SUNY Canton Leadership/ President's Cabinet
Zvi Szafran, Ph.D. became SUNY Canton's fourth President July 1, 2014.
Dr. Szafran is the former Vice President for Academic Affairs and professor of chemistry at Southern Polytechnic State University in the University System of Georgia, a position he held since 2005. From 1998-2005, he served as the vice president for academic affairs at New England College in New Hampshire. Previously, he held several positions at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, including dean of science and engineering, chairman of the chemistry department, assistant to the dean of arts and sciences, and professor.
Dr. Szafran earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree, also in chemistry, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Peggy A. De Cooke
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
Peggy A. De Cooke, Ph.D. became Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs July 1, 2019.
At SUNY Canton, the provost oversees the academic deans and faculty members, and is the senior-most academic administrator other than the president.
Dr. DeCooke is the former Associate Provost and an Associate Professor of Psychology at Purchase College.
De Cooke has extensive teaching experience from high school through graduate levels and has taught many courses in introductory and developmental psychology. Additionally, she has published or presented more than 50 papers on factors influencing student learning and performance.
Shawn K. Miller
Vice President for Administration/Chief Financial Officer
Shawn Miller became Vice President for Administration May 1, 2014.
Miller started her career at SUNY Canton in 1998, working in the Business Office. In 2004, she became the Assistant to the Vice President for Administration, and in 2006 she became the Budget Control Officer in addition to her Assistant to the Vice President role. Shawn became the Director of Budget for SUNY Canton in 2012.
The Vice President for Administration oversees the Budget Office, Facilities, Financial Aid, Human Resources, Information Services, Physical Plant, Procurement, Student Accounts, and Travel.
Courtney B. Bish
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students
Courtney Bish was promoted to Dean of Students in 2012 and Vice President for Student Affairs in 2015.
The Vice President for Student Affairs provides oversight of the Student Affairs Division which includes Athletics, Convocation Athletic Recreation Center, Campus Ministries, Community Service, Counseling, Diversity Affairs, Greek Life, Health Services, Health Educator, New Student Orientation, Residence Life, Student Activities, and Student Conduct.
Prior to serving as Vice President, Bish held positions at SUNY Canton as Director of Residence Life, Greek Affairs Coordinator, and Residence Hall Director.
Bish earned a master's degree in Educational Leadership and a bachelor's in Psychology from St. Lawrence University.
Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the Canton College Foundation
Tracey Thompson became Vice President for Advancement July 12, 2019.
The Vice President for Advancement is responsible for leading advancement and alumni affairs activities and personnel, as well as developing fundraising strategies to support the college’s mission and priorities.
Thompson comes to SUNY Canton from Centenary University in Hackettstown, New Jersey, where she led a fundraising effort in 2018 that nearly doubled the previous year’s total. Prior to that, she served as executive director of Kutztown University’s Foundation and Alumni Relations Office raising $14.4 million over four years.
Vice President for Strategic Relations & Communications
Lenore VanderZee is SUNY Canton’s Vice President for Strategic Relations & Communications, a leadership position that oversees the college’s Public Relations Office and the Small Business Development Center, both of which have earned numerous accolades and awards. She also directs SUNY Canton’s economic and community development initiatives and serves as the college’s government relations liaison.
She serves on several boards, including the University Economic Development Association, Canton-Potsdam Hospital, the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, and the Canton Chamber of Commerce. Lenore received the SUNY Canton President’s Meritorious Service Award in 2021, and the Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Appreciation Award in 2022.
Lenore VanderZee began her career at the college as an adjunct instructor in 2012 specializing in American Government and Politics, Contemporary Global Issues, and Middle East History and Politics. Her courses are noted for promoting free and open dialogue on contemporary issues with an emphasis on representing all sides of complex topics.
Executive Assistant to the President
Michaela Young has provided administrative support to the President’s Office since 2005 and has more than 31 years of customer service experience. Michaela is a 2011 graduate of SUNY Canton’s Management Program and received the President’s Meritorious Service Award in 2018. In her role as Executive Assistant, she is responsible for collaborating with all areas of the college, including the various administrative councils, committees, and boards.
She oversees the Special Events Office, and is a member of the Recognition Day Committee, Commencement Committee, and Nominations and Elections Committee. She is also an Affirmative Action Officer.
Michaela is admired for her collegiality, dedication, and contributions to maintaining high morale on campus.