#GradyGrit: Meet Myan Patel

Editor’s Note: #GradyGrit is a new series of profiles of Grady College students who show determination, leadership and outreach to the community. Search “Grady Grit” on the Grady College website for additional profiles. 

Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee 

Year: Junior 

Degree: Journalism major and Sports Media Certificate 

Activities and Involvement: The Red & Black, WUOG, Grady Ambassadors, Grady Sports, formerly SGA and the Indian Cultural Exchange  

How has Grady influenced your time at UGA?  

MP: Grady has been one the best parts of being here at UGA. It has taught me invaluable lessons both in and out of the classroom. Grady has also provided a large amount of opportunities to learn, listen and network with some of the most successful individuals in the fields of journalism and mass communication. At Grady, your professors have been out in the field, maybe they still are, doing the exact things they’re teaching you about. You know what they’re instilling in you is real and valuable information, but I think best of all, Grady has become my family. When I entered the college, I knew just a handful of people. Now, it’s impossible to walk through the confusing hallways of the journalism building without seeing at least five people I know. It would be tough to envision my time thus far at UGA without Grady. 

What is your most memorable Grady experience?   

MP: So far, my most memorable Grady experience has been through Grady Sports. It was a trip to Tiger, Georgia, to broadcast the 2A football state semifinals last fall. It had a mix of everything — weird, crazy, unique, fun — and is an experience I, and everyone else that went, will never forget.   

What has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?  

MP: I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee, and when I came to UGA, I knew about seven others that either came from my high school with me or previously graduated from my high school and were already at UGA. So I’d say there have been two things that made a big impact on me. One is living in a high rise my freshman year and meeting some great people who I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with/befriended if it weren’t for the old, original Russell Hall. I was lucky to find a great group of friends that year and I still live with/next to them today.  Then, I applied to Grady Sports. Luckily, I got into the program, and it is most definitely the best thing that’s happened to me while I’ve been here at UGA. Sports media and sports broadcasting is a passion of mine, so to go to classes for it? I couldn’t ask for more. But as great as the classes are, the friends I have made through Grady Sports are some of the best people I have ever met. From a group of strangers to a nearly inseparable group, we have become so close. Grady Sports, like Grady College, has such a familial feel, and it makes this huge place of 30,000+ feel small and like home.  

What is your best advice for a student taking their first class at Grady College? 

MP: Good luck! If you think it’ll be an ordinary layout where you just go to class, have homework, tests and that’s it … you’re in for a wakeup call. While that may sound scary or intimidating, the assignments you work on in your Grady classes are hands-on. You’re out in the field getting a glimpse at how the professional world works. You learn core concepts in the classroom and then immediately go out and put them to work. Meet your classmates and make friends with them. Trust me, you’ll end up having a lot of your classes together with the same group. Meet your professors and pick their brain! They can give invaluable advice and just want to help you succeed.  

Myan Patel reports outside the classroom for his Sports Media Certificate.

What motivates you? 

MP: There is constantly room to improve. I want to work hard and be the best I can be. It doesn’t matter what time it is, but there are always things I can be doing to get better. I set goals for myself and want to achieve them, and there’s no choice but to work toward them.  

Last show/favorite show you binge watched? 

MP: That’s tough. I love Suits. Hands down it’s one of my favorite shows ever. The quickest show I ever completely binge watched was Entourage. I probably finished the entire show in 3 weeks a few summers ago. I was hooked. The show I finished most recently was New Girl. It’s so good and always makes me laugh.  

Favorite quote? 

MP: I am a huge New York Yankees fan, and Derek Jeter is one of my all-time favorite baseball players. I love this quote by him: “There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do — and I believe that.”  

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

MP: Hmm, I’m not really sure to be honest. Maybe I seem shy at first? I like to think I’m pretty outgoing, but sometimes I can be quiet if I don’t know you.  

Favorite Athens restaurant? 

MP: Another tough one. It depends on if I’m craving anything specific. I really like La Fiesta, a Mexican restaurant on College Station Road. Taqueria Tsunami downtown is another favorite of mine. Clocked downtown is high up on the list and so was Transmet before they left. 

Create your own question to answer. What’s your go-to study spot? 

MP: If I really need to hunker down and focus, I grab a cubicle on the east wing of the third floor at the MLC and go to work. I also like the Starbucks on Alps Road to study or get homework done.  

