September 30, 2016


Volume 3, Issue 4–September 30, 2016



Things Can Get Very Busy, But Contact Me Anyway!

As most of you are aware, I give out my phone number to students because I want you to call me if there’s ever a situation where you’ve tried to go up the chain of command, but haven’t been able to resolve an issue.  I appreciate it that students almost never call me about something frivolous—it’s always something important.  I also get text messages from students and even more emails.  That’s good.

I do try my best to answer you quickly, but truth be told, how quickly I can get back to you depends on when you contact me and what the issue is.  Some things are handled easily—I’ll pass along your concern to the vice president who is in charge of that issue, and they get to the bottom of it.  In other cases, the situation may be more complex than is obvious.  In that case, getting the answer or trying to solve the problem may take some time.  Most of the time I’ll email back and say I’m working on it, but in rare cases, I work on it and forget to email back because I get caught up in other things.  If you have tried to contact me and you don’t hear back within a day or two, all you have to do is send me a follow up message—just copy the original one and say “did you get my previous message?”

This last week has been pretty non-stop for me.  On Monday I was in the hospital for a routine test that people my age have to have every so often.  The folks at Canton-Potsdam Hospital were really excellent and provided top-notch care—the doctor was great, and the nurses that assisted me were all graduates of SUNY Canton, so I knew I was in good hands.  Both major hospitals in the county (CPH and Claxton-Hepburn in Ogdensburg) are of very high quality—I’ve had nothing but good experiences with both.

Whenever you’re out for a day, the work still piles up.  Because of that, Tuesday through Thursday consisted of non-stop meetings on one thing or another.  On Friday, I flew to Las Vegas for a quick visit to see my parents who live there.  It was great to see them.  Back in August, they celebrated their 63rd anniversary, which is quite an accomplishment.  My mom has some serious health issues, but my father is giving her lots of loving care and I’m hoping for the best.  I left Las Vegas at noon (Pacific Time) this past Monday, flew into Detroit and then to Ottawa, arriving at 10 PM (our time).  It always seems weird going into Canada to travel to another point in the United States.  Between going through customs and the drive from Ottawa back to Canton, it was midnight when I finally got home.

Since the work piled up again, there have been lots of meetings this Tuesday through Thursday.   On Friday I’m off again, this time driving to the Association of Council Members & College Trustees meeting in Fairport NY, where one of our students, Francesco Palumbo will receive a major award.  I’ll be back to Canton on Sunday, just in time for the Jewish New Year.  I’ll be out on Monday for the religious holiday, and then the cycle begins again.

To add to the list of things I needed to do, my iPhone also had begun to go wonky on me, and I wanted to deal with that before I traveled.  The glass plate was separating from the body of the phone, there was a small crack in the plate, Siri couldn’t hear what I would say, and I was even getting intermittent problems with being able to dial the phone.  I figured I would upgrade to the new model that just came out, but when I want to the Verizon store in Ogdensburg (the one near the Tim Horton’s), the new iPhones were on backorder.  They recommended that maybe I should get my phone repaired instead, and there was someone there who could do it.   Sure enough, the EZ Repair guy there took my phone and fixed it on the spot, taking care of all the issues, and had it done in less than half an hour.  How impressive is that?   I love the personal attention you can get at so many places in the North Country!  Now I’m all set for my trips and all is well with the world.


Constitution Day

Last Friday, SUNY Canton celebrated Constitution Day with a full slate of very cool activities.  The morning included a Constitution Trivia Contest (complete with red, white, and blue cupcakes) led by Hannah Ralston and Rachel Santose at the Southworth Library.  It also featured a visit from George and Martha Washington, ably portrayed by Nico Auguste and Molly Mott. 


There was also a voter registration drive, and an additional 70 students registered.  Another drive was held the previous Wednesday at the student activities fair.  Lots of faculty and staff volunteered to help out with the contest and the voter drive.  If you haven’t registered to vote yet, get off your rear end and do it.  This is going to be an important election, and every vote counts.  Lots of people have fought and died to get the right to vote, and lots of people even today live in places where they don’t have that right.  Honor their lives and efforts by registering to vote, and then vote in November on election day.

I wasn’t able to attend the Trivia Contest since I was at Clarkson University at a North Country Regional Economic Development Council meeting during the morning, but I rushed back to SUNY Canton to host a lunch for N.Y. Supreme Court Judge Vito Caruso.  It was really interesting to meet with Judge Caruso in such a relaxed atmosphere and to talk about how similar our childhoods were and about some of the more unusual events in our lives.  He had a wonderful sense of humor and was very down to earth. 

