two grandchildren, Garret and Paige.

He is also closely associated with Anywar Ricky Richard, a former childhood soldier and the founder of Friends of Orphans, an organization that supports former child soldiers in Uganda, Africa. The Fays brought Richard to SUNY Canton as a guest speaker. His speech is widely remembered as one of the most poignant and informative lectures at the College.

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


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Assistant Professor of Accounting Receives Award from SUNY Canton Students

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Peggy JenkinsAn assistant professor of accounting who encourages student volunteerism will be receiving the top student-given award at SUNY Canton.

Peggy J. Jenkins will be recognized with SUNY Canton’s Northstar Award at the College’s 103rd Commencement Ceremony, to be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21, in the College’s new athletic center, nicknamed Roos House.

Jenkins annually orchestrates the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at the College, which helps low- to moderate-income individuals and families prepare their taxes. Through her involvement, student participation in the program has tripled, and the group prepared more than 150 returns for the 2010 tax period.

“Beyond providing a valuable service to individuals who might not be able to pay to have their taxes prepared, the VITA program provides students with hands-on real-world experience,” said Linda A. Heilman, Dean of the College’s School of Business and Liberal Arts.

Among the student recommendations for the Northstar Award were numerous mentions of Jenkin’s ability to provide exceptional real-world examples of accounting policies and procedures. One student said that Jenkins consistently goes above and beyond to help all of her students achieve their full potential.

“Whenever I bring up her name or her unique teaching style to a fellow student, they agree with my opinion that Mrs. Jenkins is one of the most remarkable faculty members at the College,” wrote a student in a letter of recommendation for the award. “She is very deserving of this award.”

SUNY Canton Assistant Professor and 2011 Northstar Award Recipient Peggy J. Jenkins teaching an accounting class.

Eight students have recognized her outstanding involvement and presented her with awards through the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Jenkins is a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania who received her Master of Business Administration from Penn State University, and her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bridgewater College in Virginia. In addition to her courses at SUNY Canton, she’s lectured internationally at the University of Wales, Bangor, U.K.

Jenkins lives in Canton with her family. She has a son Colin, and a daughter Lucy.

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


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Early Childhood Professor Selected as SUNY Canton’s Distinguished Faculty

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Maureen P. Maiocco, Ed.D., loves to teach students of all ages.

Maiocco began her career doing exactly what she loves, working with pre-kindergarten and kindergarten-age children. She’s carried her enthusiasm over into the realm of higher education as a professor and early childhood program director at SUNY Canton, and her zeal has led her to be selected as the College’s 2011 Distinguished Faculty Award recipient.

Maureen Maiocco

2011 SUNY Canton Distinguished Faculty Award Recipient Professor Maureen P. Maiocco grading student projects in the College’s Early Childhood Lab.

She will be recognized at SUNY Canton’s 103rd Commencement Ceremony to be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21, in the College’s new athletic center, nicknamed Roos House.

“Maureen is a model educator,” said Kyle Brown, Director of SUNY Canton OnLine. “During her seven years at SUNY Canton, she has grown the Early Childhood program into a thriving, popular major for SUNY Canton students.”

Outside of her interactive classroom, Maiocco schedules activities for the children of the campus community at nearly every single major College function. Most recently, she orchestrated and held a campus-wide children’s Christmas party on behalf of SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy.

“She’s the perfect model for teachers and aspiring teachers,” said Christina Martin, Maiocco’s colleague and an adjunct instructor at SUNY Canton. “She’s provided me with outstanding mentorship.”

Faculty and staff members from across the College have benefitted from serving with Maiocco, including Feng Hong, an associate professor of physics and 2010 Distinguished Faculty Award recipient. Maiocco and Hong worked together with a delegation of Chinese faculty members from Xi’an City, China, who were interested in the American methods of pre-kindergarten education.

“Dr. Maiocco’s exceptional organizational skills and tireless efforts during the 2009 Early Childhood Summer Institute made the event a success,” Hong said. “The event was not only a showcase of the early childhood program, but also a showcase for the College and for all of Canton.”

As a result of the Summer Institute, Maiocco was invited to teach in Xi’an, China in 2010. While there, she made the international television news for her positive work with Chinese children and faculty members.

