Grady InternViews: Caroline Parlantieri

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities.

As a public relations communications intern, my responsibilities include monitoring and reporting on team coverage in new and traditional local and national news outlets, as well as maintaining and updating all media archives for press. I assist with the development of departmental publications including but not limited to press releases, media advisories, game notes and media guides. I leverage existing media relationships and cultivate new contacts within the industry and local market media and pitch compelling and creative storylines to the media.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?

The most valuable lesson I have learned with Nashville SC is the impact I have as an individual working for a specific team. The impact goes far beyond the organization and its fan base. Because I am employed by a team instead of an outside publication, my work reaches countless people through different media outlets as opposed to a specific publication. This emphasizes the importance of credibility across all areas in communications.

How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

Along with the UGA Sports Communications staff, Grady has prepared me tremendously for this internship. The hands-on experiences I’ve had in my public relations and sports media classes helped groom my writing skills, my awareness of newsworthiness and my ability to produce quality content under tight deadlines. I have learned far more from Grady that has prepared me for this experience, but those are among the most important.

The relationships I have created with my Grady professors and other staff members have guided me through this process immensely. Their experience, expertise, advice, guidance and encouragement have prepared me and allowed me to thrive.

What qualities or qualifications do you have that you believe made you stand out in the process of getting this internship?

The qualifications that made me standout were based on my experiences working in the UGA Sports Communications department. My delegated game day tasks and duties at Georgia are very similar to my assignments for Nashville SC. This provided me with the proper knowledge, familiarity and qualifications to operate media relations with another organization.

Caroline pictured at Geodis Park, the stadium in Nashville, TN home to the Nashville Soccer Club. (Photo:submitted)
What advice would you give to other current sports media students?

It is important to get involved in sports any way that you can if that is your desired industry. You might think you want to pursue a specific path, but you never know what else is out there until you give it a chance. For example, my knowledge of professional soccer prior to this summer was very little compared to that of other sports. However, I have already gained invaluable knowledge and increased my skillsets remarkably within a short period of time. Having knowledge of multiple areas is a great way to market yourself. There are countless opportunities to get involved in sports at UGA, within the Athens community and sports media program; therefore, you shouldn’t limit yourself.

Grady InternViews: LJ Jackson

 

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

black background graphic with red text that says "LJ Jackson, hometown: Acworth, Georiga, Major: journalism, title: digital/social media content intern, Company: New York Red Bulls, Location: Harrison, New Jersey, along with Grady College logo.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I am currently a digital and social media content intern for the New York Red Bulls, and I assist with content creation to all major New York Red Bull social media sites via video editing, photography, graphics and story production. I help plan content schedules to showcase player personalities, game highlights, brand activations and sponsorship sales. Most of my time is spent filming practice content and then editing reels and photos for the social pages. When I am not doing that, I am in collaborative meetings with the marketing and/or video teams.

I work from two locations. Red Bull Arena is the main office that is a short 10-minute ride across the Hudson River to Manhattan. This is where most of administration, marketing and content creators are located. This is also where the team hosts their home games. I also work from the practice facility located in Whippany, New Jersey. Most of our Instagram Reels and TikTok content is from practice, so I spend a considerable amount of time here as well.

What has been your most memorable experience so far?

The most memorable experience I have is working at Red Bull Arena for the friendly (scrimmage) against Barcelona. I grew up watching Lionel Messi, Neymar and Pedro. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to watch Barcelona in action, because of the distance and costliness of the matches. So, not only did I get to see them play in-person, but I had the chance to create content involving them. It was crazy how much of a full circle thing it was.

What’s the most challenging part of this position?

The biggest challenge has been finding effective ways to showcase all of the personalities we have on the team. The club has some great guys like Dru Yearwood, John Tolkin and Thomas Edwards. I want to represent them accurately to really allow the surrounding community to see that despite their incredible athletic ability, these guys are human and love to have fun on and off the pitch.

student LJ is holding up a camera while in the Red Bulls Soccer Club arena
LJ holds up a camera. Part of his role as an intern is to create video content for the soccer club. (Photo: submitted)
How has the certificate in sports media prepared you for this role?

