Annual Report
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Foreword From President Zvi Szafran

A collective commitment to innovation and reinvention has led SUNY Canton through another year of unrivaled success.

At the heart of our commitment is a plan to educate students for both current high-needs employment opportunities and for upcoming careers that Industry 4.0 will demand. By embracing automation, machine learning, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, we will remain at the very forefront of our mission to prepare students for their future occupations. All of our new, and many of our existing, academic programs include skills that can be directly used to position our graduates at the front of the line.

SUNY Canton is working to create an Entrepreneurship Center in the heart of downtown Canton that will serve both our students and community members. It will offer entrepreneurial programming, co-working space, private offices, state-of-the-art conference room facilities, event space, and a makerspace. It will also house our Small Business Development Center.

Through partnerships with the Town and Village of Canton and a team of developers, the Entrepreneurship Center will play a part in the redevelopment of a derelict property. It will offer retail and commercial space in addition to residential apartments. This project was made possible by a purchase agreement secured by the Canton College Foundation

The SUNY Canton SBDC now operates and manages a branch office at Clinton Community College. The unification of these two centers provides more prospects for new businesses and increases opportunities to showcase existing small businesses across the entire North Country region. The result has been a banner year. Between the two branches, the SUNY Canton SBDC has recorded $18 million in economic impact in the region and created or saved nearly 300 jobs.

Our four-year business programs have helped several local entrepreneurs launch or grow their area enterprises. Established business owners are coming to our school to develop new strategies. Two unique businesses with ties to the College – Marble City Heating and Plumbing and Martin’s Marina – were able to generate a combined $10,500 in new revenue through students’ senior-level projects.

Ultimately, all our efforts will combine to enable our students to create and excel in the careers of the future.

Scrolling down, you’ll see many examples of our accomplishments during the past year. There were almost too many to list. This report pays special attention to our online initiatives as they grow, our faculty who produce inventive ideas and phenomenal research, and our esports program, which will remain a great game-changer for years to come.

Here’s to another phenomenal year as a proud member of the State University of New York System!

Zvi Szafran
SUNY Canton President

Advancing Academics


n addition to maintaining enrollment goals in the face of a state-wide decline in high school graduates, overall student retention has increased in the past 10 years. Graduation rates have increased 10% and placement rates have increased 5% in the past year.

The most academically rigorous and highly-selective programs have some of the most impressive results, with 82% of nursing students passing the nationwide examination for licensure and securing employment. More than half of those graduates have enrolled in the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, offered online.

Similarly, 85% of Veterinary Technology Students passed their national examination. The Physical Therapist Assistant program had a 95% pass rate on the licensing exam in 2018, and the program typically sees a 96% employment rate.

Faculty Innovation

Throughout the past year, faculty members have conducted research, published and presented scholarly work, or shared their knowledge in a variety of ways. Some highlights include:

Cultural Connection

English Professor Dr. Eunjyu Yu published “The Impact of Culturally Inclusive Pedagogy on Student Achievement in a Multicultural Urban School Setting” in Urban Education, a bi-monthly peer-reviewed journal. She suggested educators should look at presenting topics in a way that is directly related to the lives of students to enhance students’ self-esteem, critical thinking skills and academic achievement.

Going the Distance

Two online education leaders were named 2019 Teaching Ambassadors by Open SUNY. Dr. Marela M. Fiacco, an Assistant Professor who teaches in the Healthcare Management program, and Dr. Michelle L. Currier, an Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice Department, were selected for their innovative contributions to distance learning.

Game Changer

Associate Professor Dr. Barat Wolfe (center) is studying the psycho-social health of gamers playing competitive esports with research assistance from faculty members Dr. Christopher Sweeney and Dr. Janet Parcell-Mitchell. Wolfe, who teaches in the Applied Psychology program, said those who play violent video games are at a greater risk for anxiety, stress, and depression. Early findings suggest the early integration of health professionals to meet the needs of team members, similar to traditional sports, in addition to adding mental health training for coaches and support staff.

Cutting Edge

Canino School of Engineering Technology Instructional Support Associate Neil A. Haney received a patent for his innovative chainsaw lubricating device. Haney came up with the idea to utilize a positive displacement pump to provide oil for a chainsaw bar and chain while building a firewood processing machine. The pump was assigned U.S. Patent No. 10,307,931 with assistance from the SUNY Research Foundation.

A professor teaches his class using flex modality.

Evolving Instruction


aunching converged modality courses, or “Flex Classes” as the latest addition to SUNY Canton OnLine, made taking a class more accessible than ever before. Lectures in 12 disciplines are live streamed to participants and are simultaneously recorded and posted to Blackboard, where students can access them at any time – or as many times – as they like. It allows online students the option of attending a class in person, while traditional on-campus or commuter students can decide how they would like to participate.

