The New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (NMPRSA) has awarded Sam Giammo, director of public affairs for the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, its second annual Vista Award.

The Vista Award honors visionaries in the public relations field in New Mexico and celebrates a proven track record of excellence among New Mexico chapter practitioners.

In his current position since 1997, Giammo has 34 years experience in public relations, including 27 years in various positions as a U.S. Air Force public affairs officer. Prior to coming to UNM, he worked three years at Jacobs Engineering Group, in Albuquerque.

"Giammo directs one of the state's busiest and most visible public affairs offices, managing public relations activities for UNM's six hospitals, the School of Medicine, and Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy. In this capacity, he oversees all media relations, community relations, and public and internal communication at one of New Mexico's highest-profile healthcare entities," said NMPRSA President Celeste Walther.

"His commitment to the profession also includes serving as a role model and mentor for both fellow public relations practitioners and aspiring students," Walther continued. "He takes great pride in helping younger practitioners chart a path for their careers."

Giammo served on the executive board of the NMPRSA Chapter for six years, including four years as treasurer and two as a member at large.

After receiving his accreditation in public relations (APR) in 1996, Giammo was instrumental in furthering the chapter's accreditation efforts, serving two terms as chair for the chapter's accreditation program. He then taught numerous preparation courses and proctored four APR examinations.

Giammo received his master's degree in communication from the University of Northern Colorado in 1978. He received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University in 1967.

Giammo was inducted into the prestigious PRSA College of Fellows in 2001. To achieve this honor, a PRSA member must have demonstrated superior capability as a practitioner and must exhibit work that advances the state of the profession. There are only about 300 Fellows in nearly all of the 20,000 members of PRSA.

Vista Award nominees must be members in good standing of NMPRSA for a minimum of five years, must have at least 20 years of experience in the profession, must make significant contributions to the chapter including service as a chapter officer or board member, should exhibit qualities that serve as a role model for other public relations practitioners and must make significant contributions to the advancement of the profession.

The New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (NMPRSA) was founded in 1959 with the goal of providing professional information, network-ing and social activities to communication professionals involved in public relations, public affairs, marketing, promotions and development.
Contact: Lynn Melton, 272-3322