The social media class that I took prepared me for this role exponentially. When assigned our team sports that we would be following for the semester, I was disappointed that I did not receive baseball, but in the long-term it was the best thing that could have happened for my career ending up with the soccer team. Running the Clarke Central boys soccer social media sites enhanced my knowledge of soccer and it taught me how to be anticipatory of plays that I could capture for content. Since the Red Bulls are a Major League Soccer organization, it’s easy to see the connection here.

What advice would you give to other sports media students?

Sometimes you just have to walk in the room and act like you own it. You may not know what to do, and that’s okay. You can figure out the logistics later, but don’t let anyone stop you from getting that perfect shot, the best angle for a video, and don’t be afraid to communicate with players. You may be nervous in approaching them, but I promise they are just as nervous approaching you as you are approaching them. Oftentimes we make the fear of rejection or having a negative interaction way worse in our heads than it actually is. Confidence will carry you however far you let it take you.

 

Carmical Symposium Spotlights Women in Sports and 50 Years of Title IX

Every facet of the sports media ecosystem was in the room. 

Seasoned and aspiring media professionals, accomplished athletes, proud parents, team administrators, and more gathered to celebrate how far women have come in sports and to discuss how to maximize opportunities for continued progress. 

The first Carmical Symposium on Sports Media, hosted by UGA’s John Huland Carmical Sports Media Institute, was held Feb. 2 to coincide with National Girls and Women in Sports Day. The symposium focused on women in sports to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a law that prohibits gender-based discrimination. 

The keynote conversation with UGA women’s basketball coach Joni Taylor and Atlanta Dream president Morgan Shaw Parker, led by Carmical Institute associate director Welch Suggs, highlighted the importance of empowering women in sports. 

“We still need to continue to make opportunities available,” Taylor said. “That comes from using our voice. There is progress. I think organizations are better at understanding the strength and power women have.”

Andrew Billings researches sports media coverage at the University of Alabama.

The keynote speakers said advocating for change is taxing but necessary. 

“If I use my voice, progress is made,” said Parker. “I don’t know if society fully understands how difficult that is.” 

A morning panel led by Carmical Institute director Vicki Michaelis featured current athletes, a sports media researcher and a multimedia reporter. A portion of the discussion involved the pros and cons of social and digital media for female athletes and women working in sports media.

Kendell Williams is back in Athens after competing in her second Olympic Games.

With sports on social and digital media, the audience can provide direct feedback to those who decide what sports are broadcast, according to Andrew Billings, journalism professor at the University of Alabama.

“Everything is going streaming,” said Billings. “If you are a fan of women’s sports, you get to have your voice heard as much as anyone. 

Jaiden Fields plays on the UGA softball team and is a student in the Carmical Institute’s undergraduate Sports Media Certificate program. She has witnessed the growth in fan support, but sees opportunity for more.

“Our games in the Women’s College World Series had a ten percent increase in viewers last year,” Fields said. “That was at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday. Imagine what that could be in prime time.”

Jaiden Fields discusses the athlete experience as a UGA softball player.

Another topic of the panel focused on how athletes and reporters often receive targeted comments online and on social media based on gender.

Michella Chester reports for Turner Sports on NCAA athletics.

“”When you look at women in sports, or really women everywhere, there are comments about how they look or what they are wearing,” said Kendell Williams (AB ‘17) a two-time Olympic heptathlete who is pursuing her Master’s degree in public relations. “It should be about the athletic success.” 

“I produce content for NCAA, but I don’t work for the NCAA,” said Michella Chester, digital reporter for Turner Sports and an alumna of the sports media program. “I’m the face on the internet that people message when they aren’t happy with something.”

The Carmical Symposium on Sports Media is a biennial event hosted by the John Huland Carmical Sports Media Institute at the University of Georgia. It is designed to prompt critical discussions about how sports media intersects with society. 

