SUNY Canton Recognizes Chancellor’s Award Recipients


A faculty member and a staff member from SUNY Canton’s School of Business and Liberal Arts have received State University of New York Chancellor’s Awards. 

Tina Demo, an administrative assistant for the school, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service, and Ali S. Zaidi, a professor who teaches in the humanities, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Both were nominated for their individual career-defining awards by their respected peers.

Ali Zaidi and Tina Demo

Demo began her career at SUNY Canton in 2008 in the office of admissions. She also worked in the Southworth Library Learning Commons before obtaining her current position as one of the two administrative assistants within the school.

“From the very first day she was hired, Tina exhibited exceptional dedication and work ethic,” said Cori Wilhelm, Library Director. “She quickly made herself an essential part of the campus community. She gives her full attention to each person with whom she interacts and extends care and compassion.”

Zaidi started teaching at SUNY Canton in 2007 and has offered foreign language courses in Spanish and French, in addition to a slew of multicultural courses including world poetry, civilization of Quebec, among others. He was promoted to his current title of professor in 2018.

“During his tenure, Ali has written more than 24 peer-reviewed articles, 15 book reviews, and seven book chapters,” noted Alainya Kavaloski, an associate professor who teaches with Zaidi in the English and Humanities department. “His body of work is a testament to his active intellectual life and his keen commitment to research and scholarship on topics ranging from world literature to freedom in academia.”

Zaidi has a doctorate in Comparative Literature and four master’s degrees.

“Chancellor’s Awards were established to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “I’m proud to join SUNY in recognizing Tina and Ali for their accomplishments at SUNY Canton.”

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.