New Veterans Affairs Officer to serve students at Canton and Potsdam
SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam have appointed their first shared officer to serve both institutions. Patrick Massaro will be the new Veterans and Military Services Coordinator, a newly created position designed to be the primary contact for military families and to advise veterans’ organizations on university campuses.
Massaro’s previous experience uniquely qualifies him to tackle the job, given his military background and the fact that he is an alumnus of both colleges. In 2003, he graduated from SUNY Canton and in 2005 from SUNY Potsdam. The Massena Central High School graduate then served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010, including one tour of duty in Iraq. He now holds the rank of Captain in the U.S. Marine Reserves. Most recently, Massaro completed his Master of Science degree in sports administration while working as the director of hockey operations at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.
“This is a great opportunity for me to give back to both colleges and to those that have served and to the families of those that have served,” Massaro said.
This new position was created to enrich the student veterans’ university experience and is the first joint hire between the universities resulting from the ongoing shared services discussions between SUNY Potsdam’s and SUNY Canton’s Campus Alliance Network.
“Filling this position was a significant step in the goal of greater shared services for our colleges. We learned a lot about the search process and what we need to do in the next years to more efficiently use our resources,” SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy said.
“First and foremost, this hiring will positively impact the lives of service members and veterans working toward their higher education goals at the two colleges,” said SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller. “Both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton will benefit and learn from the experience of filling our first joint position, as Patrick navigates the unique learning environments at both campuses.”
A member of the search committee, Professor William Fassinger, a retired Military Police First Sergeant, said, “If we could have built a person for this job, it would look like Patrick. He is a graduate of both institutions, with recent military service, and in the past two years having dealt with the Veteran’s Administration for his own education.”
“He will inherit the work done by others at Canton and bring those ideas to Potsdam, and then in turn assess how the things we do well at SUNY Potsdam might benefit Canton,” said SUNY Potsdam Director of Extended Education Thomas Fuhr, who co-chaired the search with SUNY Canton Professor Robert Edwards.
Both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton have been named military-friendly colleges for their dedication to serving service members, veterans and their families.