Dr. Kaye Sweetser is an associate professor of public relations in Grady College. She has served as an adviser for UGA PRSSA's Bateman Case Study Competition, and her 2010 team of students won the national championship and PRSA's Silver Anvil. In addition, she is a former Lilly Teaching Fellow and a Russell Award winner. Dr. Sweetser is also a commissioned public affairs officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
What drew you to become a professor at Grady College? The reputation of Grady College and the quality of the faculty attracted me to UGA. The bright and dedicated students here have captivated me. And the true family-like atmosphere across the entire college has made this my home.
What kinds of classes have you taught, and what have been your favorite ones to teach? Teaching research methods is my favorite class. I love sharing the topic with students and seeing that intellectual transformation that occurs as they transition into real, critically thinking scholars.
What is your research focus? (Any projects you can share with us at this time?) I look at how social media is used in various contexts, be it in a PR campaign or a political campaign. My research of late has really focused on the relationship between an organization and its publics. This election season has also brought new inspiration for my political public relations work.
What are you most looking forward to this semester? End of semester presentations are my favorite class days of the semester because you really get to sit back and marvel at not only how far the students have come, but the real quality of their work and the obvious excitement they have for their projects. I love both my own students' presentations but also enjoy dropping in on other professors' student presentations because it great to see what former students have done outside my classes. The last day of the semester is always my happiest because I end up busting at seams with pride for what the Grady student has accomplished in 16 weeks.
What do you like to do in your spare time? I am an exercise fanatic. I box several times a week at a local boxing gym, run and love trying new exercise videos like Insanity or kettlebell. I ran my first half marathon ever this semester and am looking forward to improving my time at the Vegas half marathon in December. I also love spending time sailing, as well as being with my beau & my sweet yorkie, Ali.
What do you love about UGA/Athens area? What is not to love? Athens is vibrant, and Grady College is the most stimulating intellectual home a scholar could hope for!
What advice would you give to your students? Never settle. Effort does not equal quality. Write thank you notes. Push yourself to be the best in everything. Spell check. Never check a bag.