Born and raised in Baligham village in northwest Cameroon, Pierre Nzuah has been interested in electrical engineering since middle school. In planning out his academic journey, he sought an education that would deliver him the hands-on experience he needed to kickstart a career in the field.
State University of New York at Canton is where countless more like Nzuah arrived as students with the same goal. Here, they made SUNY Canton’s great majors into great careers. “This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” Nzuah says. “I would not trade it for anything.”
Located on a beautiful campus and within walking distance of a vibrant downtown, SUNY Canton is the ideal destination for ambitious students. It has over 100 years of experience in nurturing forward-thinking, industry-ready graduates through its three schools: The Canino School of Engineering Technology, The School of Business and Liberal Arts, and The School of Science, Health & Criminal Justice.
Here, Nzuah was exposed to industry-oriented practices whilst gaining an Electrical Engineering Technology B.Tech. Lab components made learning fun as students could apply their knowledge in a practical setting. Courses such as Intro to CAD and Design, Industrial Controls, and Power Transmission and Distribution gave the student a glimpse into his job as a substation design engineer.
A student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1 ensures all at SUNY Canton have the chance to collaborate with faculty members, who are professionals with real-world experience on top of their academic credentials. “I worked with Dr. Stephen Frempong on a portable internet radio project. Researching to make this project a success and writing reports established a good foundation for me when I got into graduate school and was tasked with research on unfamiliar topics,” Nzuah shares.
Programmes cover a wide range of areas, including Cybersecurity, Sports Management, Health and Fitness Promotion, Information Technology, Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology, and Management. Most are accredited and boast close links with industry to offer internship opportunities.
“The senior students have an opportunity to do an internship in various industries to try out their learned knowledge and skills,” shares Dr. Tatsuhito Koya, Associate Professor and Curriculum Coordinator for the Information Technology – B. Tech programme. “The internship also furthers their preparedness for the job market entrance. Some students ended up working for their internship employers as the employers were very impressed with our students’ ready-to-hit-the-floor quality.”
Campus is just as filled with work opportunities. “I was a Student Ambassador, got promoted to a Senior Ambassador, and tutored for the Engineering Tutoring Laboratory,” shares Isabela de Vasconcelos Spelta, a B.Tech in Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate. “This was my first working experience ever and getting feedback from co-workers really motivated me to be the professional I am today. It also improved my communication skills.”
Faculty members are more than just educators. As a former international student, Frempong, who was Nzuah’s instructor in several courses and academic supervisor, understood the challenges of being far from home. Spelta could reach out to Michael Newtown, Dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology, even after she graduated, who went on to assist the Brazilian native with questions about the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.
Likewise, facilities are designed around the hands-on learning experience. “Our Environmental Engineering Technology and Geotechnology Laboratory, Roadway Infrastructure and Material Technology Centre, Construction Engineering Laboratory, and Building Systems Laboratory are fully functional field and laboratory facilities used for testing and experimentation in both a classroom and research setting,” says Dr. Adrienne Rygel, Associate Professor and Department Chair (Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology).
The college also stands out for its vibrant athletics and esports scene. Fifteen traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton is the first college in New York to join the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) and compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and SUNY Esports League. Currently, the college’s esports team participates in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Smite, and Valorant.
To meet the needs of international students, the International Programmes Office are well-equipped to support this group of learners in adapting to their new environment. Educational, cultural, and recreational events bring international and other SUNY Canton students together, allowing for an easier transition.
After classes, students can soak in the scenic, semi-rural setting bordering the Grasse River. Miles of beautiful trails — suitable for walking, running, biking, or skiing — beckon students looking to unwind after a long, fulfilling day of learning. On weekends, they can explore Montreal and Ottawa, two of the most diverse cities in North America, which are just two hours away.