SUNY Canton
Student portraits for People Like Me.

People Like Me

There are thousands of interesting student stories at SUNY Canton. Here are a few. #peoplelikeme

  • Colleen Cheney

    Colleen Chaney

    Colleen Cheney of West Stockholm majors in the Graphic and Multimedia Design program and is the President for the SUNY Canton chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

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    “I knew I wanted to go somewhere that was career intensive and had great staff,” she said. “I found that Canton had a graphic design program that was fast-paced, project oriented, and helps its students grow in the creative field.”

    Her favorite faculty member is Professor Matthew Burnett because of his honest feedback, his knowledge of the arts and his encouraging attitude towards students.

    “February of 2024, I established the National Society of Leadership and Success on our campus,” she said. “It is both an online and in person organization provided to build leadership skills in students and alumni.”

    Colleen graduates in 2025 and plans to join the creative field so she can work her way up to a Creative Director position.

  • Ismail Abdelmegied

    Ismail Abdelmegied

    Ismail Abdelmegied of Livingston Manor is a senior in Game Design and Development with a passion for playing and creating video games.

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    “My teacher for the Career and Tech Education program for high school showed my class an ad for the college's Esports Program,” he said. “It caused me to look more into the college, and I noticed it has a major for game design, which was a difficult major to find.”

    Ismail is a Special Events Programming Chair for the College Activities Board. He has worked with other board members to run the recent Comic-Con event and will also be assisting with the upcoming western-themed Springfest celebration on May 2.  

    “Taking a look at what I made now compared to what I made weeks, months, or even years ago made me appreciate how much I've grown,” he said. “You may make something you don't like the result of, but making mistakes helps you grow and improve your work."

    Ismail plans to apply for a character design position in the game industry after he graduates.

  • Rudie Nyom

    Rudie Nyom

    Rudie Nyom is an international student from Cameroon, Africa who majors in Finance. She chose her major because she wants to start her own investment company after completing her education.

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    “Transferring didn’t just involve leaving my former college for a new one, but also leaving my country, family, and friends,” she said. “I am so grateful to the international programs office for creating a conducive environment for me."

    Rudie is involved on campus as a Student Assistant for the Wellbeing and Initiatives program, an Events Assistant for her Presidential Internship, and is training to be a Student Ambassador for the College’s Office of Admissions.

    “I graduate in December 2024,” she said. “After graduating, I am planning to acquire some work experience through my Optional Practical Training before going for a master’s degree in investments.”

  • Jack Hyland

    Jack Hyland

    Jack Hyland is a Technological Communications major from Baldwinsville. Jack also plays Overwatch for the SUNY Canton esports program.

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    “Joining the esports team has been nothing but fun for me,” he said. “I’ve met so many people who I get to have fun with almost every week.”

    His favorite class is Comic Books as Literature, with his favorite faculty member, Douglas V. Rose.

    “Relationships are important, no matter who it's with," Jack said. "Friends, family, teachers, or anyone else; having a strong relationship to depend on is beyond important,”

    Jack's lifelong dream is to create media where he can share his crafted stories. “I have spent a lot of time making characters, dynamics, and worlds,” he said. “This program helps me make sure my stories are perfect,” he said.

    Jack is on track to graduate in 2027.

  • Summer Foster

    Summer Foster

    Summer Foster of Dansville is a freshman in the Veterinary Science Technology program who grew up with a passion for soccer and animals.

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    “I have played soccer throughout my life but have never done cross country and it was definitely a fun experience being able to make so many new friends,” Summer said.

    Her favorite classes include Animal Anatomy and Physiology. Her favorite faculty member is Assistant Professor and Program Director, Dr. Wendy Kuceyeski.

    “I chose SUNY Canton because it had an amazing Veterinary Science Technology program,” she said. “I have loved animals since I was little and would like to take care of animals for my career.

    Summer also ran cross country for the Roos, which she described as a fun experience that allowed her to make new friends. “Now I’m excited to be back on the soccer field next season surrounded by some more of Canton’s amazing and supportive people,” she said.

  • Mathew Greene

    Mathew Greene

    Mathew Greene of Waddington has learned the art of motivation, hard work, and perseverance while studying in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology program and working to fabricate the College’s steel bridge.

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    “People I grew up around always said it was a great school to get your career started,” he said. “The first day I stepped onto campus, I never would have thought I would experience how to machine, weld, fabricate, and travel the country to show off a product that came out of our school.”

    Mathew has been constructing the SUNY Canton entry for the American Institute of Steel Construction and American Society of Civil Engineers Student Steel Bridge Competition, which will be held later this semester.

    “I had high school experience in the construction industry and wanted to expand my knowledge and understanding of buildings and structures,” Mathew said. “The past two years fabricating the bridge has taught me more about being an engineer and about life than a classroom ever will.”

    Some of Mathew’s favorite faculty and staff include Instructional Support Technician Neil Haney, Instructional Support Associate Andrew Reiter, Instructional Support Associate Cortney Rookey, and Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology Associate Professor Dr. Adrienne Rygel.

    Mathew is scheduled to graduate in the spring 2025. He plans to use his education to secure a job in either structural steel design or in the utilities and power industry.

  • Elizabeth Carrera

    Elizabeth Carrera

    Elizabeth Carrera, a junior in the Veterinary Technology program from Long Island, has combined her love for both art and science by creating a business drawing pet portraits.

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    "My two favorite subjects have always been art and science," Elizabeth said. "My goal is to incorporate both into my life and identify the bridge between them. Science helps to eliminate stigma, and art helps us express ourselves."

    She plans to continue creating custom artwork after graduation, when she starts working as a veterinary technologist. Her works can be viewed at or on Instagram @carrera.arts.

    She came to SUNY Canton because of the scenery and because the college allowed her to bring her cat to campus. "I love that many people here also have pets and are majoring in Veterinary Technology," Elizabeth said.

    She chose the Veterinary Technology program because of the job opportunities close to her home. "I wanted to do something related to environmental conservation work, but that could also support me financially,” Elizabeth said. “I love that it is not a desk job.”

    Elizabeth's favorite faculty members are Dr. Sarah Wray from the Veterinary Science Technology program and Dr. Kenneth Erickson from the Biology program.

    "This semester, I was hired as Resident Assistant," she said. "I am incredibly grateful and loving the relationships it has brought me so far. I like being a leader and a helper while making as many connections as possible while I am here."

  • Alyssa Pitcheralle

    Alyssa Pitcheralle

    Alyssa Pitcheralle from East Greenbush majors in Homeland Security and minors in Applied Psychology at SUNY Canton.

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    “The moment I stepped onto campus, I felt at home. I liked the smaller class sizes and campus,” Alyssa said. “It felt more personal than other campuses and like I was not just another number in a system.”

    While figuring out her future, Alyssa decided to try something new, so she decided to study abroad. “I had the opportunity to study in Rome, Italy, for Fall 2023,” she said. “It was a very rewarding experience.”

    Alyssa’s favorite professor is Criminal Justice Lecturer Nicholas Wildey. “He's honest with his students and encourages class discussions about current homeland security issues,” Alyssa said. “It’s nice to be able to talk about the issues I read about online and with other students.”

    Alyssa is a Senior Student Ambassador with the College’s Admissions department. “My tour is what made me decide this College is the right place, and I want to make sure all prospective students are informed about all that SUNY Canton has to offer,” she said.

    Alyssa is also a Resident Assistant at Kennedy Hall and a tutor at the Betty J. Evans Tutoring Center on campus. “I work the Admissions event during the day, and then I work in the residence hall where the students stay at night,” she said. “I also just started being a tutor for many Homeland Security classes.”

    Her story doesn’t end there. Alyssa plans to further her studies at graduate school in the spring of 2025.

  • Patrick Madonna

    Patrick Madonna

    Patrick Madonna of Syracuse is a senior in the Information Technology program at SUNY Canton. He selected his major because it had career stability and allowed him to use his talents with technology in an exciting way.

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    “I started out making robots using Arduino,” Patrick said. “Then I made video games in Unity before I jumped over to Python to make websites and applications. I don’t call myself an artist, but I like to think some of my creations count as ‘art.’”

    He said he originally planned to transfer to RIT or Clarkson. “However, the professors, students, and atmosphere kept me here for all these years,” he said. “It has been a wild ride full of cool creations, awesome friends, and memories to last a lifetime.”

    Patrick enjoyed his student life to the fullest while keeping up with his studies. During his junior year, he joined the College Activities Board to keep the SUNY Canton Comic-Con event going when it had no one to run it. Nearly a hundred students attended the annual event on Saturday, Feb. 17.

