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Cornell Cooperative Extension Honors Two Public Relations Professors

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County recently honored two professors from SUNY Plattsburgh’s journalism and public relations department.

The two — Dr. Jonathan Slater and Colleen Lemza, from the Department of Journalism and Public Relations — were saluted at the agency’s annual Local Foods Dinner Thursday, Nov. 1, in Samuel D’s, Sibley Hall.

Slater and Lemza were honored for providing public relations students with service learning opportunities that help the Extension and give students valuable work experience.

“They have, for four semesters between the two of them, helped our organization by making us one of the key projects students have worked on,” said Amy Ivy, executive director of the Cooperative Extension. “We are a really complicated organization because we have so many parts. They have been great in helping our image and marketing.”

The students came up with a whole new plan to rebrand the agency, including a new tree logo with branches symbolizing the agency’s programs and facets of work, which include nutrition, gardening and the 4-H youth development. The students also redeveloped the Extension’s website and created the tagline, “Better Living from the Ground Up,” Ivy said.

Lemza credits the agency for providing her students with real field experience.

“Opportunities like the one at the Cooperative Extension give our students an extra edge. They get the chance to work with clients as they prepare for their professional careers,” Lemza said. “I can't thank the Cooperative Extension enough for giving our students this opportunity.”

Slater agreed.

“Through efforts like these, our students provide needed PR expertise to a deserving organization. Meanwhile, the partnership with that agency allows us to immerse future public relations practitioners in an unparalleled hands-on learning experience,” he said.

Ivy is excited to continue the Extension’s work with students this year.

“It’s the beginning of a nice working relationship,” she said.

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