November 18, 2015


Volume 10, Issue 12–November 18, 2015



Looking Good in Admissions…

Admissions for next fall at SUNY Canton are looking quite healthy at this point, with applications running well ahead of last year—freshman applicants are up 10.7%, and transfers up 30.4%.  While we have to keep pushing because it’s still early in the game, the attendance at the open houses has been excellent and the prospective students seem very interested in what we offer.  As you can see below, the most recent open house (last Friday) was packed!


Our admissions staff does an outstanding job of recruiting and hosting students.  Our many thanks to all in the admissions area.



Meet the President!

No, not me—he’s met me before.  But last week on November 5, SUNY Canton student Brayden White, a member of the Akwesasne St. Regis Mohawk Nation (Bear Clan), served as a youth delegate at the 7th annual White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C., and took part in a panel discussion with President Barack Obama.


Braden is the fourth from the left.

It all happened very quickly—Braden heard about the opportunity, applied, and was selected.  He flew down to Washington, staying with a relative who lives there.  “The President was very laid-back,” said Braden.  “He’s always so serious on television, but when I met him, we even talked about basketball.”  Braden was one of 24 native youth delegates to attend the conference, and was chosen by the White House to be on a panel to discuss issues with the President.

During the panel, Braden asked President Obama how his administration intends to work with tribal education departments to empower low-income Native Americans to pursue a college degree.  President Obama pledged to work on better communicating federal grant and student loan opportunities to high schools through a collaboration with the Depts. of Education and of the Interior and local school districts. 

The panel was a part of a conference where leaders from 567 federally recognized tribes met with government officials and the White House Council on Native American Affairs. The conference aimed to strengthen relationships with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.

Braden says that the food was terrific, with people hovering around to make sure everyone had everything they needed.  When it was time to shake hands with the President, Obama leaned in and gave everyone a hug.  This was actually the second time Braden met one of the Obamas—the first was this past summer, when he met First Lady Michelle Obama at the President’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative.




Meet Another President

On November 7th, it was time to get on the road and go to Lincoln, IL for the inauguration of David Gerlach as the new president at Lincoln College.  Dave was the Vice President for Advancement at SUNY Canton for many years, and served the College in many other positions before that, ranging from being in charge of admissions, resident life, and athletics at various times, to his humble beginnings as the guy who filled up the milk dispensers at Chaney way back when he was a student.  In all, he worked at SUNY Canton for more than 30 years.

After a reception for the Children’s Museum on Saturday evening at SUNY Potsdam’s president Kristin Esterberg’s house, I dropped Jill and Mark off at home and drove up to Ottawa.  I was spending the night there because my flight to Chicago took off at 6:30 AM.  I talked the folks at the hotel into letting me leave my car there, and at 4:15 AM took the hotel shuttle to the airport.  When I tried to check onto my flight, the kiosk read “see agent”.  When I went to speak to her, she asked for my passport.  I gave her my enhanced New York driver’s license, and she said “You can’t get on the plane with that—you need a passport.”  I asked if there was anything I could do, and she said “No”.  So, I asked when the next flight was (10:30 AM, but you’d have to be at the airport by 9:30 AM), asked if they could change me onto it (they did), and I called the shuttle to take me back to the hotel, got in my car, and drove back to Canton.

After I crossed the international bridge back into Ogdensburg, I called Jill to find my passport and be waiting at the door with it.  She was, and I took the passport, kissed her goodbye and drove back to Ottawa.  I got to the airport at about 7:30 AM, went through immigration (they do US immigration in Ottawa—weird!), and asked the customs agent why my enhanced license wasn’t good on a flight.  “It was,” he said.  “That’s not what the airline told me,” I replied.  His supervisor then came by and confirmed that what the airline had said was right, but I felt a little better since I wasn’t the only person who didn’t know that.  I had enough time to eat a little breakfast, and at 10:30, was on the flight to Chicago.

