About: Moni Basu, otherwise known as Prof B, teaches feature and narrative nonfiction writing. She is the director of the low-residency MFA in Narrative Nonfiction and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault writer in residence.

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B.A. in International Relations, Florida State University
M.A. in International Relations, Florida State University

Teaching Specialties

Professor Basu teaches students how to become stronger storytellers and embrace in-depth journalism as literature grounded in fact. Her courses stress immersive reporting, narrative structure and polished language. Students in the MFA program here at the Grady College have produced successful books and published stories in major magazines. Professor Basu’s students at the University of Florida have won national accolades including Hearst Awards, the Pulitzer Prizes of collegiate journalism.

In Professor Basu’s classes, students gain hands-on experience in telling artful stories about the most complex issues of the day. In 2021, Basu launched Atrium, an award-winning narrative nonfiction magazine in Florida in whch her students could publish their work.

In the past, Professor Basu has taught magazine and feature writing and the art of the interview. She has also developed courses that focused on war and crisis reporting and how to cover traumatic events.


Basu, a veteran journalist, was previously the Michael and Linda Connelly Lecturer in Narrative Nonfiction at the University of Florida. Before teaching, she was a reporter and editor at CNN, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other newspapers. She still writes as a freelancer and her recent work has been published in the Bitter Southerner and Flamingo magazine.

Born in Kolkata, India, Basu grew up straddling two cultures. As such, her work has explored race and identity as well as immigration. She has reported exhaustively from South Asia and the Middle East. Her 2012 e-book, Chaplain Turner’s War grew from a series of stories on an Army chaplain in Iraq. A platoon sergeant named her “Evil Reporter Chick” and she was featured once as a war reporter in a Marvel comics series.

Basu has served as a senior editor for The Ground Truth Project and the Bitter Southerner magazine. She teaches workshops on writing at the Poynter Institute. She serves as a national advisory board member of the Asian American Journalists Association.

Awards and Fellowships

Basu’s work has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and she has won numerous state, national and international accolades, including a Joseph Galloway prize and two team Peabody Awards. But she is most proud of being named the 2020 University of Florida Teacher of the Year. She was named a Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma Fellow in 2007 and chosen for a Reuters/Stanley Foundation Global Security Seminar for Journalists in 2012.

You can connect with Professor Basu on social media:

Twitter: @TheMoniBasu
Instagram: @EvilReporterChick
Facebook: WriterMoni


Brown James is a first-year Ph.D. student at Grady College. Using primarily qualitative methods, such as discourse analysis and media ethnography, his research specifically examines the intersection of news media and the American legal system, ranging from the Supreme Court down to local law enforcement.

Before coming to UGA, Brown served as a court coordinator for the Piedmont Judicial Circuit in Georgia, and afterwards was a deputy executive director for an education based non-profit organization. Brown also served seven years in the United States Coast Guard Reserves where he was a coxswain and tactical boat crewman. He served in both the Carolinas and Mississippi, and was also deployed to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Papers and Conference Presentations

James, M. B. (2023, March 3). Violent incongruencies: Analyzing the New York Times’s discourse on George Floyd demonstrations and the Capitol riot. Paper presented to the Newspaper & Online News Division at the 48th annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Southeast Colloquium (SEC), Murfreesboro.

Educational Background

M.A., Mass Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A., Political Science, The Citadel


Prior to Grady College, Barbara Bond spent the last ten years in the health care industry – nine years as a lead certified pharmacy technician and one year as a nurse coordinator for home health. She also worked several years in office management and accounting in the private business sector. Bond is currently enrolled in school, working toward a business degree. She has a wide variety of interests including college football, professional baseball, Nascar and dirt track racing.



Dr. Walker’s teaching specialties focus on how social justice and race issues are covered in journalism.

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Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of South Carolina
M.A., Mass Communication/Journalism, University of South Carolina
B.S., Radio/Television, Sam Houston State University


Race and Media, Qualitative Methods, Social Justice Journalism, Multiplatform Journalism, Theory, Writing for Broadcast, Digital

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Walker is an award-winning television news journalist and journalism scholar who focuses on race and media. Mainly through qualitative methods, her work captures the experiences of marginalized and underrepresented journalists in the digital age, social justice, activism, police shootings, maternal health, and has a growing interest in racialized mis/disinformation. Her dissertation focuses on the experiences of Black journalists and their connections with the Black community. She is passionate about addressing issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in college classrooms and newsrooms.

She has presented research at regional and national AEJMC conferences which include 8 top paper awards. Her research is published in Journalism Practice, Social Media + Society, Journalism, Cultural Studies<–>Critical Methodologies, and Journal of Sports Media.


Previously, Walker worked in several behind-the-scenes roles in television news markets including Augusta, GA; New York, NY; Houston, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Columbia, SC—covering some of the nation’s biggest stories. Walker’s experience working in and managing a T.V. newsroom inform her teaching and academic research.

