November 12, 2015


Volume 2, Issue 7 – November 13, 2015


Meet the President!

No, not me—he’s met me before.  But last week on November 5, SUNY Canton student Brayden White, a member of the Akwesasne St. Regis Mohawk Nation (Bear Clan), served as a youth delegate at the 7th annual White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C., and took part in a panel discussion with President Barack Obama.

It all happened very quickly—Braden heard about the opportunity, applied, and was selected.  He flew down to Washington, staying with a relative who lives there.  “The President was very laid-back,” said Braden.  “He’s always so serious on television, but when I met him, we even talked about basketball.”  Braden was one of 24 native youth delegates to attend the conference, and was chosen by the White House to be on a panel to discuss issues with the President.


Braden is 4th from the left

During the panel, Braden asked President Obama how his administration intends to work with tribal education departments to empower low-income Native Americans to pursue a college degree.  President Obama pledged to work on better communicating federal grant and student loan opportunities to high schools through a collaboration with the Depts. of Education and of the Interior and local school districts.

The panel was a part of a conference where leaders from 567 federally recognized tribes met with government officials and the White House Council on Native American Affairs. The conference aimed to strengthen relationships with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.

Braden says that the food was terrific, with people hovering around to make sure everyone had everything they needed.  When it was time to shake hands with the President, Obama leaned in and gave everyone a hug.  This was actually the second time Braden met one of the Obamas—the first was this past summer, when he met First Lady Michelle Obama at the President’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative.



Cross-Country National Champion!

SUNY Canton first-year student Àine McMorrow closed out her rookie season in thrilling fashion as she finished in first place out of the 120-runner field on Friday at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championships, hosted by Florida College.


Àine covered the 6-kilometer course in 23:34, a full 25 seconds faster than any other runner in the field, to earn SUNY Canton’s first cross country individual national champion. She joins Zach Meade as the only other ‘Roo to earn a national championship (he won the 2014 USCAA Golf national title).

Keara Byrne was the second SUNY Canton runner to cross the line in 46th place (28:03), Jess Nagy the 3rd  ‘Roo in 70th place (30:03), Schnyia Petteys was the 4th Roo in 79th place (31:27), while Kim McCarthy was the 5th, finishing in 82nd place (31:49).

On the men’s side Brandon McCreery led the ‘Roos, finishing 46th (31:20) over the 8-kilometer course.  Luke Ducharme was the 2nd ‘Roo in 77th place (33:25), Matt Fortin in 90th place (34:29), Shawn Deibel 4th for the team in 95th place (34:59), and Ryan Teal 5th for the ‘Roos in 109th place (38:12).

Patti Carpenter and Rachel Youngers were named to the 2015 USCAA All-Academic Team for being sophomore standing or older and carrying a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.



Other Sports News

In other news from SUNY Canton’s student athletes, Hannah Christiansen was recognized as a First Team Academic All-District 3 honoree by the Division III College Sports Information Directors of America.  She is now under consideration for the Women’s Soccer Academic All-America honors as well.  Hannah is a Funeral Services Administration major and has a 3.95 gpa.


SUNY Canton also hosted the USCAA Women’s Volleyball National Championship once again, with its annual banquet held on November 4.  It was a pleasure to be there at the banquet, and see six of our student athletes honored there.


Morgan Bills and Robyn Carroll were named USCAA First Team All-Americans, and Kelsy Cornish was named as a Second Team all American.  Morgan averaged 3.41 kills per set while hitting .389 on 669 attempts this season. She ranks second in the USCAA in hitting percentage and fifth in kills per set. She posted a career-high 23 kills with just two errors and a .488 hitting percentage in a thrilling five set win v. Alfred State College on October 25th.  Robyn has been a force defensively for the Roos posting double digit digs in 29 of the Roo’s matches. She was named the USCAA Player of the Week on October 13th and ranks third in the USCAA in total digs (620).  Kelsy led the team with 336 kills averaging 2.78 per set. She has also been equally effective defensive posting 342 digs, 1st in the USCAA in total digs. She is a two-time USCAA Player of the Week earning the honor on September 8th and September 22nd.

Four members of the Women’s Volleyball team were named to the USCAA All Academic Team:  Kiana Archer, Lindsay Bryer, Jenea Shoemaker, and Kelsy Cornish.  Each had a cumulative gpa of 3.5 or higher.


During the nationals, the ‘Roos split on the first day, losing to Carlow University in the opener (25-15, 19-25, 15-17) and beating Berea College (25-22, 25-21).  On day two, they bested New Hampshire Technical College (25-14, 25-14), but lost to Rochester College (18-25, 25-21, 15-17) in an incredibly tight final.  They were eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing to St. Mary of the Woods in a five-game thriller.  The team’s achievements are even more remarkable when considering they played the entire tournament without First-Team All-American Morgan Bills, due to injury, and lost Jenea Shoemaker to an injury during the match with St. Mary’s.  Congratulations to all!


