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.

Sydney Devine Sydney Devine is a second-year student who graduated from Valdosta State University in May 2014 with a B.A. in English and a concentration in literature. Her love for writing brought her to journalism, and her experience growing up with parents in medical fields sparked in interest in health. She currently holds a graduate assistantship at UGA's Public Affairs News Service, where she works as a research reporter. She also worked as an intern on the WebMD News Team during the summer, after completing her first year as a graduate student. As an HMJ student, Sydney plans to become a more experience writer who is savvy about current health issues.

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.

Aaron HaleAaron Hale is a second-year graduate journalism student and the senior reporter for UGA's faculty/staff newspaper Columns. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004 and subsequently worked for The Naples Daily News in Naples, Fla., and The Times, of Gainesville, Ga., before coming to work at UGA.

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.

Lindsey JohnstonLindsey Johnston is a second-year graduate student aiming for a career that allows her to pursue her love for writing and travel. At UGA, she develops web content and social media campaigns for the Georgia Sea Grant Program. In 2014, she graduated from Clemson University with a B.A in English writing and publication studies and communication studies.

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.

Chris McGeeChris McGee is a second-year graduate student in the HMJ program. In 2014, he graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in film and video, with a minor in English. His experience at an inner-city high school in Atlanta gave him experience mentoring and tutoring disadvantaged Latino youth. This sparked his interest in researching and reporting on social determinants of health in low-income communities.

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 second-year graduate student and aspiring food writer. In 2013, she graduated with a B. S. in occupational science, a minor in history and a certificate in interprofessional education from Saint Louis University. She also holds a certificate in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu (Chicago), which she earned in 2014. While in culinary school she worked for Chicago-based nonprofit Purple Asparagus and is passionate about increasing food literacy and education, particularly in urban environments. Over the summer, she worked at Sauce Magazine, a food and lifestyle publication in St. Louis, primarily reporting on restaurant openings and closings and culinary events in the metro area.


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 >