Students Get Excited about STEM at SUNY Canton’s Women in Engineering Day


SUNY Canton’s Canino School of Engineering Technology hosted more than 200 middle and high schoolers for its annual Women in Engineering Day held Wednesday, May 16.

Students from Canton, Hammond, St. Regis Falls, Gouverneur, Tupper Lake, Ogdensburg, Madrid-Waddington, Potsdam and others took part in interactive activities and conversations related to STEM.

“We are thrilled that 241 students from the surrounding area came to spend the day learning about engineering technology fields, hearing from a leader in solar energy research and experiencing SUNY Canton’s hands-on, applied learning philosophy,” said Women in Engineering Day Committee Chair and SUNY Canton Assistant Professor Kathleen Mahoney, who teaches in the Graphic and Multimedia Design program.

A student launches a bottle rocket outside of Nevaldine Hall

A student launches a bottle rocket during the 2018 Women in Engineering Day.

The guest speaker was Deidra R. Hodges, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. She previously worked on NASA’s Space Shuttle program in Avionics while with IBM’s Federal Systems Division, and later joined Martin Marietta Manned Space Systems where she conducted independent research in support of NASA’s Unmanned Shuttle C proposal.

Students gather around Adrienne Rygel as she teaches about water filtration.

SUNY Canton Associate Professor Adrienne Rygel teaches a group of students about clean drinking water and filtration techniques.

“Dr. Hodges has experienced a lot of adversity throughout her life, particularly when she and her family had to relocate from Louisiana after their home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina,” said Lisa M. Beldock, a living environment science teacher at Ogdensburg Free Academy high school. “I think it was important for students to hear from someone who has persevered despite major setbacks, as well as the added obstacles she faced as a woman in a male-dominated field.”

There were several new workshops offered this year, two of which aligned with the college’s recently added four-year Game Design and Development program and varsity eSports team. A “Women in Gaming” presentation was led by student and Game Design major Emily A. Oeser, who is the captain of the college’s all-female and co-ed “Overwatch” eSports teams.

Brandon Baldwin uses a touch screen to instruct a small group of students.

SUNY Canton Assistant Professor Brandon Baldwin showcases the technology in the Automotive Technology Lab.

Other highlights included demonstrations about cutting-edge research in the field of artificially intelligent prosthetics and how virtual reality is used in the architecture and construction industries. Students also had the chance to learn about aerodynamics by launching homemade water rockets.

Arconic Inc. was the lead sponsor of the event. Additional sponsors were the St. Lawrence County Branch of the American Association of University Women, the North Country Young Women’s Leadership Institute, and New York State’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program. Funding support for the keynote speaker was provided by a Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Grant.

About SUNY Canton

As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.