Grady Mentorship Program matches more than 100 pairs in the college’s 100th year

Alumni and students of the Grady College now have another way to connect and learn from one another: the new Grady Mentorship Program.

Mentors assist students with questions about the real world, discuss professional development and possible job opportunities, and serve—­in many cases—as the students’ first professional networking connections. Once a month for a period of six months, mentors and mentees stay in contact by email, phone or in person meetings. 

“Grady’s new Mentorship Program offers an ideal way for alumni to connect directly with Grady students and help advance their careers,” said Dean Charles Davis (MA ’92). “We’re so excited to have launched this program, and already see its benefits. Thanks to all the alumni and students who have signed up!”

(l.-r) Mentor Brad Taylor meets with mentee Samuel Dickinson at the Mentor Mixer.

Since its launch in spring of 2015, 125 pairs have been matched through the program, surpassing the goal of making 100 matches in Grady’s centennial year.

Ryan Carty (ABJ ’09), Grady’s director of experiential learning, oversees the program, along with help from Grady Society Alumni Board Mentorship Committee members Tracy Brown (ABJ '88), Meredith Seacrest (ABJ ’03) and Dana Todd (ABJ ’91).

“It's a great opportunity for alumni to give back,” Carty said. “For mentors, it doesn't take too much of a time commitment to give back to the students by offering advice that they have gained throughout their career and life experience in general.”

Mentee Samuel Dickinson, a mass media arts senior, has shadowed his mentor, Brad Taylor (ABJ ’83), at The Coca-Cola company and regularly stayed in touch with him.

“The program has already been exceptionally beneficial to me,” Dickinson reflected. “In addition to the insights my mentor has shared regarding potential career focuses and avenues for employment, he has introduced me to individuals whose interests directly align with my own (furthering my personal network and enhancing my understanding of my own aspirations).”

For Taylor, he’s most enjoyed “seeing how bright and prepared today’s students coming out of Grady are, and being able to share my experiences and connections to help students get prepared for life after college, get a job, etc.”

In addition to sharing her knowledge, mentor Elaine Reyes (ABJ ’97) of CCTV America said she has learned a lot from her mentee, Molly Swindall, a digital and broadcast journalism major.

“Social media wasn't around during my time at UGA, thank goodness! But it's been great to learn about all things digital from this new generation of Bulldogs,” said Reyes.  “I also like to keep track of what's changing inside Grady and the University. 

“I wholeheartedly recommend mentoring Grady students, the experience brings you back to where it ‘all began,’” Reyes continued. “I'm a full-time working mom with a demanding career and a house full of chores.  It's actually pretty easy to slip in an email or coffee here and there.  It's also a really nice way to take a break and connect with a fellow Bulldog…especially if you're far from Athens.  I wish I had a Grady mentor during my time in school.”  

For the first time as a large group, dozens of Mentorship Program participants gathered for a Mentor Mixer on Oct. 16 at Grady College, where they enjoyed an evening of networking and speed mentoring. 

Mentor Mixer Group photo

The application period for the next batch of mentees is now open through Wednesday, Nov. 4, and all current Grady students are eligible to apply here.   Students also must be willing to attend one of the following information sessions:

•   Nov. 3, 5 p.m., Journalism Building Room 402

•   Nov. 4, 4:30 p.m., Journalism Building Room 412

•   Nov. 9, 4:30 p.m., Journalism Building Room 412

•   Nov. 18, 3:30 p.m., Journalism Building Room 412

Applications for alumni mentors are always accepted here.  The latest round of matches—based on applicants’ mutual career interests, location, organizations and hobbies—will be announced in December and the pairings will remain in place through May.

Date: October 27, 2015
Author:  Stephanie Moreno,
Contact:  Ryan Carty,