September 20, 2016


Volume 3, Issue 3–September 20, 2016


How It’s Going

This is the time of year when everyone I meet asks how it’s going at the college, so let me answer that question.

We’re in the fourth week of classes, with our early warning system just completed to see which students are engaged and which of you aren’t.  We’ll be analyzing the results and reaching out soon to everyone having difficulty to offer help.   

This year’s new class looks great.  You’re off to a great start, and the average high school average was up a full point, too.  I haven’t heard the final enrollment results yet, but it looks like we’re up a little bit in enrollment—the residence halls are running about 43 ahead of last year, and that’s a good sign.   This obviously doesn’t just happen—our excellent admissions staff and the many others who help them work very hard to tell the SUNY Canton story to prospective students and work with them to answer any questions they may have.

The college is looking great too, with lots of improvements having been carried out over the summer by our always excellent buildings and grounds staff.  If you want a list of all the improvements, you can read them here.  We just did two ribbon cuttings to formally open the Rendezvous Café and Roo’s Court with lots of giveaways and other fun, and everyone is talking about how good the food is and happy about the expanded range of choices.  This is just part of the planned upgrades for our food service, and thanks to the fine folks working in our College Association.


SUNY Canton is getting a lot of good press and we have done very well in the rankings.  In the U.S. News & World Report standings, we’ve moved up from #44 on the Regional Colleges—North list to #23, which is quite a jump.  Our degree programs continue to have top accreditations and lead to great jobs, and we got a clean sweep on our recent Middle States report.  We’ve been designated ‘Military Friendly’ again, and we’re in the top 10 for several online programs and for pet friendliness.  Our library and tutoring services were voted #1 in SUNY in a state-wide student survey.  All of this is due to our excellent faculty, superb student support staff, and captured by our top-notch public relations folks.  A lot of last year’s accomplishments were summarized in this year’s President’s Report, and you can read the digital version of it here.

Of course, it takes a lot of people make our college a conducive place for students to live and learn.  Our great student life staff make sure that there are lots of quality programs on campus for our students to enjoy outside of class, and make sure that our residence halls are nice places to live.  Our Athletics staff help our student athletes to reach their full potential, and our athletic teams proudly represent our College.  Our campus police make sure everyone is safe and secure.  Our student government officers help keep our campus active, and let old-timers like me know the student pulse on things. Our grounds crew keep the campus looking nice, despite the mess we all make.  Our Advancement folks raise money for scholarships, keep our alumni connected, and even found time to grill hot dogs at our residence halls for our students all week.


As a result, because of all of you, I’m able to tell everyone we’re off to a fine start and hear them tell me what a great place SUNY Canton is.



Congratulations to… 


…Francesco Polumbo, a junior majoring in Sports Management and member of SUNY Canton’s Baseball team, who has been chosen to receive the State University of New York Association of Council Members and College Trustees annual award for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship.  The ACT Award focuses on a student’s academic achievements and service to their campus and/or community.  The award includes a $1,000 scholarship for Palumbo and an additional $250 donation in the student’s name to the charity of his choice. Palumbo said his charitable donation will be made to Canton High School’s Golden Bear Booster Club.  The award will be presented on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at The WoodCliff Hotel in Rochester, NY.  You can read more about Francesco here.



…The Early Childhood Education program, who co-hosted the annual Early Childhood Fall Conference together with the St. Lawrence Child Care Council on our campus on Saturday, September 17.  The two have collaborated and hosted this event for 10 years, which is attended by early care and education providers from our county and beyond, and offer a variety of workshops and presenters each year.  SUNY Canton faculty organizing the Conference included Dr. Maureen Maiocco (Program Director) and Ms. Christina Martin (Instructor & Student Teacher Supervisor), and student volunteers included Alexandria McIntosh, Alexis Ezidore, Molly Atkinson, Morgan Morse, Savanna-Lin Boadway and Katie Miller. Also in attendance were 6 SUNY Canton EC Alumni, who are all working in the field of ECE in child care centers, Head Start programs, and self-employed family child care home providers.



…Prof. Charles Fenner, a faculty member in Business Administration, who competed in the “CapsimCore Professor Challenge against faculty across the country who acted as CEOs of manufacturing companies, making decisions about product lines, marketing tactics, and production.  How well did he do?  He came in 2nd­­ in a field of 240 (including faculty from Duke, Georgia Tech, U. Florida, and Pepperdine), which is pretty darn awesome.  Prof. Fenner won $2,000 worth of simulation software licenses, which will be offered free to students enrolled in his Introduction to Business course during the 2016-2017 online Winterterm session.