You can view the full keynote conversation here:

Learn more about the Carmical Sports Media Institute at: https://sportsmediainstitute.uga.edu/

Countdown to the Olympic Games: Vicki Michaelis

The Olympics in Tokyo will be the first Summer Games Vicki Michaelis has not covered in nearly three decades. Between Summer and Winter Games, Michaelis has reported from nine Olympics.

The press badges Michaelis has collected over the years. (Photo: submitted)

Her Olympics coverage for the Denver Post, USA TODAY and TeamUSA.org has taken her to Sydney, London and Athens, Greece, among other global hubs.

She witnessed every Olympic victory from Michael Phelps, including his historic performance in 2008 in Beijing when the swimmer won eight gold medals. Michaelis wrote about documenting that history for TeamUSA.org in 2016.

“The Olympics are a potent mix of everything I love about covering sports,” Michaelis said. “You have an endlessly rich array of athletes and their narratives to explore. You also have the social, political and cultural layers of the athletes and teams competing against each other.”

Michaelis is now rooted in Athens, Georgia, where she is the John Huland Carmical Chair in Sports Journalism & Society and director of the Carmical Sports Media Institute.

Her first visit to UGA’s campus was for the 1996 Olympic Games when soccer was played in Sanford Stadium. Little did she know then that her career would one day be planted steps away from that same stadium.

After Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal in Beijing in the medley relay, Michaelis captured this image. Phelps and his medley relay teammates are visible in the background on the top step of the podium. (Photo: Christine Brennan)

“It is very special to me now,” Michaelis said. “But, to be honest, my memory of covering that game isn’t vivid or anywhere near complete. More than anything, I remember being deeply grateful for the cold hot dog that UGA sports information legend Claude Felton (ABJ ’70, MA ’71) offered after the game, as I filed my story from the Sanford Stadium press box.”

That small gesture of kindness was received with much gratitude considering Olympics coverage deadlines make sleep scarce and good meals rare. The multi-week grind was always worthwhile for Michaelis because it was a small price to have a first-hand account of athletic history.

In Atlanta in 1996, she covered the U.S. women’s gold-medal games in soccer, basketball and softball.

“I saw and chronicled those watershed moments in U.S. women’s sports,” Michaelis said. “Both soccer and softball were new to the Olympics, and it was the first time Americans — a generation after the 1972 passage of Title IX — really embraced women’s teams and not just individual women’s athletes at an Olympics. The Atlanta Games changed how we view professional women’s sports leagues and women in sports overall. That I was there for those historic Olympic victories is a career highlight.”

Michaelis was part of the ecosystem of professionals around the Olympics. Many of her best memories and connections were created in the shadow of the iconic five-ring logo. Now, she and the Carmical Sports Media Institute create similar opportunities for young journalists.

Students in the Carmical Sports Media Institute began covering the Paralympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and will continue in perpetuity thanks to the generosity of the Carmical Foundation. This coverage is in partnership with The Associated Press.

Professor Vicki Michaelis talks with Miranda Daniel, left, Nikki Weldon and Zoe Smith as they plan out coverage at the US Air Force Academy of the Department of Defense Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Thursday, May 31, 2018. (Photo: Mark E. Johnson)

“The Paralympic Games offer all that I love about the Olympics, amplified,” said Michaelis. “Media outlets, though, generally don’t devote resources to amplifying the Paralympic stories. That gives us the opening to give our students the social, cultural and practical experience of covering a Paralympic Games while also giving them the chance to get their stories and photos published by high-profile media outlets.”

With every Olympic Games competition comes new stories from athletes and their home nations. It is where local cultures meld with sporting achievement serving as a common and universal language. For a sports storyteller, the Olympic Games are bountiful garden of meaningful narratives.

“You have the heightened drama and emotion of the competition, because every moment and every result is so consequential when the chance to shine comes only once every four years,” said Michaelis.

