Carla is in her 18th year at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) having served in various roles in the Office of University Relations, including public information officer, crisis communications, internal communications, institutional events, employee engagement, and the Strategic Marketing Committee that helped to develop UAF’s brand strategy.
Originally from Springfield, Missouri, Carla grew up moving back and forth from the foothills of the Ozarks to gold mining claims in the western United States, but discovered true riches as a wife and mother in the Golden Heart City. Carla moved to Alaska to attend college with her mother, Shirley McCauley. In 1993 they graduated together, becoming the first in their family to earn degrees. While at UAF, she met her now husband, Rocky. They have two sons, Ryder, and AJ.
Prior to working at UAF, Carla held several positions at the local NBC affiliate including reporter, anchor, assignment editor and news director. The fast-paced, deadline-driven environment of a small newsroom provided a great foundation for public relations and marketing.
Carla joined as a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) member in 2003, and earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2011. She later served as co-chair for the PRSA Alaska accreditation committee and currently serves as board member and programming committee co-chair for Fairbanks. The APR experience proved to be worth the time and effort. Earning her accreditation gave her the opportunity to first analyze her role in the organization and gave her insight to bring better value to it. “When you fully understand your organization, you can provide strategic direction and leadership from wherever you sit,” she said.
Carla enjoys working with the board helping to advance the work we do across Alaska. Working with colleagues outside of Fairbanks helps to strengthen our local programming, accreditation offerings, and other projects we take on as a chapter. She says many things have changed over the course of her career in terms of the tools we use, how best to get messaging out and build advocacy, but the basic tenants remain. Carla is honored to have had the privilege to put her skills to work in public relations for higher education.
About the #MeetPRSA feature: The diversity, membership and board development committees have joined forces to periodically feature PRSA Alaska Chapter members and volunteers in an effort to highlight the strengths and expertise of members.