Judge Caruso gave his formal presentation at 1:00 PM on the subject “The Constitution—Its Origins and Its Future”.  The talk was well attended by an appreciative audience of legal and political dignitaries, two chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and lots of students, faculty, and staff.  It was a very engaging talk, giving the history of the development of the Constitution, as well as some interesting comparisons between the Federal Constitution and the New York State Constitution, which actually predates it.  The New York Constitution is much longer than the Federal one and also contains certain rights that the Federal Constitution doesn’t have.

At the end of the speech, after answering several questions from the audience, Judge Caruso was presented with a proclamation from State Senator Patty Ritchie’s representative, Jim Reagan, and with a certificate of appreciation from me.




The speech was followed by a reception on the Roselle Plaza, at the end of which Judge Caruso was presented with a proclamation from Assemblywoman Addie Russell. 


I also had the pleasure of having dinner at the Alumni House with Judge Caruso, Steve Button (from the County Attorneys Office, who had arranged to bring the judge to campus), and several of the judge’s associates and their spouses.

It takes a veritable army to put together an event of this magnitude, so I can’t list everyone, but a lot of the work was done by the faculty and the Dean from our Business and Legal Studies programs (Profs. Stephanie Petkovsek (chair), William Jones, Alexander Lesyk, Christina Lesyk, Rosemary Phillips and Dean Jondavid DeLong); and our Special Events Coordinator DianeMarie Collins.  Thanks to everyone involved!


More Great Stuff!

  • Did you know that one of SUNY Canton’s online degree programs was selected as #1 in the country? It’s true—our B.S. program in Emergency Management was selected as the best by the Emergency Management Degree Program Guide.  Several others of our online programs are also in the top ten in the country in their areas, and our online programs in general were rated in the top 50 in the country!


  • Speaking of ratings, SUNY Canton jumped way up in the US News & World Report Best College listings, from #44 last year to #23 on the Regional Colleges—North list. We also drew praise for our diverse student body.


  • Our International Programs Office had a very successful event last Friday evening. Some of our international students joined up with some from SLU and visited Fobare’s Orchard.  There was a great turnout, and it was lots of fun.


  • Back on September 15th, we had a ribbon cutting for the official open of our Financial Literacy Center. Located in Cook Hall, the Center offers several programs that should be of interest to students: free tax-preparation assistance, money management guidance, and loan repayment advice.  The Center is sponsored by Alesco Advisors, Prof. Daniel G. and Linda L. Fay, North Country Savings Bank, SeaComm Federal Credit Union, St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union, and the SUNY Canton College Foundation.





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 “L”.  We had a ton of entrants, and our fastest responder with all five correct was Tabitha Jaycox.  Just come to my office on the 6th floor of MacArthur Hall to get your prize, Tabitha—a $10 gift card, good anywhere on campus.

Others getting all four right (so better luck next time!) included Lee Meggison, Christine Matias, Ashley Paez, Cassandra Hughes, Anthony Romano, Christina Romanoski, Alicia Febus, Cassandra Jones, Robin Simmons, Savanna-Lin Boadway, Jessica Fischer, Tammy Zehr, Erwin Zahler III, Taylor Van Brocklin, Bryant Yates, Serina Six, Katja McCall, Kim Kurdziel, Zach Gagliardi, Briana Teele, Siani Smith, Jasmine Duvall, Crystal Francis, Brittany Leaty, Peyton Robinson, Robert Snow, Harley Woodruff, Samantha Heffernan, Allison Farnung, Breanna Ziser, Marissa Hall, and Rebecca Foote.


Here are the correct answers:

  1. Pop singer whose hits include “Poker Face”, “Paparazzi”, and “Born this Way”. Lady Gaga.
  2. Disney animated movie with main characters Simba, Mufasa, Pumbaa, and Timon. Hakuna Matata!  The Lion King.
  3. Type of computer you can carry with you.  Laptop.
  4. New Orleans is in this state.  Louisiana.



This Time’s Trivia Challenge

Continuing our trek through the alphabet, this issue’s challenge is about words that begin with the letter “M”. The first with all five 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. The “King of Pop”.
  2. She played Hannah Montana, and taught the world how to twerk.
  3. Comic book company that publishes Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men.
  4. Movie about a zebra, lion, hippo, giraffe and a bunch of penguins that escape from the Central Park Zoo.







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