The Olympic Games in Toyko will be different for Michaelis. She will enjoy the spectacle as a spectator and through the eyes of the audience she’s long served. It will surely stir up a variety of emotions and memories.

Just as many athletes find themselves coaching the next generation of gold medalists, she now serves as a coach. Some Olympics content she consumes in July and August will be created by students she trained.

“As fulfilling as it was to be an Olympics reporter,” Michaelis said, “the reward of seeing our Sports Media Certificate graduates live their dreams is beyond compare.”

Countdown to the Olympic Games: Emily Giambalvo

Emily Giambalvo graduated from the University of Georgia in 2018. Now just a few years later, she is in Tokyo covering the Olympics for The Washington Post

While this is the first time Emily is covering the Olympics post-graduation, this actually marks the third olympic game she has worked at. While at UGA, Emily pursued a Sports Media Certificate through Grady College. This opportunity combined with her work for the student-run newspaper The Red & Black helped introduce her to the world of sports writing and reporting. 

“I think that Grady sports program was what kind of opened my eyes to the fact that this could be a career,” she said. “Before that I don’t think I even really knew what a sports writer was, like I didn’t grow up reading sports journalism.”

An athlete herself, Emily was a gymnast for 15 years. It was a sport she loved competing in and a sport she loved watching, which has helped launch her into her current role as a reporter covering University of Maryland athletics for The Post. In Tokyo, she will be primarily covering the sport she’s grown up practicing.

“It’s just kind of like this dream to even be going to the Olympics and then also to be covering the Olympics,” she said.

Right now Emily says she is doing absolutely everything she can to prepare for the Olympic Games. 

“It’s my first time doing this with The Washington Post and I don’t really know if this is the best way to do it but I’m just trying to be really proactive so I can have deeply reported stories in Tokyo,” she said.

This prep work includes brainstorming potential stories, researching all the American athletes and familiarizing herself with past contestants. While this is her first time covering the Games with The Post, Emily has a unique experience that she can look to — she has covered two Olympic-related games in the past for Grady.

Emily sits writing a story at the Olympics in Pyeongchang. (Photo: submitted)

 

In 2016, she covered the Paralympics Games with Grady College in Rio de Janeiro for the Associated Press. The following year, she covered the 2018 Winter Olympics with Grady in Pyeongchang, South Korea through TeamUSA.org. Over the course of three weeks, she helped produce more than 20 stories covering the mountain and snow sports from ice skating to snowboarding to hockey and more. 

All of these roles eventually helped her land an internship with The Washington Post after graduation, which turned into a full time offer. 

Emily particularly points to her experience with the Paralympics as something that makes her stand out to employers. “It was the thing that everyone asked about and almost started that snowball effect of just getting more and more opportunities so I’m a big, big advocate of what Grady does with sending students to the Olympics,” Emily said. “I think it’s just this really great way to get people unique experience that not a lot of other college students have.”

Because she’s covered the Olympics before as a student, Emily says she has a better idea of what she will be walking into. In fact, she said she finds herself wanting to prepare for the Tokyo games in the same way that her professor instructed her to for the 2018 games. That being said, the experience is different since a few years back when she was preparing as a student journalist.

Emily poses for a photo at the Olympics in Rio. (Photo: submitted)

“There’s just I guess a little more pressure to do a good job and to write stories that are Washington Post-quality stories,” she said. “And, you know, that’s kind of true with all aspects of my job, but I think The Post has historically done such a great job covering the Olympics so it’s really cool to be part of that, but you just kind of hope you can contribute to that good coverage,” she said.

2019 alumna creates scholarship for Grady Sports Media

Not long after the University of Georgia paused instruction to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grady Sports Media undergraduate certificate program got an unexpected bit of good news.

Alumna Taylor Maggiore, who had just graduated in December, wanted to create a scholarship to further the advancement of women in the tumultuous professional world of sports media.