Flex Classes are supported through a $500,000 Performance Improvement Fund grant. A portion of that funding is also used to increase engagement with the substantial online student population by offering expanded college resources and services. Online students now have greater access to activities and can even virtually participate in college esports competitions.

124 Ebooks, 15,000 Times Resources Used, 70 Classes Using Textbook Loan

To coincide with the changing way students are learning, the Provost Library-Textbook Loan program provided 124 electronic textbooks available all day, every day to all students. The new resources were used more than 15,000 times. Faculty continue to adopt open educational resources with approximately 70 classes using cost-saving learning tools.

Training Ground


he College made an unprecedented move in strengthening its signature programs within the Criminal Justice curricula this year by establishing a new Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Six degrees currently fall under the Center’s umbrella, including the computer-focused Cybersecurity program and the fully online Emergency Management program, with plans for additional four-year degrees on the horizon.

The new Center will be housed in Dana Hall, which is currently undergoing a complete renovation through financing from the SUNY Construction Fund. Part of the investment will help create several brand-new facilities, including a criminal investigation laboratory and a crime scene staging room. The College will invest an additional $500,000 into a state-of-the-art cybersecurity-specific computer classroom in Nevaldine Hall.

By aligning related degree offerings, the Center will also be better positioned to expand relationships with state-wide law enforcement and corrections agencies. SUNY Canton is currently home to the David Sullivan-St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy and the brand-new SUNY Canton Corrections Academy, offering students a continuous path from education to career.

Pioneering Partnerships


he creation of new undergraduate to graduate transfer pathways maximizes students’ credits and experience, while saving them time and money.

A unique partnership between SUNY Canton's School of Business and Liberal Arts and the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Law allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies or Applied Psychology at SUNY Canton and their law degree at UB in just six years.

A similar agreement with Clarkson University allows those studying Healthcare Management to apply their coursework to a Master of Business Administration degree, providing the opportunity to potentially finish the graduate program in just one year.

In further ties with Clarkson, students accepted into the two-year Engineering Science program can continue their corresponding bachelor’s degree in just four additional semesters. The dual admission program allows students to apply just one time for a degree from both colleges.

Preparing students for advanced careers in Homeland Security and Cybersecurity has never been easier, as a result of an agreement with the University of Albany’s College of Emergency Preparation. Students in SUNY Canton's criminal justice programs can apply and take up to 12 credits in UAlbany’s Master of Science in Information Science degree prior to graduating. The agreement allows a student to count credits toward both degrees, enabling a student to earn two degrees in as few as five years.

Literary Learning


he popular Living Writers Series provides an extraordinary opportunity for students to learn from and engage directly with some of the most acclaimed writers and poets of our day. Several of the events each year are co-sponsored by the Center for Diversities and Inclusion to showcase culturally significant literary influencers.

Iain Haley Pollock shared his poems about the complexities of fatherhood while witnessing social injustice and the inequities of race in America.

Writer and Performance Poet Arthur Flowers (above) was a guest of honor at a program co-sponsored by the Traditional Arts in Upstate New York Center.

Celebrated author Mary Karr returned to SUNY Canton to read from her poetry collection “Tropic of Squalor.”

Karr, Hutton, and Adjei-Brenyah

The author of the New York Times bestselling book “Friday Black,” Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, helped guests reimagine what it’s like to work in retail and portrayed the injustices black men and women face.

Keely Hutton shared portions of her critically acclaimed novel “Soldier Boy” about the Ugandan civil war and spoke about her process of research and writing. The book is based on the life of Ricky Richard Anywar, who also visited campus.

High-Tech Revolution


t the very pinnacle of Industry 4.0 stands the Canino School of Engineering Technology’s newest four-year program. The Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics Technology integrates mechanical, electrical, computer, and telecommunication engineering into one program to position graduates for advanced careers in automation, machine learning, and robotics.

Led by Assistant Professor Dr. Joel Miles Canino, the rigorous curriculum has attracted inventive students, such as Heath J. Boyea who has conducted research tracking brain and muscle activity of recovering stroke patients. This faculty- student team presented research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers international annual conference.

Social Networking

Management student Tia M. Tassava ’19 gained practical experience managing a social media campaign for a high-profile event through her internship with the “Actions for Change” festival in South Florida. The event aims to provide support and healing to those affected by last year’s Parkland High School shooting and raise awareness about gun violence. Tia worked with festival organizer Douglas G. Zeif ’13, a hospitality industry leader who runs a multimillion-dollar consulting firm.

“I never thought I’d be this involved with acclaimed acts during my time at college. This experience was crucial to landing a job.”