     “I helped build up Comic-Con to make it a large event with the support of the College Activities Board members and staff,” he said. “It’s currently one of the most exciting events on campus.”

    After graduation, Patrick has made plans to work as a Software Developer or in the IT field with his newly acquired Degree.

  • Muzamil Kaila

    Muzamil Kaila

    Muzamil Kaila, a Sudanese American from Syracuse, is a senior in the Automotive Technology program who was inspired to pursue his interests by his family and a popular Disney animated feature film.

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    Unsure about the college process, Muzamil would visit colleges to find automotive majors best suited to his aspirations and goals.

    “I visited the school and the professors during an Open House and was very impressed,” he said. “Compared to other automotive programs, SUNY Canton has more access to auto technology and conducts really cool projects that most technicians only experience when they leave school and are working in the field.”

    Muzamil was initially only focused on earning his degree. In his first semester, his roommates at Kennedy Hall were sociable seniors who encouraged him to break out of his shell and explore the social side of college. He attended community events and ended up becoming a brother in Gamma Sigma Zeta Fraternity, Inc., who shared the same values and ambitions as he did.

    “It was an opportunity I could not miss in terms of networking,” he said. “The love, joy, happiness, and brotherhood it brings is something I will always be grateful for.”

    In addition to his fraternity involvement, Muzamil modeled for a student fashion show, served as a Resident Assistant in Heritage Hall, is the Treasurer for the student club Brother 2 Brother, and works with the Office of Admissions as a Student Ambassador. He appeared in the College’s tour video and had a cameo in the college’s recent student life television commercial.

    Earning his degree in May will not be the end of his journey. Muzamil has plans to grow into an entrepreneurial role in the automotive industry and real estate. He is also considering teaching others in the future.

  • Shannen Gallagher

    Shannen Gallagher

    Shannen Gallagher from Gouverneur is using her time in the Graphic and Multimedia Design program to complete a comic she started in her youth.

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    “This is something I’ve wanted to do since middle school,” Shannen said. “It’s called ‘Killer,’ and it’s about a kid named Hugo and his toy Mousey. They face off against past demons.”

    Shannen will be displaying her comic for the annual senior exhibition held around commencement.

    She chose SUNY Canton because it was close to her family, and the college had a program she was interested in pursuing. “I transferred here from SUNY Polytechnic during COVID,” she said. “After taking a few courses, I found out I adored this major.”

    Shannen particularly enjoys courses that include animation because she likes to see her drawings come to life. She also likes the 3D printing class with Professor Matthew J. Burnett.

  • Elizabeth Nichols

    Elizabeth Nichols

    Elizabeth Nichols, a Veterinary Science Technology senior from Churubusco, is considered royalty in the dairy industry.

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    She was crowned the 2023-2024 National Guernsey Princess at the National Guernsey Convention in New Hampshire this summer.

    A Guernsey dairy cow is brown and white and prized for its high-quality milk, she explained. As part of her duties as princess, she attends national events to serve as an ambassador for the Guernsey breed.

    “I have traveled to shows in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Kentucky to assist with presenting prizes, ribbons and awards to breeders and exhibitors,” she said.

    With a demanding travel schedule, she joked that that sometimes finding an internet connection on the road to submit her assignments was challenging. Elizabeth is also a Teaching Assistant in the large animal lab, President of the Veterinary Technology Honor Society (Tau Phi Zeta) and a member of the cheerleading team.

    As the fifth generation in her family to be involved in the dairy industry, Elizabeth said she appreciates Veterinary Science Technology program’s applied curriculum.

    “I chose SUNY Canton because the majority of the classes have a lab, which means that I get a lot of hands-on experience and gain many different learning opportunities with animals."

  • Samantha Dayter

    Samantha Dayter

    Samantha (Sam) Dayter of Cohoes is an award-winning two-sport athlete working on her third degree at SUNY Canton.

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    “I graduated with my associate degree in nursing in May of 2022 and my Bachelor of Nursing in May of 2023,” she said. “I will graduate with my Bachelor of Psychology in May 2024. I plan to continue to work as a Pediatric Mental Health Nurse after graduation.”

    Sam originally chose Nursing because she wanted a challenging and rewarding major. She also played on both the women’s lacrosse and women’s basketball teams during her college career.

    “One of the best things about SUNY Canton is that you truly can get involved in anything you want,” she said. “I got to experience playing on two teams, being a peer tutor, participating in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and so much more.”

    Sam is a three-time NAC MVP in lacrosse and was selected for the NAC First All-Conference Team three years in a row. She was also named female student athlete of the year twice. Sam also received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in 2023. The women’s lacrosse team has won a remarkable three NAC Championships since 2019.

  • Allison Lashway

    Allison Lashway

    Allison Lashway from Hudson Falls is a senior in the Criminal Investigation program. She minors in both Forensic Science and Forensic Victimology. SUNY Canton has provided the hands-on work with professors that Allison had hoped for when coming to college.

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    “I want to succeed in life and have a great future, but I also want to be able to enjoy my life and have fun, and at Canton, I can do both,” she said. “I manage to do well academically all while having fun with friends.”

    One of her favorite experiences has been meeting people from different backgrounds. “Everyone here is so welcoming and accepting,” she said. Allison is a very active student on campus, she is part of the SUNY Canton EMS squad and an EMT. She chose the major and joined the student organization because she has passion for helping others.

    After she graduates, Allison plans on working in a police lab in Albany.

  • Dae Wilson

    Dae Wilson

    Dae Wilson of Washington Heights enrolled in the Funeral Service Administration program in the spring of 2020. Dae uses they/them pronouns and shared their personal SUNY Canton story.

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    “I came to Canton from the city with no idea what the North Country is like and the differences between here and the city,” they said. “The experience of adjusting rocked me to my foundations. It helped me grow as a person, and adjusting taught me how to adapt to my surroundings.”

    In addition to learning to deal with his new home away from home, Dae had concerns about college. “The program has always felt like a calling to me,” Dae said. “I always brushed it off as being something unobtainable, especially coming from a lower-class background.”

    One of the ways Dae adapted to their new environment was by becoming involved with the Student Government Association. “The Student Government Association has allowed me to give back to the community that has formed my educational and occupational career to what it is now,” they said. “I’ve made more friends and meaningful connections that I plan to take with me when I graduate this semester.”

    Dae plans to take their board exam, allowing them to become a funeral home resident. They plan to work in Queens after graduation.

  • Jalyn Maranda

    Jalyn Maranda

    SUNY Canton Criminal Investigation major Jalyn Maranda of Harlem said she came to SUNY Canton back in 2019, right before the pandemic “took the world by storm.”

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    “When I first entered the Criminal Justice field, I felt overwhelmed and confused about my studies,” Jalyn said. “It was difficult readjusting, so I promised myself that if the world ever opened again and the pandemic cleared, I would take advantage of any and all opportunities given, step out of my comfort zone, and be seen and heard no matter where I go.”

    She said as soon as she returned to campus, she sat in the front row of every class, interacted with every facility member she encountered, spent countless hours in the library, utilized student accessibility services, and took advantage of her instructor’s office hours.

    Jalyn found her voice on campus as a Presidential Intern, President of the Sigma Omega Epsilon Sorority, Inc., and President of the college’s Greek council. She is also an Orientation Leader for the incoming students.

    The active student leader is rounding out her education with minors in Forensic Science and Psychology.

    After graduation, Jalyn plans to return to New York City to take the entrance exam for the police academy. She also plans on continuing her education to earn a master’s degree.

  • Debbie Flack

    Debbie Flack

    Debbie Flack of Ogdensburg is a junior in the Technological Communications program. She is a nontraditional student who came back to college later in life after getting married and having children.

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    "I am determined to finish well, even if going part-time means it will take a little longer," she said. "Many students tell me juggling work, school, and family life can sometimes be trying. I always tell them it's worth it in the end."

    Debbie also works in the SUNY Canton Ready Center. Being a student helps her gain a different perspective on her work at Canton. She knows applications, including Banner, UCanWeb, and Handshake, so it's easier to help others understand those programs.

    Sometimes, people have preconceived notions about Debbie's abilities in the technological field, but she is quick to show people that she knows what's up. "The color of my hair tends to put me in a certain category in the eyes of the younger students, but I'm not that grandma who needs help with technology - I'm usually the one giving the help," Debbie said.

    Debbie hopes one or more of her seven grandchildren will consider SUNY Canton and said it is a great campus for all kinds of students, even people like her.

  • Calvin Reid

    Calvin Reid

    Calvin Reid from the Bronx chose SUNY Canton because of his interest in technology and esports. The Cybersecurity program allowed him to pursue his interests and become an active student on campus.