“The certificate gave me the tools and skills to land my dream job,” wrote Maggiore in an e-mail to Vicki Michaelis, director of the program. “I think the least I could do is help another woman in our field by easing some financial burdens that come with it.”

Maggiore started in January as a stage manager for ESPN in Bristol, Conn. Thanks to her generosity and an employee matching donation from ESPN, the first Taylor Maggiore Scholar will be announced in Fall 2020.

“Taylor’s passion and talent for sports broadcasting energized all of us while she was a Grady Sports student. I’m thrilled and so grateful she’s reaching back to give our current and future students a helping hand and infusion of that energy,” said Michaelis, the John Huland Carmical Professor of Sports Journalism and Society in the Grady College.

Maggiore (far left) worked with four other Grady alumnae last spring at ESPN. Others included Ann Drinkard (ABJ ’16), Caroline McLeod (AB ’19) and Sarah Buck (AB ’18).

Maggiore got involved with Grady Sports as a first-year student producing high school football games and worked a variety of events for Daktronics and the SEC Network during her time on campus. She mentored Cedar Shoals High School students through the UGA-Grady High School Sports Broadcast Program, an initiative aimed at supporting the recruitment of underrepresented, underserved and first-generation students to UGA. She also was a UGA orientation leader and was named a Cox Institute Levin Leader by the Department of Journalism. She was the student speaker for the undergraduate commencement ceremony in December 2019.

“We know that as Bulldogs, we will be productive and educated members of society,” Maggiore said in her speech in Stegeman Coliseum. “We will shatter glass ceilings and be kind to one another. We will give others opportunities because we’re all sitting here today because someone took a chance on us.”

Grady Sports Media will continue raising funds to sustain the scholarship and Maggiore’s legacy in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. If you are interested in contributing to the fund, please contact Welch Suggs, associate director of Grady Sports Media, at wsuggs@uga.edu or 706-363-0752.

#GradyGrit: Meet Yash Bhika

Why did you choose to study Journalism?

I chose to study journalism because I want to create content that people will connect and engage with.

 

How did it feel to be recognized as a 2019 McGill Fellow?

It was an amazing feeling being recognized as a McGill Fellow. I couldn’t have gotten to that position without the help of my peers and professors who have helped push me along the way. It was also great seeing seven other of my Grady Sports peers being recognized as McGill Fellows too.

 

What is the hardest part about being a Grady student?

The hardest part is trying to do everything. At Grady, there are so many opportunities around you that it is easy to want to do everything, but you have to put time into the projects you care about to get the best results.

 

What is your dream job?

My dream job would be to work in social media for a sports team or company, such as ESPN.

 

What do you think is the most influential industry-related event to happen in the past 5 years?

The rise of social media has been huge. Social media is now where people go to for their breaking news. Reporters and news organizations are using social as a way to get news and content out to the world.

 

What academic superpower do you wish you had and why?

Being able to multitask efficiently would be great. There are so many tasks thrown at you sometimes, so it would be great to just be able to do them all at once.

 

Where do you get your news? Outlet, app, online vs. print?

For news I go to the New York Times and BBC News. For sport news, I use ESPN. I definitely read all my articles online on my laptop or on my phone.

 

If you were on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you and why?

I would have a book, speaker and some dumbbells. Time always goes by quickly for me when I’m reading a good book and having some nice background music will help with the reading experience. Also, it’s always great to get a workout in when you can.

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.

#GradyGrit: Meet Phillip B. Hubbard

Why did you choose to study Journalism?

It was my first year of high school. The head boys’ soccer coach asked me to broadcast the soccer matches later that day. I was a freshman, so I had no idea what I wanted to do. So, I hesitated at first, but, on March 18, 2012, my life changed forever. I walked up to the press box to broadcast the matches and instantly fell in love with it. It’s cliché to say, but I call it “love at first sight.” That day, I made my mind up that this is where I want to be. I want to cover sports teams, be close to the players and action, so I can be the one to share their stories in whatever medium, whether it be print, audio, voice or whatever. I want to be that guy.