The flight was fine and even landed a little early, at 11:15 AM.  I ran out of the airport, caught the rental car shuttle, got my car, and was on the road before 11:45 AM.  It’s a long way to Lincoln from Chicago—173 miles—most of it on ultra-boring I-55, which at least has a speed limit of 70.  I was probably doing a little better than that, because I reached Lincoln at 2:07, just a hair late for the inauguration.  I walked into the theatre where the ceremony was being held, took an empty seat, and found myself sitting next to Michael Perry and his daughter Katy, who in turn were sitting next to Lisa, Dave Gerlach’s wife.

The ceremony was wonderful, and both Dave and his principle speaker, our former president Joseph Kennedy, did a fine job with their speeches.  Other SUNY Canton folks at the inauguration included Anne Williams (and her husband Greg), and Dale Major (and his wife Shelley).  Musical interludes were provided by the college chorus, and there was a nice reception afterwards with punch and cake.  Everyone was amazed that I had made it, given my travel complications.

That evening, I was invited to dinner at Dave’s house, which is the college’s president’s house.  The house is quite old and beautiful, with lots of big formal rooms, but also lots of very cool nooks and crannies.  Dave and I had a good time going through it floor by floor and imagining things one could do with various spaces.  I’m sure Dave and Lisa will have a great time putting their own touches on it.

Dave is having a great time at Lincoln College, and from all appearances and comments, is doing a great job as president.  The students already seem to love him and appreciate the changes he is bringing to the college.


After a nice dinner and conversation with Dave and Lisa’s families, I went to the hotel, and hit the pillow early.  The next morning, it was up at 4:00 to leave by 4:30 AM, to try to hit Chicago before the traffic got too bad.  Sure enough, when I got to Chicago, it was  bumper to bumper, but I was able to drop off the car and get to O’Hare airport by 8:30 for my 10:30 flight.

It was a good thing that I had some time, because when I got to the ticket counter, the folks at Delta told me that I had no value left on my ticket—the folks at United had used the return flight to pay for the later flight the previous day.  I went over to the United counter, where they told me I should have known they would do that, since I had a ticket that couldn’t be changed.  I pointed out that they had changed the ticket, and should have told me they were going to use my return flight to pay for it.  The agent said “You should have read the rules.”  I said, “Are you kidding?  There are like 900 pages of rules.”  The agent smiled, said “That’s true…” and then reestablished my ticket.  I went back to Delta, and fortunately they still had seats on the flights I needed, so at 4:00 PM, I was back in Ottawa after changing planes in Detroit.  I hopped in the car, drove back to Canton yet again, and was home by 6:00 PM.



Cross-Country National Champion!

SUNY Canton first-year student Àine McMorrow closed out her rookie season in thrilling fashion as she finished in first place out of the 120-runner field on Friday at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championships, hosted by Florida College.


Àine covered the 6-kilometer course in 23:34, a full 25 seconds faster than any other runner in the field, to earn SUNY Canton’s first cross country individual national champion. She joins Zach Meade as the only other ‘Roo to earn a national championship (he won the 2014 USCAA Golf national title).

Keara Byrne was the second SUNY Canton runner to cross the line in 46th place (28:03), Jess Nagy the 3rd  ‘Roo in 70th place (30:03), Schnyia Petteys was the 4th Roo in 79th place (31:27), while Kim McCarthy was the 5th, finishing in 82nd place (31:49).

On the men’s side Brandon McCreery led the ‘Roos, finishing 46th (31:20) over the 8-kilometer course.  Luke Ducharme was the 2nd ‘Roo in 77th place (33:25), Matt Fortin in 90th place (34:29), Shawn Deibel 4th for the team in 95th place (34:59), and Ryan Teal 5th for the ‘Roos in 109th place (38:12).

Patti Carpenter and Rachel Youngers were named to the 2015 USCAA All-Academic Team for being sophomore standing or older and carrying a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.



