Annual Report
SUNY Canton College of Technology logo

Foreword From President Zvi Szafran

After rising to the challenges brought on by the pandemic, our campus was reinvigorated at the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year when we learned that the College had received its highest-ever assessment by U.S. News & World Report. I believe these rankings are even more significant because of the climate in which they were achieved, and they deserve a moment of recognition.

Most impressively, we advanced seven spots on the Regional Colleges (North) list, landing in 12th place, and jumped several spots in the Best Public Regional Colleges (North) category, breaking into the top 10 at ninth place. These scores directly reflect to our ability to ensure high academic quality and develop robust support services for both on-campus and online students.

Students walking around campus with a dog on a beautiful fall day.

Another point of pride is our military-friendly culture, so it was gratifying to learn we earned sixth place on the Best Regional Colleges for Veterans (North) list. Also noteworthy was a prestigious Gold status designation on the 2022 Military Friendly School ranking.

Our affordability, accessibility, and in-demand degree programs are just a few of the reasons that we appeared near the top of the U.S. News’ Social Mobility category in 15th place. There is still work to be done, and we are continuing to explore ways to help our students to advance their skill sets, salaries, and professional networks, most notably through microcredentialing.

Although independent rankings and recognitions are valuable indicators of our performance, the in-depth self-study we have begun to reaffirm our Middle States accreditation is the most important barometer of whether we are meeting learning outcomes and the College’s seven Strategic Plan goals.

This report is structured to demonstrate how our accomplishments from the past year support those goals, while illustrating how we remain a premier college of technology.

Zvi Szafran
SUNY Canton President

President Zvi Szafran at his desk

SUNY Canton Seal

Stage view of President Szafran speaking to the class of 2022.

Strong Foundations

Strategic Plan Goal 1: Promote Academic Excellence

The cornerstone of SUNY Canton’s strategic plan is to provide the resources, environment, and faculty expertise students need to think critically and excel academically.

Kyle Meagher

Cyber Smart

Associate Professor Dr. Kambiz Ghazinour, who teaches in the Cybersecurity program and oversees the College’s Advanced Information Security and Privacy Research Lab, secured a $256,000 National Science Foundation grant to support the creation of a game-based learning platform that teaches users how to mitigate security threats online. The grant also funds student research opportunities to assist with software development and examine how it can be adapted to the needs of the military. Cybersecurity student Kyle Meagher, located at Griffiss Technology Complex in Rome, is one of the first students to take part in this research.

Protecting Privacy

In partnership with Clarkson University, the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity received a $100,000 National Science Foundation grant to fund undergraduate student research projects that examine the vulnerabilities of using fingerprints to safeguard personal information, as well as to analyze the potential for law enforcement professionals to capture fingerprints on smartphones. Co-Principal Investigators Dr. Elizabeth Brown and Dr. Kambiz Ghazinour will oversee the research.

Dr. Ghazinour & Dr. Brown

Building Bridges

With guidance from Canino School of Engineering Technology faculty and financial support from the Canton College Foundation, the 2021-2022 Student Steel Bridge Team displayed real-world skills by designing and constructing a scale model bridge that placed second in regional competition and 20th in the national American Institute of Steel Construction finals, continuing the College’s tradition of excellence at the annual event.

A student drills a bolt on the 2022 steel bridge.

College to Career

A new Presidential Internship Program launched this Spring provided 27 students with valuable paid work experience on campus. Positions were tailored to strengthen the competencies graduates need for a successful transition to the work force.


Infographic: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Oral & Written Communication, Teamwork & Collaboration, Professionalism & Work Ethic

Testing the Waters

Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology students including Usuf Jabbie, pictured above left, and Ladonna Smith, investigated nutrient loading in a nearby lake and collaboratively presented their findings during the annual Scholarly Activities Celebration. They discovered faulty septic tanks and nearby farms are likely to be the cause of the pollution, providing valuable information about the area’s environmental challenges.

Two students take water samples under a local bridge.

Support Network

Donations from the SUNY Canton family totaled $2,114,000 in 2021-2022, which included more than $1 million in endowed funds to support scholarships. The Canton College Foundation also secured funding for 15 new endowments, the most ever in a single year.

Alumni Allies

This College’s supporters gave generously this year through fundraising campaigns and signature gifts. Generous benefactor Raymond G. Modell ’62 left a bequest in excess of $1.2 million to the College upon his passing in 2021, which will be used for scholarships and other student support programs. Don ’72 and Jamie Garrett pledged $100,000 to the Civil Engineering Technology program, and Don’s company, D. Garrett Construction, donated $50,000 to support the Student Steel Bridge Team. The second annual Athletics Giving Week raised more than $67,000 from 650 individual donors for equipment, travel, training and other athletic expenses.

