Professor Joseph Watson, Jr., talks with some students about the Public Affairs Communications program. (Photo supplied and taken prior to COVID-19.)
Public Affairs Communications program welcomes 2021 cohort
The Public Affairs Communications (PAC) program has announced its 2021 Public Affairs Professional Certificate cohort. This year, 24 students were accepted into the program, along with students accepted into SPIA’s Applied Politics program.
As a result of strong and sustained interest in the certificate program, the cap on the number of students admitted to the program was increased this year. The increase in this cap will allow more students than ever to prepare for careers in public affairs.
“I am excited to see the continued strong interest that students have in our first-in-the-nation program and in exploring careers in public affairs,” said Joseph Watson, Jr., Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor of Public Affairs Communications. “At a time when partisanship and polarization grip so many of our political institutions, I am encouraged to see so many students commit themselves to a program that is rooted in civility and constructive discourse to solve the problems confronting our nation and state.”
The PAC program and Tieger fellowship are the product of the vision and funding provided by Grady College alumna and veteran PAC practitioner Carolyn Caudell Tieger.
Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, recruitment efforts were not deterred. Tieger Fellows Melissa Hevener, Sarah Geary and Hannah Payne worked to promote the program through social and digital media, as well as virtual events that drew in a record number of interested students.
As the first undergraduate program of its kind in the nation, the PAC program offers students a unique opportunity to develop a focused skill set in strategic communications. Through coursework and experiential learning offered by the program, students in the 2021 cohort will be trained in educating, shaping or changing public opinion on public policy, legislation, political candidates or issues.