‘CoveringPovertyToolkit.com’ re-launches as journalism resource for covering community poverty issues

A website packed with resources, curated content and checklists for journalists has been redesigned and relaunched by Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

CoveringPovertyToolkit.com is an online directory of content related to writing and reporting about poverty in communities, as a service to journalists nationwide.  A weekly newsletter is also generated from the website highlighting new content.

The site, directed by Diane Murray, Grady’s director of alumni relations and outreach, and administered by Carolyn Crist, was created to answer a need in the industry. According to Murray, poverty is intertwined with so many topics covered by media outlets—education, health, crime— but due to shrinking staffs, there are few journalists who specialize in issues of poverty.

“Very few outlets have a poverty beat,” Murray said, “but, covering poverty applies to everyone in journalism.”

The original Covering Poverty website was created in 2009 by Murray; Crist, who was then a student; and John Greenman, professor of journalism, who retired in 2015. The relaunch of CoveringPovertyTookit.com, which has returned under a new domain name after a hiatus of about a year, was designed and is maintained by Crist.

“The website is a quick, weekly check-in where journalists from all beats can find a way to report on poverty,” Crist said, summing up the site.

Murray agrees: “When people have limited time and money to do things, I think it provides a good service.”

The website is financially supported through a renewing grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting children, families and communities.

“Covering Poverty is a great resource for journalists because it offers ideas in a thoughtful, practical way.” — Jaclyn Cosgrove, reporter for the Los Angeles Times

Through the years, the website has benefited journalists from around the country including Jaclyn Cosgrove, a metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who has used the site in the past.

“Covering Poverty is a great resource for journalists because it offers ideas in a thoughtful, practical way,” Cosgrove said. For reporters new to the topic, it provides a host of ideas to get started. For veterans, Covering Poverty will help you find ideas or angles that you haven’t explored or maybe missed in the hectic world of day-to-day beat reporting.”

The website features easy-to-scan, bulleted content including:

  • Tutorials: eleven topics including education, politics and race to name a few highlight statistics and step-by-step approaches for story ideas in each chapter.
  • Blog: updated regularly, this blog features info-graphics and statistics on issues related to poverty
  • Resources: includes links to key websites and statistics for journalists, tipsheets, case studies and more.

Journalists and other interested citizens are invited to subscribe to the Covering Poverty newsletter, or to view the September 19, 2018, issue of Covering Poverty.


Grady College announces 2018-2019 Grady Ambassadors

Grady College is pleased to welcome its 14th class of Grady Ambassadors, student leaders who present a positive and lasting image of Grady. These positions of service and leadership reflect academic dedication and Grady pride.

Under the leadership of Karen Andrews (ABJ’03, MA ’11), Grady College director of special events and student leadership, the ambassadors lead tours, interact with alumni and potential donors, special guests and prospective Grady College families.

The 2018- 2019 Grady Ambassadors are:


Jazmin Carswell, Macon, GA
Ellie Harding, Marietta, GA
Anna Kate Newall, Alpharetta, GA
Dalena Nguyen , Lilburn, GA
John Wesley, Griffin, GA


Cassidy Chakroun, Johns Creek, GA
Tony Phan, Morrow, GA
Samuel Tingle, Knoxville, TN


Ellie Cash, Roswell GA
Lauren Diaz, Lawrenceville, GA
Mae Eldahshoury, Alpharetta, GA
Jillyan Gillard, McDonough, GA
Vira Halim, Roswell, GA
Cat Hendrick, Orange County, CA
Myan Patel, Knoxville, TN
Maddie Ray, Columbus, GA
Caitlyn Richtman, Effingham, GA
Casey Rose, Snellville, GA
Mallory Thomas, Valparaiso, IN
Erin Valle, Kennesaw, GA

Public Relations

Mereille Bishop, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
Sehar Ebrahim, Tucker, GA
Kera Felton, Montezuma, GA
Ellie Fields, Cartersville, GA
Marcella Genut, Marietta, GA
Ellie Holt, Albany, GA
Jillian Jones, Monroe, GA
Maya Jones, Cartersville, GA

Grady College faculty, and graduate students participate at 2018 AEJMC conference

Faculty and graduate students from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will be presenting research findings, participating in panels and receiving awards at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference Aug. 5-9, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

The AEJMC is an educational association of journalism and mass communication educators, students and media professionals.

Below is the Grady College faculty and graduate students who are participating at this year’s conference.

Sunday, Aug. 5

3:30 p.m.— Jonathan Peters. Session: Key Developments in Communication Law, 2017-2018. Moderating/Presiding.

