#GradyGrit: Meet Mason Cantrell

#GradyGrit: Meet Mason Cantrell

April 29, 2020

What is the hardest part about being a Grady student?

The deadlines. It’s not like other courses where things roll and have a gradual flow. You can go a couple weeks without having anything due and then one week you’ll have three projects worth 85 percent of your grade due within two hours of each other. That rush is both exhilarating and exhausting.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

Professor Michaelis in the Grady Sports program. She has covered coaches for years, so it isn’t a surprise that she knows how to be a great one. Someone like that who knows when to push you versus when to comfort you and how to train you to work on a team is invaluable to growing as a journalist.

What skills/knowledge will you take away from Grady?

Technical skills are one. I came into Grady only having ever used an iPhone camera, and I’m leaving with a camera worth more than my (used) car. But most importantly the people skills. How to flow in an open room and find the best interview, quote, or story. How to network, and, most importantly, how to best be the type of journalist that serves my community.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

When I covered the Super Bowl in Atlanta. I was so afraid going in and seeing all the national journalists who were seasoned veterans at the event while I felt so clueless. Then a random camera guy in a scrum said, “Hey. These guys you’re interviewing? They don’t know anything about you. Be you.” After that my confidence totally changed, and I flourished.

Cantrell covers a game from the sidelines with other journalists. (Photo: submitted)

What has Grady done to make the transition to online learning easier?

Be understanding of the situation. Journalism is a field where doing field work is a huge part of the learning and professional process. Things being canceled puts a huge damper on that, but each and every professor has done a great job of understanding the situation and letting students work through these tumultuous times as we go.

What will you miss most about being at Grady every day?

It’s so cheesy, but the people. Seeing the random classmates who I barely knew but still have great times chatting with about stories we had to work on together. The professors who shaped my career and still remember when I barely knew a thing about AP Style, the rule of thirds, or how to write a lede. And most importantly, the lifelong friends who I will always hark back to and be so proud of as peers in the industry.

What is your favorite hobby?

I road trip to sporting events all the time and scalp tickets at the games to get in. I’m a broke college student so I’m looking for any possible way to save money but still see the sports I love. I’ve done it everywhere from Georgia to California, and I’m hoping this college football season is saved so that the tradition can continue.

What place on campus you will miss most?

Tate. The epicenter and heartbeat of this whole thing. It’s a world of limitless opportunity where you can do everything from meet a potential source to run into an old friend. The Panda Express there has accounted for at least 80 percent of my lunches on campus. Plus, I keep the creative juices flowing by coming up with different ways to reject fliers from on-campus organizations.

What is your favorite Athens restaurant?

Cali n Titos, hands down. Get the steak Cubano, splurge a little bit to get the egg on there. Along with the mayo, cheese, and other toppings it is unbeatable. Combine that with a side of fries that you dip in their special sauce with a Coke in a glass bottle? Unmatched.


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