…Courtney Bish, our Vice President for Student Life, who was recently selected to attend the 2017 NCAA Division III Athletic Direct Report Institute in Nashville, Tennessee this January.  Across the entire country, only 43 participants are selected through a nomination process, so the competition was high. The Institute focuses on improving the relationships between ADRs and their presidents, athletics directors and conference commissioners, and on enhancing the effectiveness of the ADR at the campus, conference and national levels.



9-11 Memorial

On Monday, September 12th, our Criminal Justice student organization did an exceptional job organizing a memorial ceremony for the 15th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.  The ceremony was held at 7:30 PM at Roselle Plaza, where a gigantic American flag suspended from two firetrucks’ extended ladders served as the backdrop.


The ceremony started with a bagpiper and military honor guard, followed by a prayer given by Minister Pedro Morales, from the 1st Baptist Church in Parishville, NY.  I gave the welcome for the event and read a poem by Billy Collins (the poet laureate of the Unites States at the time) that was first read before a joint session of Congress held in NYC one year after the attack.  This was followed by a wonderful and moving talk by Rob Parcel, a first-responder during 9-11.  After Minister Morales gave the benediction, the audience was invited to attach names of persons they wanted to honor to flags that lined the plaza.  We all then walked to our memorial tree by Payson Hall, and affixed a memorial wreath to end the ceremony.

It is critically important that we always remember those who were lost on 9-11, and the many first-responders who risked their lives, running toward danger, trying to rescue and protect.  The poem by Billy Collins is called The Names, and is full of haunting imagery about how the names of those killed are now part of the very fabric of the city.


The Names

Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.

A fine rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,

And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,

I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,

Then Baxter and Calabro,

Davis and Eberling, names falling into place

As droplets fell through the dark.


Names printed on the ceiling of the night.

Names slipping around a watery bend.

Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.

In the morning, I walked out barefoot

Among thousands of flowers

Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,

And each had a name —

Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal

Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.

Names written in the air

And stitched into the cloth of the day.


A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.

Monogram on a torn shirt,

I see you spelled out on storefront windows

And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.

I say the syllables as I turn a corner —

Kelly and Lee,

Medina, Nardella, and O’Connor.


When I peer into the woods,

I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden

As in a puzzle concocted for children.

Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,

Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,

Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.


Names written in the pale sky.

Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.

Names silent in stone

Or cried out behind a door.

Names blown over the earth and out to sea.


In the evening — weakening light, the last swallows.

A boy on a lake lifts his oars.

A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,

And the names are outlined on the rose clouds —

Vanacore and Wallace,

(let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)

Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.


Names etched on the head of a pin.

One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.

A blue name needled into the skin.

Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,

The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.

Alphabet of names in green rows in a field.

Names in the small tracks of birds.

Names lifted from a hat

Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.

Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.

So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.



FROM THE POUCH is a blog I write for SUNY Canton students.  During the fall and spring semesters, it comes out every week more or less, depending on how busy I am.  It consists of news, answers to student questions, and random thoughts that cross my mind.  There’s even a trivia contest in each issue—if you’re the first to get every question right, you win a $10 gift card, good anywhere on campus.  Even if you’re not the first, you get your name published in the blog, and that’s priceless!  I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to hear your comments.

Best regards,

Dr. Zvi Szafran

President, SUNY Canton



Last Time’s Trivia Contest

Last time’s contest dealt with word that begin with the letter “K”.  We had a ton of entrants, and our fastest responder with all five correct was Erwin Zahler III.  Just come to my office on the 6th floor of MacArthur Hall to get your prize, Erwin—a $10 gift card, good anywhere on campus.

Others getting all four right (so better luck next time!) included Ashley Paez, Alexis Carreau, Peyton Robinson, Erich Mattice, Misty Incitti, Brandi Dowdle, Lee Meggison, Anthony Clements, Brittany Leaty, Tylea Williams, Siani Smith, and Crystal Francis.

Here are the correct answers:

  1. Our mascot Roody is this animal.  Kangaroo.
  2. Superman was born here.  Krypton.
  3. Recording artist who did My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus, and collaborated with Jay Z on Watch the Throne. Kanye West.
  4. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz was from this prairie state.  Kansas.



This Time’s Trivia Challenge

Continuing our trek through the alphabet, this issue’s challenge is about words that begin with the letter “L”. The first responder with all four correct wins a $10 Gift Card, good anywhere on campus. 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. Pop singer whose hits include “Poker Face”, “Paparazzi”, and “Born this Way”.
  2. Disney animated movie with main characters Simba, Mufasa, Pumbaa, and Timon. Hakuna Matata!
  3. Type of computer you can carry with you.
  4. New Orleans is in this state.






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