SUNY Canton Recognizes Two Influential Graduates from the Class of 2014
A New York City-area assistant-principal and an executive from the professional online employment service, LinkedIn, were the inaugural recipients of the SUNY Canton Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Award. Both are four-year graduates who completed their degrees in 2014.
Ornella T. Parker, assistant principal at Zeta Charter Schools in the Bronx, is the youngest major philanthropist in the college’s history. She established the Ornella Parker ’14 Endowed Scholarship for Black Student Leaders, which supports students hailing from the five boroughs of New York City who need financial assistance to continue their studies after their freshman year. Ornella’s endowment was the inaugural gift to SUNY Canton’s Promises Kept Pathways scholarship initiative, which creates new routes of success for Black scholars during their academic journey.
“I truly believe in equity,” Parker said. “Specifically, educational equity and the importance it plays in increasing opportunities and a better future for all. I know it to be a fact that many students, no matter the demographics, face financial struggles in the pursuit for further education.”
Parker said that economic disadvantages disproportionately affect students of color, specifically those from her hometown, which guided her in creating the new scholarship.
During her college career, Parker completed her Healthcare Management degree with top honors. She served in key leadership roles as president of the Student Government Association and as vice president for the College Association board of directors. Her other accolades and experiences include a study abroad trip to China, working as a senior resident assistant, memberships in the Golden Key Honor Society, College Activities Board, Caribbean United Club, Brother to Brother Club, Black Students United, CSTEP, and the College Association. She was instrumental in representing the student voice while serving on the search committee that selected SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran.
Parker went on to earn master’s degrees from Hunter College and Columbia University.
Carlos D. Remigio is an Enterprise Account Director at LinkedIn, where he partners with business executives and human resources professionals to advise them on their workforce strategy, and enables them to accomplish their goals by leveraging the online platform’s tools and resources.
“He volunteers his time to several initiatives at SUNY Canton, where he meets with current students and alumni providing mentorship and assistance with enhancing their online professional presences,” said Alumni Association President Kelly C. Obermayer, a graduate of the class of 1979.
Remigio began his career working at a learning and development consultancy, which supported the world’s leading financial institutions in addressing the training needs of both their employees and customers. He was later recruited to work in one of LinkedIn’s newest lines of business, LinkedIn Learning. In 2021 he was promoted to the Enterprise Account Director role at LinkedIn, where he now works with organizations to help them across their hiring, training, and employee engagement strategy.
Remigio said he struggled to find balance when he began at Canton. He credits his on-campus jobs with helping achieve the stability necessary to be successful.
“As my involvement on campus increased, so did my academic success,” Remigio said. While I had many people in my life who loved me and would cheer me on, I didn’t necessarily have people pushing me to be my best. This critical gap was filled by the staff and faculty at the college. I hope they understand and take pride in that they play the role of a second family to many students.”
Among other faculty members, Remigio noted Student Activities Involvement and Leadership Director (SAIL) Director Priscilla L. Collins and Charles R. Fenner, Ph.D., the lead faculty member in the Management program as being influential in his success.
Remigio was the Student Government Association budget director, a sound and light technician for SAIL, a student worker at Chaney Dining Center, and a student ambassador for the Office of Admissions. He finished his senior year with President’s List honors while graduating from the Management program.
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.