What is the hardest part of being a Grady student?

Does such a thing exist? Being a Grady student has been amazing. The standard is set high all the way from Dean Davis to the professors. Grady expects nothing but greatness. Now, that’s the same for all of UGA, I assume, but there’s something that sets Grady apart in my mind: every professor, faculty and staff member cares about and are willing to help us anyway they can. I mean, Dean Davis sets a day aside every semester to cook us hot dogs and get to know us all on an individual basis. Never have I felt alone in Grady. If a project or story is taking a toll on me, I’ve had Grady professors assist me with advice, helpful suggestions or even a blunt “figure it out.” It’s like a big family that I consider myself blessed to be a part of.

What made you want to start your own podcast? What kind of support did you receive from the Grady community following the decision?

I took Multiplatform Sports Storytelling with Dr. Suggs in Fall 2018. We were tasked with covering beats as part of the class and working as a team to produce a podcast. We had the opportunity to, in a casual setting, discuss sports with our friends and have fun doing so. So, that sparked the idea, but I didn’t want to do it alone by no means. I texted my awesome colleague and even better friend, Hayden Chambless, about the idea, and she immediately said yes. Now, as much as I’d like to take credit behind the name “Behind the Bark,” I can’t. That was all her. We’ve received tremendous support from the Grady community since we’ve started. We’ve had our friends and fellow students Myan Patel and Jean Louise Webb on as guests, multiple friends have submitted questions and Dr. Suggs even assisted with one of our profile episodes. So, I have received a lot of support, and I’m extremely grateful for all of it.

Why do you think getting involved in activities outside of classes is important?

It allows me to take what I’ve been taught and put it into practice in the real world. It allows me to evolve my knowledge and experience different things that this industry will throw at me. It’s great to learn in a lecture or classroom, but we get to learn things up close and personal.  Nothing in a class could’ve prepared me for working with a team like serving on the executive board of IABC this past year did. The organization was in a rebuilding phase and, with that, comes growing pains. I can’t speak for every officer, but I know I learned a lot in the year I served as its president. For example, what do you do when your guest speaker cancels three days before your club meeting? Nothing in a textbook could’ve prepared me on how to operate in that real-life situation. So, getting outside of the classroom and just having multiple experiences has really benefited me in my time at Grady and in college.

Hubbard at his summer 2019 internship with WUGA-FM. (Courtesy: Phillip B. Hubbard)

What would you tell the younger version of yourself if you could go back to the beginning of your first year in college?

Chill out. Take a breath. It’s all going to work out. The high school “me” and the college “me” are two totally different people. Coming into college, I was so uptight and wanted everything I did to be absolutely perfect. I would spend most nights just thinking “I could be doing more, and I could’ve done better.” Now, I’m mainly laid back and just go with the flow. A lot of people mistake that about me as saying “I don’t care,” but I do care. I care about everything I do, and that I’m involved with. However, my attitude nowadays is “I did the best I could. Let’s move on,” or “Plan A failed. What’s plan B?” I’m more confident in myself, and I wish I had this confidence four years ago.

 

What does Grady mean to you?

Grady is like a family to me. Everybody supports each other in this college no matter what your major is, the faculty, the staff, the colleagues you get to learn alongside. It’s really like a big family, and everybody is included. Everybody seems like they play an important role here.

Do you have a favorite quote?

My favorite quote is “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” because there are so many lessons you can learn whether it’s a task, a project or whatever the case may be. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because you learned something from it and you grew as a person.

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment would have to be during my summer internship, this past summer actually, when I got to interview Vince Dooley for the Dooley Field dedication ceremony that took place before the first game. The fact that I got to interview him at all was kind of like a dream come true because he’s legendary around these parts.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I am a morning person, definitely. I don’t like staying up late. I sound like a grandpa, but I normally get to bed no later than 10 o’clock at night.

What is, in your opinion, the best restaurant in Athens?

