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Conference Honorees


Excellence in Crisis and Risk Communication Practice

The Great Shakeout Division of the Southern California Earthquake Center

The Great California ShakeOut is an annual opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes: “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” The ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries. ShakeOut is also a reminder for Californians to be prepared financially, such as by exploring earthquake insurance. The not-for-profit California Earthquake Authority offers earthquake insurance throughout California for homeowners, renters, mobilehome owners and condo-unit owners.

Bridge Award for Leadership in Crisis and Risk Communication

Dr. Amiso George, APR, Fellow PRSA

Dr. Amiso George, APR, Fellow PRSA, is associate professor and former chair of the Strategic Communication Department at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. She is the Public Relations Society of America’s “2017 Educator of the Year.” George directed the Public Relations program at University of Nevada, Reno, where she taught the first crisis communication course. A visiting professor at Swinburne University in Australia, she has worked as a crisis consultant in the United States, Nigeria, Australia and Malaysia. A Carnegie Fellow, she is the co-editor of three books, including Culture and Crisis Communication: Transboundary Cases from Nonwestern Societies (Wiley, 2017).


Excellence in Crisis and Risk Communication Practice

Dr. Antonia Novello, U.S Former Surgeon

Dr. Antonia Coello Novello was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a B.S. degree in 1965 and an M.D. degree in 1970. She served her pediatric internship and residency in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. She completed her subspecialty training in pediatric nephrology at University of Michigan and Georgetown University. Dr. Novello received a master’s in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1982 and a Doctor of Public health in May 2000. She holds countless awards, including the Legion of Merit, The James Smithson Bicentennial Medal, and the National Governor’s Association Distinguished Service to State Government Award, as well as a membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society and Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences to name a few, and over 53 honoris causa. In 2011, Dr. Novello received the Don Quijote Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bridge Award for Excellence in Strategic Communication Research

Don Stacks, IPRRC Executive Director

Don W. Stacks, Ph.D., is a Public Relations professor in the School of Communication at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. He served as program director from 1995 to 2009. As director, he took the program into the top 25 undergraduate and top 15 graduate public relations programs in the United States with a focus on strategic communication and research. He served as Associate Dean for Research from 2009 to 2011. Dr. Stacks received his B.A. (’71) from Northern Michigan University, M.A. (‘75) from the Auburn University, and Ph.D. (’78) from the University of Florida. Prior to receiving his M.A., he spent three years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Alexandria, VA, and Washington, DC. His first academic posting was at the University of South Alabama in 1978. Stacks then moved to the University of Alabama in 1985, and his present position at the University of Miami in 1990. Stacks spent one term and the University of Georgia during the 1984-85 academic year and another at the University of Alabama at Birmingham during the 1989-1990 academic year.