Journalism senior Aashka Dave featured as one of UGA’s 15 from 2015

Journalism senior Aashka Dave is one of 15 UGA students profiled ahead of 2015 spring commencement.  Visit for additional student profiles and more about the Class of 2015.

Share a little bit about your time as the Innovation Fellow for the Cox Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.

Working as the Cox Institute’s first Innovation Fellow was a fabulous experience. I coordinated the Grady College’s first mobile news lab, a hands-on training lab for students to experiment with mobile news platforms and applications.

I participated in mobile news lab projects as well, leading a team that experimented with data presentation using Google Fusion Tables.

I also managed promotion for “Cox Presents” events and programming, which brought individuals from organizations including NPR and The Wall Street Journal to Grady College to speak with students.

How did those experiences fit into your academic interests or major? How did a UGA faculty member help you with it?

My entire experience as an Innovation Fellow fit into my academic interests and major. At the time, I was in the process of writing my honors thesis, so the fact that I was able to meet journalists and discuss the future of news media was a source of great insight and potential research ideas.

Working for the Cox Institute also gave me a better understanding of the current mobile news landscape. This led me to think critically about where I plan to fit into the media industry and to gain a lot of management and coordination experience.

UGA faculty members guiding the mobile news lab were a valuable source of insight as well. These professors included Dr. Keith Herndon, who also oversaw my work at the Cox Institute, Dr. Bart Wodjynski and professor Mark Johnson. They provided unique perspectives on the projects we were conducting and taught some intriguing lessons as well.

How did your experience help clarify your future plans?

It’s fair to say that my entire time as a Grady student has contributed to my future plans. However, my experience with the Cox Institute was an essential part. As the Innovation Fellow, I got to explore a side of the news industry that is still new and evolving. This exposure helped me define my interests more clearly, making me more interested in pursuing graduate study to research the evolution of journalism in greater detail. I also learned more about the work that I want to do as a journalist.

What were the benefits of doing that work?

Aside from being a great learning experience, I appreciated the freedom I had to explore subjects that interested me and set a foundation for future Innovation Fellows. This semester, the second iteration of the mobile news lab became a course, and I’m excited to see where future Innovation Fellows decide to take their projects. It was also great to connect with professionals in journalism and learn from professors on a more personalized basis.

How did your experience change you?

It broadened my skill set in a number of ways. I learned more about logistics, coordination and the organization of large programs and events while also exploring the media industry in an in-depth fashion.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be working at the Associated Press office in New York City as a business associate. I’m planning to attend graduate school afterwards, but I haven’t decided where yet.

Date: April 27, 2015
Author:  Matthew D Chambers,