Sitting through classes in the UNM Communication and Journalism Department, Nick Layman wanted to be a broadcast journalist.  When he had a chance to hone his reporting skills with KUNM, the university’s National Public Radio station, he jumped at the chance.

“I enjoyed the experiences I gained with my mentors at KUNM’s news department. They treated me like a full time journalist and I was able to cover many the historic events in our state and nation.

“They were very honest in my work and it strengthened my work ethic. I was able to take that mentorship experience and make it a great building block to mentor others after graduating.”

Part of that mentoring experience can be seen in Layman’s work giving back to his community. He is active in the Albuquerque business startup community, volunteers with Meals on Wheels and serves in several functions at his church. One of his multimedia projects springing from his KUNM work, “New Mexico Valor,” tells the stories of New Mexico’s veterans.

“My first day at KUNM radio was on 9/11. The world changed that day. I didn’t do any news that day as NPR took over the feed to report the news. As a reporter I got to see war on the home front. Training for war. Warriors leaving their loved ones. Warriors coming home to loved ones. Warriors coming home in flag draped coffins.

“These men and women did a very noble thing to defend the US. I wanted to start New Mexico Valor to show people who those people were. I always had a deep respect for veterans. So, to return the respect I started New Mexico Valor.”

(Feature Image: Nick Layman, Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi H. “Hershey” Miyamura  and Layman’s family. Photo courtesy New Mexico Valor.)