SUNY Canton Celebrates Class of 2022 with Commencement Ceremony


SUNY Canton held its 114th Commencement Ceremony for approximately 750 members of the class of 2022 Saturday, May 14.

College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill, class of 1963, opened the ceremony by asking the graduates to reflect on the memories and lifelong friendships they have made.

School flags hang as the stage party enters Commencement 2022.

“There has never been a graduating class in our school history quite like yours,” he said. “While the pandemic was unexpected and unwelcome, by going through it together, it has created a bond that I hope you will carry forward into this new phase of your lives.”

President Zvi Szafran welcomed the audience and led a moment of silence for SUNY Canton Professor Edouard Mafoua, Ph.D., who passed away unexpectedly in March. Mafoua taught Economics in the Business Department and was a 17-year employee of the college.

“Edouard will be fondly remembered for his passion for teaching, for sharing his knowledge, and for his dedication to his students and the college,” the president said.

Szafran expressed his pride in this year’s class, which comprises graduates who range in age from 19 to 64 years old and represent 18 U.S. states and seven countries, including Cameroon, Canada, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and the U.K.

Three students show off their SUNY Canton medallions before Commencement 2022.

He continued by introducing two recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence: Jenna C. VanAllen a Veterinary Science Technology graduate from Blossvale and Charliann R. Friedman, a Veterinary Technology graduate from Schenectady. He also congratulated:

  • Tiffany L. Hobby, an Applied Psychology graduate from the Bronx, who is the recipient of the Norman R. McConney Jr. Award for Student Excellence, a statewide honor that recognizes scholars in the Educational Opportunity Program.
  • Zion Sankey, a Sports Management graduate from Troy, the David R. Maynard Student Activities Award recipient.
Cassidy Asiamah is awarded Outstanding Graduate by President Szafran and VP Courtney Bish.
Cassidy Asiamah, a Criminal Investigation graduate from the Bronx, talks about her personal SUNY Canton experience at the college’s 114th Commencement Ceremony. Asiamah was also a recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Award at the bachelor’s degree level.

SUNY Canton Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish then introduced this year’s outstanding graduates Katlynn M. Allen, a Physical Therapist Assistant graduate from Malone; Cassidy Asiamah, a Criminal Investigation graduate from the Bronx; and Bryan J. Levy, a graduate of the Mechanical Engineering Technology program from Wappingers Falls.

Bryan Levy is awarded Outstanding Graduate by President Szafran and VP Courtney Bish.
Bryan J. Levy, a SUNY Canton Mechanical Engineering Technology graduate from Wappingers Falls addresses the audience at Commencement. Levy was one of the recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Award at the bachelor’s degree level.

Student Jonah R. Black, class of 2023 and president of the Student Government Association, addressed the graduates and reminded them of all they have accomplished during unusual circumstances.

“The unexpected transition to online learning wasn’t easy, but you all have stuck it through to the end,” Black said. “Take that motivation and determination that you’ve shown through your time here at SUNY Canton, and fight for what you deserve and never settle for less.”

Jonah Black speaks at Commencement 2022.
Student Government President Jonah Black delivers a speech during the 114th Commencement Ceremony.

The top three bachelor’s degrees awarded, in order of popularity, were Health Care Management, Nursing, and Criminal Investigation. The top three associate degrees awarded were Nursing, Veterinary Science Technology, and Individual Studies.

Additionally, graduates from the college’s one and two-year Nursing programs were recognized at special pinning ceremonies held earlier in the week.

SUNY Canton Commencement 2022 By the Numbers

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.