Distinguished alumni named

Alumni Award logo.

Alumni Award logo. Five alumni will be honored commencement weekend in May for distinguished service and successful careers. Awards and those being honored:

The Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Alumnus Award
Recognizes outstanding achievement in the lives and works of alumni who have brought honor and distinction to the university.

Joseph E. Nyre

  • Outstanding leader who is mission and service driven.
  • Currently president of and full professor at Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y.
  • Nationally recognized researcher in autism, mental health service delivery and system development; recipient of more than $44 million in extramural funding.
  • Authored and co-authored vital state and federal legislation.
  • Member of many boards and service organizations.
  • Completed pre and post-doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and the University of Kansas. Holds a master’s and doctorate from the University of Kansas, master’s from the University of Missouri and bachelor’s in psychology from UW-L, 1991.

The Rada Distinguished Alumnus Award
Recognizes alumni who have graduated within the last 20 years, achieved professional distinction and taken part in humanitarian activities.

Corey Sorenson

  • Accomplished career as a professional actor with performances in more than 50 plays nationwide, numerous network TV appearances, films, web series, voiceovers and commercials.
  • Network TV acting includes roles on “Chicago Fire,” “General Hospital,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “As the World Turns,” “NCIS” and more.
  • Screenwriter; producer; director.
  • Lecturer in theater and dance; adjunct professor of voice and theater; acting instructor; voice and acting coach.
  • Holds a master’s of fine arts in acting from Temple University; certified in Fitzmaurice Voicework; bachelor’s in theater from UW-L, 2003.

The Parker Multicultural Alumni Award
Recognizes outstanding multicultural alumni and those who have contributed significantly to the improvement of multiculturalism. History Professor Emeritus James Parker initiated the award in 1997.

Susan Jans-Thomas

  • Passionate and respected educator on diversity and civil rights.
  • Accomplished author, including “Reflections of the 1965 Freedom March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama: A Memoir of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.”
  • Currently an associate professor of research and advanced studies at the University of West Florida; coordinator for doctoral program in diversity studies.
  • Received the 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of West Florida.
  • Holds a doctorate and bachelor’s degree from Marquette University, associate degree from Chipola Junior College and a master’s from UW-L, 1986.

Orby Moss, Jr.

  • Respected educator and mentor.
  • Longtime director of athletics at numerous colleges, including Siena Heights College, University of the District of Columbia, North Carolina A & T, Georgia State University and Norfolk State University.
  • Retired director of Student Recruitment and Support Services, University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
  • Inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Director Hall of Fame.
  • Holds a master’s from Winona (Minn.) State University and a bachelor’s from UW-L, 1963.