Ray Modell & Don Garrett

Dr. Aksel Seitllari

Ideas + Innovation

The Canton College Foundation provided financial support to faculty research initiatives this year that span multiple disciplines. Assistant Professor Dr. Aksel Seitllari, who teaches in the Civil Engineering Technology and Construction Engineering Technology programs, presented research on a new pavement fatigue cracking test system at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting. Assistant Professor Dr. Marcella K. Chiromo, who teaches in the Applied Psychology program, presented research on acculturation and academia at the Comparative and International Education Society conference. Associate Professor Dr. Rajiv Narula, who teaches Chemistry, presented research on bioremediation at the American Chemical Society Spring conference.

A student works on circuitry.

Streamline & Simplify

Strategic Plan Goal 2: Improve Operational Effectiveness

Examining processes and procedures across campus to identify efficiency opportunities, while aligning the budget with strategic initiatives and seeking out external funding sources, will increase our effectiveness, keep us competitive, and improve the student experience.

Online Advantage

The migration to a new online learning management platform was a significant operational shift this spring. The College’s Center for Learning Design, Innovation and Online Instruction was among the first in SUNY to complete the transition in time to deliver more than 200 summer courses entirely in the new system. Implementing a uniform framework across all courses, rather than a disjointed process of offering some courses in the new system and others in the old system, provided students with a consistent learning experience.

Two students study on their laptops in Southworth Library.

Planning Tools

A streamlined participative budgeting procedure was implemented this Spring that requests funding proposals directly from faculty, staff, and committees to increase opportunities for collaboration and problem-solving. Proposals, which can range from equipment purchases to new academic degrees, are tied directly to strategic goals and move through appropriate paths before receiving consideration from the President.

Other administrative process improvements implemented across campus in the past year include:

  • A course waitlist system that includes automatic student notifications upon seat availability.
  • A priority registration policy for military-connected students.
  • A more efficient COVID testing compliance tracking system using a Banner extension tool, called Page Builder. The College was among the first in SUNY to implement this system, which saved significant time in analyzing and reporting data.
  • The implementation of a single sign-on feature for the student health portal, Medicat, now provides users with fast, secure, and seamless access to their health records.

Food for Thought

Upon receiving a first-place ranking in the 2021 Student Opinion Survey for Dining Services, the College Association Inc. continued to evaluate operations and assess feedback data to inform decision making this year.

Dining Services has expanded its mobile ordering capabilities to three retail locations to broaden its customer base and improve the patron experience. In addition, the implementation of supply chain management software across all eateries identified approximately $10,000 in savings and provided more accurate inventory reports. The software also improved ingredient and nutritional information, which can be shared with customers.

A student selects food from the salad bar in Chaney Dining Center.

The College Association analyzed commuter student participation in meal plans to develop a more convenient, flexible option for the 2022-2023 academic year. In addition, a survey of all students was conducted to identify benchmarks for customer service, programs, and desired menu items. The results indicated a 92% customer satisfaction rate across all dining locations.

An ongoing composting initiative saved more than 3,000 pounds of food waste this year, and a utilization tracking system helped manage meal production volume. A strategy to reduce single-use plastics is ongoing with pilot programs to replace plastic soda bottles with aluminum cans and straws with cold lids in Cyber Café.

Professor Rivers works with a student in the biology lab.

Growth Opportunities

Strategic Plan Goal 3: Optimize Enrollment

Ensuring a SUNY Canton education remains accessible to the broadest range of learners — from traditional college-age students to working professionals — is accomplished by developing and refining innovative, in-demand, and flexible programs. Focusing on the best practices that attract and retain successful students of all backgrounds and life stages keeps the College competitive.

Skill Sets

Microcredentials are the latest extension of the College’s renowned flexible educational options. They are designed to add value to an existing traditional degree, or to be used alone to increase skills in a convenient, short-term learning option. The Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity currently offers five microcredentials in a variety of areas.

Up Close and Personal

When traditional college-age students visit SUNY Canton, they are two times more likely to enroll. This data guided the planning of more in-person information events in 2021-2022 than ever before, as soon as public health data and guidelines permitted. A new summer open house event featured a kayak excursion and outdoor games, and no-cost fall and spring bus trips included on-campus overnight accommodations. An emphasis on micro-open houses throughout the year held in conjunction with signature athletic competitions offered guests more insight into campus life.

