Sarah Geary selected as summer Tieger Fellow in Public Affairs Communications

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced the selection of a new Tieger Fellow for the summer of 2020 — Sarah Geary. The Tieger Fellowship supports the mission of the College’s first-in-the-nation Public Affairs Communications (PAC) Program by promoting PAC’s unique existence.

The PAC program provides students with practical training in the strategy and practice of public affairs communications focused on public policy and politics. The program allows students to apply skills learned in the classroom to real world public affairs jobs.

Tieger Fellows are responsible for day-to-day efforts to promote the program through use of media relations, event planning and social and digital media. Fellows work under the guidance of Joseph Watson, Jr., Professor of Public Affairs Communications.

This summer, Geary will manage internal and external communications for PAC, contacting and spotlighting PAC students and alumni, as well as producing digital content for the program’s social media accounts and blog.

The Tieger Fellowship is funded by Carolyn Caudell Tieger (ABJ ’69) who spent 40 years in Washington, D.C. working in public affairs and politics. She also funds the Tieger Professorship currently held by Watson, who also has a distinguished background in the field.

“I am excited to welcome Sarah as our 2020 Tieger Summer Fellow,” said Watson. “This fellowship is made possible by the vision and funding provided by Carolyn Caudell Tieger. This support allows us to provide exceptional students like Sarah with the opportunity to promote the PAC program and develop skills that will prepare them for their careers. Now more than ever, it is important to provide students with a practical education in public affairs communications. I have full confidence that Sarah will do an outstanding job of showcasing our students and recent alumni this summer.”

Geary looks forward to using her PAC training to serve the program and prepare for her future career.

Sarah Geary, a Georgia native, is a rising senior studying public relations and political science. On campus, Geary has experience writing for the PRSSA Drewry Chapter at UGA and working as the press secretary for a UGA student government association executive campaign. This past year, Geary served as the communications intern for an immigration law firm. After graduation, Geary hopes to pursue a career in public affairs communications.

Grady College Conversations podcast: Heather Adams (ABJ ’98)

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts. You can also hear it on Spotify. Learn more about Grady College podcasts here. 

Heather Adams (ABJ ’98) is the founder and CEO of Choice Media and Communications in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a member of the Grady Society Alumni Board and is a regular attendee of AdPR Connection and Grady’s Career Day. Heather joins Dayne Young to discuss her path to public relations from Grady, growing a business in Nashville and opening up her own communications agency.

Editor’s note: the episode was recorded prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Any references to campus or gathering together were made before any social distancing guidelines. 

Peabody Awards announces 60 nominees

Honor celebrates best storytelling across broadcasting and digital media

Athens, Ga. – The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors has selected 60 nominees that represent the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during 2019.

The nominees were chosen by unanimous vote of 19 jurors from nearly 1,300 entries from television, radio/podcasts and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, children’s and public service programming. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

“Peabody is proud to champion this year’s nominees who inspire our connection, provoke our thinking and delight our senses. From the communal strength of black women to the eminence of science to the conviction of those who speak up, these stories and their creators celebrate the diversity of human experience and of our democracy,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody. “Amidst the challenges of our present moment, we can find empathy, entertainment and truth in these nominees.”

The nominated programs encompass a wide range of pressing issues, including the criminal justice system, repercussions of the #MeToo movement, and immigrant rights.

Of the 60 nominations, PBS and HBO lead with 11 and seven, respectively, followed by Netflix (five), Amazon (three), and SHOWTIME, CNN, NBC News, and the podcast company Pineapple Street Studios (two each). From the list 30 winners will be named at a later date.

The 60 Peabody Award Nominees, listed by category and in alphabetical order (network/platform in parentheses) are:


“Molly of Denali”

This captivating animated show explores Alaskan Native culture and traditions though the eyes of young Molly.

WGBH Educational Foundation, Atomic Cartoons (PBS Kids)

“Treasure Island 2020”

This wonderfully fun podcast inventively reworks Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, now with time traveling pirates.

Gen-Z Media (BYUradio)


“16 Shots”      

This moving and impressively comprehensive forensic account from director Rick Rowley examines the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police.