Awards & Fellowships
  • Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Fellow, 2018-2022
  • Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program, 2018-2022
  • Breakthrough Graduate Scholar, University of South Carolina, 2021
  • PhDigital Doctoral Bootcamp, 2020
  • Dr. Paula Poindexter Student Research Grant, 2020



Tracy Coley (ABJ ’90, MFA ’19) worked for nearly 30 years as a writer, editor, graphic designer, and student mentor in marketing and communications for the University of Georgia. She is former editor and digital marketing specialist for Boom Magazine, and currently freelances her writing, editing and graphic design craft in magazine and book publishing. Tracy earned both her degrees from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, including an undergraduate degree in advertising and an MFA in narrative nonfiction. In her spare time, she writes about family, faith, grief, resilience and the human spirit, and enjoys deep diving into genealogical and historical research. Tracy has taught Graphics for Journalists and currently teaches Writing and Reporting Across Platforms at Grady.

Samples of her writing can be found on her website


Alison Miller (MFA ’21) is a freelance writer and editor in Athens, Georgia. She is a 2021 graduate of the Narrative Nonfiction MFA program at the University of Georgia, a 2006 graduate of New York University’s journalism school, and a 2004 graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has worked on staff at two national magazines: Travel + Leisure and Southwest: The Magazine (the airline’s in-flight magazine).

As a freelancer she has written for Gravy, The Bitter Southerner, Atlanta Magazine, Sports Illustrated, The Local Palate, Southern Living, Charlotte Magazine, Our State, Four Seasons Magazine, and others.

She has spent the past three years immersed in the local indie pro wrestling scene in Georgia and is working on a book about the depth of this sports entertainment tradition and why it persists on small stages throughout the South.

You can see her work at


Charlotte Norsworthy Varnum (ABJ ’19, MA ’20) is a part-time instructor at Grady College and serves as program coordinator for the Cox Institute’s News Literacy Certificate. Varnum is also executive director for The Red & Black Publishing, Co., an independent student media nonprofit that publishes the largest student newspaper in Georgia, provides journalism training, produces year-round daily online news and publishes a family of specialty publications including “UGA 101” and the 50,000-circulation “University of Georgia Visitors Guide.” Prior to joining The Red & Black in 2021, Varnum worked for journalistic outfits such as The Outlaw Ocean Project, Bloomberg TV & Radio, National Public Radio and Turner. Varnum earned bachelor of arts degrees in journalism and political science in 2019, and her master’s degree in journalism in 2020.


Johnston has covered sporting events on every level in his 33 years as a writer and editor for daily newspapers and websites. He was recognized as one of the country’s top sports columnists in 2004. He and his wife Lori started Fast Copy Communications, a freelance writing/editing/marketing company that contributed more than 1,000 articles a year to publications and websites across the country. His clients have included the NCAA, The Associated Press,, DawgNation, SEC Country, CNN and the AJC, among others. He currently serves as editor of the Oglethorpe Echo, teaching a capstone class of student journalists who write for the weekly newspaper.

  • MA, Emerging Media, University of Georgia, 2021
  • ABJ, University of Georgia, 1988



Nick Chiles is a writer in residence teaching Feature Writing courses. Previously he was the writing coach at the Grady Writing Lab for journalism students and an industry fellow for the Cox Institute.

  • M.F.A., Narrative Nonfiction, Grady College at University of Georgia
  • B.A., Yale University
Research Interests and Activities

Chiles is the author or co-author of 20 books, including three New York Times bestsellers he wrote with R&B icon Bobby Brown, civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and gospel legend Kirk Franklin. He is the co-author with Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx of the parenting memoir, Act Like You Got Some Sense, to be published in October 2021, and the co-author with Atlanta attorney Robbin Shipp of Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System, which was a finalist for a 2015 NAACP Image Award.

He is the co-author of Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge with retired NBA center Etan Thomas, who was a member of President Obama’s Fatherhood Initiative. Chiles was a co-writer with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick of his 2012 book, Faith in the Dream, and he co-wrote the 2019 book Engage Connect Protect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders with environmental activist Angelou Ezeilo.

Chiles co-wrote four novels and wrote a fifth novel as a celebrity ghostwriter.

Teaching Specialties

Chiles’s teaching interests include narrative nonfiction, education reporting, cultural reporting, and magazine and feature writing.


Chiles served as a newspaper reporter for the Dallas Morning News, the Star-Ledger of New Jersey and New York Newsday. He has also written for magazines such as The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, Essence and Ebony. He was also a magazine and a website editor-in-chief. He has served as a professor at Columbia Journalism School, and at Princeton University. He is a consultant for the William Julius Wilson Institute at the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Awards and Fellowships

Chiles has won nearly 20 major journalism awards, including a 1992 Pulitzer Prize as part of a New York Newsday team. He has won a Green Eyeshade Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, several National Association of Black Journalists awards, an NAACP Image Award, and two National Education Reporting Awards presented by the Education Writers Association. He was the recipient of the Spencer Education Fellowship at Columbia University and the Ferris Fellowship at Princeton.