Rachael Mierzwa’s selection to serve as practitioner-in-residence by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication for the first AdPR NYC summer program introduced students to real world advertising and public relations practice in our nation’s largest city. Mierzwa, senior director and North American digital strategy lead at APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs and strategic communication consultancy, instructed the course that accompanies AdPR NYC students’ full-time internships.
“The class this summer focused on two things: (1) exposing students to the many possibilities of working in PR and comms in NYC, and (2) understanding what it means to work in PR and comms in today’s environment that demands integrated approaches and issues management at levels not previously seen,” said Mierzwa. “During the class we heard from guest speakers who work in both small and large agencies, in-house and specialists in areas like data science.”
“When I first conceived of developing the AdPR NYC program, Rachael immediately came to mind as the ideal instructor for it given her substantial experience in a leading role at a New York agency,” said professor Joseph Watson, Jr., Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor of Public Affairs Communications. “The Practitioner-in-Residence is intended to bring real world experience to AdPR NYC students and Rachael in her class has done so exceptionally and exceeded our expectations in delivering great practical instruction to our students.”
Mierzwa leads APCO’s U.S. digital strategy team comprised of 40+ strategists and co-leads the global digital strategy team where she is responsible for team growth and direction, recruitment and retention, as well as innovation and thought leadership. Prior to this, she served as senior communications associate at Vanguard Communications in Washington, DC. Mierzwa’s success on numerous campaigns was recognized by her inclusion in PR Week Hall of Femme’s Woman to Watch 2019.
Mierzwa has also been a visiting practitioner for the College’s Public Affairs Communications program and assisted AdPR NYC students both inside and outside the classroom to navigate living in New York City and in providing invaluable advice as they begin their careers by sharing her expert instruction and valuable experience in the field.
Author: Jenna Monnin