Two students in kayaks on the Grasse River.

Flex Time

The Office of Admissions recognizes the importance of supporting diverse generational populations in higher education and has invested in the resources necessary to meet nontraditional students’ specific needs and time constraints. To assist those who work a traditional 9-5 schedule or may have other obligations during the day, Admissions dramatically extended its operations this year: increasing its 24 hours of total evening coverage in 2020-2021 to 180 hours in 2021-2022. These hours included many new virtual information events that were specifically tailored for this population.


Removing the barriers for transfer and “some college, but no credential” learners remains a priority, and those who want to start or continue their studies outside the traditional fall semester have the option to begin courses in the spring or summer and benefit from no-cost unofficial transfer credit evaluations. These student-friendly policies have contributed to attracting and maintaining a healthy market share of the transfer demographic, with the College to ranking second in technology-sector schools in total transfer applications.

Transfer Apps


Fall 2021


Spring 2022

Success Strategies

The Jump Start and Academic Recovery programs continue to be valuable retention tools by providing students the resources and assistance they need to complete a degree. Adding more mentors to the Academic Recovery Program yielded a higher retention rate this year.

Jump Start Retention

Jump Start

Fall 2021 to Spring 2022


Spring 2022 to Fall 2022


Academic Recovery  Retention

Academic Recovery

Fall 2020


Fall 2021


Aerial view of SUNY Canton

Clearing the Air

Strategic Plan Goal 4: Focus on Sustainability

Incorporating energy-efficient systems into campus operations, as well as prioritizing sustainability in our curriculum, aim to reduce our environmental footprint and prepare students to be eco-friendly citizens.

Green Machines

Several seniors in the Canino School of Engineering Technology used sustainability as their research theme and showcased their findings at the annual Scholarly Activities Celebration.

Victory Lap

Five Mechanical Engineering Technology seniors retrofit a fuel-burning motorcycle with lithium-ion battery power. The team completely removed the gasoline engine from a 2006 Victory Vegas Jackpot motorcycle and swapped in an electric motor to determine its economic viability.

Beach Comber

Four Mechanical Engineering Technology students built a small-scale remote-control device to clean trash from small beaches. Called the “Beach Roomba,” the prototype resembles a small steel cage set on large black wheels with a plow and conveyor belt system to lift and filter sand.

Power Up animation

Green Spaces

The transition to geothermal energy is underway in French Hall, which will replace natural gas as a heating source. In addition, small-scale wind turbine technology is being investigated as a way to provide electricity to the building. Among other sustainability projects, the Facilities and Capital Projects Division is upgrading the ice arena lighting with energy-efficient LED fixtures and examining the use of rainwater collected at the Athletic Center to make the ice sheet.

Geothermal icon

Students pose for a selfie on the footbridges.

Everyone is Welcome Here

Strategic Plan Goal 5: Enhance Diversity & Welcome

Every member of the College community is responsible for upholding the campus ethos, “Everyone is Welcome Here.” An ongoing commitment to diverse programming, coupled with implementing more inclusive policies and supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds, helps create and maintain an environment where everyone can succeed.

Amplifying Diverse Voices

Hosting guest speakers from diverse backgrounds and tackling topics related to identity, culture, racism, stereotypes, and inclusivity promote productive conversations and offer important lessons. Author Robin Wall Kimmerer, enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, discussed the indigenous practice of reciprocity with nature. A screening of the documentary “More Than a Word” during Native American Heritage Month explored the impact of derogatory terms used for sports mascots. In honor of Black History Month, a discussion about civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer offered insight into her extraordinary life.

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Cultural Connections

The annual International Education Week celebration seeks to educate the SUNY Canton community about the cultural heritage of the campus’ diverse student populations, as well as promote the benefits of international education. The week was filled with exhibitions, workshops, food, and fun.

Isabela Spelta & Ladonna Smith

STEM Equity

The latest edition of “After Canton” featured outstanding female STEM students and graduates, as well as friends, faculty, and alumni who are helping the College continue its tradition of being a welcoming and supportive space for all women and girls who want to pursue careers in these fields. New scholarships, such as the “Women in Electrical Engineering Technology Scholarship,” aim to increase diversity in traditionally male-dominated programs by providing financial support to female students.

Best Year Ever collage of student activities.