Monday, Aug. 6

10–11:30 a.m.— Lucinda Austin, Brooke Liu, Seoyeon Kim and Yan Jin. Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk Division Scholar-to-Scholar Session. Presenting paper “Exploring Differences in Crisis Literacy and Efficacy on Behavioral Responses During Infectious Disease Outbreaks.”

10-11:30 a.m.— Ruoyu Sun and Juan Meng. Presenting paper “The impact of source credibility and risk attitude on individuals’ risk perception toward GM foods: Comparing young millennials in the U.S. and China.”

10-11:30 a.m.— Hanyoung KimYen-I Lee, and Jeong-Yeob Han. Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk Division Scholar-to-Scholar Session. Presenting paper “Hope in the Depths of Despair: Theorizing about Hope in the Fear Appeal Context.” 

1:30-3:00 p.m.— Sarah Grizzle will serve on a research panel, entitled “Internet Behaving Badly: Evaluating Trolls, Harassment, and Online Antagonisms in the Social Media Landscape.”

3:15-4:45 p.m. — *María E. Len-Ríos, and Moy, P. Presenting paper “The effects of Latino cultural identity and media use on political engagement and vote choice in election 2016. Paper to be presented to the Minorities and Communication Division.

5–6:30 p.m.— Victoria Knight, Ivanka Pjesivac, and Micheal Cacciatore. Presenting paper “Otherization of Africa: How American media framed people with HIV/AIDS in Africa from 1987 to 2017.”

5-6:30p.m.— Ryan Kor and Bartosz Wojdynski. Presenting paper “Overloaded: The Impact of Visual Density on Advertising Recognition within Sponsored News Articles.”

*Third place paper, Latino/Latin American Communication Research Award

Tuesday, Aug. 7

8:15-9:45 a.m.— María E. Len-Ríos. Moderator, Research at the Intersection of Public Relations and Health: Paths for Publishing and Research Opportunities

10 a.m.— Karen Russell. Elected Standing Committee on Research Cornerstone Panel. Panelist on “Manuscript Reviews: Is This the Best We Can Do?”

11:45 – 1:15 p.m.—  Nate Evans. Panelist on the professional freedom and responsibility panel entitled, “Should Digital Partnerships Be Treated Differently Than Traditional Media Buys? The Ethically Blurred Lines & Legal Implications of Native Advertising & Influencer Marketing.”

1:30-3:00 p.m.— Michael Cacciatore and Sara Yeo. Panelist on the JMCQ Special Issue Research Panel Session on Social Media and Political Campaigning Around the World. Will present research on “Is Facebook making us dumber? Exploring social media use as a predictor of political knowledge.”

3:15-4:45 p.m.— Itai Himelboim and Ann HollifieldCommunication Theory and Methodology and Media Management, Economics and Entrepreneurship Divisions Teaching. Presiding during the panel session: Teaching Data Analytics.

5-6:30 p.m.— Yen-I Lee, Bartosz Wojdynski, Katherine Keib, Brittany Jefferson, Jennifer Malson, and Hyoyeun Jun. Scholar-to-Scholar Refereed Paper Poster Session. Presenting paper “All About the Visuals: Image Framing, Emoticons and Sharing Intention for Health News Posts on Facebook.”

5-6:30 p.m.— María E. Len-Ríos. Discussant, PR Division, Scholar-to-Scholar Refereed Paper Poster Session.

6:45 p.m.— Jonathan Peters will preside as the division’s chair of professional freedom and responsibility during the Law & Policy business meeting.

6-8:00 p.m.— Grady College Alumni Reception at Cuba Libre

Wednesday, Aug. 8

12:15-1:30 p.m.— María E. Len-Ríos. Invited Panelist, Communication Science, Health, Environment and Risk Division. Topic: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Science and Health Communication.

12:15-1:30p.m.— Bart Wojdynski will serve as discussant for a refereed research session titled, “The Cutting Edge of Communication Technologies.”

12:15-1:30 p.m.— David Isa and Itai Himelboim. Discussant, Scholar-to-Scholar Referred Paper Poster Sessions. Presenting their co-authored paper “Campaign Strategies on Twitter in 2016 U.S. Presidential Election: Real-time Event, Negativity, and Online Engagement.”

3:30- 5:00 p.m.— Janice Hume will moderate a teaching session titled, “Remembering, Forgetting and Nostalgizing 1968: The Year that Rocked Our World.”

