SUNY Canton Student Manages Social Media for Parkland, Fla. Benefit


A SUNY Canton student is running the social media campaign for a festival to help heal the community following the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Fla.

Tia M. Tassava, a Management student from Chubbuck, Idaho, who lives and works in Canton, is in charge of the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts for the inaugural “Actions for Change Food and Music Festival.” The event is the grand finale of a weeklong series of concerts across the U.S. held with the goal of providing love, hope and healing while encouraging voter registration and activism. Tassava is a multi-sport athlete who plays hockey and golf at the college and works in the SUNY Canton Admissions Office.

Tia Tassava holds up an iPad displaying the Parkland festival social media accounts.

Interning in Activism - Tia M. Tassava, a Management student from Chubbuck, Idaho, who lives and works in Canton, holds up an iPad displaying the “Actions for Change Food and Music Festival” Instagram account. Tassava has managed social media accounts for the event held in response to the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Fla.

“I never thought I’d be this involved with a festival with acclaimed acts like Michael Franti and Spearhead and Skip Marley during my time at college,” Tassava said. “The support for eliminating gun violence in the community has been overwhelming. Activist and Actress Alyssa Milano has even backed this tremendous cause, and more than 30 acclaimed chefs will be cooking for the event.”

She noted that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas “Shine” students and more than a dozen students who have co-written songs of activism, healing, hope, and sorrow will also be performing at Actions for Change. In addition to posting event-specific updates about the participating artists and chefs, Tassava is rolling out information about gun violence to help increase awareness. She will be traveling to Florida to provide event coverage.

According to Charles R. Fenner, Ph.D., a professor and curriculum coordinator in the Management program, Tassava is participating in the event as part of her internship requirements for the program. She is working with festival organizer Douglas G. Zeif, who is both a SUNY Canton alumnus and an adjunct professor.

Zeif is a highly successful leader in the hospitality industry who runs a multimillion-dollar consulting firm. Both of his sons attended Stoneman Douglas High School and survived the school shooting, but lost friends and teachers during the attack.

“I felt like I just had to do something, personally do something,” Zeif said. “No matter what side of the aisle you’re on politically, no matter how you feel about the Second Amendment, nobody wants gun violence.”

Actions for Change will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at Pine Trails Park in Parkland, Fla. More information can be found on the festival’s Facebook page: on Instagram:

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.