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Colleen Lemza, Gerald Yu Liang Tan to Receive Alumni Association Awards During Homecoming 2013

The SUNY Plattsburgh Alumni Association will honor two individuals at a Homecoming open house in the college’s newest building, 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19.

In addition to celebrating the achievements of Assistant Professor of Journalism and Public Relations Colleen Lemza and journalism alumnus Gerald Yu Liang Tan ’03, the event will feature tours of the new business, economics and computer science building that opened this fall.

Lemza will be awarded the Faculty Staff Impact Award, in recognition for her commitment to students and alumni.

“It shows a high level of care and thoughtfulness when a person is as passionate and genuine about every aspect of their job and responsibilities,” wrote Joel Collado, one of eight former students who nominated her. “It is safe to say that attending SUNY Plattsburgh has been the best decision I have made in my life, and Mrs. Colleen Lemza is one of the reasons.”

Presented this year to Gerald Yu Liang Tan ’03, the Off to a Good Start Award recognizes alumni who have already made significant career achievements within the first 10 years after graduation.

Tan — a reporter and producer with Al Jazeera English living in Doha, Qatar — was unanimously confirmed by the association’s board of directors because of his professional success so soon after graduation and sustained connection to the college.

“I look back at my days in Plattsburgh with pride and great fondness,” Tan said. “I am truly honored to receive this unexpected and humbling award.”

According to Association President Toni Anne Nichels ’88, the board recognized both award recipients as clear choices this year.

"Both Professor Lemza and Gerald Tan represent the best of Plattsburgh, and we are pleased to be able to recognize their outstanding contributions with these awards,” she said. “Both have achieved professional success; have continued to connect and mentor both students and alumni; and have been outstanding ambassadors for Plattsburgh.”

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