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    “Transitioning from high school to college during the height of COVID was difficult for me,” he said. “Luckily, I made friends who convinced me to join the esports team for Rainbow Six. For the last two years, I have been a team captain.”

    After graduation, Calvin plans to pursue a career in the technology field and is looking at positions with Apple or a government post to further his knowledge of Cybersecurity.

  • Aayliah White

    Aayliah White

    Aayliah White plays women's lacrosse for the Kangaroos and is a junior in the college's Health and Fitness Promotion major.

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    "My name is Aayliah White. My Mohawk name is Kaiatanoron White. I am from Akwesasne.”

    "I grew up on a reservation playing hockey and boy's lacrosse," she said. "I never really knew what women's lacrosse was because it was frowned upon in my culture. Women were not allowed to touch lacrosse sticks. I was a little late into the actual sport - I started in ninth grade and continued to play and love the meaning of the game of medicine. It feels great to be invited into Canton to better my education and be able to play the sport I love."

    Aayliah plays midfield for the Roos and has had many positive experiences with her team, including traveling out of state during spring training and playing in two of the team’s three championship contests. "Winning the North Atlantic Conference two times with this team and getting to experience the NCAA tournament twice is a huge motivation and mood booster," she said. "We're looking to snag another championship this coming year!"

    She said she chose SUNY Canton for her field of study and how welcoming everyone was when she visited. "I also decided to stay closer to home to help care for my family."

    One of her notable experiences at the college includes meeting many people from different cultures. "I've gotten to meet a few people that live out of state over the years, and they are now some of my closest friends," she said.

    Aayliah is one of more than 40 indigenous (Native American or Native Alaskan) students at SUNY Canton as of Fall 2023. College administrators recognize that the college is located on the ancestral territories of the Haudenosaunee and thank the traditional caretakers of the land where students now work, study, play, and learn.

  • Anikko Serrano

    Anikko Serrano

    Anikko Serrano of the Bronx came to SUNY Canton in 2020 during the height of COVID restrictions. The senior Electrical Engineering Technology major said he struggled with his studies during his first year in relative isolation before realizing all the resources available to assist him with his college career.

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    “I had a lackluster first year, and I thought I would do better,” Anikko said. “I decided to give it another go, went to tutoring, and started bothering my professors. Everyone on campus is here to help me. It’s one big network of Canton.”

    He’s since become the Student Government Association (SGA) President, a Resident Assistant, a Jump Start Mentor, an EOP Ambassador, and an Academic Recovery Mentor, effectively establishing himself as another member of the extensive network of student support advocates on campus.

    As SGA president, Anikko learned a valuable lesson that he hopes to impart to other students. “Don’t be afraid to speak up and voice your opinion,” he said. “My voice matters. Your voice matters. Just use it no matter what.”

    After graduation, Anikko plans to become a Residence Director while earning his master’s degree.

  • October Lukach

    October Lukach

    October Lukach is a senior Funeral Services Administration from the Newburgh area in Orange County. October uses they, them, and their pronouns and said they were initially afraid they wouldn't get into SUNY Canton.

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    "When I met with my tour guide, she congratulated me on my acceptance into the school, and I was shocked!" October recalled. "My acceptance letter had gotten lost in the mail."

    They said they chose SUNY Canton because it was the only school in New York with a bachelor's degree in funeral services and for the college's renowned pet wing. "I have an emotional support cat named Mutie," they said.

    October is the Vice President of the Mortuary Science Association, the student club closely associated with their field of study. They have also been an active campus event participant, dressing as a clown at the College's Spring Fest and an elf for Comic-Con.

    "I've made so many close friends and connections here, and I wouldn't change it for the world," they said.

    October is scheduled to graduate in May 2024. They plan to take the funeral service board examinations and complete their residency at a funeral home downstate. Photo by Presidential Intern Erin Stickney.

  • Taylor Ewing

    Taylor Ewing

    Taylor Ewing from Nova Scotia decided to come to SUNY Canton so he could play for the men’s hockey team. He is a sophomore in the Management program, and plans to graduate in 2026.

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    “I am pretty new here, so I haven’t had many experiences quite yet, but I have had lots of fun with my teammates,” he said.

    Even though he’s newer to campus, he quickly felt welcomed by staff and teammates. Taylor's favorite staff member is Head Men’s Hockey Coach Alex Boak.

    Taylor comes from a successful family background and plans on running his own business in the construction and real estate field. “My father is my idol, and my mother is my rock in life. I came from a family of six with three sisters. One is a Division 1 gymnast at the University of Pittsburgh, one is a future Division 1 tumbler and the oldest is a successful businesswoman in her profession,” he said.

  • Victoria Bonavita

    Victoria Bonavita and cat Luca

    Victoria Bonavita of West Babylon has always had a passion for helping animals, that’s why she decided to come to SUNY Canton and enroll in the Veterinary Technology program. However, she didn’t make the journey to Canton alone, she brought her cat Luca with her.

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    Victoria Bonavita of West Babylon has always had a passion for helping animals, that’s why she decided to come to SUNY Canton and enroll in the Veterinary Technology program. However, she didn’t make the journey to Canton alone, she brought her cat Luca with her.

    “One of my favorite parts about Canton is being able to go to college with Luca. He loves the dorms and enjoys going for walks in his stroller and playing with the other cats,” she said. Luca has quickly become a campus favorite; he is frequently seen out and about taking a stroll with Victoria.

    Victoria’s favorite class at Canton is Large Animal Medicine because she gets to go to a farm off campus and work hands-on with the animals. “I like how Cantons Vet Tech program puts emphasis on the hands-on approach to learning,” she said.

    She is an active member on campus being involved as the fundraising coordinator for the Vet Tech Association. This allows her to stay engaged in the community all while helping animals. Victoria is graduating in May 2025 and plans to get licensed and work as a veterinary technician.

  • Carter Pooler

    Carter Pooler

    SUNY Canton Sports Management major Carter Pooler of Adams Center said he chose SUNY Canton so he could earn a degree while playing lacrosse for the Roos.

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    “My favorite staff member is Coach Harrington because he has given me the opportunity to play the sport that I love and has helped me through many obstacles that have come my way,” he said. “When I hurt my left shoulder playing lacrosse, my professors and the student accessibility services office supported me while I struggled to complete my homework. It made me feel like I chose the best school because they worked with me to ensure I could succeed academically.”

    One of Carter's favorite memories at SUNY Canton was volunteering for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University games. He had the opportunity to learn about the planning and setup processes for the international event which offered competition spanning the entire region.

    Carter is set to graduate in the spring of 2024 and is eyeing career prospects with the Premier Lacrosse League. He said he is interested in either coaching or a media operations position.

  • Danielle Reyes

    Danielle Reyes

    Senior Danielle Reyes of Rockaway Park, Queens decided to attend SUNY Canton because of the Veterinary Technology bachelor’s degree, which is one of a few of its kind in the nation.

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    “I always wanted to take care of animals, ever since I was little,” she said. “I wanted to be a veterinarian, but as I grew older, I read more about veterinary technicians, and it interested me so much.”

    In addition to her studies, Danielle became involved with the College Activities Board (CAB).

    “In the Fall of 2021, I became CAB Secretary, and I was re-elected for the 2022-2023 year,” she said. “Having this position has given me so many opportunities, and I feel like it has helped me improve my grades and my overall experience on campus.”

    She said her favorite class so far has been Small Animal Medicine and Therapeutic Techniques because it’s a very hands-on course that will help her to become a better student and future technician.

    After Danielle graduates in May, she plans to take the Veterinary Technology National Exam and become a licensed technician.

  • Marissa Massey

    Marissa Massey

    Marissa Massey of Watertown is a senior student in the Funeral Service Administration program. She said her classes have allowed her to discover her passion for helping people.

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    “My favorite class is Human Responses to Death because it allowed me to gain further knowledge about dealing with families during a very difficult time in their life,” she said.

    Marissa chose SUNY Canton because it is the only four-year degree program of its kind available in the State.

    In addition to her classes, Marissa has been actively involved in several student organizations on campus, including the Pi Sigma Eta Honor Society and the Mortuary Science Association.

    After graduation, Marissa has a clear goal: to work at a funeral home and gain practical experience in the field. Her ultimate aspiration is to own her own funeral home where she can provide exceptional services and support to families during their most difficult times.

  • Darlene Anselm

    Darlene Anselm

    Darlene A. Anselm is a picture of well-rounded student success at SUNY Canton.

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    The third-year Criminal Investigation major from Brewster enrolled with hopes of becoming a crime scene technician. Her college career is developing through her residence assistant position in Heritage Hall, serving as a University Police Dispatcher, and through membership in the Criminal Justice Honor Society.