Clocked, I guess, would be the best one. It’s probably one of two that I’ve eaten here locally other than fast food restaurants. The burgers are good, and they have really good sweet tea, which is very important to me.

What’s your ideal travel destination?

Piegon Forge, Tennessee. I’ve only been there, Texas and Florida, and that has to be the dream spot for me. I plan to retire there one day.

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.

#GradyGrit: Meet Tyler Head

Editor’s Note: #GradyGrit is a new series of profiles of Grady College students who show determination, leadership and outreach to the community. Search “#GradyGrit” on the Grady College website for additional profiles. 

Hometown: Covington, Georgia

Year: Senior

Degree: Journalism major and Sports Media Certificate

Involvement and activities: Grady Sports Media, UGA Wesley Foundation, WUOG member

How has Grady influenced your time at UGA?

Grady is fantastic. I came in as a transfer student almost two years ago, and the size and prestige of UGA was very intimidating. My first semester I struggled to meet people and kind of felt out of place. I was accepted into Grady and began there the following semester, and it made a world of difference. The professors and other students in Grady are all amazing and I’ve felt so comfortable ever since. I know “Grady Family” may sound like a cliche, but it’s a very real thing, and I love it.

I know “Grady Family” may sound like a cliche, but it’s a very real thing, and I love it.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?  

Being a part of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute that Grady hosted over the summer. I have a passion for radio broadcasting and learning the ins and outs of the industry, making connections with industry professionals and forming friendships and relationships with the other students that attended are truly unforgettable.

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

The people for sure. I’ve met and gotten to know so many people from so many walks of life and professions, and I really value that. I feel like the more diverse groups of people you interact with can really help you adapt to the world after graduating.

What is your best advice for a student taking their first class at Grady College?

It’s going to seem very overwhelming at first, and you might even think you aren’t cut out for this major, but those fears will subside. As I mentioned before, Grady feels like home and once you become comfortable you’re going to love it. You’ll meet people and do things that will have a lasting impact on your life for years to come.

Tyler Head reports on sports journalism outside the classroom.

What motivates you?

Achieving goals. I always like having something to shoot for, both long and short term. That way I can always push myself to accomplish whatever’s next. I feel that knowing you’re heading in the right direction and building toward something makes life easier.  

Last show/favorite show you binge-watched?

The Office.” It is such a perfect show I just can’t get enough of it. I’ve already watched it three times and now I’m on my fourth because my girlfriend had never seen it and I introduced it to her.

Favorite quote?

“Having dreams is what makes life tolerable.” It’s from the movie “Rudy, which I’ve loved since I was a kid. This really ties in what motivates me. We all know life can be challenging at times, but I’ve found that always having something to shoot for can get you through low points.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That’s a tough one. I’d say probably that I’m very creative. I may not seem that way at times because I can tend to be a quieter person, but I’m all the time thinking of doing creative things. I also like to consider myself a good problem solver and that goes hand in hand with the creativity thing. I always find a way to get things done.

Favorite Athens restaurant?

I’m a very simple person, and I love barbeque, so I’d definitely go with Butt Hutt BBQ. It’s your classic hole-in-the-wall joint and for any barbecue lover that means the food is amazing, and the sweet tea is absolute perfection.

Create your own question to answer: Has Grady provided any challenges for you?

Like with any college courses there’s always the challenge of performing at a high level academically. With Grady there’s also the pressure of representing the college well professionally, too. Grady has a footprint literally everywhere in the media/journalism world, and that can feel a bit daunting to try and live up, to but that’s what makes Grady so great and well respected. I hope I too can one day make an impact in my professional career that represents Grady as the amazing place that it is.

#GradyGrit: Meet Myan Patel

Editor’s Note: #GradyGrit is a new series of profiles of Grady College students who show determination, leadership and outreach to the community. Search “#GradyGrit” on the Grady College website for additional profiles. 

Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee 

Year: Junior 

Degree: Journalism major and Sports Media Certificate 

Activities and Involvement: The Red & Black, WUOG, Grady Ambassadors, Grady Sports, formerly SGA and the Indian Cultural Exchange  

How has Grady influenced your time at UGA?  