SHOWTIME Documentary Films in association with Topic, Impact Partners, and Chicago Media Project (SHOWTIME)

“American Factory”

Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s film offers an excellent fly-on-the-wall account of the arrival of the Fuyao factory and its Chinese leadership in Moraine, Ohio, and the clash of cultures at play as American workers seek to adapt to Chinese ownership and its fight against unionization of workers.

Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media for Netflix (Netflix)

“Apollo 11”

Comprised entirely, and masterfully, of archival materials, the film is a riveting as-it-happened presentation of the 1969 NASA mission landing the first men on the moon.

CNN Films (CNN)

“For Sama”

Composed as a love letter from co-director Waad al-Kateab to her daughter, and as an explanation of why she and her husband remained in besieged Aleppo to help run a hospital, “For Sama” is a profound, beautiful tale about both the war and the families caught in it.

FRONTLINE, Channel 4 News, ITN Productions, Channel 4 (PBS)


Intimately exploring the everyday lives of African Americans in rural Alabama through artistically rendered vignettes, director RaMell Ross captures the feel, atmosphere, fiber and culture of a community rarely seen on film.

A production of Idiom Film, LLC and Louverture Films, in association with Field of Vision (PBS)

“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl)”

The story of a skateboarding camp and school for girls in Afghanistan, Carol Dysinger’s delightful film empathetically charts the young skaters as they develop courage and allow their personalities to shine.

Grain Media for A&E IndieFilms Network (A&E)

“Leaving Neverland”

A brave if deeply troubling account from Dan Reed of pop legend Michael Jackson’s relationships with children, told through profiles of James Safechuck and Wade Robson, offering their accounts of being groomed for, suffering under and attempting to recover from alleged abuse.

Amos Pictures and HBO Documentary in association with Channel Four (HBO)

“One Child Nation”

Directors Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang powerfully explore the impact of China’s one child policy on the parents and siblings who lost loved ones, on those who rescued children or performed the abortions, and ultimately on a nation, its culture and its conscience.

Next Generation in co-production with ITVS, WDR/ARTE, Motto Pictures and Pumpernickel Films in association with Chicago Media Project and Chicken & Egg Pictures (Prime Video)

“POV: América”

A beautiful portrait from Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside of grandsons taking care of their charming 93-year-old grandmother in Colima, Mexico.

Lifelike Docs, American Documentary | POV (PBS)

“POV: Inventing Tomorrow”

Laura Nix’s inspiring profile of six amazing teenage scientists from around the world preparing for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair by working on solutions to complex environmental issues.

Fishbowl Films, Motto Pictures, 19340 Productions, Shark Island Institute, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, IQ190 Productions, American Documentary | POV (PBS)

“POV: Midnight Traveler”

Filmed on phones by Hassan Fazili, this poignant autobiographical account of his refugee family’s journey from Afghanistan to Hungary is a beautiful testament to parenting through trauma.

Old Chilly Pictures LLC, American Documentary | POV, Independent Television Service (PBS)

“POV: Roll Red Roll”

Harrowing yet powerful retelling by Nancy Schwartzman of the 2012 rape of a teenage girl by members of a beloved high school football team in Steubenville, Ohio, and of many in the town’s refusal to believe.

Sunset Park Pictures, Artemis Rising, Fork Films, Doc Society, Multitude Films, American Documentary | POV (PBS)

“POV: The Distant Barking of Dogs”

This arrestingly beautiful film from Simon Lereng Wilmont follows a year in the life of a boy and his grandmother living on the frontlines of war in Eastern Ukraine.

Final Cut for Real, Mouka Filmi, STORY, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE, American Documentary | POV (PBS)

POV: The Silence of Others”

Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s film offers a stunning reflection on fascism, memory and forgetting by documenting the struggle of victims of Spain’s Gen. Franco to seek legal redress and be remembered by the state, society and world.

Semilla Verde Productions, Lucernam Films, American Documentary | POV, Independent Television Service, Latino Public Broadcasting, El Deseo (PBS)

“Sea of Shadows”

This action-packed documentary examines the illegal trade from Mexican cartels to Chinese traffickers of the rare totoaba fish in the Sea of Cortez, and of the impact on the endangered vaquita porpoise.