– Tia Tassava ’19

Bridging Success

Some Canino School of Engineering Technology students prepared for their careers in one of the most extraordinary and highest profile examples of project-based learning at the college. Members of the SUNY Canton Steel Bridge team locked in a ninth-place finish at the 2019 American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) National Competition at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

“We competed against the best teams in the United States and performed near flawlessly. I’m proud of our students’ genuine ingenuity with this year’s bridge.”

- Paul D. Hitchman,
Instructional Support Associate and Faculty Adviser

Natural Views

A unique Adirondack Experience summer course teaches digital photography skills by using some of the most scenic backdrops and breathtaking landscapes in the region. Eight students started their applied-learning adventure in Little Clear Pond and then paddled, hiked, and explored the greater St. Regis Canoe Area.

“Students learn the fundamentals of photography while utilizing our areas’ greatest asset. We start with students who’ve never spent a night outdoors and train them how to navigate the Adirondack wilderness. The immersive experience also promotes extensive teamwork and camaraderie.”

– Professor Matthew J. Burnett

Professional Partnership

Industry partner Day & Nite All Service, a commercial refrigeration, kitchen equipment, HVAC, and plumbing company with locations throughout the East Coast, began recruiting SUNY Canton graduates and offering current students professional-level internships.

“One thing we have learned working with SUNY Canton, is to never underestimate the quality, depth, and capacity of the students, faculty, and administration.This unbridled confidence reached even greater heights as a result of the truly marvelous impact SUNY Canton interns have had on our company.”

- Michael A. Berman, Chief Operating Officer (above left)

Gunna performs at Roos House while students snap photos.

Roo Life


n innovative co-curricular transcript initiative that recognizes students’ philanthropic work, service-learning experience, and club and organization membership launched this year. More than 300 students have begun working on one of two new badge credentials – Leadership Development and Cultural Competency – that recognize achievements beyond coursework.

Roo Life, a new mobile student engagement platform, supports this initiative by allowing on-campus and online students to discover unique extracurricular activities and events.

The Student Affairs Division hosted more than 800 programs and had more than 25,000 contacts with students throughout the academic year. They also live-streamed and recorded more than 80 events for the entire student body.

800 Programs, 25,000 Student Contacts, 80 Live streams

To cap off the year, a spring concert featuring national recording artists Gunna (above) and City Girls was held in April. Nearly 800 fans packed the Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center for the event.

Supporting Students


he Pantry will help more students than ever before thanks to the creation of a new account that allows the campus community to donate directly to the program. In addition to generous donations from the College Association Inc. and the Student Government Association, a student-led drive by Amelia H. Hellijas and Alyssa R. Fowler (pictured) last November restocked the pantry before the holidays, with a significant portion of the items being donated by the College’s Physical Plant.

Students conversate over lunch at Chaney Dining Center.

Changing Chaney


brand-new culinary experience welcomed students as they descended into the main room of Chaney Dining Center this spring. After a year’s worth of renovations, the College’s largest eatery reopened to an enthusiastic student body.

Newly installed brick ovens allow students to watch as staff prepare their flame-cooked pizzas. In addition to an enlarged salad bar, College Association staff expanded vegan and vegetarian options, with a dedicated cooking station.

The newly renovated Chaney Dining Center food stations

“The Corner” restaurant is located near the entrance, where students can go for late-night dining options.

The building’s interior has been completely remodeled to create an immersive experience, with new seating arrangements, serving areas, and wall treatments. It was one of the single largest recent facilities upgrades financed by the SUNY Construction Fund. It was also the most vivid change ever made to the half-century-old historic building.

The SUNY Canton College Council gave the prestigious Employee Recognition Award to all of the Chaney Dining Center Staff for their outstanding customer service during the dining center’s renovation.

The Chancellor helps President Szafran and Roody cut the ribbon at the eSports Grand Opening.

Leading Esports


hancellor Johnson helped celebrate a pinnacle moment during the official grand opening of a new eSports Arena. The $500,000 state-of-the-art competition space went online last year and has now seen hundreds of matches.

A gamer plays in the new eSports Arena

The explosive growth of the esports program has earned unprecedented national media attention, and ABC’s “Nightline” aired a story in March featuring “Overwatch” team captain Emily A. Oeser, one of a growing number of female esports competitors. ESPN, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press have also covered the program’s growth.

“Overwatch” and “FIFA” esports squads captured the College’s first-ever Eastern College Athletic Conference championships last fall. In addition to conference and tournament competition, “Overwatch” team members were invited to Nashville in May to play a live exhibition match against Alfred State at the annual Extreme Connect Conference.

