Kaye D. Sweetser, Ph.D., APR is an associate professor of public relations at University of Georgia‘s Grady College in Athens, Ga. Kaye’s research focuses on social media. Sometimes she’s looking at it as a political communication tool from a PR perspective, and other times she’s investigating how public relations practitioners use social media.
Prior to joining the Grady faculty at UGA in August 2006, Kaye was an assistant professor for 2 years at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication in Baton Rouge, La. At LSU she taught visual communication and graduate public relations courses.
She was a research fellow for the Society of New Communications Research from 2007-2008 and a teaching fellow in UGA’s Lilly Fellows program from 2007-2008. In 2011 Kaye was honored by the Richard B. Russell Undergraduate Teaching Award at UGA.
In 2010, she coached UGA’s student public relations campaign team in the Bateman Case Study Competition for PRSSA. It was her first time ever coaching a Bateman team. They won. Then the next year they won a PRSA Silver Anvil for the same campaign. It was awesome. She calls them “America’s PR Team.” She does things like that.
Kaye received her PhD from the University of Florida in mass communication.
Ah, but all that boring stuff is covered in her cv.
See, she’s more than just an academic. She’s a PR practitioner.
Kaye was credentialed as an accredited public relations practitioner by the Public Relations Society of America in 2006. She (along with a team of people much smarter than her) won PRSA’s prestigious Silver Anvil award for outstanding PR campaigns in 2007 (government crisis communications category).
When she’s not enjoying a rich life in academia, she can be found working from far corners of the globe — strike that, from the far corners of a cubical in the Pentagon — serving as a commissioned Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve where she currently supports the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Previously she sat on a working group for the U.S. Navy as an adviser to assist in setting policy and integration of social media for the service. She’s not quite sure how it happened, but she was named the 2009 junior reserve Public Affairs Officer of the Year in the Navy. Crazy. What do they do with junior award-winning officers? They send them to war. Not kidding. In 2011 she was battle-tested during a seven-month mobilization in 2011 to Afghanistan where she worked the news desk for the war.
Forget about all this scholarship and public relations practice experience though because Kaye is really defined by the things that make her happy. Mainly, her 2-lb yorkie (named Ali Gator in honor of her alma mater) and sailing. Those are the things she’d rather have a website about.