Terra Mater Factual Studios in association with Appian Way, Malaika Pictures, The Wild Lens Collective for National Geographic Documentary Films (National Geographic)

“Surviving R. Kelly”

Unflinching, brave and impactful six-part series based on interviews with women who survived alleged sexual abuse from R&B superstar R. Kelly.

Bunim/Murray Productions and Kreativ Inc. for Lifetime (Lifetime)

“The Edge of Democracy”

Telling the epic tragedy of what happened in Brazil, from Lula to Bolsonaro, this film from director Petra Costa commandingly and chillingly shows how precarious a democracy can be.

A Busca Vida Filmes Production in association with Violet Films for Netflix (Netflix)

“True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality” 

A superb profile of the remarkable Bryan Stevenson and his work seeking justice for death row inmates amounts to a searing indictment of the U.S. criminal justice system and its history of racism.

HBO Documentary Films and Kunhardt Films (HBO)

“Warrior Women”

An intimate and soulful profile from Christina D. King and Elizabeth Castle of Madonna Thunder Hawk, an American Indian Movement leader, fighting for Native rights.

Co-production of Castle King, LLC and ITVS in association with Vision Maker Media (WORLD Channel)

“Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men”

This four-part account by Sacha Jenkins of rap and hip-hop superstars Wu-Tang Clan skillfully plumbs the depths of their music, lives and commentary.

SHOWTIME Documentary Films presents A Mass Appeal Production in association with Endeavor Content (SHOWTIME)




This emotionally searing miniseries about the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and political aftermath is written, acted and composed to perfection.

HBO Miniseries and SKY in association with Sister Pictures, The Mighty Mint, and Word Games (HBO)

“David Makes Man”

This visually stunning coming-of-age drama by Tarell Alvin McCraney follows a gifted 14-year-old African American boy (superbly acted by Akili McDowell) growing up in the projects in Florida and haunted by the death of a friend.

Page Fright and Outlier Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television

(OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)


While set in the appropriate time, this historical dramedy about famous poet Emily Dickinson is infused and energized by a fresh, contemporary sense and sensibility.

Apple / wiip / Anonymous Content / Tuning Fork Productions / Sugar 23 Productions (Apple TV+)


Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes and stars in the second season of the hilarious and caring show about a woman struggling with the death of a friend, and attraction to a hot priest.

All3Media International Limited and Amazon Studios (Prime Video)


A figuratively and literally uplifting animated short about parenting a child who is different from their peers.

Pixar Animation Studios (Disney+)

“Good Omens”

This adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s novel about the unlikely friendship of an evil and a good angel and the march to the end of the world is gloriously fun and genre-bending.

BBC Worldwide Limited and Amazon Studios (Prime Video)

“Our Boys”

Gripping and heart-wrenching, the series tells the story of the 2014 “retaliation” kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and the ensuing investigation.

HBO in association with Keshet Media Group and MoviePlus Productions (HBO)


Ramy Youssef writes and stars in a touching, thoughtful and very funny sitcom focusing on a first-generation American Muslim and his family in New Jersey.

Hulu, A24 Television (Hulu)

“Stranger Things”

Season three continues the fun, nostalgic, horror-meets-sci-fi series about a group of adolescents fighting dark forces in their 1980s Indiana town.

Monkey Massacre Productions & 21 Laps Entertainment (Netflix)


Boasting one of the best ensembles on television, the second season of this satiric comic drama follows the devolution of the fictional Roy media magnate family, and their battles over who will succeed its imperial patriarch.

HBO Entertainment in association with Project Zeus, Hyperobject Industries, and Gary Sanchez Productions (HBO)


The superb dramatization of intersecting, albeit vastly-differently-executed investigations into a serial rapist, features standout performances from Toni Collette, Merritt Weaver and Kaitlyn Dever.

Timberman-Beverly Productions, Sage Lane Productions, Escapist Fare, Katie Couric Media, and CBS Television Studios for Netflix (Netflix)


Brilliantly penned by Damon Lindelof, this high concept sci-fi superhero show refashions the famed DC Comics series to tell a story about racism, policing, fear and more.

