Grady College names McGill Fellows

Twelve undergraduate and graduate students have been named McGill Fellows by the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The students were selected by a faculty committee “for their strengths in academics, practical experience and leadership,” said John F. Greenman, professor and Carter Chair in Journalism, who chaired the committee.

The McGill Fellows are:

Brenna Beech – senior, magazine journalism/visual journalism, Conyers, Georgia

Aashka Dave – senior, journalism, Athens, Georgia

Khadija Dukes – senior, journalism, Conyers, Georgia

Hyacinth Empinado – graduate student, Health and Medical Journalism, Inverness, Florida

Hayden Field – senior, journalism, Atlanta, Georgia

Michael Foo – senior, digital and broadcast journalism, Marietta, Georgia

Jake Leber – senior, digital and broadcast journalism, Mentor, Ohio

Wallace Morgan – senior, journalism, Nashville, Tennessee

Brittini Ray – senior, journalism, Marietta, Georgia

Katy Roberts – senior, journalism, Johns Creek, Georgia

Erin Smith – senior, journalism, Carrollton, Georgia

Ben Wolk – senior, journalism, Suwanee, Georgia

The McGill Fellows will:

  1. Participate in the McGill Symposium, which brings together students, faculty and leading journalists to consider what journalistic courage means and how it is exemplified by reporters and editors. The McGill Symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 22, in the Special Collections Library.
  2. Later that day, the McGill Fellows will attend and be introduced at the McGill Lecture, which will be presented by Antonio Mora, host of “Consider This” on Al Jazeera America. The Lecture will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 250 of the Miller Learning Center.
  3. The McGill Fellows also will help select the seventh recipient of the McGill Medal, awarded annually to a U.S. journalist whose career has exemplified journalistic courage.
  4. Finally, the McGill Fellows have first priority to enroll in a one-hour, Spring Semester, independent study on journalistic courage, to be taught by Greenman.


This is the eighth class of McGill Fellows. The first class was selected in 2007.

Joining Greenman on the selection committee were Grady faculty Janice Hume, Chris Shumway, Mark Johnson, Valerie Boyd and Patricia Thomas.

For more than 30 years, the McGill Lecture has brought significant figures in journalism to the University of Georgia to help honor Ralph McGill's courage as an editor.

McGill, while editor and publisher of The Atlanta Constitution, was regarded as the “conscience of the south,” using the newspaper's editorial pages to challenge segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. McGill was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1958 for “long, courageous and effective leadership.”

Established in 1978, this University of Georgia annual lecture series addresses major issues impacting the American press.

The McGill Symposium is funded by the McGill Lecture Endowment.

About Grady College
Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in journalism, advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.

Date: October 8, 2014
Author:  John Greenman
Contact:  John Greenman,  706-542-1081,