Students named Tieger Fellows in Public Affairs Communications

Tieger Fellows outside the Grady College building.
The Fall 2021 Tieger Fellows include (from l.) Gracie Englund, Anna Womack and Sydney Branton. (Photo: Sarah E. Freeman)

Students named Tieger Fellows in Public Affairs Communications

January 17, 2024

The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced the selection of three new Tieger Fellows for the 2023-2024 academic year: Sydney Branton, Gracie Englund and Anna Womack as this year’s Tieger Fellows. The Tieger Fellowship provides students pursuing the Public Affairs Professional Certificate  in Public Affairs Communications (PAC) with the opportunity to promote the PAC program by applying the skills learned in the program’s courses.

These three students started their fellowships during the fall semester and are working with the program’s director, Joseph Watson, Jr., the Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor of Public Affairs Communications.

“I am delighted that Sydney, Gracie, and Anna have agreed to serve as Tieger Fellows for this year,” said Watson. “Carolyn Caudell Tieger’s vision and funding makes possible this and many other opportunities for PAC students. These three students are amongst our best and brightest and I look forward to working with them to better serve current and future students.”

Alumna Carolyn Caudell Tieger (ABJ ’69) funded the nation’s first public affairs communications program to educate students on public policy, advocacy work and politics, while providing public affairs strategy training. Tieger’s decades of experience in public affairs spans her work on Capitol Hill, the White House, global public relations firms, and as CEO of her own firm.

The Tieger Fellows will promote the program through media relations, social and digital media, and through events on campus. Sydney Branton, a fourth-year public relations and political science student from Douglasville, Georgia, serves as the Program Promotions fellow, implementing innovative ways to engage current and future PAC students. Branton is also completing a minor in Law, Jurisprudence, and the State. In addition to the PAC fellowship, Branton serves as an ambassador for the School of Public and International Affairs and is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. This summer, Branton worked in Washington, D.C. as an intern in the Office of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise. Branton currently works as a communications intern in the Office of Governor Brian Kemp.

“The PAC Program is the single most influential thing I have done in college to prepare me for a career in public affairs, and I am very excited and honored to serve the program that has given me so much throughout my time at UGA,” said Branton.

Gracie Englund, a fourth-year journalism and political science student from Alpharetta, Georgia, serves as the Media Relations fellow. In addition to the PAC certificate, Englund is completing her certificate in personal and organizational leadership through the Terry College of Business’s Institute for Leadership Advancement. Englund also serves as a Grady Ambassador and is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Englund spent her summer interning in Washington, D.C. through the Grady DC field study program. Englund worked as a federal government relations intern at The Home Depot.

“My summer in Washington, D.C. solidified my decision to pursue a career in public affairs, and this fellowship gives me the unique opportunity to continue developing my PAC skills during the school year. I have a great deal of appreciation for Professor Watson and the PAC program for the doors that have opened since I applied during my sophomore year, and I look forward to enhancing the PAC experience for current and future students,” said Englund. 

Anna Womack, a fourth-year student from Cartersville, Georgia, serves as the Social and Digital Media fellow. In addition to PAC, Womack is pursuing a degree in public relations and a minor in communications studies, as well as a certificate in personal and organizational leadership. This summer, Womack worked as a leadership communications intern at UPS in Atlanta and continues to be a UPS, NOW brand ambassador on campus. Womack acts as the Director of Training and Development for Talking Dog Agency and DEI and Outreach Committee Head for PRSSA. Womack is a Grady Ambassador and member of Alpha Chi Omega.

“I am beyond honored to serve as a fellow for the PAC program, which has invested so much into my college and future career. I am excited to take on the next couple semesters,” said Womack.

Author: Gracie Englund,