    "I came to SUNY Canton super anxious, especially after COVID," Darlene said. "I ended up making a ton of friends who I now call family. Studying here has made me realize how much I love school and has inspired me to pursue a master's degree."

    Darlene's favorite class was crime scene photography, offered in a seven-week condensed format each fall.

    She chose SUNY Canton for its applied education. "It was something important for me when picking a school that I wasn't just sitting at a desk listening to lectures," she said. "Classes like forensic investigation and latent prints have all been really hands on."

    Her favorite instructor is Andrew Wood, a Criminal Justice, Intelligence, and Cybersecurity Center lecturer. She said he always makes class exciting and shares real stories to help re-enforce concepts he covers.

    When she's not busy with her studies or on-campus jobs, her hobbies include playing the video game Overwatch and painting.

  • Nicholas Oddey

    Nicholas Oddey

    Nicholas Oddey of Malone is a sophomore in SUNY Canton’s Criminal Investigation program. He said he chose SUNY Canton because it was only a half-hour away from his home, so it’s easy to go see his family.

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    “SUNY Canton also has a great Criminal Investigation program, which is the major I wanted to enroll in,” he said. “I also enjoy the smaller campus size with fewer people, as I find it easier to connect with professors and meet other people this way. This semester, my favorite class has been Law Enforcement Communications taught by my favorite Professor, Alan Mulkin."

    Nicholas said he particularly enjoyed the college’s Carnival of Clubs, which is held to introduce new students to all the student-run organizations available at the college. “Each club had an activity to participate in to get to know the members of the club, and I found all of them very fun,” Nicholas said.

    After graduation, Nicholas plans on becoming a New York State Trooper and eventually work his way up to become a detective. “I've really enjoyed my time here at SUNY Canton, and I can't wait to see what the next two years have in store for me,” he said.

  • Kelly Hu

    Kelly Hu

    Kelly Hu of New York City came to SUNY Canton for the Graphic and Multimedia Design program. She has loved drawing since she was six years old and has always wanted to learn new styles and approaches to develop her art.

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    “I wanted to be somewhere else other than New York City because I wanted the responsibilities of living on my own,” Kelly said. “Canton is a totally new experience because it's very different from where I live. Starting out as a freshman it was initially difficult for me because my family wasn’t there to move me in, and I didn’t know anyone yet.”

    To become more involved on campus, Kelly decided to join the College Activities Board and later pledged to become a sister with Kappa Xi Omega sorority, Inc. Through her involvement on campus, she has learned many responsibilities and skills to help her succeed.

    Kelly’s favorite class this semester is 3D Design. “Everyone that I’ve talked to are very nice and always try to help me out anyway they can if I have any issues,” she said.

    After graduation Kelly plans on using her skills to become a graphic designer.

  • Richard Haller

    Richard Haller

    Richard Haller of Richville is a freshman at SUNY Canton planning to major in Technological Communications. He has lived in the North Country his whole life and chose Canton because it was close to home.

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    “I was homeschooled throughout my entire K-12 education,” he said. “Going to college has been quite the adjustment for me, but I’ve really been enjoying my time here so far. I’m planning on going into Technological Communications because it seems to be the major at SUNY Canton that combines artistic talent with practical work that’ll allow me to get a good paying job that I’ll love after college.”

    Richard also has interests in both sociology and political science, and he hopes to obtain a sociology minor. All the faculty at SUNY Canton have supported his passions and inspired him to pursue his interests. “My favorite instructor is Dr. Daniel McLane, who teaches sociology,” he said. “I find his method of teaching to be both entertaining and laid back. He genuinely cares for his students and puts them first in the classroom.”

    Richard doesn’t know what he wants to do after graduation yet, but he hopes to get a career in a field where he can help others. “Teaching or counseling are careers I’ve always thought about, it’s very likely that I’ll work in an educational environment,” he said.

  • Brennan Harmer

    Brennan Harmer

    Brennan Harmer of Madrid is a junior at SUNY Canton in the Sports Management program who plays both soccer and basketball for the Roos.

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    “Being a two-sport athlete has taught me a lot of things including time management skills and working with various people as part of a team,” he said.

    Growing up in the area, Brennan has been involved in sports throughout his life. “I remember the tournaments I played at the Roos House as well as my varsity games there,” he said. “Being around the facilities and seeing how nice campus was is a main reason why I chose SUNY Canton.”

    His favorite class is Contemporary College Issues which looks in-depth into complications within college athletics from both the administrators’ and athletes’ perspectives. “Dr. Para, my instructor and advisor, has helped to expand my knowledge of the different aspects of the sports world and she has prepared me for a career moving forward,” Brennan said.

    After graduation Brennan plans on attending nearby Clarkson University to pursue a master’s degree. He is eyeing future careers in coaching or athletic administration.

  • Tyler Fuentes

    Tyler Fuentes

    Tyler Fuentes of Monroe became involved with SUNY Canton’s Cross Country team and a member of the campus’ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) squad. The Homeland Security junior said the college was a perfect fit because it offered all his educational interests.

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    “At SUNY Canton I became very active in sports and the on-campus community,” he said. “I was drawn to the unique majors that Canton offered.”

    Tyler has been able to pursue all his hobbies at the college. He loves the North Country and finds Canton to be a great atmosphere.

    Tyler is also minoring in Criminology with a microcredential in Emergency Management. He is president of SUNY Canton EMS and is a volunteer firefighter. He said being a member of the South Blooming Fire Department has given him great experience for his college career. “I picked up on EMS but realized it’s a whole different ballpark than firefighting,” he said. “Both jobs require you to run towards danger.”

    After graduation, Tyler plans on starting a career in one of the many agencies of Homeland Security, including the FBI, US Border Patrol, or Customs. His time at Canton has prepared him for success in his future career.

  • Victoria Ingels

    Victoria Ingels

    Victoria Ingels of Glenville knew SUNY Canton’s Crime Analysis program would be the perfect opportunity for her as both a mother and a full-time employee. She enrolled in the program online for a fast track to her four-year degree.

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    “I chose SUNY Canton because it was the only school that was offering Crime Analysis as a major,” she said. “It is a fairly new career and has been a dream job of mine for a while now. I received my associate degree at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, N.C., for Criminal Justice and really wanted to continue my education and finish out my bachelor’s degree.”

    Victoria took five classes and earned top marks during the college’s Summer Sessions. “I have completed two years’ worth of classes in a year and a half,” she said.

    Her favorite instructor is Nicholas Wildey. She took three classes with him during the fall semester and he serves as her advisor. “I have many favorite classes. GIS: Crime Mapping, Crime Analysis and Cyber Criminology,” she said.

    Victoria currently works at Niskayuna High School while taking care of her three-year-old daughter.

    “I am trying very hard to not only make myself proud, but my daughter as well,” she said. “I want her to see that no matter what life throws at you, you can always keep going to achieve your goals and dreams.”

    Even though she is currently employed, Victoria said she will be ready for career opportunities in crime analysis when she graduates in May 2023.

  • Erin Stickney

    Erin Stickney

    Erin Stickney of Norwood quickly found her place as a transfer student at SUNY Canton. She selected the college’s Technological Communications Program because she loves both photography and social media.

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    “My favorite instructor is Associate Professor Alainya Kavaloski,” Erin said. “She has been a huge help to me as my advisor and educator. As a transfer student who commutes, it was initially difficult for me to find my place. She was so helpful, and she pushed me to use my skills to find success.”

    Erin is currently on a Presidential Internship with the college’s Public Relations department. She is working on various projects including the #peoplelikeme biographies, as well as working alongside the school's photographer and videographer. She said her favorite part of working with the team is getting experience in the field she loves. Being creative and using social media as an outlet is something she is passionate about and gets to do while working in the office. “So far, I love my experience and I know I will learn so much that will help me succeed in any career path.”

    After Erin graduates, she plans to get a job in either public relations, or in marketing and advertising. She hopes to one day use her knowledge and experiences to open her own photography business.

  • Muhammad Shabbir

    Muhammad Shabbir

    Muhammad Shabbir of Kingston quickly felt at home in SUNY Canton’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology program. Muhammad chose the college because he said he wanted a hands-on academic experience with career potential.

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    While being involved on campus as a student ambassador, Vice President for the Society of Women Engineers, a College Academic Standard Committee member, as well as President of the American Society of Engineering, Muhammed said SUNY Canton has provided him with many unique experiences, especially meeting with professionals.

    “All the time I spent in the engineering department was amazing for so many reasons, including creating new ideas, meeting new people, hearing other’s stories, and working together as a team on the steel bridge,” he said. “My time at SUNY Canton will be unforgettable.”

