Five SPIA Grads Named to 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

SPIA is proud to announce that five alumni will be recognized this fall as recipients of the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 under 40 award. This award, given annually, recognizes successful young alumni who have shown a commitment to the University and made a significant impact in business, leadership, community, artistic, research, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors.

Congratulations to Caitlyn Cooper (AB ‘07), Matthew Crim (BS ‘05, AB ‘05), William “Billy” Kirkland III (AB ‘09), Ryan Prior (AB ’12, AB ’12), and Lucas Puente (AB ’10, BBA ’10). See below for more information about SPIA’s honorees.

For more information about the 40 under 40 program and to see the full list of honorees, visit www.alumni.uga.edu/40u40.


Caitlyn Cooper(AB ‘07)

City: Marietta, Georgia

Occupation: Partner, GMHC360  |  President, Caitlyn Cooper Consulting

Little known fact: “Most people don’t know that I am a trained forensic interviewer, and that I have conducted over 100 forensic interviews of children who were abused, sexually assaulted or witnessed a violent crime. I have provided expert court testimony in multiple cases that resulted in the conviction of a number of pedophiles and child abusers.”


Matthew Crim (BS ‘05, AB ‘05)

City: Athens, Georgia

Occupation: General Cardiologist, Piedmont Heart Institute  |  Assistant Professor of Medicine, Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership

Little known fact: “I love to eat. My travels through the Foundation Fellowship introduced me to the world, and then as now, so many of my most meaningful memories revolve around the meals I shared with others.”


William “Billy” Kirkland III (AB ‘09)

City: Washington, D.C.

Occupation: Special Assistant to the President & Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, The White House

Little known fact: “I’m an Eagle Scout; I spent two years in Oregon as a missionary for my church; and I was an Oconee County substitute teacher while at UGA.”


Ryan Prior (AB ’12, AB ’12)

City: Atlanta, Georgia

Occupation: Cross-Platform Associate Producer, CNN

Little known fact: “Last year, I interviewed the top 50 entrepreneurs in the world with founders under 26 on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.”


Lucas Puente (AB ’10, BBA ’10)

City: San Francisco, California

Occupation: Lead Economist, Thumbtack

Little known fact: “I am a Big Brother in the Big Brothers / Big Sisters program, and I am involved with the San Francisco Bike Coalition to promote a better environment in the city.”