Thursday, Aug 9

9:15-10:45 a.m.— Itai Himelboim. Panelist on the Communication Technology and Newspaper and Online News Divisions Teaching Panel Session. Topic: Practical, Theoretical and Ethical Challenges and Strategies of Teaching Digital Analytics.

11:00-12:30 a.m— Bart Wojdynski. Panelist on a teaching panel titled, “Teaching Code: Is it Still Relevant?”

12:45-2:15 p.m.— Ann Hollifield. Panelist on a professional freedom and responsibility panel titled, “Working Conditions for Women in Digital Workplaces.”

12:45 p.m.— Jonathan Peters. Presenting paper “Seeking clarity: European press rights at peaceful assemblies.”


GSPA Spring workshop and awards

Join GSPA and its members from across the state in celebrating the best in high school journalism and the 90th anniversary of the GSPA at the 2018 GSPA Spring Awards.The event will be held at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel on Tuesday, April 17.

This year’s event combines favorite elements from awards celebrations over the years.  It will begin with a morning conference focused on professional development from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and will conclude with a banquet-style awards luncheon, catered by The Georgia Center, starting at noon. Professional dress is suggested.

Please make your reservations by March 27. We hope you’ll join us for this special day honoring all of your hard work and a major milestone for GSPA!

Registration will be open from Feb. 1 to March 27. Attendance is free for advisers and $25 per student.

Grady College holds memorial tribute to Don Carter, commemorates Endowment for Journalism Excellence

Grady College faculty, alumni and friends celebrated a memorial tribute to alumnus Don Carter (ABJ ’38) and commemorated the Don E. Carter and Carolyn McKenzie Carter Endowment for Journalism Excellence Oct. 12, 2017, in the Peyton Anderson Forum.

“Today we are privileged to remember Don and gather with people who will testify to his hope for journalism and for the students who will follow him at Grady College,” said Dean Charles Davis.

(l.-rt.) Kent Middleton and Terry Readdick reminisce about their friend, Don Carter.

Kent Middleton, professor emeritus of journalism and friend of the Carters, spoke about Don’s hopes for journalism’s enduring values.

“For Don, excellent journalism was simple. It was truthful, timely information delivered by smart, curious reporters in clear sentences,” said Middleton. “He reminded students and board members regularly about the importance of getting the story right, naming sources and explaining the importance of journalism to the community.”

Continued Middleton: “Don trusted the Grady College to employ his and Carolyn’s gifts to perpetuate factual, ethical and fair journalism. And, of course, there’s never been a time when the public has needed that kind of journalism more.”

Janice Hume shares the vision and plans for the Carter Endowment for Journalism Excellence.

Janice Hume, head of the Department of Journalism and Carolyn McKenzie Carter and Don E. Carter Chair for Journalism Excellence, discussed the vision and plans for the Endowment for Journalism Excellence.

“Our mission is to use this transformative gift to pass those values along to our students and to strengthen our industries,” Hume said.

The Carter gifts have been used to establish a course in journalism credibility, fund faculty research, support an intern at The Brunswick News—Don Carter’s hometown newspaper, launch a “Best Summer Stories” student contest, fund student travel for training and networking, and help to send students to cover the Paralympic Games in Rio, with much more to come, she said.

Terry Readdick, another longtime friend of the Carters, shared some of his fondest memories that illustrated the couple’s shared sense of humor and zest for life.

“(Don) and Carolyn loved life, more than anybody I think I’ve ever met,” Readdick said. “I discovered they traveled to every continent. They traveled to all but a handful of countries…they had so many friends and they did so many things.”

Among those in attendance at the memorial tribute were members of the Grady Board of Trust. Member Jim Zachary devoted a column in the Oct. 15 issue of The Valdosta Daily times to Carter, which he titled “Walking in the shadow of journalism greatness“. The piece is published here with permission.

Don Carter was a truth teller.

He died at the age of 99 and was still telling the truth right up until his death.

He was a journalist.

In fact, Carter was a journalist’s journalist.

At the Grady Board of Trust meeting held on the campus of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia Thursday, we listened to stories about Carter and his love of Grady and for journalism.

A Grady grad, Carter found himself at The Atlanta Journal in the early 1940s and that is how he found the other love of his life, Carolyn McKenzie, who competed with him for coverage while she was reporting for the Atlanta Constitution.

Their rivalry was more than friendly, it became a lifelong love story, and they were married for more than 60 years.