    Muhammad is a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction Student Chapter, commonly known as the SUNY Canton Steel Bridge Team, which finished 19 out of 200 universities in the nation last year.

    He learned a lot through his internship with the New York Department of Transportation. His on-campus experiences in classes, leadership roles, and being part of a team all helped him succeed in the field. 

    After graduation Muhammad plans on getting his master’s degree in Business Administration or Engineering Management while working full time.

  • Alec Knowles

    Alec Knowles

    Alec Knowles of Parishville said his SUNY Canton Story revolves around his passion for video games. The Esports Management major is a member of the college’s League of Legends team, which won second place in last year’s ECAC championships.

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    “I chose SUNY Canton for esports,” Knowles said. “There just isn’t anything like it in upstate New York. The excitement levels of our players and coaches are always at the maximum when competing, and I want to be able to share this same excitement with other schools and communities.”

    The young enthusiast said his academic studies and involvement in esports have allowed him to create lifelong memories, including playing with professionals from Germany’s SK Gaming team, and live casting an Overwatch match from Extreme Network’s Connect Conference in Nashville, Tenn

    “My plans after graduation are to continue my work within the field of Esports for education and entertainment,” Knowles said. ldquo;I also livestream on and hope to continue to foster that venture into a new ever-growing community of diverse people who share a passion for esports and video games. Who knows, you might see me on stage for a professional esports event!”

    He said that his education has been influenced tremendously by the college’s Esports Coordinator Charles Murray and his League of Legends Coach Mark Avery. He’s also established a kinship with many of the other gamers at the college.

    “I’ve met incredible people both in and out of the esports program,” he said. “I couldn’t be more fortunate to call them my friends.”

    Widely known by his in-game name “ToastyTG,” Knowles has a deep commanding voice well-suited for broadcasting. He’s become a go-to for voiceover and acting work for the college’s Office of Public Relations.

  • Emma Bortnick

    Emma Bortnick

    Emma Bortnick of Canton knew she wanted to be a nurse from a very young age and continued a family legacy by attending SUNY Canton.

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    Emma has now completed the first two years of the College’s four-year nursing program and will begin working at Canton-Potsdam Hospital in the medical-surgical unit, while completing her final two-years online.

    “SUNY Canton’s renowned [Nursing] program was the perfect fit,” Emma said. “What I did not know is how quickly I would develop incredibly strong relationships with my classmates and professors. I am so lucky to have been a part of this program and I will always remember the people that made me look forward to coming to class every day.”

    She said she chose SUNY Canton because she spent a lot of time playing sports on campus. “My three older brothers and my father graduated from SUNY Canton as well,” she said.

    In addition to helping Emma launch her professional career, SUNY Canton aided her personally. “When I started classes at SUNY Canton, I had no idea that I would eventually meet my fiancé,” Emma said. “We met while I was working as a supervisor at the Fitness Center and we are currently planning our wedding for August of 2023.”

    Emma was one of the nurses to attend the Pinning Ceremonies held Thursday, May 12. The special events were held during #NationalNursesWeek. #PeopleLikeMe #CantonConnetions.

  • Charliann Friedman

    Charliann Friedman

    Charliann R. Friedman is a campus leader in her program of study, a senior Resident Assistant (RA), and a Senior Student Ambassador in the Office of Admissions. Originally from Schenectady, she joined the college as a transfer student and is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology and a minor in Applied Psychology.

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    “Before becoming a RA and student ambassador, I had to overcome many hardships that put roadblocks in my path to success,” Friedman said. “I am a survivor of domestic violence, and I am a huge advocate for domestic violence awareness and mental health awareness.”

    She’s a proponent of the college’s Counseling Center, St. Lawrence County Renewal House, and SUNY Canton University Police as resources available to others who might be suffering in silence. “It is very important to me to be able to advocate for survivors and share the resources available to them,” she said.

    Charliann attends college with her emotional support dog, Zelda. Charliann is one of the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence recipients this year.

  • Peter Parrish

    Peter Parrish

    Peter Parrish of Edwards has found his place at Canton on the SUNY Canton Steel Bridge Team.

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    “As a freshman, joining the Steel Bridge Team gave me friendships and a new community to be a part of. I feel extremely lucky to have gained the support of so many talented people.”

    Peter is enrolled in the Engineering Science 2+2 program, which will allow him to begin his education at SUNY Canton and then transfer to another university to complete his bachelor’s degree. “I chose SUNY Canton for the amazing connections we get to make with our professors,” he said.

    His favorite class is calculus with lecturer Kevin McAdoo and his favorite faculty member is Assistant Professor Kibria K. Roman from the Mechanical Engineering Technology program.

    Peter’s college experience has been highly relatable. “I love the staying late in the library with friends and then getting late night pizza,” he said.

  • Anthony Probst

    Anthony Probst holds up comic books

    Anthony Propst is a comic book lover who shared his enthusiasm with the entire college during the recent College Comic Con.

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    “As Special Events Chair for the College Activities Board I was the one spearheading the event,” he said. “I was told that a student who was here for Admitted Student Day made their decision to come to the school based on Comic Con, which gave me a great feeling.”

    He said he’s also shared conversations with SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran, who is a fellow comic collector. “I really like older comics,” Anthony said while holding a vintage Daredevil issue.

    Anthony originally came to Canton from Mechanicville for the Game Design and Development program but found his home in the Sports Management major. “Dr. Para and Mr. Metcalf both helped me make the change and get into this program and I loved being here ever since,” he said. “I have made some amazing friends and met incredible professors who’ve given me so much knowledge and help throughout my years here.”

    He recalled other unique experiences at SUNY Canton, including the 2019 Gunna and City Girls concert. “Getting to see them live my freshman year was a great experience,” he said.

    Anthony was also involved with the annual Nicole Fleury Memorial 5K run, which helps fund a scholarship at the college. “Being a part of an event dedicated to the memory of a SUNY Canton student was a great feeling,” he said.

  • Gabrielle Gyampoh

    Gabby Gyampoh

    Gabrielle Gyampoh from Middletown is one of several college student ambassadors who are responsible for engaging with prospective students and providing first-hand knowledge about the SUNY Canton experience.

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    Gabrielle and her team assist with campus tours and informational events, as well as serve as a resource for incoming Roos.

    Understanding that selecting a college is a big decision, Gabrielle said she’s willing to provide guidance about the transition from high school to college whenever it’s needed.

    “I enjoy answering questions about the admissions process because I know it can be stressful,” she said. “Having someone like myself offer assistance can be extremely helpful.”

    As a tour guide, Gabrielle said she makes sure guests come away with an understanding of all that the College has to offer.

    “It is truly a pleasure to show them around our beautiful campus and talk about our amenities and student support resources,” she said.

    The National Student Employment Association has designated April 10-16 “National Student Employment Week” to recognize the value of employees like Gabrielle.

    “Student workers are an essential part of our daily operations, and their contributions to the College are immeasurable,” said President Szafran. “On behalf of the entire SUNY Canton community, I’d like to thank all of our student workers for their hard work, professionalism and dedication. Well done, Roos!”

  • Nicholas Abrantes

    Nicholas Abrantes

    Nicholas Abrantes of Lake George celebrates his academic success by passing along his skills and knowledge through his campus job at the Betty J. Evans Tutoring Center.

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    “Being a tutor gives me the opportunity to help other students,” he said. “I know there were times when I needed support, so being able to pass that on feels good. The other tutors I work with have great advice, and many times I've used it.”

    Nicholas is currently in the Engineering Science 2+2 program, which allows him to earn his associate degree and then move on to another university to finish his bachelor’s in an engineering program. His current favorite class is calculus. “Math has always been second nature to me,” he said. “Being good at something makes me like it that much more.”

    Despite his aptitude for math, Nicholas said he previously struggled academically. After a previous false start, he has hit his stride at SUNY Canton.

    “After giving up on school the first time, many schools wouldn't accept me because of my prior poor performance,” he recalled. “SUNY Canton saw the potential I had and forgave me for the mistakes I had made in prior years. I will always be thankful to the school for that. Since then I have demonstrated my potential by making the President's List last semester.”

    Nicholas is also receiving an academic award this spring.

  • Miranda Mejia

    Miranda Mejia

    Miranda Mejia’s goal in life is to help families say goodbye to their loved ones. The sophomore said she learns best through hands-on practice, and that she’s found her place in the college’s Funeral Services Administration program.

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    “I chose SUNY Canton because it is the only college with a four-year degree program for funeral services,” she said. “I am the first person in my family to study mortuary science, so I wanted to go to the best college for it.”

    Miranda is also a resident assistant in Rushton Hall and works in the Betty J. Evans tutoring center.

