OGDENSBURG – Over a decade after her retirement, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Faye W. White of Ogdensburg still volunteers her time to tutor children at her dining room table.
In honor of her achievements, passion for education and commitment to education, SUNY Canton has named its 2012 Honors Convocation after Mrs. White, which will be held at 4:15 p.m. May 2 at SUNY Cantons Roos House Athletic Center Field House.
The Honors Convocation is an annual event which recognizes students for exceptional academic achievement. According to SUNY Canton Media Relations Manager Gregory E. Kie, a retired faculty member or emeritus who have served, and continue to serve SUNY Canton, its students, or the local community in ways deemed worth of recognition, is awarded the honor of leading the ceremonies.
Professor Whites commitment to students and learning is an extension of who she is and all that she loves, said SUNY Canton Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Carli C. Schiffner. It is pinnacle that we link her name with a ceremony honoring the pinnacle of student success.
A Heuvelton native, Mrs. White discovered her love of teaching mathematics at an early age.
I have always loved mathematics and I knew I wanted teach. Before I even started school, my family and parents told me Id like math and Id be good at math. It was just positive way to send me off into the world, said Mrs. White.
Mrs. White said the positive reinforcement she received as a child was one she tried to convey with her students.
Many students have come in telling me they hate math and cant do it. I try to encourage them otherwise. I like watching the change in my students; seeing how they become successful after they learn they are capable, she said.
Mrs. White taught for 33 years, 15 of which were at SUNY Canton alongside alongside Mathematics Professor Harriett Beggs. Mrs. Beggs, who said she shared an office with Mrs. White for those years, said she saw first hand how Mrs. Whites commitment to her students and passion for her subject were interconnected.
I had the opportunity to see her frequently interact with students. She cares deeply about them, and wanted them to not only learn math, but to like math, as well. If you were willing to work hard, she would go above and beyond to help you, she said.
When Mrs. White retired in 2001 she received SUNY Cantons Distinguished Faculty Award and was awarded emeritus status.
I really enjoyed my years at Canton because it was such a good place for college students and what they refer to as non-traditional students, she said.
That same year, Mrs. White also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Heuvelton Central School for her commitment towards helping young graduating seniors receive scholarships.
Mrs. White is no stranger to offering commitments to young girls. For over 15 years, she served as a member of the American Association of University Women. She was instrumental in organizing the Professional Clothing Fair, which began in 2003, which is still held annually at the college.
We wanted do something for women that were returning to the workforce. We received an amazing amount of staff, faculty and student support with the project. The One-Stop Career center help set-up, the facilities department retrieved racks, and the students sorted and hung the clothing. I could go on forever about the excellent community as a whole at Canton, said Mrs. White.
As an AAUW member, Mrs. White also serves as coordinator for the Open Windows for Girls program.
Our program provides camperships for St. Lawrence county girls to participate in a positive educational activity during this summer from academic camps to dance lessons and sports camps, she said.
She has worked very hard and to pioneer that project and very adamant about providing opportunities for girls starting at a young age, said Mrs. Beggs.
In addition to the Convocation, Mrs. White will also be honored by the AAUW this year. Started in 1999, the AAUW memorial scholarship awards a scholarship to a two-year female student going to a four year program. This year, the AAUW has decided to name its 2012 scholarship after Mrs. White.
Since her retirement from teaching in 2001, Mrs. White splits her time volunteering to help students at the dining room table of her home, assisting with programs for the AAUW. She also serves as Eucharistic minister at Notre Dame Church, Ogdensburg, and at the Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center.
This has been a tremendous year for me. I am so honored for all the support I have received. I love teaching and I am always committed to helping girls whenever I can, Mrs. White said.