THE WEEKLY BLAB
Volume 13, Issue 15–May 6, 2019
Safety on Campus
I’m sure that many of you have heard about the tragic event that took place at the University of North Carolina—Charlotte this week, where two people were killed and four injured when a shooter opened fire on their campus. I know I speak for everyone at SUNY Canton when I say that our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and the entire UNC-Charlotte college community.
At SUNY Canton, our most important goal is to have the safest possible campus, where everyone can concentrate on getting a great education in a welcoming environment. But even on the safest of campuses, unexpected things can happen. We are taking some steps to strengthen safety aspects of our campus infrastructure:
- Most exterior doors on campus can be locked electronically by University Police. The last exterior door is scheduled to be completed this summer.
- We are the in the process of installing new locks on all classroom doors that can lock from the inside. These locks will “snap” open when a person leaves the room and closes the door, so that the room can’t be inadvertently locked.The first classroom building has been completed, a second one has been priced and will take place soon, and the others will be completed over the next year.
- Our Campus Police have had extensive training on how to deal with active shooter situations. Our Chief of Police, Al Mulkin, has offered multiple sessions on campus (and even to other SUNY colleges) on how best to respond to such incidents to faculty, staff, and students. Additional sessions will be offered in the future. The following is a link to one of those presentations: https://canton.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=0159593f-6cdc-4ffc-977b-a97b010bfa87.
We are always grateful for any suggestions. If you are aware of any ways we can make our College a safer place, we would appreciate hearing from you.
There are some things you can do, too:
- If you haven’t already done so, sign up for Rave Alert. That way, you’ll know when there’s an emergency on campus and be alerted as to what to do. You can go to https://www.getrave.com/login/canton and sign in with your campus NetID and password, then add your phone number(s). There’s a link for this on the front page of the College’s website too. If you haven’t signed up yet, drop everything right now and do it.
- Be alert to your surroundings. If you even have just a feeling that you’re being followed or are in danger, go quickly to a safe location and call the Campus Police (386-7777). Our police would much ratherdeal with a possible false alarm than have you be threatened by a dangerous situation.
- Be aware of what you should do in a dangerous situation. A very good video on this subject is “Run, Hide, Fight”, which you can see it by clicking on the following link: https://youtu.be/5VcSwejU2D0.
- It may also be that you’ve noticed that a friend or colleague is having a hard time of it. They’re on the razor’s edge. They seem depressed, there’s a change in their personality and you’re afraid something is wrong. You can let us know that you’re concerned by clicking here and filling out an anonymous referral form. We only want to help. If you see something, say something.
SUNY Canton is a very safe campus in a very safe region of our nation. It’s by working together, taking precautionary infrastructure steps, and looking out for each other that we can ensure that our College remains the wonderful, welcoming place that it is.
More Like Monthly
It’s been a month since the last issue of the BLAB. It’s getting harder to find the time to write it and I keep meaning to do better, but work and life keep intruding. I’ll keep trying though.
We’re now in the last week of the term and graduation is on Saturday. We’re all busy with the end of the year celebrations and last-minute issues, so there’s a lot of scrambling going on. The weather has turned nice, though still a bit rainy as is normal for this time of year. The flowers are beginning to come up and the grass is now green, so spring is finally here to stay.
On the home front, in an announcement that will surprise almost no one, the rack of shelves I put up to hold my records (now that I’m buying records again) is almost full, and patient wife Jill looked at them and the 10o or so records that came in the mail the past few days and said “looks like you’re going to need to put up another rack”.
She’s right, and I have no idea where I’ll put it—there’s a set of shelves pretty much everywhere in the house that one can go. Perhaps the next step will be to replace some of the smaller ones (which aren’t all that small) with even larger ones that can hold more. New acquisitions include 25 folk albums (Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and a few that I’ve never heard of before), 12 Andy Williams albums (my mother’s favorite—I always think of her when I hear him sing), 5 Benny Goodman albums, and yet another Petula Clark album as I keep pushing to complete a collection of everything she’s ever done (which is much harder than you might think).
We have successfully concluded our search for a new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dr. Peggy DeCookewill be joining us on July 1st. Peggy comes to us from SUNY Purchase, where she currently serves as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.
