SUNY Canton Nursing Student Wins Statewide Award


Marcos L. Martinez, a Practical Nursing major from the Bronx, received the 2019 Norman R. McConney Jr. Award, which is bestowed to recognize excellence in the SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). The award is named after one of the architects of the statewide program that provides financial assistance and support to those facing obstacles in achieving their educational and personal goals.

EOP AWARD – SUNY Canton student Marcos L. Martinez recently received the statewide 2019 Norman R. McConney Jr. Award, which is bestowed to recognize excellence in the SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). Pictured (l to r) are SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran, Martinez, and EOP Director Walvi DeJesus.

“Marcos is no stranger to life’s obstacles,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran during a ceremony recognizing Martinez. “For most people, those obstacles would have stood in their way. Marcos has defied the odds and rose above both personal and educational barriers and continues to actively better himself.” 

Martinez said he began in the college’s Liberal Arts and Sciences two-year degree program but had a rough start during his freshman year. Transitioning from high school to a college environment was difficult. After some initial setbacks, he was able to build up his GPA high enough to enter the Practical Nursing program, which is one of the more competitive majors at the college. 

“I could’ve just given up after my first semester, but I didn’t,” he said. “It wasn’t easy, but I was able to do it with the amazing support system I have and the motivation to be and do better.” 

Martinez credits his family for offering tremendous encouragement. “My mother always believed in me and keeps me motivated every day,” he said. “Both my mother and father always help push me to be successful.  I appreciate how hard they work for me and my siblings and I’m doing everything I do to make both of them proud parents.”

The soon-to-be nurse’s aspirations don’t stop with his first degree. He said he plans on entering the two-year Registered Nurse program, with his sights set on earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. 

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.