HBO in association with White Rabbit, Paramount, Warner Bros. Television and DC (HBO)

“When They See Us”

Devastating and commanding, the powerful miniseries from Ava DuVernay about the Central Park Five case and the lives it ruined, offers riveting work from a strong ensemble cast.

Participant Media, Tribeca Productions, Harpo Films, Array Filmworks for Netflix (Netflix)



“A Different Kind of Force: Policing Mental Illness”

A poignant examination of how law enforcement officers tackle the challenge of policing people with mental illness that sagely approaches the complex topic from various standpoints.

(NBC News)

“American Betrayal”

Richard Engel reports on the U.S. decision to abandon their allies the Kurds, combining unflinching frontline coverage and thoughtful forensic analysis. NBC News, Engel Unit


“Capitol Hill Controversy”

A dogged, revelatory and continuing investigation of highly toxic culture at the Tennessee state house.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates (WTVF-TV)

“Coal’s Deadly Dust”

Powerful, up-close investigation of the rise of black lung disease among coal miners and the lack of effective response.


“Flint’s Deadly Water”

An impressively comprehensive report on Flint, Michigan, focusing on the less-reported presence of Legionnaires’ disease in the water.

FRONTLINE with Five O’Clock Films (PBS/WGBH)

“Police. Arrest”

A bold and revelatory report into the Hong Kong police force’s treatment of anti-extradition bill protesters.

PCCW NowTV (Now News)

“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Raced to Death—The Plight of the American Thoroughbred”

Hard-hitting and important account of the high incidence of racehorse deaths and their poor treatment in the United States.

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)

“The Hidden Workforce: Undocumented in America”

The special report on undocumented labor across rural America humanizes those who live in the shadows yet contribute to their communities as neighbors and laborers. (CNN)

“The Invisibles”

This Dallas-Fort Worth report explores the previously untold story of Texas-born children deported to Mexico who are unable to get paperwork allowing them to register for government services such as schooling due to Texan red tape.

NBC5/KXAS-TV & Telemundo 39 (NBC5/KXAS-TV)


A moving investigation of Chicago police raiding the wrong houses that chillingly recounts the traumatization of many children amidst botched raids. (WBBM-TV)



“70 Million”

This standout series on criminal justice reform crosses the country to document the impact of local jails on people and communities.

Lantigua Williams & Co.

“Dolly Parton’s America”

Exploring how and why everyone loves Dolly Parton, the show’s host, Jad Abumrad, and producer, Shima Oliaee, offer superb pop cultural, political and artistic analysis that is as engaging as it is insightful.

Osm Audio and WNYC Studios (WNYC)

“Finding Fred”

Carvell Wallace seeks the soul, magic and ministry of Fred Rogers in a multipart podcast that asks a key, if under-asked, question for our day: How can we be good people?

Co-produced by iHeartMedia and Fatherly in partnership with Transmitter Media  (iHeartMedia)

“Gangster Capitalism: The College Admissions Scandal”

The first season of the podcast mixes sterling and deep journalistic investigation with thoughtful framing analysis to explore 2019’s college admissions scandal involving celebrities and Fortune 500 CEOs alike.

C13Originals, a division of Cadence 13 (C13Originals)

“Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul”

CeCe Winans hosts an engaging three-part documentary series celebrating and uncovering the influence of African American gospel music on early rock-and-roll and soul music. (WXPN)

“Have You Heard George’s Podcast?”

George the Poet’s richly evocative, sharply analytical, gorgeously composed, and utterly genre-defying podcast recounts and explores the black experience in Britain and beyond.

BBC Sounds/George the Poet Ltd. (BBC Sounds)

“Headlong: Running From COPS”

Dan Taberski’s podcast explores the ethics, impact and problems of the long-running reality show “COPS,” offering as much fun as substance and analysis.

Pineapple Street Studios, Topic Studios (Stitcher)

“In The Dark: The Path Home”

In the second season of this story, Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark once again set the benchmark for what truly superb true crime podcasts can and should be, digging into the troubling case of Curtis Flowers and uncovering a weak case bolstered by a pattern of discriminatory jury selection.

American Public Media (APM Reports)

“Silencing Science”

Timely and damning, this investigation into the Trump administration’s rejection and censorship of the science of climate change focuses on suppression of research by the National Park Service’s scientists.

