SPIA’s marketing and communications director among 40 under 40

By: Shelby Steuart

Caroline Paris Paczkowski, SPIA’s marketing and communications director, was recently named one of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Georgia’s inaugural 40 under 40.

Born to a family of passionate UGA fans, Caroline was the first member of the family to attend college here, majoring in political science.

After college she became a SPIA double dawg, earning her master’s of public administration (MPA). Although she once pictured herself entering the political sphere, Paczkowski felt drawn to other forms of public service, simultaneously feeling like her time in Athens wasn’t finished.

Paczkowski began in SPIA’s external affairs office after graduating. Knowing the professors and what they teach gave her the unique ability to be able to share the inside view with the outside world. She quickly moved up the ranks, becoming director within her first year.

One thing the average person may not expect about the position of marketing and communications director is how varied the job is.

“From my title, you might think I’m just sitting in my office, organizing from behind the scenes, but on any given day you can see me directing a photo shoot, leading events, or overseeing video production.” Paczkowski added, “Every day is different, it’s never boring.”

Brought to Athens by the university, Paczkowski stayed for the community around it.“I love the small town vibe and culture of Athens. It’s a really tight-knit, service-oriented, fun community,” she explained.

While the board at PRSA Georgia is recognizing Paczkowski for her work at SPIA, they also recognize her volunteer and community contributions, citing her participation in the Junior League of Athens, LEAD Athens, and TEDx advisory council as setting her apart from other finalists.

Paczkowski mentioned that this award has revitalized both her professional work and her volunteer projects. She looks forward to continuing her efforts both in the community and in the office.

“Working in marketing at SPIA isn’t like selling a product. I get to help people realize their dreams and invest in themselves through earning a degree at SPIA. You can’t lie and you have to live up to their expectations.” Paczkowski concluded, “It’s a really rewarding challenge.”