As a member of the Grady x PHD team, Akyra Kelley participated in conducting a research study for the Communication Studies Department.

#GradyGrit: Meet Akyra Kelley

Editor’s Note: #GradyGrit is a new series of profiles of Grady College students who show determination, leadership and outreach to the community. Search “#GradyGrit” on the Grady College website for additional profiles.

What made you choose advertising?

I initially did not want to be an advertising major; I preferred public relations, but when I applied to Grady I was accepted as an advertising major. Once I finished my first two major classes, I was in love with advertising.

What will you miss the most about Grady after graduation?

I will most definitely miss the faculty here. Grady instructors support you throughout all of your endeavors. I’ve made so many connections with professors and instructors who have changed my perceptions on life overall. I am truly grateful for all the lessons they have taught me and the encouragement I have received.

Most impactful Grady class/teacher and why?

This is such a hard choice because most of my professors have impacted my life, but if I HAD to pick one, I would pick Dr. Karen King. I had her for Media Strategy and Activation my first semester in Grady and ever since she has sent my numerous opportunities for me to develop my skills outside of our classwork. Every once in a while, she would forward me a professional development program geared specifically towards minorities. She has so many connections in the industry and she does everything she can to use those connections to help her students.

How do you feel diversity is represented within Grady?

I feel like diversity in Grady has grown just since my freshman year, specifically among the African American community. I think having cool alumni, like Monica Kaufman Pearson and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, helps our community see how much potential we have in the media world.

What is it like to be a PHD media student?

Being a PHD student has been such an experience. We have been conducting a series of in-depth interviews and panel discussions to understand millennials’ perceptions on three media topics: entertainment, the value of ads and privacy/security. Participating in research here, one of the best research institutions, has given me personal fulfillment. It has definitely been challenging, but I am excited to see our results.

Akyra Kelley and Maria Stagliano served as Co-Directors together for AdPR Connection.

As a Co-Director for this 2018’s AdPR Connection, what were you hoping to achieve with the event, did you meet your goals?

As the Co-director for AdPR Connection, I felt the need to re-brand the event to make it more appealing to students. We hoped to increase student attendance to all portions of the event (the panels, luncheon, mixer and career fair). We also wanted students to believe that they could benefit from attending AdPR Connection, no matter if they were underclassmen. We had over 500 students pre-register for the event, surpassing the pre-registration numbers from previous years. The students truly enjoyed themselves and learned a lot from the panel discussions. Even the professionals were more pleased with this year’s event and they were impressed with the students themselves. If I could do this process all over again, I would do so in a heartbeat.

Who/what inspires you?

I am inspired by my parents. Growing up my parents made sure I had nothing to worry about outside of my school work. My life has been easy because my parents have always worked so hard. I could never fully repay them for all that they have done but I can make sure I am taking advantage of my opportunities to be successful. Ultimately, my goal in life is to make them proud.

Favorite Super Bowl commercial? 

I loved the commercial for “The Twilight Zone”! Jordan Peele is an amazing writer and knows how to captivate his audience. I loved “Get Out” and I can’t wait to see what he does with “The Twilight Zone” and his upcoming movie, “Us”.

What was the last interesting book or article you read, and why did you like it?

The most recent book I read was my forever first lady’s memoir, “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. I’ve always loved her passion and desire for making young black women believe in themselves. Her book is so inspiring to me.

Favorite social networking app?

My favorite social networking app is Instagram. I can sit on the explore page and look at content there for hours on end.

Date: February 14, 2019