    “I kept mostly to myself when I was a freshman, but then I became an RA and it forced me to interact with staff members and fellow students,” she said. “I became more comfortable talking to people and that helped me to make friends in the Funeral Services Administration program.”

    She said she liked all her instructors in her major, who have helped her become a better student. “Dr. Penepent is an amazing professor with an abundance of knowledge to share with his students,” Miranda said. “He cares about his students and is dedicated to their learning.”

    Other notable memories along Miranda’s SUNY Canton journey include the Rags to Riches fashion show, held through the Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership office.

  • Sara Lynch

    Sara Lynch

    Sara Lynch of Potsdam is the first recipient of the “Women in Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) Scholarship,” an award created by college alumni and friends to support female students interested in this STEM field.

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    Sara previously attended Alfred University and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in ceramics. After graduation, she rented an art studio and purchased electric-powered kilns to create commissioned pieces and to teach adult and youth pottery workshops.

    “I was troubleshooting electrical glitches myself and needed more advanced instruction than YouTube tutorials to make kiln repairs,” she said. A friend suggested she enroll in the Electrical Engineering Technology program to upskill.

    She quickly realized a degree would not only help her keep the kilns running, but would enable her to incorporate technology into her own classes, bringing STEM to kids through the lens of art.

    “I believe the future of education is multidisciplinary, and with the help of this scholarship, I will be able to fuse art with science and technology for area children,” she said.

  • Kara DeWeese

    Kara DeWeese

    For Kara DeWeese of Queensbury, horses and the stock market share commonalities. The junior Finance major has used SUNY Canton to help start her career with the end goal of restarting her equestrian enthusiasm.

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    “I started at a bigger school, but it wasn’t a good fit,” Kara said. “It’s really hard to absorb knowledge in a large lecture setting. Now that I’m at SUNY Canton, I much prefer the way the professors teach. We do a lot of projects and I’ve had a lot of in-class hands on experiences.”

    Following extensive work with the college’s Ready Center, Kara has been accepted into the Summer Analyst Program at Goldman Sachs. “I can’t wait to have my first experiences in the finance world,” she said. “I’m definitely going to be learning from the best.”

    Her favorite faculty and staff members include Lecturer Sirvan Rahmati, who teaches math, and Assistant Director of Career Services Katie Kennedy, who works with Kara in the Ready Center.

    “My favorite class is Business Communications,” she said. “When I take classes outside of math, accounting, or finance I tend to learn a lot and work on my weaknesses.”

    As an avid horse rider and enthusiast, Kara has previously worked with Canadian Olympian Kelli Temple, who rode in equestrian events in the 1996 Olympics. She went on to work with two-star show jumper Grant Seger, where she helped manage and groom his horses.

    “I collaborated with other professionals to increase the chances of a positive performance from amazing horses,” she said. “I slowly learned that horses were like stocks, they can’t talk but when you manage them super closely you feel like they can.”

    She noted that horse riding is a difficult sport because of the financial obligation, but it’s something she would like to come back to in the future.

  • Chris Gilman

    Christopher Gilman in front of SUNY Canton water tower.

    Junior Chris Gilman of Tupper Lake was originally attracted to SUNY Canton because of the iconic water tower at the front of campus.

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    “Every fall we would come by SUNY Canton on our way to duck hunt,” he said. “Seeing that big water tower on the way piqued my interest. It is just far enough away from home to make it a great fit.”

    As an incoming student, he knew he wanted to work with computers and was looking for something a little different than an Information Technology degree. “The college came out with the Cybersecurity program that year,” he said.

    His two favorite faculty members are Lecturer Minhua Wang and Associate Professor Kambiz Ghazinour, who both serve as the primary educators in his program. “They both get so excited and into what they are teaching,” Chris said. “It really draws your attention and helps you learn more.”

    He said his favorite class is Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing. Outside of Cybersecurity, Chris takes as many Graphic and Multimedia Design classes as he can. “Graphic Design and 3-D Printing were always things I thought I would enjoy if I could get into them,” he said. “It adds to the abilities that I can bring to a career, personal business or hobby down the road.”

    Chris is a Resident Assistant in Rushton Hall, and the experience has allowed him to make new friends outside of his major.

  • Ladonna Smith

    Ladonna Smith

    Being the only female student in the classroom is the norm for Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology student Ladonna Smith of Mount Vernon.

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    She will be the only woman in the program’s graduating class this May and has been outnumbered by male counterparts throughout most of her college journey.

    “It can be daunting when you step into a classroom and nobody looks like you,” she said. “I was honestly scared at first, because sometimes you just want to blend in.”

    As time progressed, she became more confident. Things started to click when she joined the campus SWE chapter (Society of Women Engineers).

    She credits this small, but tight-knit, group with helping to combat feelings of isolation.

    Ladonna’s experience has made her determined to leave a space for those following in her footsteps by recruiting newer students to join.

    After graduation, Ladonna is eager to work in a field where she can make an impact on the planet.

    “I am interested in being out in the field and helping the environment as best I can.”        

  • Zachary Ahola

    Zachary Ahola

    Senior men’s hockey forward Zachary Ahola of Hancock, MI, said he selected SUNY Canton because the area gave him the feeling of being home away from home.

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    “When I toured SUNY Canton, it felt like a good fit because the small-town feeling could help me focus on academics and athletics,” he said. “The College has given me four years to pursue my goals along with making lifetime friends in the process. I’ve been introduced to new people from different countries that I would have never met without Canton.”

    He noted some of his favorite staff members include Katie Kennedy, Assistant Director of Career Services and Bryan Parker, Fitness Center Director.

    Zach is a Finance major who enjoys Real Estate Finance and Investment Process. He said his future plans include launching a career in the finance sector.

  • Charlotte Baldwin

    Charlotte Baldwin

    Aspiring graphic artist Charlotte Baldwin of Potsdam has ignited her creativity in SUNY Canton’s Graphic and Multimedia Design program.

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    While excelling in photography, drawing, and design, Charlotte said her favorite mode of artistic expression is digital illustration and primarily uses an iPad to create her work.

    “My favorite class was Professional Creative Practices with Lecturer Seth Nixon,” she said. “It gave me a lot of leeway to explore my own creativity. Instead of having a set direction, I was able to make art with themes I had not tested. I also really enjoyed Digital Storyboarding with Professor Matt Burnett because I was able to draw all the time and see the natural progression of my artistic style.”

    Charlotte decided on SUNY Canton after attending Clarkson School. She selected the college based on affordability and program value. “Here, I’ve been able to make a portfolio to help establish my art career and further challenge my skills as a traditional and digital artist,” she said.

    Despite drawing connections with GMMD, Charlotte said her favorite faculty member at the college was her father, Associate Professor Brandon J. Baldwin, who teaches in the college’s Automotive Technology program. “…He also pays my bills,” she added.

    After graduation, Charlotte said she plans on becoming a freelance artist, and is already working to establish her style and brand.

  • Stephanie Washington

    Stephanie Washington with dog Ace

    Online student Stephanie Washington of Syracuse said SUNY Canton, and her family, have given her the support she needed to work toward advancing her career at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital.

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    The Healthcare Management major currently works in the finance department as a healthcare reimbursement specialist. “I love what I do,” she said. “I am looking to climb up the ladder and work my way into medical coding.”

    As a non-traditional student with more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare field, Stephanie has a rather unique perspective on the program. “I’m married with two adult children,” she said. “My favorite class is Women and Aging because I have learned an extensive amount of information about myself, my daughter, my mother, and my grandmother.”

    Stephanie received support from her advisor Professor Marela M. Fiacco, Ph.D., who she said is always available to answer questions. She also gets help from Business and Accounting Lab Coordinator Robin Palm.

    “I disliked all math courses before meeting Robin,” she said. “She taught me how to take a deep breath and embrace what I need to learn.”

    Being an online student, Stephanie provided a photo of herself at home with her dog, Ace.

  • Miqueas Guerrero Martinez

    Miqueas Guerrero Martinez

    Miqueas Guerrero Martinez was born in the Dominican Republic and moved with his family to Yonkers in 2013. He chose SUNY Canton because of his love of the outdoors and rural environments.

    Read More

    As a nature enthusiast, he is committed to doing his part to keep the planet clean.

    “I want to start my own company that specializes in eco-friendly construction,” the Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major said.

    He is an avid photographer and painter, and he enjoys capturing the natural beauty of campus and surrounding area.

    Aside from his creative pursuits, he’s been involved with the College Activities Board (CAB) for the past two semesters, and currently serves as Vice President. In this role, Miqueas helps plan weekend movie showings on campus and assisted with larger events like Family Weekend and the Halloween Lock-In party. He said CAB is closing out the semester with a winter holiday celebration.