All-female eSports Overwatch team

Gamers entered in a historic all-female collegiate esports match against Stephens College in December. SUNY Canton is among the first colleges in the nation to recruit an all-women’s varsity esports team.

The four-year Game Design and Development program continues to grow alongside of eSports and has become the fastest growing program at the college. In 2018, 78 fulltime students enrolled in the program. 114 new students have deposited and are anticipated to start the Fall 2019 semester in Game Design.

Esports Media Attention


The Chancellor helps President Szafran and Roody cut the ribbon at the eSports Grand Opening.

Engaging Athletics


or the first time in school history in any sport, women’s lacrosse earned a bid to the NCAA National DIII playoffs. The team finished with an impressive 14-6 record, which includes a North Atlantic Conference championship.

The Athletics Department and Student Government Association championed an effort to display the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) flag in the ice rink, turf field, field house, and Campus center. The College also began a groundbreaking tradition of playing the Iroquois lacrosse national anthem at home games to honor the sport’s heritage and Native American student-athletes.

Tatum LaFrance sets a volleyball with the Iroquois flag in the background

Men's hockey recorded perhaps the College's most impressive NCAA victory when it defeated the third-ranked team in the country. SUNY Canton downed Adrian College 6-4 in an away game last December. It marked the College's first time defeating a team ranked in the nation's top three in any sport.

Forward Joe Deveny breaks away with the puck.

Fergal Foley accepts his Honorary Doctorate from President Szafran.

Alumni Allies


etired Major General Fergal I. Foley, a graduate of the class of 1980 (above left), received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of his accomplishments at commencement. He is a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, a scholarship donor, and has visited campus on several occasions to discuss his experiences.

The Advancement Division secured the largest bequest in College history this year. The landmark $1.3 million gift from the estate of longtime volunteer Barbara “Bobbi” Butler Burnham ’46 will be used to fund scholarships for students who are enrolled in a liberal arts degree program.

The Class of 1968 made the largest collective class donation in College history last year in honor of their half-century milestone. The nearly $300,000 donation was supported by a lead gift from Ronald J. Blanchard ’68.

$2,134,036 Funds Donated, 67% Giving Increase from 2017-18, 51% Employee Giving Rate

Friends and alumni donated a total of $2,134,036 this year, a 67% increase from the previous year. SUNY Canton employee giving was 51% in 2018, a remarkable symbol of confidence in the College and its mission.

A hand holds three autumn leaves, one has the SUNY Canton leaf and parallelagram cutout.

Green Space


tudents, faculty, and staff work hand-in-hand to explore every opportunity for the College to become more sustainable. A composting initiative led by the student-run Environmental Change Organization collects tons of food scraps from eateries each year, and an end-of-year move-out program re-distributes unwanted clothing and household goods from the residence halls to charity organizations, reducing landfill waste.

The Theobald family gathers in the new botanical nursery

The campus pollinator garden and Kenneth H. Theobald ’54 Botanical Nursery are real-world classrooms where students can learn about biodiversity, and the Solar Ready Vets program, funded by a Performance Improvement Fund grant, will expand to train students and local residents for careers in green energy. A portion of the grant will support the construction of a solar mock roof training simulator, an experiential laboratory that will be used to teach best practices in photovoltaic installation.

Take charge. Unplug.

The renovation of Chaney Dining Hall included the installation of new energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, as well as energy-saving lighting, a daylight harvesting system, and occupancy sensors. Similarly, ongoing partial renovations in several buildings involve heating and cooling upgrades and improved lighting controls and sensors.

In addition to established academic programs that focus on alternative energy and resource management, an online four-year program in Sustainable Construction Management in development will train future builders and designers how to reduce a project’s carbon footprint.

Two students work in the Cybersecurity lab.

By the Numbers

Total Operating Budget: $26.4 million


  • Enrollment Revenue (Tuition & Fees) 76%
  • State Support 24%


  • Personnel Services (PSR) 75%
  • Temporary Services (TS) 11%
  • Other Than Personnel Services (OTPS) 10%
  • Utilities 4%

Enrollment Demographics

$2,134,036 Funds Donated, 67% Giving Increase from 2017-18, 51% Employee Giving Rate

Diversity Stats

Fall 2010

  • White 69%
  • Black 9%
  • Hispanic 5%
  • Asian 1%
  • Native American 1%
  • Excludes Other, Unknown, and Non-Resident Alien

Fall 2018

  • White 65%
  • Black 15%
  • Hispanic 11%
  • Asian 2%
  • Native American 1%
  • Excludes Other, Unknown, and Non-Resident Alien
SUNY Canton

State University of New York College of Technology at Canton
34 Cornell Drive, Canton, NY 13617

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