Technological Communications Faculty Member Builds Student Connections at SUNY Canton
Of all of her successes, Alainya (Laini) Kavaloski, Ph.D., values her interactions with students the most.
Kavaloski was recently promoted to associate professor in the School of Business and Liberal Arts. She teaches in the college’s new Technological Communications bachelor’s degree program and has been establishing a network of positive influence at the college and in the community. “My most meaningful successes include building lasting connections with some of my students,” she said.
She recalled when a student who had previously completed her course came back to sit in on a literature class just for fun.
“I was so happy to have a student show up to a class just to enjoy literary discussions and interactions with other students,” she said. “Their presence during those weeks added so much enthusiasm to the classroom environment.”
Kavaloski’s extensive publications include articles on game studies, graphic novels, digital pedagogy, and Jewish literature. She’s helped place interns and guide their projects at the North Country Children’s Museum and has been noted for integrating game design principles in her classes. She also authored a $60,000 grant that helped the college build its Digital Studio in Nevaldine Hall and equip its new Technological Communications learning environment.
She has presented at the Modern Language Association conference, National Women's Studies conference, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Connected Learning Summit, in addition to local presentations. “My research explores the ways that graphic and digital stories represent immigration, diaspora, and landscapes of war,” she said. “I’m currently working on a new book titled ‘Contested Spaces: Women Drawing War’ which illustrates women's complex relationship with nationhood and war through graphic narratives.”
As a North Country immigrant who lives in Canton, Kavaloski is adapting to life in the area. She grew up on the south side of Chicago, and also lived in Jerusalem, and Dublin. “The urban setting and people of Chicago have shaped not only my life perspectives, but also my approaches to scholarship and teaching,” she said.
She earned her doctorate in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her master’s in literary studies from the Hebrew University in Israel.
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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. 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 22 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. 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.