Maiocco was also recently featured on WAMC Northeast Public Radio’s Academic Minute. She delivered a compelling argument against the practice of “time out” in a group educational setting, and even offered several alternatives in the allotted one minute 40 second timeframe.

Many of her students credit her with their educational success at the College, and 16 students have recognized her outstanding work through the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

“All of Dr. Maiocco’s classes were a healthy combination of hands-on activities and lecture,” said Tiffany Daily-Faulkner, a 2007 early childhood graduate. “She understood that everyone learns differently. There was never a dull moment in her classes. Her humor and creativity kept us all engaged and interested in the lesson at hand.”

Maiocco earned her doctorate of education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, with a specialization in child and youth studies and curriculum development. She earned her master of science in teacher leadership from Wheelock College in Boston, and her bachelor of arts in education from Curry College in Milton, Mass.

She lives in Potsdam with her husband Steven.

 

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SUNY Canton’s College in Bosnia Recognized by President Clinton

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

In June 2010, the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina celebrated their inaugural graduating class of 18 students who received SUNY Canton degrees.

“As all of you surely know, Bosnia Herzegovina is dear to my heart.” Former President Bill Clinton said in a video address to the 2010 AUBiH graduating class. “Although I couldn’t be there to wish you well in person, I’m honored to be able to send this special message to the 2010 graduates, the first ever generation of students who studied at the American university of Bosnia Herzegovina to receive an American diploma. This remarkable achievement is something that you can be proud of. I congratulate the founders of this university and their partners at the State University of New York for this profoundly important initiative.”

The former president levied a challenge to graduates, telling them that they were the generation that will lead Bosnia and Herzegovina into Europe and help to make dreams of their compatriots come true.

The southeastern European nation has struggled economically since the Bosnian War. Top officials are partially looking toward higher education as means to create a contingent of entrepreneurs and other leaders who will help continue to rebuild the nation.

The students earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from SUNY Canton and a degree from their home university. They accomplished some of their course requirements through live video relayed classes and online courses broadcast and maintained by SUNY Canton faculty members under the guidance of College President Joseph L. Kennedy. Kennedy and top-level college staff attended AUBiH’s first commencement ceremony to recognize the College’s alumni.

“What makes our relationship with the American University in Bosnia Herzegovina so unique is they quite literally would not exist without SUNY Canton,” Kennedy said. “This is a completely new College that has become extension of us and all that we do well. We offer a career driven education where it’s needed most to those who will use it the best.”

Students take about 70 percent of their courses from professors at AUBiH and 30 percent from SUNY Canton faculty members. “Every course is our course, every student is our student,” Kennedy said. “The entire curriculum was developed at SUNY Canton.”

College officials from both universities have noted that the relationship is innovative because the European students have access to an American education from their home university. Students can also opt to attend a five-week summer program and be immersed in American culture in Canton. Currently, the 2011 class is attending their summer semester at the College.

Associate Professor Charles R. Fenner, Ph.D. is one of the lead faculty members to work with the classes from Bosnia. He said the students gain exposure to multiple viewpoints on business and finance issues, with examples of intellectual property and business management concepts. “The Bosnian students debate topical contemporary American issues as they pertain to their studies,” Fenner said. “They’ll discuss current events and discuss subjects including steroid use in sports, confidentiality issues, and whether health care should be universal or private.”

Dubravko Martinović, one of the top graduates at AUBIH, addressed his classmates, via live video feed at SUNY Canton’s Commencement. “To be the first at something gives one great satisfaction, and we are proud to be the first generation of graduates from AUBIH,” he said. “I want to thank you for four memorable years, and an unforgettable semester spent at SUNY (Canton). For us, it was never just an education, it was a life experience.”

SUNY Canton has articulation agreements allowing dual degrees with a half-dozen universities overseas, and several colleges in the United States. It was the first SUNY College to link with Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia. Most recently, College officials began creating a dual-degree program with the American University in the Emirates.

To view Clinton’s entire address to the AUBiH graduates, visit http://aubih.edu.ba/en/news/news.php?ano=119.

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


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Bosnian University Celebrates Dual Commencement with SUNY Canton

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Nearly two dozen students attending American University in Bosnia Herzegovina (AUBiH) graduate this week with a degree from their home university and one from SUNY Canton.

SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy and Chief of Staff Ryan P. Deuel are attending AUBiH’s commencement on Wednesday, June 9. The two are already in Bosnia to discuss the progression and growth of the dual-degree program.

Live video feed from American University in Bosnia during the 2010 Commencement ceremony.

“Our two colleges have developed a strong bond through our shared students,” SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “We were honored that they could participate in our on-campus commencement ceremony via live video feed. We are dually privileged to attend their graduation, and we’re looking forward to even more students from AUBIH enrolled at SUNY Canton in the future.”

The students are the first from their University to earn a SUNY Canton bachelor’s degree in finance and a degree from their home university. Most of the students graduating spent last summer at the SUNY Canton campus taking face-to-face classes with Associate Professor Charles R. Fenner, Ph.D., who oversees the management program.

Dubravko Martinović, one of the top students at AUBIH, addressed his classmates, local and abroad, at SUNY Canton’s Commencement. “To be the first at something gives one great satisfaction, and we are proud to be the first generation of graduates from AUBIH,” he said. “I want to thank you for four memorable years, and an unforgettable semester spent at SUNY (Canton). For us, it was never just an education, it was a life experience.”

Students at AUBiH had the chance to meet with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, during a recent visit.

“Your task is to help your country on its journey towards the better future and economic prosperity, and you are its hope,” Steinberg said. “Your destiny is to be a part of European Union and NATO, to belong to a great community of the world, but that demands time, hard work and dedication on the part of all of you.”

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


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SUNY Canton Commencement Graduates 700 Students

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Among the 700 graduates who had their degrees conferred at SUNY Canton’s 102nd commencement ceremony were two students whose friendship extended far beyond the normal realm of college roommates.

Marquise Paillere of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, who received an associate degree in individual studies, and Xiaoli Zhang of Hefei, China, who received a bachelor’s degree in management, both received the Presidential Recognition Award for their efforts leading to the creation of the SUNY Canton Haitian Student Relief fund.

“We applaud the individual and collective accomplishments of all of our graduates,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “During the years that these graduates have attended SUNY Canton, our College has grown tremendously. They have helped to shape our College for years to come.”

Other commencement highlights included:

  • Approximately 20 students in Bosnia joined commencement via live video feed. Students from the American University in Bosnia Herzegovina received their bachelor’s degrees in finance alongside their classmates at SUNY Canton. In some cases, this will be the first time that the two contingents have ever met.
  • Student athletes Julie Vander Wiel, a legal studies graduate from Malone, and Mark Talamo, a management graduate from Oswego, both recently won awards from the SUNY Canton Kangaroo’s Athletic Department. Vander Wiel, who played basketball for four years, received the Nicole Fleury Memorial Leadership Award and the SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete Award. Talamo, who played hockey for four years, won the Alden Chadwick Memorial Leadership Award.
  • Three graduates earned a diploma and a badge, having graduated from the SUNY Canton David Sullivan St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy the day before Commencement. Ian M. Vanier of Malone is a sworn officer of the Norfolk Police Department and a criminal investigation graduate; Jason A. Streeter of Canton is a sworn officer of the Antwerp Police Department and a Criminal Investigation graduate, and Jennifer A. Amo of Ogdensburg is a sworn police officer of the Antwerp Police Department and a criminal justice graduate.
  • All of the graduates of the nursing program were honored at a special pinning ceremony following commencement. Family members and influential friends were invited to present each nursing graduate with their ceremonial pin denoting their profession.

The College’s largest and most popular bachelor’s degree program was criminal investigation with 28 graduates. Finance saw 23 graduates, and management 22.

Two associate degree programs tied with the most graduates this year. Both nursing and criminal justice had 67 graduates. The third largest program was veterinary science technology with 49 graduates.

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

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SUNY Canton Staff Member Earns Recognition from Students

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

The director of accommodative services at SUNY Canton is being recognized for going above and beyond to inspire and assist all students at the College.

M. Veigh Mehan Lee is the recipient of the 2010 Northstar Award, an honor that is given by the students annually to a faculty or staff member who makes the College a better place. Lee will be among the honorees and award recipients to be recognized during Commencement at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, in an outdoor ceremony adjacent to the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

Lee is responsible for determining, coordinating and managing services for students with disabilities. She also coordinates tutoring services for all students.

