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.

Laini Kavaloski holds an iPad

Pictured is Alainya (Laini) Kavaloski, Ph.D., holding an iPad in the Technological Communications classroom in SUNY Canton’s Cook Hall. Kavaloski was recently promoted to Associate Professor in the School of Business and Liberal Arts.

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.

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.