High School Discovery

High school students learn, hone skills at 2021 virtual Summer Media Academy at UGA

Thirty-four high school students from around the country studied media and completed specialized portfolio projects during the virtual 2021 Summer Media Academy at the University of Georgia.

The program, a partnership between the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and UGA Summer Academy, was divided into three weeks by subject: Journalism, June 14-18; Advertising and Public Relations, June 21-25; and Entertainment and Media Studies, June 28-July 2.

Hands-on learning was a focus of the Academy. Journalism participants wrote articles, made photo essays or produced podcasts for The Post-Covid Post digital publication. Participants in the ADPR Academy collaborated as a group to craft a campaign for a nonprofit organization. EMST participants wrote scripts for short films or designed a movie poster.  A showcase of their work is available at summermediaacademy.wordpress.com.

“This camp has allowed me to explore many different opportunities, and has also strengthened my initial skills,” said ADPR participant Jaidyn Mosby. “This organized camp helped me engage in public speaking and allowed me to show off my leadership qualities. I am extremely grateful for the educational opportunity that this camp provided me.”

Each course was designed and led by the following faculty and staff: Laurena Bernabo, assistant professor, EMST; Tom Cullen (MA ‘18, MFA ‘21), lecturer, ADPR; and Charlotte Norsworthy (AB ‘19, MA ‘20), instructor, journalism. Recent graduate Emily Minnick (AB ‘21) co-taught the EMST camp and Stephanie Moreno (ABJ ‘06, MA ‘20), scholastic outreach coordinator, assisted with all of the camps.

ADPR participants researched a client, the Georgia Innocence Project, and crafted a mini campaign during the 2021 virtual ADPR Summer Academy.

Alumni guest speakers and other professionals also shared advice and offered participants glimpses into the range of careers available in the industry.

Journalism guest speaker Tori McElhaney (AB ‘18), who covers the Atlanta Falcons for The Athletic, advised participants to gain skills in many areas and across platforms. “Being able to be multifaceted in your skill set is so important because you do so many different things and you are on so many different platforms,” she said. “There really is something for everyone.”

A conceptual design for the upcoming movie Blade features a black and smokey background with the Marvel Studios red and black logo at the top. The title Blade is in an angular, silver font. The starring actor’s name, Mahershala Ali, is listed in an outlined white font on the left. An image of the actor appears in the middle. The premiere date of “Coming in 2023” is included in the white outlined font on the right side of the poster.
This conceptual movie poster was designed by EMST participant Micah Robinson.

Other journalism speakers included Rebecca Burns, publisher of the Red and Black; Hillary Davis, New Voices advocacy and campaign organizer, Student Press Law Center; Carlo Finlay, assistant director of the Carmical Sports Media Institute; Clare Norins, director of the UGA First Amendment Law Clinic; Kelsey Russo (AB ‘19), Cleveland Cavaliers beat writer at The Athletic; and Becca Wright (AB ‘19), CNN photo editor and freelancer.

Speaking to the ADPR participants, Angela Alfano (ABJ ‘10), senior director of corporate communications at Major League Soccer, emphasized the importance of networking.

“As you’re building your career, getting into college and doing your first internships and classes, it’s never too early to create what I like to call your own executive team,” she said. “Building your executive team is so important and crucial to your personal success. What has really been so instrumental in part of my career is having a ton of mentors.”

This logo for the news website publication features a white square with a dark blue border. The words “The Post-Covid Post” are left-justified in a dark blue sans serif font with Summer 2021 below also in dark blue.
This logo for The Post-Covid Post news website was designed with input from the journalism camp participants.

Alfano continued: “The diversity of thought and the diverse backgrounds is something so important to have in mentors…to advise your career and your transition from high school as a free agent to college as a free agent to landing that first job.”

Additional ADPR speakers included Megan Bush and Anna Kate Newall (AB ‘20) of Marketwake; Anne Noland (ABJ ‘15), senior director of communications for the Miami Dolphins; Marquan Norris (AB ‘21), brand intern at Edelman; and Dayne Young (ABJ ‘11), public relations specialist at Grady College.

Deja White (ABJ ‘17), digital marketing specialist at WarnerMedia, advised EMST campers to get involved early on in their college years with industry-related activities.

“Try to get into at least one thing that you are passionate about each semester,” she said. “And get into one thing that stretches you a little bit—that’s outside of your comfort zone… take a deep breath and take it one year at a time.”

Other EMST guests were Dugan Bridges (ABJ ‘06), freelance director and producer; Neil Landau, associate professor and professional screenwriter; Booker T. Mattison, assistant professor and professional filmmaker; and Keith Wilson, lecturer and professional cinematographer.

Participants from all camps also had the opportunity to learn more about UGA and Grady College from advisers Helen Mahany and Brittney Minor.

Information about 2022 Summer Media Academy opportunities will be available in late fall at here on this page and at www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/youth/summer-academy.


See the work that summer camp participants completed in 2018 and 2019.

Journalism: June 14-18, 2021

The journalism field is evolving to encompass multiple platforms. In this course, participants will acquire some of the tools needed to become a multi-skilled journalist in this digital age. They will practice the art of interviewing, multimedia reporting, writing, editing and producing. They also will explore visual journalism and social media storytelling. The class will work together with the instructor to produce a news website. For more details and to register, visit  www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/youth/summer-academy/journalism.

Advertising and Public Relations: June 21-25, 2021

Want to join the ranks of the “Mad Men” or women? In the Advertising and Public Relations course, participants will learn how to become creative problem solvers, writers, decision-makers and persuasive communicators within traditional and new media. Students will study ways to reach target audiences and effectively communicate their messages to the general public. As a class, they will design an integrated campaign for a non-profit organization. For more details and to register, visit www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/youth/summer-academy/advertising-public-relations.

Entertainment and Media Studies: June 28 -July 2, 2021

Are you interested in careers in the film, television, radio, online, mobile and other new media industries? In this course, participants will be introduced to the exciting entertainment field and what it encompasses. They will gain valuable skills for conceiving what stories are worth telling while also gaining an understanding of the implications of visual storytelling in society. They will learn the basics of content production, from screenwriting to digital editing. Over the course of the week, they will work on a project to showcase in their portfolios. For more details and to register, visit https://www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/youth/summer-academy/entertainment-media-studies.

School Visits

Update: Virtual visits are available for 2020-21!

Are you a school teacher in Georgia interested in taking your students on a field trip to learn more about journalism, video production, advertising or public relations? If so, you should come visit us at Grady College!

Depending on your needs, we will develop an agenda where your students can tour our facilities, learn about the school and majors offered, and hear from faculty, staff and students. 

Unable to travel? Let us come to you! We can talk/present on specifics regarding the topic you choose. 

For more information on the high school visits or to schedule one, please email gspa@uga.edu.