Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

June 6, 2007

Contact: Contact: Mike Emery
713.743.8186 (office)
713.415.6551 (pager)

Veteran Professor Robert Heath Recognized
by Issues Management Council, Public Relations Society of America

HOUSTON, June 6, 2007 – For 35 years, Robert Heath, University of Houston Professor Emeritus of Communication, has mentored aspiring public relations (PR) practitioners, delivered international addresses on PR and authored numerous articles and books on the topic. His tireless efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by his peers. This year, Heath is being formally acknowledged as an asset to the industry.

Heath recently received a W. Howard Chase Award from the Issues Management Council (IMC), which recognizes contributions to the evolution of issues management. On June 21, he will receive the Public Relations Society of America’s Excalibur Legacy Award honoring outstanding contributions to the profession from someone who has been active in the field for 25 years or more.

“I am very pleased to know that professional colleagues appreciate my work for the teaching, practice and research of public relations since the mid-1970s,” Heath said. “The job could not have been accomplished without the professionals who have supported our program at UH through their conversation, teaching, service and inspiration.”

The Chase award was presented to Heath during a ceremony in Dallas in May, and the PRSA Excalibur Legacy Award will be presented during the PRSA Houston chapter’s awards banquet June 21.

“I could not have achieved my goals without inspired and inspiring students whose careers build a foundation for respect for UH’s program and give others broad shoulders on which other students can stand,” Heath said. “I am pleased to have made a national and international reputation for public relations in Houston. The accomplishment, however, is due to partnership rather than individual achievement.”

Heath has taught at UH since 1971, instructing both undergraduate and graduate students on public relations and communication principles and theories. He also has taken his PR knowledge worldwide, speaking at conferences in Taiwan, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands, among other countries. He has been a visiting professor at universities in Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark. Outside of the classroom, he has consulted and conducted research for companies such as ExxonMobil, Sterling Bank, Texaco, Chevron, Shell Oil, Baker Oil Tools-Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and the cities of Deer Park and La Porte, Texas. Among the many books Heath has authored are “The Encyclopedia of Public Relations” and “Today’s Public Relations.” Both are published by Sage Publications and used in university classrooms.

“Although I graduated five years ago, he remains one of the most influential people in my life,” said Kelly Papinchak, UH alumnus and public relations professional at the Brookwoods Group, a Houston-based marketing and communication company. “He teaches in a way that draws students into the public relations profession and makes them excited about beginning a career in this field. I will always be thankful to him for encouraging me to work hard and supporting me as I move forward in my career. UH is very fortunate to have him.”

Heath officially retired in 2006, but he continues to teach courses at UH during fall and spring semesters. He previously served as the School of Communication’s director of graduate studies and as associate dean for graduate studies and curriculum development. He also founded and continues to direct the school’s Institute for the Study of Issues Management.

“He is a force at UH,” said Beth Olson, director of the School of Communication. “So many students have succeeded under his guidance, and he’s also made it a point to involve junior faculty in publishing opportunities. I dare say no one in the school’s history can even come close to matching his prolific output. As an author and professor, he’s in a class all by himself.”

UH’s School of Communication offers undergraduate and graduate degrees focusing on a wide range of communication studies. Bachelor’s concentrations focus on public relations, advertising, journalism, corporate communication, media studies, media production and interpersonal communication. Master’s concentrations are in public relations studies, speech communication and mass communication studies. Curriculum is taught by the school’s acclaimed faculty, including media veterans and award-winning scholars and researchers. Among the school’s esteemed alumni are CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, former White House press secretary Peter Roussel, Houston Rockets broadcaster Bill Worrell and Houston KPRC TV, Channel 2, anchor Dominique Sacshe.

For information about UH’s School of Communication, visit

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

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