SUNY Canton President Selects Faculty and Staff Meritorious Service Award Recipients
SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran recently selected a faculty and a staff member for special recognition.
Associate Professor Marela Fiacco, Ph.D., and Fitness Center Director Bryan D. Parker were the 2021 recipients of the President’s Meritorious Service Award. Szafran made the announcement in a video address to the entire campus community.
Fiacco is the lead faculty member in the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management program, which is the most popular four-year degree at the college. As one of the first faculty members to incorporate flex learning into her courses, she helped start a trend that influenced distance learning across campus.
“Marela is a faculty leader in teaching with technology,” Szafran said. “Her willingness to experiment with new tools and techniques allowed her to transition seamlessly to remote learning at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has helped us maintain our reputation as an online leader within SUNY.”
Fiacco began working as an adjunct instructor in 2006, teaching economics online and in evening classes. She was then hired to oversee the college’s International Programs in 2008. She began teaching in the Healthcare Management program in 2014. The program has more than doubled in size with more than 320 total students.
She currently lives in Norwood with her two sons, Anthony and Dominic. In addition to her extensive college service, she is a member of the Norwood-Norfolk Central School Board of Educators.
Parker is well known for his professionalism and enthusiasm across campus. He volunteers as an assistant coach and provides strength and conditioning training for multiple athletic teams. His colleagues noted his contagious positive attitude.
“Bryan is an outstanding community and alumni liaison,” Szafran said. “The Athletic Department has asked him to step up as a coach, mentor, trainer, and motivator. He always sets the bar high.”
Most recently, Parker served as the Athletics Giving Week committee chair. The inaugural fundraising effort resulted in nearly 800 donors contributing more than $80,000 to the SUNY Canton College Foundation in support of the athletic program.
Parker was hired as an admissions counselor in 2007 and transferred to his current role as director of the Fitness Center in 2011. He is an avid cyclist, runner and swimmer who has competed in two Iron Man triathlons, 12 half triathlons, and 20 other competitions. He lives in Canton with his wife, Mary, and their three children, Luke, Mia and Lucy.
The President’s Meritorious Service Award is presented annually to deserving employees at the college. It is determined entirely by the SUNY Canton president following recommendations from the college’s faculty and staff members. This year, Szafran also selected the three individuals responsible for the college’s COVID-19 testing for special meritorious recognition.
As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.