Other Sports News


In other news from SUNY Canton’s student athletes, Hannah Christiansen was recognized as a First Team Academic All-District 3 honoree by the Division III College Sports Information Directors of America.  She is now under consideration for the Women’s Soccer Academic All-America honors as well.  Hannah is a Funeral Services Administration major and has a 3.95 gpa.




SUNY Canton also hosted the USCAA Women’s Volleyball national championship once again, with its annual banquet held on November 4.  It was a pleasure to be there at the banquet.

Six of our student athletes were honored at the banquet.  Morgan Bills and Robyn Carroll were named USCAA First Team All-Americans, and Kelsy Cornish was named as a Second Team all American.  Morgan averaged 3.41 kills per set while hitting .389 on 669 attempts this season. She ranks second in the USCAA in hitting percentage and fifth in kills per set. She posted a career-high 23 kills with just two errors and a .488 hitting percentage in a thrilling five set win v. Alfred State College on October 25th.  Robyn has been a force defensively for the Roos posting double digit digs in 29 of the Roo’s matches. She was named the USCAA Player of the Week on October 13th and ranks third in the USCAA in total digs (620).  Kelsy led the team with 336 kills averaging 2.78 per set. She has also been equally effective defensive posting 342 digs, 1st in the USCAA in total digs. She is a two-time USCAA Player of the Week earning the honor on September 8th and September 22nd.

Also honored were the four members of the Women’s Volleyball team who were named to the USCAA All Academic Team:  Kiana Archer, Lindsay Bryer, Jenea Shoemaker, and Kelsy Cornish.  Each had a cumulative gpa of 3.5 or higher.


During the nationals, the ‘Roos split on the first day, losing to Carlow University in the opener (25-15, 19-25, 15-17) and beating Berea College (25-22, 25-21).  On day two, they bested New Hampshire Technical College (25-14, 25-14), but lost to Rochester College (18-25, 25-21, 15-17) in an incredibly tight final.  They were eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing to St. Mary of the Woods in a five-game thriller.  The team’s achievements are even more remarkable when considering they played the entire tournament without First-Team All-American Morgan Bills, due to injury, and lost Jenea Shoemaker to an injury during the match with St. Mary’s.  Congratulations to all!



Art at Canton

On Thursday (November 12), the GMMD program had its annual Juried Art Show at the library.  You can still see it—the artwork will be up for a number of weeks.  It was great seeing how artistic so many of our students are—there were excellent drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and videos.  I had a chance to meet most of the award winners, including my own personal favorite, Katelynn Gebo, who had created a beautiful portrait on her computer, winning an Honorable Mention.


Congratulations to all the faculty and students participating—it was a great show!




Congratulations also to SUNY Canton sorority Delta Sigma Tau for the classy and moving way they supported the anti-racism efforts at the University of Missouri, by reading a solidarity statement (that they will share with the students in Missouri), and then holding a silent march around campus.  It was an honor to march with them.





Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s challenge dealt songs with words starting with the letter “c”. Our winner was  Terri Clemmo.  Your prize can be picked up from my office.  Here are the correct answers:

  1. It keeps vampires away. A Cross.
  2. In the song, it “came back, the very next day.” The Cat.
  3. Eniac was the first electronic, general purpose one.  Computer.
  4. Mythical creature with only one eye.  Cyclops.
  5. Car that was unsafe at any speed, according to Ralph Nader.  Corvair.



This Week’s Trivia Challenge

This week’s challenge is about words that begin with the letter “f”.  The first five winners win a CD, DVD, or whatever else I come up with from the vast Szafran repository of duplicates or good stuff I want to get rid of.  As usual, the first with the most takes the prize.  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. Don’t let it guard your henhouse.
  2. Its capital is Tallahassee.
  3. Movie monster played by Boris Karloff, it was from a book by Mary Shelley.
  4. Lots of people have plastic lawn ornaments of these pink birds.
  5. High bouncing material invented by Fred MacMurray in two Disney movies (or later, by Robin Williams in a third movie).


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