News & Features, October 2021, Previous Issues

SAU class meets in the governor’s office

Two Saint Augustine’s University students experienced the unique opportunity to have class in Governor Roy Cooper’s office at the State Capitol last week.

The class was part of COMM 313, Introduction to Public Relations class, taught by Zachary Wineburg. Wineburg is an adjunct professor in the Media Communications Department.

The class was hosted by Sadie Weiner, the governor’s director of external affairs. Weiner also happens to be Wineburg’s wife.

COMM 313 explores communications techniques and ways to build mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its public. Wineburg explained that holding a class in the Capitol was a way to “provide students with the opportunity to hear from people in the roles that they one day may want to be in themselves.”

The two students in the class are Brandon Gray and Jarret Jiles, both communication majors. The topics they discussed with Weiner included how she manages the communications team, the day-to-day activities of her office, the responsibilities of working in the Governor’s press office, crisis communications and the challenges of operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Weiner also explained how the team utilizes social media.

For New York native Jarret Jiles, being in a State Capitol building was a first and he described the occasion as a “privilege.” Jiles said he was impressed by all of the historic paraphernalia on the building’s walls.

Gray said he found it interesting to learn about the logistics of what it takes to get information out to the community and to the media. The class helped him realize the necessity for having multiple workers involved in communication, Gray added. 

— Shappelle Marshall

Sadie Weiner of the governor’s office

L-R: Jarrett Jiles, Zachary Wineburg, Brandon Gray