April 26, 2017


Volume 3, Issue 12–April 26, 2017


I’m Sick of Rain…

The weather has warmed up a bit and Spring is finally here.  Rain washed the last bits of snow away and the ground thawed, but there was so much rain that it led to some local flooding, including in my basement.  There were leaks where I’ve never seen water before, which led to some panicky moments when water was leaking out of the bottom of the box where the power lines come into my house—apparently, water had seeped into the conduit pipe.  I opened the box to make sure water didn’t accumulate, called the plumber (who said I had done the right thing), and had the folks from National Grid look at it the next day (who agreed I had done what could have been done).  Anyway, I have a masonry guy fixing the wall where the main leak was, and I’ll have him look at the other places too.  Ultimately, the water didn’t cause very much damage and the basement is dried out now.  There’s still rain on and off this week, but the ground is now capable of absorbing most of it, so barring a hurricane or something, I should be good for the rest of the season.  The weather was really nice Sunday, and our patio furniture is now outdoors again.  I’ll put the grill out this weekend, and may do a little cooking on it first chance I get.


Steel Bridge Team Successful Again!

SUNY Canton’s American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter won second place in the Upstate NY Regional Steel Bridge Competition last Friday, at Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome.  SUNY Canton’s team bested teams from RIT, the University of Waterloo, Hudson Valley Community College, the US Military Academy at West Point, Clarkson University, Ecole Polytechnique Montreal, RPI, SUNY Polytechnic, Syracuse University, and the University of Buffalo, coming in behind only Ecole de Technologie Superieure.  As one of the top two teams, they’re off to the National Competition, to be held on May 26 at Oregon State University.


Members of the SUNY Canton team included Jonathan Abreu, Kristoff Adderley, Joseph Butera, Alexis Carreau, Kimberly Collins, Justin Donaldson, John Drews, Jessica Fischer, Daniel Gagnon, Nathanael Lalone Colin Law, Erdous Lebron, Ashley Livingston, Kyle Lorey, Sean Marciano, Steven Martz, Barandyk Nurdinova, Sarah Nuss, Tyler Odell, Dan Olin, Jocelyn Racette, Kevin Segit, Bromlen Steinburg, Alex Sterling, and David Viruso  and Chapter Advisor Paul Hitchman.

Two of our members, Jessica Fischer and Ashley Livingston were also chosen to receive $1500 scholarships by the Syracuse Section of the ASCE, based on the quality of engineering essays submitted to the section.  Assisting the team were advisors Joe Reilly, Andrew Reiter, and Dr. Yilei Shi, as well as Dan Miller, Neil Haney, Michael diVincenzo, and Dan Tuper.


New Chancellor

SUNY has just appointed Dr. Kristina Johnson as the new Chancellor, taking office in September.


Dr. Johnson has significant prior experience as an educator and in higher education administration, as well as significant achievements in applied research and in the private sector.  She previously served as Undersecretary of Energy in the Obama administration, as provost at John Hopkins, as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke, and as professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder.  She is a strong advocate for women in leadership and for STEM, both of which bode well for SUNY Canton.  I’m looking forward to meeting Chancellor Johnson—she sounds like a fascinating and accomplished person.



Scholarship Celebration

I was pleased to attend last week’s Scholarly Activities Celebration, which began on Monday evening with a talk by renowned bird expert and author David Sibley.  Prior to the talk, Mr. Sibley signed copies of his best-selling field guides (of which he has written several) for a never-ending line of admirers. The talk was very well attended and very interesting.  Afterwards, there was a very nice dinner and lots of interesting conversation.


Poster Session

On Tuesday at noon, many students presented posters on their research projects.  I was one of the judges, but was only able to evaluate half of the posters before I had to leave for another meeting, so I think they used my “votes” as tie-breakers.  Everyone did a very good job, were poised and had prepared well.  The top nine posters (by Samantha Schramp, Lakeesha Perera, Courtney Cotter and Jessen Swider, Sean Marciano, Jessica Fischer, Dalton Moore, Joseph Butera, Zach Baxter, and Poornima Nanayakkara) were selected as “Featured Student Poster Series” displays that will be installed around campus.  Sarrah Williams was selected for a prize for her Early Childhood Education tri-fold Counting Baby Ducks.

Later that evening, I attended a series of oral presentations.  These covered a wide range of topics including building a mechatronic skateboard, building a windmill in Peru, and sects in Islam.  The session I attended even included an original song composed for guitar, and a love poem told in chemistry terms (by Prof. Rajiv Narula, of course)!  The two oral presentation prize winners were Jessica Fischer and Rebecca Burns.

Congratulations to everyone who helped plan and participated in the Scholarly Activities Celebration!



Student Specialty Awards

I’m always happy to be part of the Student Specialty Award Ceremony, which was held last Wednesday evening.  Our Vice President for Student Affairs, Courtney Bish, organizes the event, which recognizes students not only for academic achievement, but also for having overcome adversity and challenges.  It’s always a wonderful ceremony, filled with emotion and excitement.

SUNY Canton EMS 

The SUNY Canton EMS Squad won an award

It’s not only students who are honored—awards are also given to faculty and staff who support our students.  This year, well-deserved awards were given to our Director of Financial Aid, Kerrie Cooper (receiving the North Star Award), and to Prof. Melissa Lee (receiving the Dean of Students Specialty Award for Faculty).



Center for Diversities and Inclusion

Last Thursday featured the official opening of SUNY Canton’s Center for Diversities and Inclusion, located in the Miller Student Center.  The opening ceremony began with a prayer delivered by Tom Porter, spokesman and spiritual leader of the Mohawk community of Kanatsiohareke, reminding us that we are all people of the Earth and need to thank our “mother” for all that we have.  Also speaking were Carlos Medina (Vice Chancellor and the Chief Diversity Officer at the State University of New York), Louise McDonald Herne (Condoled Bear Clan Matron of the Akwesasne Nation), SUNY Canton’s co-Chief Diversity Officers Bill Jones and Lashawanda Ingram, and me.


L-R: Bill Jones, Tom Porter, Doug Scheidt (Provost), Carlos Medina, me, Louise McDonald Herne, Mike Dalton (Mayor of Canton), Courtney Bish (VP for Student Affairs), Lashawanda Ingram, Anne Sibley (VP for Advancement)

A special thank you to our State Senator Patty Ritchie, a great friend to SUNY Canton, who helped secure the funding to refurbish the space for the Center.  Senator Ritchie was represented at the opening by Jim Reagen.


Last Time’s Trivia Contest

Last time’s contest dealt with word that begin with the letter “T”.  Our winner was Brooke Rood.  Just come up to my office on the 6th floor of McArthur Hall to get your prize, a $10 Gift Card, good anywhere on campus.  Others with all five right (better luck next time!) included Jenna Kiskiel, Sydney Axton, Amanda Wilkinson, Misty Gobin, Jennifer Blair, Sarah Shipman, and Lee Meggison.  Here are the correct answers:

  1. Bus line going from Canton to Syracuse or Albany.  Trailways.
  2. Moses brought them down from Mount Sinai.  Ten Commandments or Tablets.
  3. Social networking service where messages can only be 140 characters.  Twitter.
  4. Liquor made from the blue agave plant in Mexico.  Tequila!


This Time’s Trivia Challenge

Continuing our trek through the alphabet, this issue’s challenge is about words that begin with the letter “U”, which should certainly test your vocabulary! 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 answers@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.

  1. You can rent a truck from them to carry your stuff, but you have to load it yourself.
  2. You can access online courses through this SUNY Canton portal.
  3. In the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, this grew up to be a swan.
  4. When everyone votes the same way.
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