Previously, she was the Chair of their College Senate and Faculty Presiding Officer, and also Acting Dean of the School of the Arts. She has extensive educational and administrative experience, more specifically a history of leadership in student success initiatives, program development, strategic planning, and assessment. I’m certain she will be a significant asset to the College as we continue to grow. Since the news went out about our hiring Dr. DeCooke, I’ve gotten a lot of emails and messages from people who have worked with her telling me that she’s great and we’ll enjoy having her as one of our leadership team. I’d like to thank Molly Mott and Ken Erickson for the fine job they are doing during this interim period.
This past weekend, both the SUNY Canton men’s and women’s lacrosse teams played for the NAC conference championship. Both games were held on our campus, so I had the pleasure of attending.
The women’s game began at 12:30, and SUNY Canton quickly pulled into the lead against the University of Maine at Farmington. SUNY Canton led throughout both halves of the match, and the final score was a lopsided 19-4. Jessica Pele led the attack with four goals and two assists, with MaryClare Bowes leading the scoring with five goals, and Molly Denny with two goals and three assists. Erin Parks recorded two goals, and Logan Bush and Cecelia Neally had a goal and assist each. Other scorers included Allison Wakefield, EllaRose LaMay, Stephanie Thayer, and Emily Vogt. Also exciting was that Molly Denny set a new single-season record with 90 points, and MaryClare Bowes chalking up a 200-career point total. Jessica Pele was named the MVP of the Tournament, with Bowes, Denny, and Bush joining her on the All-Tournament team.
At half-time during the game, there was a moving ceremony honoring Fred Rycroft and his family. Fred worked at SUNY Canton for more than 30 years, retiring as the Director of the Physical Plant. Fred was a three-sport star for Canton High School, and a starter running back at SLU. Fred was diagnosed with myeloid leukemia earlier this year, and the women’s lacrosse team organized a fundraiser which raised $2000, which the Rycroft family decided should go directly to Hope Lodge in Burlington. Hope Lodge provides free housing, meals, and transportation to patients needing treatment at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Fred and Debra will be celebrating their 51stanniversary this summer. They have three children (Jennifer, Jon, and Greg) who joined them at the ceremony.
As a result of this win, not only is SUNY Canton the conference champion, but our women’s lacrosse team is now the first team in our history to go to the NCAA finals, playing against SUNY Brockport this coming Saturday.
The men’s game started at 3:00 and SUNY Canton jumped to a 5-3 lead at the end of the first quarter behind three goals and an assist by Hunter Olsen. The lead was 6-4 in the middle of the second quarter, but New England College Pilgrims scored twice to tie it up at 6-6 at the half. The second half was dominated by the Pilgrims, who ran off 11 straight goals to open up a 15-6 advantage. There was a short-lived glimmer of hope in the fourth quarter when Josh Yelvington and Noah Robinson scored back to back, but the final tally was 17-8, with the third quarter having made all the difference. Kody Kocsis had a season-high 23 saves in the game. Yelvington, Olsen and Brandon Schmidt earned spots on the All-Tournament Team for SUNY Canton. While it would have been great to win the conference final, the men’s lacrosse team had a solid season, with Josh Yelvington moving into first place in our record books with 116 career goals and 153 career points at the end of the regular season.
Steel Bridge Competition
From April 18-20, the Upstate New York Regional AISC Steel Bridge Competition was held at RPI, and the SUNY Canton team acquitted itself quite well, coming in second. The team finished ahead of Clarkson, SUNY Poly, RPI, Cornell, RIT, and West Point, coming in behind only the University at Buffalo. Our team scored first place in stiffness, which is calculated by placing 2,500 pounds on the bridge and measuring how much the rigid structure deflects. The team placed second in construction speed, second in economy, second in efficiency, third in lightness and fourth in aesthetics. Students on the team included Chase Boyer, Alexis Carreau, Andrew Chapin, Kimberly Collins, John Drews IV, Daniel Gagnon, Josh Glosenger, Dale Harris, Forest Hathaway, Jake LeVea, Kyle grey, Sara O’Duffy, Daniel Olin, Jocelyn Racette, Stephen Schermerhorn, Bromlen Steinburg, and Benjamin York. The team’s advisors include Paul Hitchman, Joseph Reilly, Andrew Reiter, and Yilei Shi.
