Three SUNY Canton employees receive President's Meritorious Service Awards
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 5:46 am

CANTON -- SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran recently selected three employees to receive one of the college's highest honors.

At the annual Recognition Day event, Szafran presented the 2018 President's Meritorious Service Award to Director of Financial Aid Kerrie L. Cooper, Assistant Professor Lucas W. Craig, Ph.D., and Executive Assistant to the President Michaela J. Young.

All three have made significant contributions to the college in their respective positions, said a press release from the college.

Cooper has served as SUNY Canton's director of financial aid since 1992. An expert in her field, she is the past president of the New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association and is active in several professional organizations. Throughout her career, she has helped create, support and make procedural changes to financial aid processing at the state and national levels. Most recently, she led SUNY Canton's implementation of New York State's Excelsior Scholarship program, which began last fall.

"Kerrie is well-known throughout New York for her student loan and financial aid expertise," said Szafran. "She also plays a critical role in helping students and their families navigate college affordability."

Craig teaches in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program and received the award for his efforts to inspire students to pursue STEM careers. He leads the college's annual Engineers Week celebration, which consists of an open house where middle and high schoolers can participate in fun, hands-on activities related to academic programs. He also created several summer science camps for Carthage Central School District.

"Dr. Craig has a gift for getting students excited about learning and is in tune with what 'clicks' to keep them engaged," said Szafran. "He has made a meaningful connection with the North Country community through the development of several summer camps, making him one of the college's most esteemed ambassadors."

Szafran presented the final award to Young, who has provided administrative support to the President's Office since 2005. In her role as executive assistant, she is responsible for collaborating with all areas of the college, including various councils, committees and boards. Colleagues admire her collegiality, dedication and contributions to maintaining high morale on campus.

"Michaela is often the first person to arrive in the morning and the last to leave," said Szafran."Her job is complex, and she is involved with strategic planning and logistics for many of the key functions of the college. She is able to do all of this with grace and good humor."

Awardees received a plaque and gift from the college at the ceremony.