November 4, 2014


Volume 1, Issue 9 – November 4, 2014

Advising Week…

Each year for advising week, we come up with a theme to encourage everyone to participate in the advising process.  This year, our theme was superheroes, and on Monday, lots of people dressed up for the occasion.  Marianne DiMarco-Temkin and Sharon Tavernier from the Advising Center dressed as the Wonder Twins (from the Super Friends), while our provost was Wonder Woman, our Dean of Engineering Technology was Iron Man, the Dean of Liberal Arts was Superman, the Dean of Health Science and Criminal Justice was Batman, and the Dean of Academic Support Services and Instructional Technologies was the Flash.  As president,  I proudly wore a Captain America shirt under my suit all day.

Advising Week November 03, 2014Me and the Wonder Twins

We also distributed Tootsie Roll Pops dressed up in a mask and cape, with a small card with one of the following quotes on it from a superhero promoting registration and advisement.  The quotes came from Uncle Ben Parker (“With Great  Academic Advising Comes a Great Spring 2015 Schedule!”),  Captain America (“All I did was help someone find his dream.  Now go out there, figure out your Spring 2015 schedule, and help yourself find your own dream.”, and Professor X (“The greatest power on earth is the power we, all of us possess…the power of the human brain!  Go use your brain to figure out a magnificent Spring 2015 class schedule.”)  So what are you waiting for?  Go get advised and register for the spring!

Volleyball Mania

On Wednesday night, I attended the United Small College Athletic Association (USCAA) national volleyball tournament banquet. While the tournament was hosted by SUNY Canton (for the third straight year!), the banquet was held at Eben Holden Hall at St. Lawrence University. It was a nice venue complete with fireplace. The top ten teams in the country were all there to compete, one of which was SUNY Canton.


Five of our athletes won national awards: Mackenzie Mytner and Morgan Bills both were named First Team All-Americans (Mackenzie for the third time); Caitlin Grimshaw earned a spot on the All-American Honorable Mention team; and Caitlin, Kelsy Cornish, and Kiana Archer were named members of the All-Academic Team. If that wasn’t enough, SUNY Canton coach Carol LaMarche was named Coach of the Year.

SUNY Canton was undefeated during the pool play, and quickly made the semi-finals. Unfortunately, we lost a heartbreaker to Rochester College on Saturday morning (who then went on to lose to Florida College). The Roos then beat SUNY Alfred in the consolation game, thereby coming in 3rd in the national tournament, our best result ever. Jessica Reynolds was named to the USCAA All-Tournament team. It was a great tournament and very exciting to watch. Congratulations to our excellent players, coach LaMarche, and the rest of the staff for a very fine season.

Seeing Double

The Funeral Services Administration program was hosting a continuing education event for local funeral directors and for its students last Thursday and I was invited to give the welcome. I was happy to do it, though what should one say at such an event? I was advised by our faculty to be funny, since funeral directors are known for having a sense of humor. As previously mentioned in FROM THE POUCH, I talked a little about how I felt when they were making a life mask of me a few weeks ago, having my face covered first with petroleum jelly, then a green polymer mask, and final with plaster of Paris. When the mask was removed, I found that the polymer had gotten onto my right sideburn, and we had to cut it off to remove the mask.

zvi mask1

Anyway, after I gave the intro, Prof. Penepent gave me the final cast of the mask, now done up in a golden hue. I think it’s a quite good likeness, and thought you might like to see it and decide if I’m more realistic as the mask or in real life.

Szafran Death Mask

The mask sits on two thin wooden dowels, set in a block of wood base. It’s currently sitting in my office, but after my wife comes up for good this Thanksgiving, it will become the strangest Chanukah present ever.

It’s Magic

Later on Thursday, I had the pleasure of being part of SUNY Canton’s Read Aloud Halloween program for young children, led by Professor Maiocco of our Early Childhood Education program. When I first talked to Prof. Maiocco about the program, I offered to do a Chemistry Magic Show as part of it and she liked the idea. I had prepared a list of experiments I wanted to do, and Mr. Hamilton, our Chemistry stockroom director, ordered the chemicals and made up the necessary solutions. We all got together on Wednesday to do a dry run to make sure everything worked as it should, and all was well.

At 5:30 PM on Thursday we set things up in the Theater, and at 6:30 it was show time. The audience consisted of about 40 local children and their parents, with the children ranging from six months to about 14. The program began with Prof. Maiocco reading “The Little Old Woman Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything”, a funny Halloweenish story with lots of acting out that the children all enjoyed. The magic show followed, with me doing such fun things as creating a fireball (the kids wanted to see that one twice!), changing the color of a bottle of liquid from clear to blue by shaking it (and the color then changed back after 30 seconds, whereupon I’d shake it back to blue again, doing this throughout the show), starting a really hot fire (more than 1000°F, hot enough to melt aluminum) with water and then putting it out with the same water, exploding some hydrogen balloons, freezing various things (a superball, racquetball, piece of rubber tubing, a banana, and an orange) in liquid nitrogen (400 below zero!), making slime, and doing an iodine clock reaction (a reaction that changes color after a specific amount of time).

IMG_1485The Early Childhood Education student group and me.  That’s Prof. Maiocco on the left, and Mr. Hamilton in the back.

IMG_1482Exploding a hydrogen balloon

IMG_1483Me and Mr. Hamilton pouring the liquid nitrogen–400 below zero!

I had a good time playing the mad scientist doing the show and the kids seemed to enjoy it too—I heard that at least one told his parents he wanted a chemistry set for Christmas. I used to do lots of magic shows when I was a young faculty member, trying to interest elementary school children in science, but hadn’t done one in over 10 years. I got so well known around the local area (northeast Massachusetts) that the local paper was going to cover one of the shows and send a photographer, but I had to cancel at the last minute for a very good reason—my son decided to be born that day. The newspaper ran a small story about that instead, so as a result, my son was in the newspaper on the day he was born.

Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s trivia contest had to do with candy. The first person getting all four correct was Joseph Mulvana. Others getting all four right included Amanda Nautel, Michaela Beyette, Rita Bonsu and Abigail Ofori.

Just come by my office (6th floor of FOB) to get your prize, a $10 gift card, usable anywhere on campus, Joseph. Here are the correct answers:

  1. Mounds, Twix, and Almond Joy are examples. Candy Bars.
  2. Brand of candy that tells you to “taste the rainbow”.
  3. Popular video game and app released by developer King in 2012. Candy Crush Saga.
  4. These melt in your mouth, not in your hands. M&M’s.


 This Week’s Trivia Challenge

Since this is advising week and everyone is dressing up as a superhero, the answers to today’s challenge all have to do with superheroes.  The first reply with the most answers right takes the prize.  No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them!

  1. He fights evildoers in Gotham City.
  2. His secret identity is Peter Parker.
  3. Team of mutants headed up by Professor Xavier.
  4. His power ring can make anything, only limited by his willpower.
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