Current Students

Lauren BaggettLauren Baggett is a first-year journalism HMJ student who also works as a graduate assistant with the New Media Institute. She earned her B.A. in magazine journalism from the University of Georgia in 2009 and then worked in sales and marketing in the Athens area. Her interest in health and wellness issues, specifically concerning mental wellness and nutrition, motivated her return to journalism.

Leigh BeesonLeigh Beeson is a first-year student from Martinez, Ga. She has a bachelor's degree in communications with a focus in journalism. Leigh was the editor-in-chief of the university newspaper at Augusta University and freelanced as a copy editor after graduating in 2014. She hopes to pair her love of writing with her love of animals in the future.

Elizabeth FiteElizabeth Fite is a first-year graduate student and graduate assistant in the office of the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. She graduated from Auburn University in 2012 with bachelor's degrees in journalism and English literature and a minor in political science. She is an Athens native and avid equestrian. As an HMJ student, she is especially interested in women's health, nutrition and veterinary medicine.

Ruobing HanRuobing Han is a second-year graduate student who earned her B.A. in communication from Wuhan University in 2014. Coming from China, Ruobing is especially interested in economic health disparities and in differences between the health care systems of China and the U.S. Ruobing is writing her master's thesis about why some young parents hesitate to immunize their children, and after graduation she hopes to write about science in two languages and boost science literacy.

Erica HensleyErica Hensley is a first-year HMJ graduate student who earned a double B.A. from the University of Southern California, where she studied print journalism and political science. She hopes to pursue an editorial career and to specialize in mental health issues. She has interned for Atlanta's Creative Loafing and for Turner Broadcasting, managed an indie bookstore, and worked as a freelance copy editor. She is currently a research reporter for the UGA News Service.

Christina KirchnerChristina Kirchner is a first-year graduate student who holds a BA in journalism and German from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Although she interned for the National Journalism Center and has contributed to print and digital publications, her interest in HMJ grew out of experiences as an admissions representative in a hospital emergency department. She realized that most people know little about health insurance and how powerfully it affects their lives, and one of her goals as a journalist is to change this.

Sandra McGillSandra McGill is a first-year graduate student and the managing editor of the Aesculapian, UGA's veterinary school alumni magazine. She holds bachelor's degrees in biology (Clayton State University, 2005) and journalism (Georgia State University, 2014). She's done everything from writing proclamations for the Atlanta City Council to injecting nematode worms at Tennessee's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and as an HMJ student she looks forward to honing her health writing and multimedia skills.

Meera NaqviMeera Naqvi graduated from the University of Georgia in 2010 with a B.A. in Philosophy. She is active in the Athens community as a volunteer for organizations helping women, children and families; she is also a certified yoga instructor who teaches classes locally. As a journalist she plans to focus on issues of public health and social justice.

Lauren SchumackerLauren Schumacker is a Chicago-based freelancer who mainly covers food and cocktails. As a graduate student, she created test-kitchen features for the Athens Banner-Herald and and wrote a column about sustainable agriculture and healthy eating for The Flagpole. Her recent work can be found in Sauce Magazine and on Before coming to UGA, Lauren graduated from St. Louis University with a B.S. in occupational science, a minor in history and a certificate in interprofessional education. In 2014, she earned a certificate in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu (Chicago). While in culinary school she worked for Chicago-based nonprofit Purple Asparagus and became passionate about increasing food literacy and education, particularly in urban environments. (December 2015)


The Grady Journal

What happens when a medical school opens a new campus within a major state university? What if that state university is the flagship institution for a state in desperate need of more medical professionals?

From the dean down through the first students, from a temporary location into a brand new campus, the new MCG-UGA Medical Partnership will affect all aspects of life in Athens - the students, the faculty, the administration, the hospitals and the residents.

Through a series of documentaries, students in the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Health and Medical Journalism program are exposing what the new school will mean to the community and the state.

Student Portfolio Archive >