Many students credit their academic and personal successes to her hard work, according to the numerous nominations submitted on her behalf. For several students, she has served as an excellent advocate. She’s helped students with hearing impairments get new hearing aids when all other avenues were closed, and she’s assisted students in learning how best to be a successful student.

“Veigh Lee has gone above and beyond her line of work to make me a better student,” said  an industrial technology management student at the College. “Whether it’s speaking with faculty, scheduling classes or even making sure I have a place to live while attending SUNY Canton, she does everything with a warm smile. She has had an impact on me and my family, and it will be felt for the rest of our lives.”

She’s a member of the College’s Retention Committee, the Green Campus Committee, the Peace Garden Committee and serves as advisor for the Delta Kappa Sigma fraternity. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, enjoys creating and teaching calligraphy and is a member of the Calligraphy Society of Ottawa.

Lee earned her associate degree in liberal arts from Maria College, her bachelor’s degree in art with a minor in education from Damien College, and her master’s of education in counseling and human development from St. Lawrence University. Lee is currently working on her second master’s from St. Lawrence and will complete the mental health counseling program in May 2011.

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


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SUNY Canton Hockey Club President Earns Recognition

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

A SUNY Canton nursing student who started the College’s first competitive club sports team is being honored for his leadership and work ethic.

Edward A. (Eddie) Brown of Massena is the College’s recipient of the annual David R. Maynard Student Activities Award. He will be among the honorees and award recipients to be recognized during Commencement at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 22 in an outdoor ceremony adjacent to the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

Two years ago, Brown’s passion for ice hockey led him to SUNY Canton Varsity Hockey Head Coach Eric McCambly, who pitched the idea of starting a club hockey team in addition to the College’s varsity squad. Since, Brown has served as the club team president and its membership has grown to 50 members. He has orchestrated several fundraising events, put together travel accommodations and has been responsible for game day operations while helping the team gain membership into the Upstate New York Collegiate Hockey League. He also plays for the squad.

“Ed Brown has been the foundation and glue in helping develop and shape the SUNY Canton Ice Hockey Club,” McCambly said. “He is invaluable because of his outstanding attitude, dependability, loyalty, and work ethic. These qualities and the amount of work and time he has put into the club, all while going to class full-time, demonstrates how special he is, making him deserving of this award.”

Brown is currently enrolled full-time in the nursing program at the College. He has helped other competitive club teams flourish on campus while also participating in student government.  Following graduation, he plans to continue his education and become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

A father of two, Brown is currently employed at Massena Memorial Hospital as a Health Unit Coordinator and at Canton-Potsdam Hospital as a Ward Clerk/Monitor Technician. He is also a former Chaplain’s Assistant in the U.S. Army. He is engaged to Linda H. Akatsu of Torrance, Calif., a 2009 veterinary science technology graduate.

The David R. Maynard Student Activities Award is given annually to a student who demonstrates superior citizenship, outstanding leadership, and who has generously given time to extracurricular activities.

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


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SUNY Canton Honors Former St. Lawrence University President

Monday, May 17th, 2010

SUNY Canton will present St. Lawrence University President Emeritus Daniel F. Sullivan with an Honorary Doctorate at the College’s Commencement Ceremony.

Sullivan’s tireless efforts as an academician and administrator have dramatically improved the quality of life in the North Country and positively affected the growth and reputation of education throughout the area.

“We are recognizing Dr. Sullivan with an honorary degree to formally thank him for his lifelong commitment and relentless hard work for the people of the North Country,” SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy said. “He’s furthered opportunities for North Country students of all ages and has been a leader and promoter for business growth and economic development.”

Sullivan began his career as the 17th president of St. Lawrence in 1996. During his tenure, he had a direct impact on the continued growth of Canton, St. Lawrence County, and the surrounding North Country communities. On numerous occasions, Sullivan and Kennedy have partnered with local community and business leaders on initiatives to facilitate improvements for the community at large.

“Dr. Sullivan has been an active supporter and participant in SUNY Canton’s growth and quick to embrace the symbiotic relationship between the two campuses and how it benefits our area,” Kennedy said. “The relationship is a unique public-private alliance and both colleges promote each other’s success and the success of our community.”

Among Sullivan’s numerous accomplishments was the creation of the Canton Initiative, a program that helped strengthen the ties between higher education and the community.