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX (Public radio, Reveal)

“Stonewall OutLoud”

StoryCorps marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising by collecting and sharing a wide-ranging selection of often beautifully told stories from LGBTQ elders. (NPR)

“The Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow”

Ronan Farrow immerses listeners in the story about bringing Harvey Weinstein to justice.

Pineapple Street Studios (a division of, Glass Cannon Inc. (Pineapple Street Studios)

“The Refuge”

This five-part series examines the battle for the future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and opens up into a superb account of environmental activism, Alaskan Native rights, and the politics of oil and gas exploration.

Auricle Productions, Montana Public Radio, Pulitzer Center (Montana Public Radio)



“Border Hustle”

A troubling account of those on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border profiting off migrants, from coyotes to ICE labor camps, and revictimizing them.

The Texas Tribune and TIME


This project tells the story from 1978 to now of the U.S. government’s detention of asylum seekers, mixing archival footage, data analysis, interactivity and text to offer a strong example of multimedia journalism.

The Marshall Project in partnership with The Guardian

“Long Island Divided”

This investigation into discrimination in real estate and housing on Long Island, built upon tireless work over three years, deftly combines large data sets with humanizing case studies.



Grady alumni offer tips tor reporting on COVID-19 from home

Editor’s Note: this feature originally appeared on the website.

Quarantine started early for Erica Hensley, an investigative reporter with Mississippi Today. In early March, she attended a conference focused on computer-assisted reporting in New Orleans, hosted by the Investigative Reporters and Editors. A few days later, IRE announced that a conference guest had tested positive for COVID-19, and all attendees were advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Erica Hensley working from home (photo provided)

“I started covering coronavirus as a potential patient from home,” Hensley said. “Which meant I was having to call into every press conference. I was having to do my best to research and fact-check from home. Because I literally couldn’t leave to go chase stuff down,” she said.

Journalism is a hands-on career. Reporters go into the field and make direct contact with sources to gather the facts and see things for themselves. However, on March 11 the World Health Organization officially deemed the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic, leading to more widespread social distancing measures. The dynamics of reporting was forced to change at a time when health reporting is all the more important. At the same time, access to key experts— such as emergency room doctors and epidemiologists— became more difficult as those essential workers managed the virus’ spread.

“You also feel bad calling them sometimes because you’re like, ‘I’m sorry. I know you’re super busy and you have really important healthcare things you need to do and not just talk to journalists,’” explained Victoria Knight, a reporter for Kaiser Health News.

But she and other Grady alumnae said that while coronavirus has disrupted their day-to-day routines, it hasn’t stopped them from getting important information out to the public.

“I think it’s important to not give up and just keep going,” Knight said.

It’s Never Too Late To Learn New Skills

In a series of short videos shared with current Grady students, alumnae of the health and medical journalism program who work in the fields of journalism and public affairs said they have found innovative ways to maneuver this new normal.

They offered suggestions for covering the most popular news story of our time, including tips for using video animations, for moving beyond the numbers to add context and for taking cues from what other news organizations are doing.

“It’s never too late to learn new skills,” said Hyacinth Empinado of STAT News. As a multimedia journalist, she creates animated explainers to help simplify complex ideas, like how COVID-19 compares to other causes of death.

She encouraged students to learn video animation technologies like After Effects and D3. The Adobe Creative Suite provides access to a form of reporting that doesn’t require going out into the field to collect footage, Empinado explained.

Hensley said she relies on her understanding of the social determinants of health to add context to her stories on COVID-19.  Each day she scrapes data from her health department’s website to get an update on the number of coronavirus cases in her state. But she tries to look beyond the numbers.

“What do these increases and tests mean? What are our per capita rates for our counties?” Hensley asks herself.

Lauren Baggett, director of communications for UGA’s College of Public Health and host of the show Health Desk on the WUGA, suggested looking at what other news outlets are covering, particularly those on the local level.

“Our local Athens papers are really doing a better job of communicating the resources that are available to individuals and families in our community,” she said.  Stories about how locals can support the service industry are top of mind for consumers of news, she said.

Alumnae advised current students to keep pressing on, despite the challenges, and to view the pandemic as an opportunity to innovate alternative approaches to reporting and storytelling.

