Sofia Gratas, a senior journalism student, was a featured speaker at the September meeting of UGA's chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. (Courtesy: Sofia Gratas)
#GradyGrit: Meet Sofia Gratas
Why did you choose journalism as a major?
I didn’t want to be a journalist at first. I tried out a biology major when I first got into college and realized I didn’t really have a knack for science. I’ve always enjoyed writing and creating visual media, so once I got to UGA, it became clear that journalism was the way to go.
What motivates you?
As human beings, we have so much potential. But when people are uninformed and uninterested in their communities, all that potential slips away. Journalism is the cornerstone of any society, and I think being a journalist — any kind of journalist — is one of the most noble professions. So what motivates me is the difference I can make through my position as a journalist.
What is the best or most rewarding part about being a Grady student?
Grady provides its students with such a variety of opportunities. That’s the best part about this college. While UGA is large and may seem overwhelming, once I got into Grady, I understood what community and support in an academic setting really feels like.
What has been your proudest moment is the past year?
I was awarded first and second place for a news and feature story, respectively, by the Georgia College Press Association for work I wrote for The Red & Black. That felt pretty amazing, to have my hard work recognized.
Where do you get your news? Outlet/app/online vs. print?
I get most of my news from online sources. It varies, but The New York Times and NPR (radio) are my main sources of news. And of course, local outlets such as The Red & Black and Flagpole.
What are your personal hobbies?
I’ve never been too much of a hobby person, but photography has always been something I enjoy doing. Being able to use my photography skills for photojournalism purposes has been a game changer. I enjoy thrift shopping, spending time with my partner and my cat, and discovering new things about Athens. Traveling is something I wish I could do more of.
Who is your professional hero and why?
My grandmother, Leticia Callava. Born in Cuba, she immigrated to Miami, Florida, in the 1950’s and created an extremely successful, professional career in journalism out of nothing. She was one of the top anchors in Spanish-language television, battling sexism and racism that ran rampant during the time period along the way. She has interviewed people such as singer Celia Cruz, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and Mother Teresa. I admire so many journalists, but I have to say that having one in the family has had a major impact.
What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
Probably the turtle pond in front of the Ecology building. It’s the spot that brings me the most joy. But the law building on north campus comes second. If I’m going to do work on campus, it’ll most likely be in the Law Library.
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.