Melissa Hevener, a fourth-year public relations major at Grady College, was a UGA orientation leader this summer, and is also currently the vice president of the Student Government Association. (Courtesy: Melissa Hevener)
#GradyGrit: Meet Melissa Hevener
Why did you choose public relations as a major?
I got involved on an SGA campaign my first year, and I didn’t anticipate to work on the communications committee, however, I found myself drifting towards that area. In a few short weeks, I played a role in ironing out our communications strategy and recognized during this process that this was the type of work I wanted to pursue long-term. Some wonderful mentors guided me in the right direction to major in public relations and political science so I could continue working in the public affairs communications sphere and specifically, messaging for political campaigns.
Who has been your favorite instructor? Class?
I will forever and always love Cacciatore’s intro to PR class. I just got such a good taste for PR through his class and his fun jokes! I also really love a class I am currently in: Intro to Public Affairs Communication with Professor Watson.
What is the hardest part about being a Grady student?
As cliché as it may seem, sometimes the hardest part is being able to grasp the depth of resources and opportunities available to you through Grady. One thing I personally struggle with is knowing that there are a plethora of Grady organizations and pre-professional opportunities that I could not possibly take advantage of in two short years.
What is the last show you binge-watched and would you recommend it?
I recently have been binge-watching Netflix’s The Politician – yes! It has been such a fun rollercoaster of a show, and I’d recommend it to anyone, especially anyone that has had some experience in student government and can appreciate its quirks.
Orientation, for sure! Between meeting thousands of students new to the university, hearing their stories and lived experiences or spending time with my Orientation team, there wasn’t one thing that was the greatest highlight of my summer. A treasured memory I will always have is the dancing we’d do right before Orientation Live every Day 1 of a First-Year Session. Being up there dancing with my team and encouraging first years to break out of their shell and let loose a little bit is always such a special experience.
What do you do when you’re homesick?
Whenever I am homesick, I will always try to seek out some good Filipino food. I always find eating food that tastes like home makes me feel a little better and closer to the Philippines.
What is your favorite creative outlet?
My favorite creative outlet is tinkering around with Adobe Photoshop. As nerdy as that seems, I really enjoyed learning Photoshop for one of my Grady classes. After the class, I decided to keep the program and I have really found making creative work digitally to be so therapeutic.
Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.
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