MP: Grady has been one the best parts of being here at UGA. It has taught me invaluable lessons both in and out of the classroom. Grady has also provided a large amount of opportunities to learn, listen and network with some of the most successful individuals in the fields of journalism and mass communication. At Grady, your professors have been out in the field, maybe they still are, doing the exact things they’re teaching you about. You know what they’re instilling in you is real and valuable information, but I think best of all, Grady has become my family. When I entered the college, I knew just a handful of people. Now, it’s impossible to walk through the confusing hallways of the journalism building without seeing at least five people I know. It would be tough to envision my time thus far at UGA without Grady. 

What is your most memorable Grady experience?   

MP: So far, my most memorable Grady experience has been through Grady Sports. It was a trip to Tiger, Georgia, to broadcast the 2A football state semifinals last fall. It had a mix of everything — weird, crazy, unique, fun — and is an experience I, and everyone else that went, will never forget.   

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

MP: I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee, and when I came to UGA, I knew about seven others that either came from my high school with me or previously graduated from my high school and were already at UGA. So I’d say there have been two things that made a big impact on me. One is living in a high rise my freshman year and meeting some great people who I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with/befriended if it weren’t for the old, original Russell Hall. I was lucky to find a great group of friends that year and I still live with/next to them today.  Then, I applied to Grady Sports. Luckily, I got into the program, and it is most definitely the best thing that’s happened to me while I’ve been here at UGA. Sports media and sports broadcasting is a passion of mine, so to go to classes for it? I couldn’t ask for more. But as great as the classes are, the friends I have made through Grady Sports are some of the best people I have ever met. From a group of strangers to a nearly inseparable group, we have become so close. Grady Sports, like Grady College, has such a familial feel, and it makes this huge place of 30,000+ feel small and like home.  

What is your best advice for a student taking their first class at Grady College? 

MP: Good luck! If you think it’ll be an ordinary layout where you just go to class, have homework, tests and that’s it … you’re in for a wakeup call. While that may sound scary or intimidating, the assignments you work on in your Grady classes are hands-on. You’re out in the field getting a glimpse at how the professional world works. You learn core concepts in the classroom and then immediately go out and put them to work. Meet your classmates and make friends with them. Trust me, you’ll end up having a lot of your classes together with the same group. Meet your professors and pick their brain! They can give invaluable advice and just want to help you succeed.  

Myan Patel reports outside the classroom for his Sports Media Certificate.

What motivates you? 

MP: There is constantly room to improve. I want to work hard and be the best I can be. It doesn’t matter what time it is, but there are always things I can be doing to get better. I set goals for myself and want to achieve them, and there’s no choice but to work toward them.  

Last show/favorite show you binge watched? 

MP: That’s tough. I love Suits. Hands down it’s one of my favorite shows ever. The quickest show I ever completely binge watched was Entourage. I probably finished the entire show in 3 weeks a few summers ago. I was hooked. The show I finished most recently was New Girl. It’s so good and always makes me laugh.  

Favorite quote? 

MP: I am a huge New York Yankees fan, and Derek Jeter is one of my all-time favorite baseball players. I love this quote by him: “There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do — and I believe that.”  

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

MP: Hmm, I’m not really sure to be honest. Maybe I seem shy at first? I like to think I’m pretty outgoing, but sometimes I can be quiet if I don’t know you.  

Favorite Athens restaurant? 

MP: Another tough one. It depends on if I’m craving anything specific. I really like La Fiesta, a Mexican restaurant on College Station Road. Taqueria Tsunami downtown is another favorite of mine. Clocked downtown is high up on the list and so was Transmet before they left. 

Create your own question to answer. What’s your go-to study spot? 

MP: If I really need to hunker down and focus, I grab a cubicle on the east wing of the third floor at the MLC and go to work. I also like the Starbucks on Alps Road to study or get homework done.