Don was always — and first and foremost — a reporter.

By the end of his illustrious newspaper career, he was vice president of news for Knight-Ridder.

For many years, he sat on the board of directors of The Red & Black newspaper that serves the University of Georgia campus.

As chairman of the board that Carter shaped for so many years, it is impossible not to feel the weight of his shadow and to be humbled by it.

Don Carter is newspaper royalty.

When he spoke, people listened.

Carter believed in the importance of factual and unbiased reporting.

He thought it was absolutely essential that hard news reporting and editorials be clearly separated.

He died at his beloved home on Sea Island and left behind an incredible legacy and large endowment for Grady College and the educating of future journalists.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution quoted President Jimmy Carter at the time of Don Carter’s death, “Rosalynn and I mourn the loss of my cousin and lifelong friend Don Carter. Don and I grew up together in Plains, and he supported me throughout my political career. He will be remembered not only as a superb journalist and newspaper executive, but as an advocate for the important role that journalists play in our democracy.”

Newspapers have a rich tradition as the Fourth Estate, providing a check on government while serving as a public watchdog.

That important role in democracy depends on journalistic integrity.

Journalistic integrity depends on accuracy in reporting, naming sources, correcting mistakes and clearly distinguishing between news and editorials.

Don Carter believed news reporting was about telling readers who, what, when, where, why and sometimes how and not about telling readers what to think.

Opinions are for opinion pages.

News pages are for news — for truth telling — the thing that Don Carter did best.

See more photos from the tribute on the UGA Grady Flickr account.

Three journalism students awarded for ‘Best Summer Stories’

For standout reporting during their summer internships, three Grady College journalism students have been named winners of the 2017 “Best Summer Stories” contest.

Mauli Desai, Nathan Harris and McGee Nall each will be awarded a $250 prize.

“Grady Journalism students really shine during their summer internships,” said Janice Hume, head of the Department of Journalism. “Their bosses rave about their talent, smarts and work ethic. Mauli, McGee and Nathan did exemplary work and came out on top in a tough competition this year. We are proud of them.”

Desai spent the summer at The UB Post newspaper in Mongolia. She authored pieces on topics ranging from her experience with camel riding in the Gobi Desert to highlights of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar to a profile piece on a female Mongolian entrepreneur.

“The ability to write about a country, the people, the culture and their way of life is the greatest part about being a journalist,” Desai said. “It was such a thrilling and humbling experience. Also, this was a great way to learn about newsrooms, storytelling and journalism practices across the world.”

Harris covered Henry County for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reporting on issues such as a debate over a Confederate Flag, a school board rescinding an offer to a superintendent candidate and an examination of the new campus carry law using data journalism.

“Preparing to cover the county, I harked back to what I’ve learned from Grady classes about news gathering and government coverage,” said Harris. “I started by attending county commissioner and city council meetings to get a sense of what was happening in the county. I subscribed to small local papers and checked them regularly, subscribed to social media accounts and established contacts with city and county officials.

“I really enjoyed my internship at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, taking my skills from Grady and writing for a large metropolitan audience,” he added. “It was exciting, stressful and a bit scary, but thanks to Grady, I felt prepared.”

Writing for Runner’s World Magazine in Emmaus, Pennsylvania., Nall covered many sides of the sport. One of her stories documented the journey of an athlete who competed in the Ironman after recovering from a brain injury.

“Hearing inspiring tales of endurance and perseverance, especially through a sport I love so much, was an unforgettable experience,” Nall said. “My internship not only impacted me as a journalist, but as a person.”

This is the third year that the Journalism Department has held the contest.

Grady students recognized as 2017 Cox-SABEW Fellows

Six Grady College students were recognized in New York City during the fall conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) through a fellowship organized and sponsored by the college’s Cox Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.

The students recognized as Cox-SABEW Fellows for 2017 were: Denver Ellison, Lisa Fu, Zachary Hansen, Reann Huber, Mollie Simon and Alex Soderstrom. The conference was held at the City University of New York on October 12 and 13.

This Cox-SABEW Fellowship was created to honor students who have taken the initiative to engage in business journalism through class assignments, student media and professional internships, explained Dr. Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute. This year’s group marked the fifth year of the partnership with SABEW, which was created in 2013 and has included 20 students to date.

“I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity being selected as a Cox-SABEW Fellow has given me,” said Soderstrom. “After being introduced to business reporting during my summer internship at the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the SABEW conference has allowed me to delve even further into the world of business journalism.”