“What an unusual, special partnership St. Lawrence and SUNY Canton, and Joe Kennedy and I, have had over the past 13 years as we have sought together to improve the economic and quality of life vitality of the North Country,” said Sullivan. “Collaborations between public and private universities, such as ours, are rare nationally, but they need to become much less rare. I am deeply honored to be recognized in this way by an institution that has come to mean a great deal to me.”

In 2003, St. Lawrence hosted the inaugural North Country Symposium, bringing together local and regional business owners and stakeholders to develop ways to benefit life in Northern New York. The University hosted its eighth symposium this spring with steering committee input from SUNY Canton employees.

Sullivan, a 1965 graduate of St. Lawrence, received his Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University in 1971. He was an Edward John Noble Fellow and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. In 1971, he joined the faculty of Carleton College in Minnesota, and in 1979 became Vice President for Planning and Development and Associate Professor of Sociology there. He became President and Professor of Sociology at Allegheny College in 1986. In addition, he spent 1974-76 at Cornell University as a senior research associate and assistant professor of sociology on leave from Carleton.

In addition to his work with the local communities, he oversaw the expansion of St. Lawrence’s academic programs, including several new majors and international study programs. During his presidency, 25 different facilities were created or transformed, including the $36.9 million Johnson Hall of Science. Sullivan was also at the forefront of two of St. Lawrence’s capital campaigns, both the largest in the University’s history.

He and his wife, Ann, currently reside in Colton and are both still active members in the community.

SUNY Canton’s 102nd Commencement Ceremony will be conducted outside at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 22, adjacent to the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

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


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SUNY Canton to Honor Rich with Distinguished Citizen Award

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

SUNY Canton will be honoring a long-time advocate for developmentally disabled people in Northern New York with the College’s Distinguished Citizen Award at its upcoming 102nd Commencement Ceremony.

Joseph Rich, the founder of the Disabled Persons Action Organization (DPAO), will be recognized along with the 2010 graduating class at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, in an outdoor ceremony adjacent to the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

“We give this award to recognize those who have made the community a better place for everyone,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “Joe Rich has positively influenced the North Country in many ways. I hope our graduates look at what he has done as a model for future success.”

While working at WWNY TV – 7 News in 1974, Rich received a phone call asking for the station’s help; a local boy had been accidentally shot during a hunting accident. Left paralyzed and without the ability to breathe on his own, the boy’s future was to remain in the hospital, but his family wanted to care for him.

With permission from the station, Rich orchestrated fundraisers for the family and raised enough money to put an addition on their home and install life support equipment. Rich continued his work by creating the DPAO, where he worked to raise money for the agency and brought in funding for the disabled in the community. “We wanted to help ease the stress on families in their own homes,” he said.

For over 30 years, Rich developed the DPAO from a one-man organization to a 140 staff member agency that serves more than 500 individuals. “The DPAO is a vital institution in Watertown,” said City of Watertown Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham. “He became a cultural icon by organizing concerts which raised money for the DPAO, but equally important, he provided culture and entertainment for the City.”

Many of his ideas and practices have been implemented across the state over the years, but Rich wanted to extend his work beyond New York, according to New York State Democratic Executive Committee Chair June F. O’Neill. “His accomplishments have been extraordinary and are not limited to our region,” she said. “Joe is a founding member and president of the 1 World Foundation. He travels to the West Indies to help residents with special needs.”

Hundreds of lives have been enriched through his advocacy, according to Diana Jones Ritter commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

“His compassion, diplomacy and communication skills educated people in upstate New York to embrace individuals with developmental disabilities as contributing members of their communities,” she said. “He is truly the voice of the people.”

While his résumé is extensive, he insists the credit should not go to him. “I’ve been the facilitator, but it’s been the people that work with us that have made the difference,” Rich said “That’s the way it is in the North Country. People care about people.”

A Watertown native, Rich graduated from Empire State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism in 1970. He worked in both radio and television before pursuing his work with the DPAO full time. He currently resides in Watertown with his wife, Carol. Although retired, he still spends his time volunteering and serves on the Foundation Board at Jefferson Community College and is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Watertown Savings Bank. He’s a two-time recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Club and is heavily involved in the 1 World Foundation.

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


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