Kaye D. Sweetser, Ph.D., APR+M, Fellow PRSA is a professor of public relations in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University. She joined the JMS faculty in summer 2014, jumping right in to teach the summer session of the school’s master’s program for military public affairs officers. She’s like that. She gets things done.
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.
Before moving the best coast, Kaye was a tenured associate professor at the Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. She worked at UGA for 8 football seasons. She means years. She was at UGA from 2006 – 2014, taught a host of PR courses and got to work with some great graduates students. Continuing on that way back machine, before UGA, Kaye was an assistant professor for 2 years at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At LSU she taught visual communication and graduate public relations courses. Do you see an SEC theme here?
In 2020, Kaye joined the national board for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Kaye 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. She served on the Universal Accreditation Board from 2013-2013 as the chair of its Research Work Group.
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. Go Gators.
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 an island in the Pacific — serving as a commissioned Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve where she currently supports the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. 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. She was working on the news desk for NATO as a spokesman for the war when the SEALS delivered the easiest-to-pitch news story of the century when they killed Osama bin Laden. #truestory
She was inducted into the prestigious Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows in 2017. Having reached the pinnacle of her career, she said she was doing awesome things and planned to spend more time surfing. Just as she made that grand proclamation she signed on to two more research projects, so, yeah, no one believes she’s slowing down this train of awesome. Can’t stop. Won’t Stop.
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), surfing and sailing. Those are the things she’d rather have a website about.
And while I know after reading this you’re super smitten with Kaye, she’s taken. She married the equally (well, almost equally) accomplished Rear Admiral Charlie Brown, APR+M. He kept his family name after the wedding. Apparently Charlie Brown did not want to become Charlie Sweetser.
Mahalo for reading.