The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Big PIO on Campus

Public information officer Amanda Davis, who has been PIO at City College since 2005, handles most, if not all, questions and inquiries from the public, private and media organizations about the campus from her office in Rodda Hall North. Photo by ||Vincent Fernandez||[email protected]

Don’t be fooled by her diminutive size. She’s a petite professional who packs a powerful punch.

Standing at a self-described modest, but sassy, 5 feet even is City College’s public information officer, Amanda Davis, who handles the majority of incoming queries from the media and the public.

Like her vertical dimensions, her age, too, is a small numeral. At 29, Davis has grown accustomed to the responsibilities of the job she has now held for more than five years.

“When I came here at 24 years old, and all the people I’m working with have Ph.D.s and they’ve been working with community colleges for 20 years, it was very easy for me to feel like I wasn’t knowledgeable enough,” Davis says of her current position. “I had to remind myself that I’m knowledgeable about my field, which is public relations.”

Where her greenness could have been a downfall, hers is seen as a refreshing change on campus. As the youngest of the Los Rios Community College District PIOs, her youth is welcomed among her colleagues.

“She’s fun,” says Kristie West, Cosumnes College’s PIO, who has worked with Davis for the past five years. “It makes for great interaction and perspective.”

Reactions to her age took some adjusting, but adapting is something that has come easily to Davis. Raised by her single mother in a school system with little college preparedness education, Davis moved to Sacramento to attend Sacramento State University and funded her undergraduate education on her own.

“Everything came natural, and I was teacher’s pet,” says the Vallejo native of her communications classes.

Two months after her post-graduation hiring as an office manager at Ogilvy, she was promoted to account executive at the world-renowned agency for a crash course in PR. “That was really scary,” Davis says of her cold-calling and media pitch delivering duties.

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“I’m in the hot seat a little more here,” Davis says. “Interacting with the media has become a lot more fun for me. I like when the pressure is on.”

Her job is more than merely answering questions. Although her title implies all-knowing—“I wish,” she says wryly—her media experiences aren’t always as glamorous as one would expect.

Topics range from the current state of financial aid distribution to the transcript ordering process to neighbors’ complaints about school football games’ noise level. Her job has put her in the middle of a student’s family feud and phone calls from the New York Times regarding a student’s on-campus injury, to name a few messy situations she has had to wrangle.

“Her energy struck me immediately,” says Stephen Peithman, American River College’s PIO, on meeting Davis. “What impressed me is how fast she hit the ground running.”

It seems the only challenge Davis isn’t up to is a literal milestone. Although she recently completed her second half marathon, she is dubious of her ability to finish a full 26.2 miles.

“I don’t know if my little legs will carry me that far,” Davis says with a grin.

They’ve carried her this far, and she doesn’t plan on stopping. Next up for Davis is the completion of her master’s degree in communications at CSUS.

“There’s so many things that can crumble away,” Davis says, “but being educated is the one thing that will just never be taken from you. When you finish, and when you graduate, that’s all you.”

Make no mistake: she is tiny, but mighty. All her.

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