Two SUNY Canton Educators Earn SUNY Chancellor’s Awards


An outstanding faculty member for the SUNY Canton Canino School of Engineering Technology, and the college’s newest dean earned State University of New York Chancellor’s Awards this year.

Associate Professor Lucas W. Craig, Ph.D., who teaches in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Interim Dean and Director of Assessment Kirk K. Jones, Ph.D., received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. Both were entered into consideration for these career-defining awards following a series of letters of support from their peers.

Lucas Craig

Craig, who serves as both a faculty member and the chair of the Mechanical Engineering Technology and Energy Systems programs, was nominated for his innovative use of experimentation and technology to help students learn in one of the college’s most academically challenging programs.

President Zvi Szafran presents Lucas Craig with the Chancellor's Award.

“In my 40 years in higher education, I have known and supervised many exemplary teachers in various science and engineering fields,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “I was mentally measuring Dr. Craig among this exemplary group and concluded that he has surpassed nearly all of them in the quality of his teaching.”

Craig teaches a broad range of courses, often on an overload capacity. He also offers the Mechanical Engineering Technology capstone course, which helps students solve real-world problems and identify future career paths. This year, there were three capstone groups. One group designed a device to clean trash from local beaches, the second group designed the front suspension for a SAE Baja, and the last team built a working electric motorcycle.

Additionally, Craig has been noted for engaging in considerable professional development to remain current in the fast-paced aspects of his discipline. He has authored several grants and has provided guidance to others for submission to purchase equipment to enhance student-learning opportunities in the classroom. He’s also led the department’s Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology re-accreditation process, and helped orchestrate the popular Engineers Week celebration and fully participated in Women in Engineering Days.  He also travels to local schools yearly to engage middle and high school students in Engineering Technology.

Craig earned his associate degree from Jefferson Community College before going on to Clarkson University for his bachelor’s in Aeronautical Engineering. He then earned his Master of Science and Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. He lives in Carthage with his wife, Erin. They have two children, Scarlett and Renner.

Kirk Jones

Jones taught in the English and Humanities department before recently receiving his post as interim dean. He’s continually been involved with establishing a culture of assessment at the college.

“While Dr. Jones excels in all aspects of being an effective faculty member, it is the area of service where his accomplishments are truly amazing,” Szafran said. “His endeavors in the area of assessment have been both critical and exceptional.”

President Zvi Szafran presents Kirk Jones with the Chancellor's Award.

Assessment is the evaluation of the college’s courses, classes and programs. It helps determine if the college’s goals for education are being met and helps the college achieve its accreditation, which determines if the college is meeting or exceeding established quality standards. Jones is co-chair of the SUNY Canton Middle States Accreditation team and also co-chair for the SUNY Council on Assessment. He’s also authored scholarly work on humanizing assessment.

Jones’ other significant contributions to the college include his service as an exemplary student advisor and mentor, in addition to his efficacy as an English educator and humanities department leadership.

Prior to his posts as an administrator and educator, Jones started his career as a SUNY Canton student, where he began to develop his love of literature and the written word. He went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SUNY Potsdam. He then completed his doctorate in English composition and teaching English as a second language from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, while working full-time at the college. He has penned three novels, a novella, and five short works of fiction.

Jones lives in Norwood with his wife, Amanda, and two daughters, Willow and Violet.

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.