Unsung Heroes

We’ve had two parties lately, one at the Best Western, and one on campus on Halloween night.  From everything I’ve heard, both went extremely well and everyone had a lot of fun.  While there are a lot of folks who are responsible for making a party a success, I’d like to thank some of our unsung heroes who helped plan the parties, and who as chaperones made sure that everything stayed within the bounds of good fun.  They’re from our men’s basketball team, and did a fantastic job.

Photo 1

L-R:  Eugene Antwi, Kevin Baksh, Sam Annorh, Romario Fletcher and DJ RB Nice.

Semper Paratus

Our own Prof. Brian Harte shared a copy of The Eastwind, the official publication of the 9th District Eastern Region of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, with me.  It contained an article he had written about a new flotilla detachment of the Coast Guard Auxiliary being formed at SUNY Canton as part of the Auxiliary University Program.  Students get a chance to gain education in nautical, aviation, operational training, and homeland security areas.  We’re the 20th AUP established nationally, and possibly the first in New York.  Known as the Spearhead Detachment, the unit provides an opportunity to gain leadership skills while performing safety patrols, teaching boating safety, and conduction vessel safety checks for the public.  Students who participate in this program (which is free!) can also participate in internships and apply for officer candidate school opportunities.  The unit has 22 student members, and Prof. Harte is the Unit Officer.

Auxiliary Flotilla 092-01-01 (the one Brian is in, which is based in Massena NY) just earned the Coast Guard’s Meritorious Team Commendation, for its “exceptionally meritorious service from August 2014 through March 2015” in establishing the flotilla detachment at SUNY Canton.  The commendation ended by noting: “The detachment effectively bolstered Flotilla 092-01-01’s roster by 147 percent and reflects great credit upon U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Coast Guard.”  Congratulations to Brian, and our 22 student members!  By the way, semper paratus is Latin for “always ready”.


Game Jam!

On October 23rd and 24th, SUNY Canton’s English Department participated as a base camp in the Global Game Jam.  The jam lasted over 15 hours (all evening Friday and all day Saturday) and was held in the Library. Participating students built mobile games in a GPS-based mobile media game platform called ARIS (Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling).  They also, as you might expect, ate lots of pizza and bagels, and interacted (on a video platform called Blue Jean) with base camps all over the world that were building games at the same time.  SUNY Canton’s Game Jam was organized by Prof. Laini Kavaloski, a new faculty member in our English/Humanities Department, and Kelly Woosely from IT.

Game Jam (build in ARIS)

South African Exchange

Last week, SUNY Canton hosted Dean Maurice Ndege, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at Vaal University of Technology. Vaal UT has 16,000 students, studying in the areas of applied and computer science, engineering and technology, humanities, and management sciences, and is located in Vanderbijlpark, about 50 miles south of Johannesburg, and home to the major iron and steel industry in South Africa.  Vaal UT is part of the South African Technology Network (SATN), which also includes Cape Peninsula UT in Cape Town, Central UT in Bloemfontein, Durban UT in Durban, Tshwane UT in Pretoria, Mangosuthu UT in Durban, and the Polytechnic of Namibia in Windhoek, Namibia.


Dean Ndege was here to explore some possibilities about Vaal UT partnering with SUNY Canton, including conducting joint research, faculty exchange, and student exchange.  Our goal is to explore exchanging 5-10 students per year in engineering and technology, opening up a fascinating study abroad option for our students.  The meetings went very well, and we will be investigating next steps.



Around the World

On October 27th, I was one of the judges (with Provost Doug Scheidt, Dean Molly Mott, and Dean Maurice Ndege) for the “All Around the World” event, where students decorated various spaces on campus to resemble other countries.  Some were more elaborate than others, with students dressed in costumes from those countries, and most even served appropriate food.  Countries represented included Senegal, Jamaica, Greece, Romania, China, Japan, and one other that I’m afraid I’ve forgotten.  It was lots of fun to go around from one to another, and it was tough to pick the winner.  The really hard part was to eat dinner after nibbling at all of the exhibits!




Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s challenge dealt with songs with colors in their title.  Our winners were Concetta Smythe, and michellemcp9 (who didn’t send me her full name).  Each gets a $10 gift card, good anywhere on campus.   Just come up to my office (MacArthur Hall 620) to get it.  Here are the correct answers:

  1. Beatles song about an underwater vehicle.  Yellow Submarine.
  2. Song about Elvis’ footwear.  Blue Suede Shoes.
  3. Prince song about precipitation.  Purple Rain.
  4. Rolling Stones song about something you might add to sweeten your coffee.  Brown Sugar.


This Week’s Trivia Challenge

This week’s challenge will be about Thanksgiving, since the holiday is coming right up.  The winner gets a $10 gift card, good anywhere on campus.  As usual, the first with the most 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. When Thanksgiving comes on the calendar.
  2. Traditional bird eaten on Thanksgiving.
  3. Name of the location that the pilgrims landed.
  4. Name of the ship the pilgrims sailed on.
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