Best Year Ever

Strategic Plan Goal 6: Create a Robust, Active and Enriching Campus Life

Creating the best student life experience possible was one of the most important initiatives of 2021-2022, after a year of remote learning and social-distancing requirements put a pause on the relationship- and community-building opportunities that make SUNY Canton feel like home.

The Student Affairs Division led an ambitious “Best Year Ever” initiative that dramatically increased the availability of extended in-person extracurricular activities for the 2021-2022 school year. The Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership Office largely spearheaded this work by hosting a total of 438 educational and recreational activities, including concerts, outdoor activities, performances, movies, and sports contests.

Best Year Ever - Student climbing a large blue wall in front of Miller Campus Center.

Home Away from Home

The launch of two new themed housing options this year connects students with similar interests and enhances the college experience. The Esports Wing, which features renovated rooms and a common area equipped with high-end gaming equipment, was filled to capacity this year and is expanding this Fall. In addition, the Office of Residence Life is launching a dog-friendly housing option for the 2022-2023 academic year that builds on the popularity of the College’s long-running pet-friendly accommodations.

Healthy Habits

Central to students’ well-being is a supportive community. The Student Affairs Division has prioritized consistent messaging about the physical and mental health resources available on campus if students are struggling. The Counseling Center sponsored or co-sponsored 125 educational programs this year, most notably a “Fresh Check Day” to increase awareness of available mental health resources and reduce the stigma surrounding suicide. Other events included an alcohol awareness seminar and workshops on how to reduce stress.

A gray and white cat looks at the camera while two students sit behind on a couch in the Pet Wing.

Out Front

Strategic Plan Goal 7: Build Greater Awareness of SUNY Canton

Telling the SUNY Canton story through proactive media engagement and creative marketing initiatives strengthens our reputation as a premier college of technology. Developing mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with civic and private organizations expands our visibility and provides value to the local economy.

Dr. Erica Sharpe

In the News

Faculty, staff, and students have been featured in an array of national and regional news stories during the past year, and the Public Relations Office supported and promoted those connections. A U.S. News and World Report story highlighted Adjunct Professor Dr. Erica Sharpe’s research linking yoga nidra with better sleep patterns. Assistant Professor Kelly Peterson appeared on the Discovery Channel’s documentary series “See No Evil” as an expert in a missing person case. Professor Dr. Charles Fenner and Associate Professor Dr. Umesh Kumar were subject-matter experts in a regional story about inflation. Several students and Residence Life staff were featured in an “Inside Higher Education” article about pet-friendly campus accommodations.

Dr. Umesh Kumar

Kelly Peterson

On Message

To generate excitement and awareness about the expanded in-person academic, recreational, and athletic activities planned for the Fall 2021 semester, the Public Relations Office launched a social media and television marketing campaign that generated nearly 1 million impressions in a little over two weeks and earned a 2022 CASE Bronze Award and a 2022 SUNYCUAD Award.

CASE Bronze award and SUNYCUAD logo

People Like Me

The student profile series “People Like Me” (and occasionally “Pets Like Me”) continued this year to illustrate the diversity of our student body and pet-friendly culture. Personal testimonials offer a glimpse into the student experience and demonstrate the value of a SUNY Canton degree.

People Like Me - Miranda Meija, Charliann Friedman, Miqueas Guerrero Martinez

Open for Business

The Small Business Development Center continues to be an essential resource for entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses. An important partnership between SBDC, the College, and other local agencies will provide free training and support to those who want to establish their own home-based childcare facility.

Family Child Care Training Program partners in the Early Childhood classroom.

SBDC’s Economic Impact in FY 2021

Infographic: 25 Jobs Created, 255 Jobs saved, $7 million in economic impact

Three students studying math in Southworth Library.

By the Numbers

Total Operating Budget: $24.9 million


  • Enrollment Revenue (Tuition & Fees) 75%
  • State Support 25%


  • Personnel Services (PSR) 82%
  • Temporary Services (TS) 10%
  • Utilities 6%
  • Other Than Personnel Services (OTPS) 2%

Enrollment Demographics

Enrollment by Degree Type - 2021-22 - Bachelor's 75%, Associate 19%, Certificate 2%, Non-Degree 4%

Diversity Stats

Fall 2011

  • White 65%
  • Black 11%
  • Hispanic 6%
  • Asian 1%
  • Other 16%*
  • *Includes American Indian or Native Alaskan, Unknown and International

Fall 2021

  • White 67%
  • Black 12%
  • Hispanic 10%
  • Asian 2%
  • Other 9%*
  • *Includes American Indian or Native Alaskan, Unknown and International