February 9, 2016


Volume 2, Issue 9 – February 10, 2016



Never Forget

On Tuesday (February 2), our Student Government Association unveiled a new monument by the campus’ Peace Garden near French Hall. The Memorial Rock is intended as a place of reflection, remembrance, and as a celebration of life. The plaque on the rock reads: “Forever Remembered, Forever Missed.”


Student Government Association Executive Officers (L-R) Devine Pearson, Khaina A. Solomon, Rachel “Nikki” Zeitzmann, Fatizjah Burnett and Lorraine Honeyghan.

SGA President Khaina A. Solomon explained the origins of the memorial, saying: “Student Elliot Mullings passed away days after the spring 2014 semester was over, so we began a new academic year with the loss still heavily lingering in everyone’s mind. We felt we needed to a place to grieve or celebrate the lives of those who have passed.” Elliot was a junior in the Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement Leadership program, and was very active and well known on campus. He passed away in May 2014.  “We wanted to give something back to the campus,” Solomon added. “The association has been working on the memorial project for about two years, and with the help of many campus staff members and Northeastern Sign Corporation in Colton, it has come to life.”

The unveiling ceremony included a poem from Mariama Cisse (a junior majoring in Applied Psychology); a song by Rebecca Jean-Baptiste (a junior majoring in Liberal Arts); and short speeches by me and by SGA executive officers Fatizjah Burnett and Nikki Zeitzmann.



New Scholarship at SUNY Canton

SeaComm Federal Credit Union recently made a pledge of $25,000 with an initial gift of $5,000 to the SUNY Canton College Foundation and will be continuing to make donations for the next four years to create an endowed scholarship designed to promote financial literacy at the College. The award will be given to a deserving student from St. Lawrence, Franklin or Clinton County who excels in their coursework and who demonstrates leadership.  The scholarship is designed for a student who is majoring or minoring in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration or Management.

Seacomm Big Check 160122 Edit

L-R:  VP for Advancement Anne Sibley, me, SeaComm President Scott A. Wilson, and Alumni and Development Associate Geoffrey VanderWoude.

Higher education plays a critical role in not only helping to shape the minds of our neighbors, but also as a significant economic driver in the North Country,” said SeaComm President and CEO Scott A. Wilson, who was a speaker in the College’s Excellence in Leadership Lecture Series this past fall semester. “SeaComm is committed to SUNY Canton’s mission and the essential work they provide in developing educated talent that we as an employer depend on to fill our human resource need. This perpetual SeaComm Financial Literacy Scholarship in partnership with SUNY Canton will ensure that resource is available for many years to come.

In addition to providing this scholarship, SeaComm has hosted internships for SUNY Canton students and has hired our alumni.  SeaComm Federal Credit Union serves over 41,000 members with assets of $498 million and is open to anyone who lives, works, or attends school anywhere in St. Lawrence, Franklin or Clinton counties.



Excellence in Leadership Series

As I hope most of you know, SUNY Canton offers a monthly Excellence in Leadership Lecture Series of speakers.  The most recent speaker, on January 26, was David Acker, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canton-Potsdam Hospital (CPH).  Mr. Acker spoke to an attentive group of about 80 students and faculty about the history of health care in the north country, and the challenges facing the health care system today.   He also spoke about his own somewhat unusual path to becoming a hospital chief executive.

 Acker-Szafran 160126

David Acker receives a Certificate of Merit from SUNY Canton

CPH is a leading healthcare provider and a part of the St. Lawrence Health System (SLHS). In addition to operating the two main hospital campuses in Potsdam and Gouverneur, SLHS also operates extension outpatient facilities in Antwerp, Gouverneur, DeKalb Junction, Edwards, Canton, Colton, Potsdam, Norwood, Norfolk, Brasher Falls, and Massena. It has 130 full-time medical staff members, 1,350 employees and is a major area employer for SUNY Canton alumni.

The next Excellence in Leadership Lecture Series speaker will be Mr. Mark Dzwonczyk, President and CEO of Nicholville Telephone Company, on February 25 at 3:30 in the Miller Campus Center room 212-214.



Other Important Campus Events

February 10:  Sounds of the Motor City – Cool Motown music revue group, live in the Underground Lounge, 12:00 noon.

February 11:  Love Your Library Day – Refreshments, prize drawings, and a photo booth!  Southworth Library Learning Commons, 11:00 AM.

February 11:  STEM Seminar – Steve Ross, Award Winning Journalist, Author, University Professor and CEO.  Nevaldine North 102, 12:00 Noon.