The team will be traveling to the National Finals on May 31, taking place at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL.
Back on April 8, I drove up to Ottawa to catch a flight to Montreal and then to Miami for an accreditation visit for our Funeral Services Administration degree program. The drive was fine and checking in at the airport was uneventful. The flight to Montreal is a short one and took off on time, but when we landed we had to wait a few minutes because the previous plane at our gate hadn’t left yet. This caused a bit of a problem, because normally when I fly out of Ottawa the US immigration details are taken care of there, but since I was flying to Montreal, I had to go through security a second time and then do the immigration steps there. I only had about 40 minutes to accomplish that, and of course the gate we came in at and the gate for the outgoing flight were at opposite ends of the airport. It was a mad rush and I didn’t even stop to tie my shoes after going through security, and by the time I got to the gate they were announcing that the doors were closing for the flight. I waved my passport at the gate agent just in time and got on the plane, which then proceeded to sit there for another 20 minutes before taking off. Go figure.
The flight to Miami was uneventful and I quickly got my rental car and went to the hotel. The weather in Miami was reasonably warm but rainy, so it wasn’t all that pleasant. I was supposed to meet David Penepent, our program director for Funeral Services Administration, there but he had been stranded (I believe in Charlotte) on his way down due to high winds and wasn’t going to be able to fly in until the next morning. There was one more problem too—the airline had lost his luggage in the process.
David did finally get in and hurried off to a mall by the hotel to buy a suit and some shoes for the accreditation meeting. We got together for a quick lunch and then upstairs to the accreditation meeting which went very well, with them asking a few questions that had been raised during the campus visit a few months earlier. After about 30 minutes, they asked us to step outside the room and about 10 minutes after that, they told us we had gotten a seven-year accreditation, the best result possible. Needless to say, we were very happy about that!
The flight back was fine, though the terminal at the Miami airport I went out of was pretty old and didn’t have much in the way of restaurants there for breakfast. I changed planes this time in Newark NJ, flying directly into Ottawa, where going through customs is always quick and easy. I was home a little after 7, which wasn’t bad at all.
Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence
Our Vice President for Student Life, Courtney Bish, traveled down to Albany on April 24thto see two of our students, Hughes M. Ntwari and Ryan Schubert.Daniel is receiving the B.B.A. degree in Management, and has worked extensively as a tutor for the Equal Opportunity Program and in the Business Tutoring Lab. He is also the varsity eSports FIFA team captain and has served as a Resident Assistant in Kennedy Hall and as a Student Ambassador for the Admissions Office. Ryan has completed a Bachelors degree in Criminal Investigation, as well as double minors in Forensic Science and Economics. She is a member of the Order of the Sword and Shield and the Golden Key honor society. Ryan is also a star athlete and was named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District Women’s Soccer Team, as well as having been chosen for the ACAA and USCA all-athletic teams.
National Publicity for eSports
Our eSports program continues to do very well and garner tons of publicity. In what was probably the biggest publicity coup in SUNY Canton’s history, we were featured on ABC’s Nightline a few weeks ago., which included interviews with our Director of Athletics Randy Sieminski and Overwatch Team Captain Emily Oesler. You can see the report below. Our part in it starts at the 5:30 mark of the video.
The Albany ABC 10 television station previewed the Nightline story, as did our local Watertown WWNY station. We’re now off to a major gaming event in Nashville sponsored by Extreme Networks, where our Overwatch team will be the featured centerpiece. There have been so many people who have played major roles in the success of our eSports effort, including Randy Sieminski, Rob Snow, Courtney Bish, Doug Scheidt, Molly Mott, Shawn Miller, Kyle Brown, Mike Newtown; the faculty in Game Design, GMMD, and TCOM; and the entire crew in Public Relations. I’m so appreciative of the way they’ve worked together and created what I believe to be the premiere eSports college program in the nation.