  • Quran DuBois

    Quran DuBois

    Quran DuBois is a third-year Health and Fitness Promotion major from Niagara Falls who wants to become a physical therapist after graduation. He is also a guard for the Roos men’s basketball team.

    Read More

    “My favorite SUNY Canton story is winning the NAC Championship in February 2020,” Quran said. “We were the first team to go to the NCAA tournament. It was an unreal feeling.”

    He said his favorite class is Advanced Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries with Associate Professor Janet Parcell-Mitchell, and that he’s received support from Men’s Basketball Head Coach Shiva Senthill.

    Quran chose SUNY Canton because it was good distance away from home. “I also wanted to make an impact on the basketball court immediately after high school. “I think this school was one of my best options for me to play right away.”

    He’s also an RA, which has been an experience that took him out of his comfort zone. “I only saw myself being a student and an athlete,” he said. “Being an RA made me open up more. I’m glad I did it because I think it has made me more mature.”

  • Jaydelynn Tamblin

    Jaydelynn Tamblin

    Jaydelynn Tamblin, a first-year Applied Psychology major from Gouverneur, said she was apprehensive to start college. She was able to overcome her fears with support from her friends, and the faculty and staff at SUNY Canton. She provided some advice for those thinking about starting their education.

    Read More

    “Don’t let the idea of ‘college’ get in your head,” she said. “I think it’s how everyone talks about it that makes it scary for people. If you try and reach out and get all the help that’s provided, you’ll more than succeed.”

    Jaydelynn said her favorite staff member is Assistant Director of Career Services Kathryn (Katie) Kennedy who she met through the Jump Start summer program. She took a few classes during the summer before the fall semester started and became acclimated with the campus.

    “I picked SUNY Canton for the support systems, the encouragement, academic choices, and being able to stay close to home,” she said. “I also love the unique aspects about it here and how I always feel welcome.”

    She said when she joined TRiO she realized she wasn’t alone and that other students were scared about coming to college as well.

    “It felt like we all had something in common and could relate to each other,” she said. “We also realized that we weren’t alone and had someone to talk to when we were having the same feelings. It made the whole transition easier for me.”

  • Dimitri


    In our first installment of the “Pets Like Me” series, meet Dimitri, an emotional support dog who lives in Rushton Hall with his owner, Victoria Hanna of Malone.

    Read More

    This is his first semester on campus, and Victoria said he is adjusting to college life very well.

    “Dimitri absolutely loved SUNY Canton when he arrived,” she said. “He enjoys playing with his Rushton family in the common area. He also likes to go to the grass field next to the turf field and play fetch.”

    As a Miniature Australian Shepherd, Dimitri is classified as a herding dog – highly intelligent, adaptable and social. He even has a few besties on campus: Zelda the service dog and Paisley, who is a full-size Australian Shepherd.

    Although his breed suggests he’s from down under, Dimitri’s never seen a real kangaroo, but he is looking forward to meeting Roody someday.

    If Dimitri were a student, Victoria said his major would likely be Applied Psychology.

    “He loves to make everyone's day better and loves to cheer people up. I've had many students tell me how Dimitri has helped them with homesickness and helped boost their mental health.”

  • Benjamin York

    Benjamin York

    Benjamin York of Auburn is a leader on the award-winning Student Steel Bridge Team.

    Read More

    The team competes annually against some of the largest schools in the country to build the most structurally sound scale-model bridge in the fastest time. The college won a national championship in 2009, and Benjamin and his teammates are continuing a legacy of excellence.  

    This past spring, they persevered through COVID restrictions to finish ninth place at the national competition.  

    Now a senior in the Mechanical Engineering program, Benjamin said he is actively recruiting new members to whom he can pass the baton. Among the many criteria required to join this elite group is a willingness to work hard.

    “We are looking for people who are enthusiastic about competing and ready to take on a challenge,” he said.

    Although they are in a rebuilding year, Benjamin said he is optimistic. Recent Bridge Team alumni are pitching in as advisors, and 1972 graduate Don Garrett pledged $50,000 over the next five years to help with expenses.

    “This year’s competition is going to be a challenge, but I’m excited to see what happens,” he said.

  • Chelsey Raven

    Chelsey Raven

    Chelsey Raven of Ogdensburg is a Nursing major and a forward for the Kangaroos women’s basketball team. She said she chose SUNY Canton because it gave her the opportunity to stay close to home while studying nursing and playing basketball.

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    “My favorite instructor is Anne Petroccione and my favorite part of the nursing program is going to clinical and being able to practice hands-on care at local hospitals,” Chelsey said. “My favorite staff members are my coaches, Chris and Katie Klassen. We worked extremely hard during the pandemic to prepare for this upcoming season.”

    Chelsey said that the strength and conditioning portion of her basketball practice routine has been particularly rewarding. “Working with our assistant coach has helped the whole team’s overall physical fitness. She has made us all a lot more comfortable with lifting.”

    Time management has become particularly important for Chelsey. “Between lectures, labs, clinicals, practices and lifting, I’ve learned effective planning is significantly important for success.”

  • Cassidy Asiamah

    Cassidy Asiamah

    Cassidy Asiamah of the Bronx has just become one of SUNY Canton’s newest student leaders. She was selected to serve in the first class of SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Ambassadors and will be one of 20 individuals statewide to advocate for her peers.

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    Her appointment comes at the same time as a SUNY-wide comprehensive plan to expand EOP and add 1,000 more spots for students, increasing student financial awards, and expanding academic resources.

    Cassidy selected SUNY Canton to major in Criminal Investigation and minor in Forensic Science.

    “My story started in March 2019 when I came up to Canton to view the campus for the bus trip,” she said. “I immediately fell in love with the nature and the beautiful views.”

    She said she chose SUNY Canton for the stability, the financial support, and the help faculty and staff provide to make certain that students are successful. “My favorite class was chemistry with Associate Professor [Rajiv] Narula,” she said. “I enjoyed how well his class was structured and he was available for contact. My favorite staff members are EOP Counselors Taylor Charles and Scott Quinell. They have always advocated for my best interests and pushed me to stay focused with their words of encouragement.”

    Cassidy also received the SUNY Canton College Foundation’s Promises Kept Pathways scholarship designated for high-achieving Black scholars. She said she was especially grateful for the funding as a first-generation college student. “I don’t want to be just another number in the system, I want to succeed and make way for others like me,” she said.

  • Daniel DePhilippis

    Daniel DePhilippis

    In 2019, Esports Management major Daniel DePhilippis from Galloway, N.J., quit his job in tech support at a cable company to pursue his love for gaming.

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    “I knew my job wasn’t going anywhere, so I made a commitment to attend community college and fix my grades,” he said. “I made President’s and Dean’s list with a 4.0 GPA, and then submitted applications to four schools. I was accepted to all of them.”

    He selected SUNY Canton over other larger, more prestigious colleges after seeing the Game Design Lab and Esports Arena. “I could tell that the college took esports seriously,” he said. “It was my top choice.” 

    Around the same time, Daniel struggled with health issues and made up his mind to change his diet and get physically active.

    “My story shows that sometimes you can push a reset button in life, just like video games,” he said.

    As a Student Ambassador for the Admissions Office, the customer service skills he learned working in tech support helps him interact with prospective students and families on campus tours.  

    “I focus on creating a fun, positive experience so that hopefully they will see SUNY Canton the way I see it.”

    After graduation, Daniel wants to manage an esports team and be a part of the future of esports.

    “I hope to see it become a global phenomenon and maybe one day be an Olympic sport.”

  • Gyniah Jenkins

    Gyniah Jenkins

    Gyniah Jenkins of Harlem is the President of Beta Sigma Zeta Sorority Inc. and a Criminal Investigation major. She recently received an American Red Cross scholarship after her sorority helped orchestrate a campus blood drive with the Wellness Promotions office.

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    Gyniah was the second student from her sorority to receive this scholarship. This semester’s drives will be held Tuesday, Sept. 28 and Wednesday, Sept. 29 in SUNY Canton’s Dana Hall gymnasium.

    She said her favorite class was Introduction to Forensics, taught by her advisor, Assistant Professor Kelly R. Peterson, but she also enjoys most classes in the program. “My major is very much hands-on, and I love the atmosphere, energy, and help that all the teachers and students bring to the table,” she said.

    Her time at SUNY Canton has been challenging for personal reasons, but she has been able to overcome those trials with help and support of her friends and staff at SUNY Canton.

    “I lost my mom my second semester of freshman year,” Gyniah said. “Instead of letting that stopping me, it pushed me more. I am the only child to ever go to college and this was something that I told myself I was going to finish. I’ve grown close with the SAIL [Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership] office. Without them, college probably would have been harder or even impossible.”