NYPA Report is Out—1,900 Jobs and $190M in Economic Activity


Nearly a year ago, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) hired McKinsey & Co. to develop an economic plan for St. Lawrence County to help turn around the economic and population decline that has affected the area over the past several years.  McKinsey & Co. consulted with more than 130 political officials, college presidents, economic development experts, and business leaders (including me and several other folks at SUNY Canton) and established an Advisory Board (which I am a member of) that helped create this plan.  We met and debated various strategies over the past year, and completed the final report (ironically) just before Alcoa announced it would close most of its operations in Massena last November.  While an $80M agreement ultimately was reached with Alcoa with support from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer that preserved 600 jobs for 3.5 years, this only further illustrated the need for economic diversification in our region.

The final report was officially released yesterday by NYPA’s President Gil C. Quiniones.  It provides a blueprint for creating nearly 1,900 new jobs and $190 million in new economic activity by 2020 in St. Lawrence County. The four main strategies are:


  • Small Business Expansion: Establishing an Entrepreneurship Accelerator, to provide training, coaching, mentoring and other support services to high-potential entrepreneurs. As many of you know, SUNY Canton is seeking funding from several sources to establish such an accelerator on our campus.
  • Agriculture and Agri-Business: Expanding agriculture to a year-round operation through the use of greenhouses powered by clean energy. Also, improving efficiency of dairy operations and a larger focus on niche crops.
  • Advanced Materials Manufacturing: Starting an aggressive marketing campaign to leverage the region’s existing manufacturing base in processing advanced materials to attract new companies. This effort will coordinate with Clarkson’s Center for Advanced Materials Processing.
  • Community Revitalization and Tourism: Funding would be sought to establish a $10 million St. Lawrence County Revitalization Fund, which would provide grants and loans to the county’s villages to improve downtown areas and business. The study also calls for an increase in tourism, especially outdoor activities like fishing, boating and camping.

The full press release about the study, which includes a quote from me, can be found here. A summary pdf of the study can be found here.



How Else is SUNY Canton Helping Improve the Economy?

On February 2, a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new satellite office of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Ogdensburg took place at the Sherman Inn on 615 Franklin Street.  The SBDC’s main offices are located in Wicks Hall on the SUNY Canton campus.  It is one of 1,000 SBDC’s around the country that provides no-cost business consulting and training to more than a million existing and startup small businesses each year, creating and retaining 156,000 jobs.

At the SBDC, professional advisors offer free direct counseling and a wide range of management and technical assistance services.  They can help you develop a business plan and to start your small business, including dealing with such issues as benefits for establishing women and veteran-owned businesses, marketing, organizational structure, accounting/recordkeeping, financial planning, exports, cost analysis, financial strategies, training programs, and business expansion.  The SUNY Canton office is open from 8:30-4:30, M-F, and the Ogdensburg satellite office is open Tuesdays from 9:00-4:00.  To schedule an appointment, please call Dale Rice at (315) 386-7312 or email sbdc@canton.edu.


L-R: Sarah Purdy, City Manager; Michael Brashaw, Chamber Past President; Jen Stevenson, City Councilmember; Wayne Izzo, Chamber Board Member; Michael Thayer, Chamber Board Member; Dale Rice, Director of the SUNY Canton SBDC and Certified Business Advisor; Lenore VanderZee, Executive Director of University Relations at SUNY Canton; Melissa Lalonde, Chamber Board Member; John Wade, Owner of Sherman Inn and Chamber Board Member; Timothy Davis, City Councilmember; Laura Pearson, Executive Director of the Ogdensburg Chamber and James Reagen, Public Affairs Director for Senator Ritchie’s office.




Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s challenge dealt songs with words starting with the letter “w”. Our winner was Benjamin Mia.  Your prize, a $10 gift card good anywhere on campus, can be picked up from my office in MacArthur 616.  Here are the correct answers:

  1. Most of your body is made up of this, but you can still drown in it.  Water.
  2. Studio that produced all the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons.  Warner Brothers.
  3. All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased this.  The Weasel.
  4. Napoleon was defeated there, but Abba made it into a hit song.   Waterloo.



This Week’s Trivia Challenge

This week’s challenge is about capitols–I name the capitol, you name the country.  The first with the right answer wins a $10 gift card, good anywhere on campus.  No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO answers@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them!

  1. Paris.
  2. Havana.
  3. New Delhi.
  4. Cairo.


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