SUNY Canton Graduates Earn Chancellor’s Award


The State University of New York announced two members of the SUNY Canton class of 2023 received the prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence (CASE).

Jonah R. Black, a Forensic Criminology and Applied Psychology double major from Canton, and Samantha Dayter, a Nursing major from Cohoes, accepted their award at a special ceremony in Albany from SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr.

Samantha Dayter, President Zvi Szafran and Jonah Black

The award recognizes students for their outstanding achievements throughout their SUNY experience in areas including academics, leadership, campus involvement, community service, and the arts.

“There is a place at SUNY for every New Yorker, and each of the students recognized today is an example of our extraordinary student body and their rich and diverse ‘SUNY stories,’” said Chancellor King. “Student success is at the core of everything we do, and I am honored to celebrate students from 63 SUNY campuses who are receiving this year’s Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence. Every student can find their community at SUNY, and I congratulate each of the CASE winners for making the most out of their college experience.”

Jonah R. Black

Black is among the first students at SUNY Canton to take advantage of a new policy that allows students to earn a double major and has maintained a 4.0 GPA in both the Forensic Criminology and Applied Psychology programs.

As an honors student, he has completed a number of research projects throughout his academic career on topics related to the FBI’s impact on the field of forensics, as well as the cultural psychology of the FBI. His extracurricular activities include being a member of the Cross Country team for four seasons and a member of the Outdoor Adventure Club.

In addition to his campus involvement, he has been a volunteer with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary since 2019 and has completed professional training in team communications and risk management as part of his membership.

After graduation, Black plans to continue his education to earn a master’s degree in business and enlist in the Coast Guard.

Samantha Dayter

Dayter is a standout student-athlete who has excelled in one of the college’s most academically demanding programs, while making community service a priority.

She has already earned an Associate Degree in Nursing and is a licensed Registered Nurse. This year, she is graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and a minor in Applied Psychology, her academic accomplishments include both President’s and Dean’s List honors.

Dayter is a native of Cohoes and is a transfer student from SUNY Polytechnic Institute. She has been captain of the women’s basketball team for the last two years and led the team in minutes played during the 2021-2022 season. Also a member of the women’s lacrosse team, she earned the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Player of the Year award three times and was selected for the NAC First All-Conference Team three years in a row.

Her extracurricular endeavors include serving on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and as a peer tutor. Her community involvement includes volunteering at youth lacrosse and basketball clinics, as well as representing SUNY Canton as a torch-runner for the 2023 FISU World University Games.

Dayter is considering several post-graduate degree paths.

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.