    She said she also received a lot of support from her sorority. “I was truly going through a lot especially since I lost my mom,” she said. “These things gave me the push that I needed to not only keep my grade to a certain point but to also keep going with college.”

  • Karly Rothvoss

    Karly Rothvoss

    For Karly Rothvoss, flexibility was important when she decided to enroll in the Agribusiness Management program.

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    “I live about 4 hours away from Canton and didn’t want to leave my children to finish school,” she said. “Online learning allowed me to stay at home while bettering myself.”

    After graduation, she plans to use her degree to help farmers develop and market products that make their businesses more profitable.

    “Agriculture is in my blood and deeply rooted in my area,” she said. “I want to see farmers thrive and be able to carry their farms on through their families.”

    Karly said she takes pride in being among the first to complete the program. She will be graduating Summa Cum Laude this Saturday.

    “Online learning was both a demanding and rewarding experience,” she said. “I hope my success inspires others to pursue careers in agriculture.”

  • Luis Torres Rivera

    Luis Torres Rivera

    Luis Torres Rivera from Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, is a Health and Fitness Promotion major and a pitcher for the men’s baseball team. He said he chose SUNY Canton because it gave him the opportunity to become more independent and study what he loves.

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    “I had to adapt to a new language, a new environment, new friends, and being far from my family,” he said. “I got the opportunity to work and meet amazing people. I had the chance to play the sport I love and get a degree.”

    His favorite class is Strength and Conditioning. “Although I had to take it online because of the pandemic, it was a great class and expanded my knowledge in the field of fitness.  Janet Parcell Mitchell has always been a great professor, easy to understand and you notice the passion that she has when she teaches. When the pandemic began, she went out of her way to make things better for me. She was always there and willing to help me in any capacity. She even asked me if I needed any supplies.”

    Luis works in the college’s admissions office as a Student Ambassador. He’s currently looking into master’s degree programs in nutrition with the end goal of starting his own business.

  • Briannah Isaac

    Briannah Isaac

    In a few weeks, senior Briannah Isaac will be the first in her family to graduate from college.

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    Without a roadmap to follow, the four-year journey to finish her Graphic and Multimedia Design degree and minor in Marketing Management was something she did mostly on her own. Briannah said she often had to work two or three jobs simultaneously while taking classes full-time.

    “Today, I look at how far I have come and understand pursuing a degree was one of the best choices I ever made,” she said. “College will not only broaden your horizons, but connect you to endless opportunities.”

    Even with so many demands on her time, Briannah always believed in helping others through her work as a Resident Assistant, Student Ambassador, or Library Learning Associate.

    “Whether listening to someone grieve about the loss of a loved one, helping to eliminate a conflict, or assisting with academics, I have developed many relationships on campus by being whatever kind of support is needed.”

  • Robert Akomezogho

    Robert Akomezogho

    Robert Akomezogho, an international student from Gabon, wants to help a North Country hospital defend against hackers this summer.

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    Robert, a Cybersecurity major, will use what he’s learned in the classroom to protect patient privacy. He is applying to several area medical IT departments to assist their cyber experts during the break. His favorite course so far was “Cybersecurity Defense and Countermeasures” (CYBR 356) taught by Minhua Wang, the college’s authority on internet crime.

    He said he is enjoying his time at SUNY Canton and in the U.S. He has built strong friendships with fellow international students, and his favorite memory so far was a group trip they took in 2019.

    “We went New York City during Thanksgiving break and saw Times Square, the Empire State Building and other places,” he said. “I was with students from Hong Kong, South Korea and Vietnam. We visited a karaoke club and sang ‘We Are the World.’”

  • Justin Brooks

    Justin Brooks

    Justin Brooks, a sophomore in the Esports Management program, found the same camaraderie on the college’s esports team as he did growing up playing football in Syracuse.

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    "I have a long history with sports, and because I decided not to play football in college, esports fills the competitive spirit I’ve always had. It’s not something I can get anywhere else."

    Justin, better known by his gamer tag "theduelest1," is the Captain of the "Valorant" team. Because of his extensive experience in competitive gaming, he landed a paid internship with LeagueSpot, a company that assists colleges and other organizations run gaming tournaments. He’s responsible for game administration, assisting new clients, and content creation. He also shout-casts the college’s esports games via their Twitch channel.

    "I like to think this was a position I got because of the hard work I put in assisting the team, as well as the resume I built in high school. It’s an exciting opportunity."

  • Brigit Tejada

    Brigit Tejada

    Brigit Tejada is a Veterinary Technology major and animal lover from Manhattan, New York. She said she selected SUNY Canton because it was one of the only four-year programs in her field.

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    “SUNY Canton was the perfect match for me especially because I wanted to be far away from home to experience independency,” she said. “I also currently live in the pet wing at Mohawk Hall. This is one of the only colleges that I know of that allows students to bring their pets on campus. I was able to bring my cat and hamster with me.”

    Brigit enjoys her class experiences because almost every lab in her program gives her an opportunity to work with animals.

    “We primarily work with dogs and cats,” she said. “But for some labs we work with farm and laboratory animals. My two absolute favorite labs were Large Animal and Small Animal Medicine & Therapeutic Techniques. For our Large Animal lab, we got to go to our instructor's farm to work with her horses, cows, and sheep. We also had another instructor bring in his rabbits, goats, and chickens. For our Small Animal lab, every student gets the opportunity to prep and assist for surgery.”

  • Sirena Alvarez

    Sirena Alvarez

    Sirena Alvarez, a sophomore in the Health and Fitness Promotion program, was born in Helsinki and was raised in Jyväskylä, Finland. As an international student, she said she selected SUNY Canton after being recruited by Coach David LaBaff.

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    “My favorite class I've taken so far has to be either Dr. Wolfe's Psych 101 last year, or Professor Boyd's Human Development class. They are insightful and I like the way both of them lecture. Shelly Thompson and Erin Lassial from the International Programs Office take such good care of us and truly make Canton feel like home.”

    She also mentioned that Canton has the prettiest sunsets she’s ever seen.

  • Thomas Contino

    Thomas Contino

    Thomas Contino of Henderson is putting the finishing touches on the college’s newest mural in Nevaldine Hall South. Tom is a prolific painter in the Graphic and Multimedia Design program and an avid musician.

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    “I have a variety of interests and have found it difficult to figure out how to build a career while pursuing my passions in art and music. I first got an Associate of Applied Science Degree from Onondaga Community College, majoring in music performance. From there I planned to continue my education at SUNY Fredonia, majoring in music therapy. My first semester showed me that this wasn't the program for me, and I took some time away from college to work part time jobs by day while playing music by night with a variety of cover bands. During this time, I also worked on developing my skills in visual arts and started to seriously pursue marketing my artwork. Eventually, I decided that I needed to go back to school to challenge myself to learn new ideas and skills, as well as building my professional network. I chose to pursue a bachelor's degree in graphic design because it allows me to take all my many interests and combine them into a career path.”

    Tom’s next steps will be to get a job in graphic design and to continue developing his art and music ventures. “I am uncompromising in my pursuit of freedom, creative expression, and community,” he said.

  • Judson Foote

    Judson Foote

    Judson Foote of Hermon decided to become a nurse because people told him he couldn’t. The 36-year-old father of four has been a commercial truck driver, is an ordained minister and a private pilot.

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    “I have been a truck driver for the last 12 years,” he said.  “I have even been an ice road trucker. Currently I'm a full-time nursing student and work for Casella waste whenever I'm not studying to provide for my family. When I told people I wanted to be a nurse, many would always say the same thing; that I would not make a good nurse because I was too rough around the edges. So, I decided to become a truck driver. After we started having children, I decided that I was going to follow my dreams and provide a better home environment and a better future for my wife and kids. Helping people has always been my passion. I believe that as a nurse I can make a difference.”

    Judson’s wife, Courtney, is a 2007 SUNY Canton graduate.

  • Felicidad Christensen

    Felicidad Christensen

    Felicidad Christensen picked SUNY Canton's Funeral Services Administration program because she wanted to go into a field where she could help people and be involved in her community.

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    “I’ve long had an interest in cemeteries and mourning practices,” she said. “When I started classes here it immediately clicked. I am due to graduate this upcoming fall. I've made some of my best friends here, especially in the program. The latter half of my time at college is looking way different than I expected it to be, but I'm glad to be here at Canton and I'm especially glad I got to help out in the field back in April and May. It always takes some adjustment coming up here from the city, but that just makes it easier to focus on academics.”

    Felicidad was one of the students to assist with operation “Hands with a Heart” where she volunteered to help funeral homes in New York City during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.