Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?
I have lived and worked in Athens for the past 15 years and met and made many good friends at Grady College during my time in the Classic City. While I have worked in journalism for 30 years, I never did study it at a collegiate level, but since I work in communications at UGA, I decided there was no better place to get training in that field than at Grady.
What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?
For a journalist, it means forging on despite disparate odds and chasing every lead that can lead to the truth. One of the best scenes in my favorite movie, “All the President’s Men,” is when Redford and Hoffman, playing Woodward and Bernstein, go through thousands of index cards to find the answer to a question that will only lead them to another question. It’s the essence of being a journalist.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?
Being the husband to the greatest woman I ever met, and the father to a daughter and son I would do anything for.
What was the hardest part about adjusting to COVID-19 in your life as a student and early career professional?
I think it’s the uncertainty of it all – there’s no real sense of what’s to come, and the pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. It feels like we are all disconnected, and I’m not sure how we get a true sense of community back.
What are you passionate about?
Fairness and equity. There’s a certain amount of injustice that gets swept aside or disregarded, and it infuriates me. I try my best, in a small way, to make sure everyone has a chance to reach their potential and excel.
Who is your professional hero?
When I was a kid I read the Miami Herald sports pages every day, and the sports editor at the time was a seasoned newspaper veteran named Edwin Pope. He wrote clever columns that always made me laugh, and it was his writing that made me want to go into sports writing, which I did for 12 years. It wasn’t until I moved to Athens that I discovered Edwin Pope was born in Athens, received his journalism degree at Grady College and began his career at the Athens Banner-Herald, where I once served as editor in chief.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor/mentor/family member?
Being the first to report is only meaningful if you get it right.
What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?
I don’t know if it’s my favorite app, but the Fitbit app is the one I go to most often. I’m a bit addicted to reaching my goal of 10,000 steps a day and do a constant check to see where I am as the day progresses.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
That I have a paralyzed vocal cord, which has made me incapable of yelling.
Where is your favorite place on campus and why?
On the fifth floor at the Main Library – you can sit and study in quiet while getting a fabulous view of campus.
December 9, 2021 Editor:
Megan Mittelhammer, Megan.Mittelhammer@uga.edu