You’re not alone, they told students.

“This is an unprecedented time. We are learning a lot, and we’re learning a lot on the go,” Baggett said.

King Distinguished Professorship in Advertising established

The Karen W. and Daniel J. King Distinguished Professorship in Advertising has been created in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, announced Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College.

Karen King, a Jim Kennedy Professor of New Media and professor of advertising, has taught at Grady College for 35 years. She is retiring this summer.

“Karen King has been a mainstay at Grady College, winning awards for her teaching and research while serving as a department chair and as a respected senior faculty member,” Davis said. “Now she and Dan have added to the rich King legacy at Grady with this magnificent addition to the advertising faculty’s resources.”

The King Distinguished Professorship is created to help support the continued research and scholarship in advertising in the AdPR department.

“This professorship allows us to honor all of the outstanding advertising scholars and educators who came before me at Grady College such as Tom Russell, Len Reid, Dean Krugman and Spencer Tinkham,” Karen said. “It ensures that there will be senior advertising scholars on the faculty to benefit our graduate and undergraduate students, as well as the department.”

Earlier gifts from the Kings supported graduate students studying advertising and the Ron Lane Advertising Executive in Residency Fund.

In addition to Karen, Daniel taught briefly at Grady College, leading a law and public relations class.  Daniel, a lawyer, currently teaches an international arbitration class at the University of Georgia School of Law each spring.

Karen King has had an impact that has extended beyond UGA noted Bryan Reber, the C. Richard Yarbrough Professor of Crisis Communication Leadership and head of the AdPR department.

“As immediate past president of the American Academy of Advertising, Karen has broad influence and respect among advertising educators,” Reber said. “And, because of her prolific record of advising Ph.D. students, her former students carry on the King legacy in the U.S. and beyond.  This generous gift from Karen and Dan cements both this legacy and the place of advertising education and scholarship at the University of Georgia.  We are enormously grateful.”

At Grady College, Karen most recently taught classes in advertising media planning, advertising campaigns and advertising research. Her research focuses on advertising industry issues and health communication. She has published much of her work in leading academic journals and is the co-author of three editions of Kleppner’s “Advertising Procedure,” a leading advertising textbook and “The Media Buying Simulation” textbook supplement.

Karen has been a Lilly Teaching Fellow and is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, UGA’s highest teaching honor, among other honors during her time at UGA. Prior to teaching, Karen worked as a media buyer/planner and a research supervisor at FCB Communications, Inc. in Chicago.

Daniel is a retired partner of King & Spalding’s Atlanta and New York offices where he served as the leader of the firm’s Business Litigation Practice Group from 2003 to 2008. Since his retirement in 2010, Daniel has served on the boards of several non-profits including Goodwill of North Georgia, United Way of Greater Atlanta Advisory Board and the Georgia Technical College Foundation.

“Karen has filled these hallways with her energy and smiles since I was a graduate student at Grady, and generations of students honor her as their mentor,” Davis concluded. “This gift is one more way she will continue enriching students.”



Grady students excel in graphic design specific internships

This semester three Grady students secured design internships with a variety of companies including See Spark Go, Jackson Spalding, and Hinge Creative. These graphic students, Nico Mejia with See.Spark.Go, Eliza Meng with Hinge Creative and Damalas Moreland with Jackson Spalding have been working throughout the semester, and some have even carried their work to an online format due to recent virtual work requirements.

Within the last couple of years, Grady has restructured its graphics curriculum in order to elevate student’s understanding in the field. The restructure included the addition of a foundations class offered to all ADPR students intended to increase student’s exposure to visual communications. This allowed the previous introductory class and advanced class to enhance its level of learning and overall, expand opportunities for student’s growth.

“These additions really just give us the ability and flexibility to help students nurture those specific skills,” said Kim Landrum, a graphics lecturer. “The fact that Grady had three interns placed as design interns was a really exciting realization for me that this was going to create some opportunities for our students.”

Mejia, a senior intern, has always felt drawn to visual arts. As he entered the public relations major at Grady he knew he wanted to find a way to pursue this interest. He took Grady’s graphic communication classes as soon as he could and studied abroad in Cortona, Italy, to develop his skills. In his position at See.Spark.Go as a graphic design intern, Mejia is responsible for a variety of graphic design request made by clients including t-shirt designs, page layouts, Instagram posts, Google ads, and brand guidelines. He spends a lot of time, brainstorming, exercising his creativity and receiving feedback.