Fu, who interned at Fortune magazine, called the Fellowship “a fantastic opportunity for me to network, learn and to explore the field of business journalism with my peers.” Simon, who interned in business news at NPR, said the Fellowship extended her training in an important aspect of news. “Business journalism cuts across so many fields that I know it will touch any topic I have the opportunity to cover in the future,” she said.

In addition to attending the conference, the Cox-SABEW Fellows met with working reporters and editors in the newsrooms of Fortune magazine, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. They also networked with Grady alumni and supporters currently working in business news and other news media organizations.

Grady Sports Media student wins Associated Press Sports Editors Student Sports Journalism Contest

For her powerful stories chronicling the lives of athletes after paralyzing injuries and the integration of Georgia football, among others, rising senior Emily Giambalvo has won the inaugural Associated Press Sports Editors Student Sports Journalism Contest.

“Emily Giambalvo will forever stand as the first winner of the APSE Student Sports Journalism Contest, which reflects well on her and on Grady College and its program,” said Tommy Deas, president of the Associated Press Sports Editors. “Emily’s work was judged against quality entries from various schools across the country and found to be the best. APSE is happy to have given her the platform to receive recognition for her work.”

Each contest entry, reviewed by a group of eight judges, consisted of a feature, breaking news, enterprise, multimedia or video and a wild-card entry. Giambalvo’s winning portfolio included:

One of the judges, Reid Laymance, deputy sports editor at the Houston Chronicle, noted two things that stood out to him about Emily’s work.

“The story on the first African-American players at Georgia was very impressive,” Laymance wrote in an email. “First, it was a good idea, although one that most likely had been done before. But the writing and the organization of the story made it feel very fresh, even [though] I knew their tale. Also, the variety of sources both past and present gave it excellent texture. And while I was judging it primarily on writing, the photos that Emily had of the key figures gave it an extra special touch.

“I also thought the multi-media presentation on recruiting in the state of Georgia was fun, informative and easy to look at. Something all of us need to do more of,” he added.

“It is satisfying to be able to quickly pause and feel proud of some of the stories I’ve written in the last year, but the award also motivates me to continue to challenge myself as a writer and get better.”

–Emily Giambalvo

Giambalvo, who is currently interning at The Seattle Times, will receive a plaque and be recognized at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference in New Orleans June 26-29.

“Winning this award was incredibly exciting, and I am honored to be included in that group of student journalists,” Giambalvo said. “It is satisfying to be able to quickly pause and feel proud of some of the stories I’ve written in the last year, but the award also motivates me to continue to challenge myself as a writer and get better. There have been many editors and professors who have invested time into helping me grow as a journalist, so I hope this is gratifying for them as well.”

One of those professors is Vicki Michaelis, John Huland Carmical Chair in Sports Journalism & Society at Grady College and director of the Grady Sports Media program.

“The Associated Press Sports Editors awards are the gold standard in sports journalism,” said Michaelis. “We’re extremely proud of Emily for winning this, competing against the best of the nation’s best. It’s especially fitting that she was recognized for a portfolio of her work, because she strives for excellence in all she does and continually raises the bar.”

The Grady Sports Media program and the guidance of Michaelis and Welch Suggs, associate director of the program, have been essential to her development, according to Giambalvo. But it was her introduction to The Red & Black, the independent student media organization serving the UGA and Athens communities, which sparked in her an initial passion for journalism.

“I have been working at The Red & Black since the first week of my freshman year, and before that, I had never been introduced to journalism. I’m fairly confident I had never even said the word ‘journalism’ until I came to UGA,” Giambalvo joked. “The Red & Black has turned that kid, one whose hands shook when she interviewed someone for the first time, into someone who is embracing the joys and challenges of being a sports writer. I am indebted to the editors who invested in me, and I am endlessly grateful for the talented, hard-working friends who push me to get better every day.”

Rebecca Burns, publisher and editorial adviser at The Red & Black, described Giambalvo as “a tenacious reporter and thoughtful wordsmith.”

“All of us at The Red & Black are so proud of her and so pleased that we published her impressive body of work. But Emily’s achievement extends far beyond individual awards,” Burns said. “As a sports editor at The Red & Black, she has influenced, coached and mentored dozens of her fellow students. The Red & Black has covered Georgia sports since our first issue in 1893, and Emily adds to a legacy of powerhouse sports coverage.”