Scholarly Activities Week
Scholarly Activities Week began on Monday, April 15, with a talk by Dr. Dan Benardot (’68). Dr. Benardot is a world-famous sports-nutritionist and gave a fascinating talk about nutritional myths. After the talk, the College hosted a dinner for him, where I got the chance to discuss with him the chemistry link to many of the myths he had mentioned. On April 16th, many students gave poster sessions describing their work in the Library and the Student Center. Later in the day, two parallel sessions were held of students giving oral presentations. That evening, the induction ceremony for Phi Theta Kappa (the honor society for graduates with two-year degrees) was held.
While I couldn’t hear every talk or see every poster session, the ones I saw were great and the students were fully engaged. There are literally hundreds of people responsible for making Scholarly Activities Week such a success. A big thank you to them all, and congratulations to all our participating students.
Students from the Criminal Justice Honor Society at the Poster Presentation
Pictured are (from front, L-R) Justin Spaulding, Hannah Lawrence, Taylor Typhair, and Jessica Stettner. Middle row: Kaitlyn McGlaun, Sierra Halstead, Kyleigh Storrs, Mariah Greenman, Nichole Ward, Jamie Vogt and Nick Miller. Back row: Tyler Bowman, Michael Volpe, Lee Rider, Leigha Haskins, and Kaitlyn Doud. In the background, between Nick and Jamie is Paige Richardson.
Golden Knight Battalion Awards Ceremony
There were more Scholarly Activities Week presentations on April 18, but I had to leave early because I had to run over to Potsdam for the Golden Knight Batallion’s Awards Ceremony, which was held at Clarkson University’s Old Main building. Old Main has recently been renovated and is really a beautiful structure, with the exterior made in large part of Potsdam sandstone. The ceremony was held on the third floor, which is quite a climb up! This ROTC unit was established in 1936 and consists of students from the four colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, including SUNY Canton. I met four of the SUNY Canton students participating in the ROTC program, from left to right Sean Medina, Tommy Gonzalez, Zachary Bidwell, and Macayla Perry. Sean Medina was even one of the winners of the Color Guard Award! Congratulations to Sean, and to all our SUNY Canton cadets!
L-R: Me, Sean Medina, Tommy Gonzalez, Zachary Bidwell, Macayla Perry
SUNY Canton held its Honors Convocation on April 24. One particularly nice thing about it is that each year, the convocation is named in honor of an emeritus professor, who this year was Mr. William J. Mein. Bill was a member of our Decisions Systems program and was instrumental in developing the Computer Information Systems program, which has since expanded to offer Game Design, Cybersecurity, Industrial Technology Management, Graphic and Multimedia Design, and Information Technology degrees. He earned the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2009 and retired as an emeritus professor in 2010. We held a luncheon in his honor, and Bill was the keynote speaker at the Honors Convocation ceremony later that afternoon. The ceremony was wonderful and it was great to see so many of our students who excel scholastically.
William J. Mein
Last Time’s Trivia Contest
Last time’s challenge had to do with holiday songs, and our fastest winners being Terri Clemmo, and Tom Graser. Just come up to the President’s Office on the 6thfloor of MacArthur Hall to pick up your prize. Here are the correct answers:
- Day upon which one plays tricks on one’s friends.Mark Twain said its “the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” April 1st, April Fools Day.
- What April showers bring. May Flowers.
- Reporter for the Channel 6 News in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. April O’Neil.
- Character on Parks and Recreation played by Aubrey Plaza.She started as an intern and became Deputy Director of Animal Control. April Ludgate.
- On April 3, 1860, in St. Joseph Missouri, this mail delivery service began. For $5 an ounce, a letter could be delivered to California within 10 days. The Pony Express.
- Bonus Question: What’s the answer to the riddle “Why are people so tired on April 1?” Because they’ve just finished a 31 day March.
This Time’s Trivia Challenge
Continuing with the theme of months, this issue’s challenge has to do with May.
The first five entries with the most correct answers win a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository, as well as the admiration of their peers. No looking up the answers now! SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO email@example.com if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.
- Name of the first ship to land at Plymouth Rock in 1620.
- Green gem that is the birthstone for those born in May.
- Song that begins “I was strolling through the park one day”.
- Why Star Wars Day falls in this month.
- Daughter of Jed Clampett and cousin to Jethro.