“My favorite part thus far has been the trust that See.Spark.Go (SSG) has had in me even as someone who has not even graduated college yet,” said Mejia. “I like to say that the knowledge I have in graphic design comes from the work I put in outside of the classroom but the knowledge I have in graphic communications is a direct result of Grady’s commitment to have classes that prepare us incredibly well for our field of study. The Graphic Communications classes are a great outlet for creatives within Grady College to apply their passions to the world of ADPR.  It’s because of Grady that I can take a client’s proposal copy and organize it to reflect professional and creative visual hierarchy.”

Since the additional classes were added Grady visual communication professors have noticed a difference in student’s abilities to pick up on an idea and apply it.

“If you say something to them like ‘what’s the importance of developing a concept,’  they know and understand how typography serves a function but they can also express something visually,” Landrum said. “They know all the basic things like balance and hierarchy and movement and layering and how they are important to developing a design and creating an aesthetic. We don’t have to take time describing concepts in the intro class, so we can get to more and dig a little deeper.”

2019 alumna creates scholarship for Grady Sports Media

Not long after the University of Georgia paused instruction to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grady Sports Media undergraduate certificate program got an unexpected bit of good news.

Alumna Taylor Maggiore, who had just graduated in December, wanted to create a scholarship to further the advancement of women in the tumultuous professional world of sports media.

“The certificate gave me the tools and skills to land my dream job,” wrote Maggiore in an e-mail to Vicki Michaelis, director of the program. “I think the least I could do is help another woman in our field by easing some financial burdens that come with it.”

Maggiore started in January as a stage manager for ESPN in Bristol, Conn. Thanks to her generosity and an employee matching donation from ESPN, the first Taylor Maggiore Scholar will be announced in Fall 2020.

“Taylor’s passion and talent for sports broadcasting energized all of us while she was a Grady Sports student. I’m thrilled and so grateful she’s reaching back to give our current and future students a helping hand and infusion of that energy,” said Michaelis, the John Huland Carmical Professor of Sports Journalism and Society in the Grady College.

Maggiore (far left) worked with four other Grady alumnae last spring at ESPN. Others included Ann Drinkard (ABJ ’16), Caroline McLeod (AB ’19) and Sarah Buck (AB ’18).

Maggiore got involved with Grady Sports as a first-year student producing high school football games and worked a variety of events for Daktronics and the SEC Network during her time on campus. She mentored Cedar Shoals High School students through the UGA-Grady High School Sports Broadcast Program, an initiative aimed at supporting the recruitment of underrepresented, underserved and first-generation students to UGA. She also was a UGA orientation leader and was named a Cox Institute Levin Leader by the Department of Journalism. She was the student speaker for the undergraduate commencement ceremony in December 2019.

“We know that as Bulldogs, we will be productive and educated members of society,” Maggiore said in her speech in Stegeman Coliseum. “We will shatter glass ceilings and be kind to one another. We will give others opportunities because we’re all sitting here today because someone took a chance on us.”

Grady Sports Media will continue raising funds to sustain the scholarship and Maggiore’s legacy in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. If you are interested in contributing to the fund, please contact Welch Suggs, associate director of Grady Sports Media, at or 706-363-0752.

#GradyGrit: Meet Mason Cantrell

What is the hardest part about being a Grady student?

The deadlines. It’s not like other courses where things roll and have a gradual flow. You can go a couple weeks without having anything due and then one week you’ll have three projects worth 85 percent of your grade due within two hours of each other. That rush is both exhilarating and exhausting.

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

Professor Michaelis in the Grady Sports program. She has covered coaches for years, so it isn’t a surprise that she knows how to be a great one. Someone like that who knows when to push you versus when to comfort you and how to train you to work on a team is invaluable to growing as a journalist.

What skills/knowledge will you take away from Grady?

Technical skills are one. I came into Grady only having ever used an iPhone camera, and I’m leaving with a camera worth more than my (used) car. But most importantly the people skills. How to flow in an open room and find the best interview, quote, or story. How to network, and, most importantly, how to best be the type of journalist that serves my community.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

When I covered the Super Bowl in Atlanta. I was so afraid going in and seeing all the national journalists who were seasoned veterans at the event while I felt so clueless. Then a random camera guy in a scrum said, “Hey. These guys you’re interviewing? They don’t know anything about you. Be you.” After that my confidence totally changed, and I flourished.

Cantrell covers a game from the sidelines with other journalists. (Photo: submitted)

What has Grady done to make the transition to online learning easier?

Be understanding of the situation. Journalism is a field where doing field work is a huge part of the learning and professional process. Things being canceled puts a huge damper on that, but each and every professor has done a great job of understanding the situation and letting students work through these tumultuous times as we go.

What will you miss most about being at Grady every day?

It’s so cheesy, but the people. Seeing the random classmates who I barely knew but still have great times chatting with about stories we had to work on together. The professors who shaped my career and still remember when I barely knew a thing about AP Style, the rule of thirds, or how to write a lede. And most importantly, the lifelong friends who I will always hark back to and be so proud of as peers in the industry.

What is your favorite hobby?

I road trip to sporting events all the time and scalp tickets at the games to get in. I’m a broke college student so I’m looking for any possible way to save money but still see the sports I love. I’ve done it everywhere from Georgia to California, and I’m hoping this college football season is saved so that the tradition can continue.

What place on campus you will miss most?

Tate. The epicenter and heartbeat of this whole thing. It’s a world of limitless opportunity where you can do everything from meet a potential source to run into an old friend. The Panda Express there has accounted for at least 80 percent of my lunches on campus. Plus, I keep the creative juices flowing by coming up with different ways to reject fliers from on-campus organizations.

What is your favorite Athens restaurant?

Cali n Titos, hands down. Get the steak Cubano, splurge a little bit to get the egg on there. Along with the mayo, cheese, and other toppings it is unbeatable. Combine that with a side of fries that you dip in their special sauce with a Coke in a glass bottle? Unmatched.


Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page

Tyler Wilkins awarded first Krensavage-Knight Scholarship

Tyler Wilkins, a fourth-year journalism and political science double major, is the first recipient of the Krensavage-Knight scholarship.

The annual scholarship goes to a senior journalism student and is provided by Michael Krensavage (ABJ ’89, MBA ’90) and his wife, Mary Krensavage. The scholarship is named for David Knight who was Michael Krensavage’s beloved journalism and English teacher at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina.

David Knight, Michael Krensavage’s beloved high school teacher fostered his love for journalism.

“I’m grateful to the Krensavage family for their contribution toward my education,” Wilkins said. “Like Michael Krensavage, I also had a teacher in high school inspire me to study journalism and help foster my love for communication and writing.”

Michael Krensavage says Knight’s influence encouraged him to pursue a journalism education at Grady College. He also credits Conrad Fink, a long-time journalism professor at Grady College, for his education and development. In addition to this scholarship, the Krensavage family has donated to the Conrad Fink Scholars Fund.

“We like to help others receive the wonderful education that David Knight and the University of Georgia provided me,” said Mike Krensavage.

Wilkins is from Danielsville, Georgia and expects to graduate in December 2020.

“I hope to produce local journalism in a major city,” said Wilkins. “My dream job would be working as a metro reporter for a major newspaper, like AJC or the Boston Globe, covering city government and the impact of government institutions on communities.”

Michael Krensavage

Wilkins is currently an editorial intern with UGA’s Office of Research Communications where he helps interview faculty members and write stories about the university research. He’s also worked as a reporter for Lake Oconee News and The Red & Black. Wilkins was selected for a summer 2020 internship at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

As part of the scholarship application, Wilkins had to interview a working journalist he admires. He chose Michael Prochaska, editor of the Oconee Enterprise.

“Prochaska gives me hope in small-town journalism, something that is dear to me and vital to any community,” Wilkins said. “He’s a great journalist, who really cares about the community he covers. Through our interview, I learned why it’s so important to connect with people you interview.”

The winner of the Krensavage-Knight scholarship is chosen by grade point average, resume and the written profile of a working journalist.