#ProfilesOfTenacity: Jacqueline GaNun
Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?
I had been contemplating the idea of pursuing journalism since junior year of high school because I loved writing and talking to people, and especially loved the idea of informing people of what is going on in the world. I visited UGA when I was in high school and picked up a copy of The Red & Black, and from then on, I was hooked. I joined The Red & Black as soon as I arrived in Athens and realized how fulfilling and interesting journalism was. I want to tell stories that matter, and Grady has the classes and extracurricular opportunities to help me do that.
What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?
To me, tenacity means pursuing your goals relentlessly and not giving up when you run into obstacles or self-doubt.
What are you passionate about?
Traveling and education are two of my biggest passions. I feel that traveling is itself a form of education. There are things that you just can’t learn in a classroom. Lifelong learning is incredibly important to me and is also crucial for people to make well-informed decisions that will positively impact their lives. These passions are both intertwined with my career goal of being a reporter who gets to travel — I hope to both educate myself about people’s stories and to educate others so that they can make positive decisions.
What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?
This answer is easy — The Red & Black has impacted the entire trajectory of my life. Joining the first semester of my freshman year made it possible for me to realize the passion I have for storytelling and journalism. The numerous mentors that have taught me and helped me at R&B have also hugely impacted me both personally and professionally.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?
Some of my work was published in The New York Times in March 2021, an experience that still feels surreal. One of the national desk editors emailed about needing a stringer to cover a shooting that happened in Atlanta, and I drove there to help cover the aftermath. I am proud of myself for saying “yes” to the offer despite anxiety that I felt and of the hours I spent traveling and interviewing people. It was truly an incredible experience that I was very lucky to have had.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?
My mom is one of my biggest role models for many reasons, but one of the most impactful is how she approaches life through a lens of constant learning. She taught me that nobody knows everything and that I should always strive to learn new things about people and the world.
Who is your professional hero?
I look up to many figures in the media, but foreign correspondents who put their life on the line to tell stories from the front line are my personal heroes. I just read an autobiography by Clarissa Ward about her journey to become a conflict journalist and found it incredibly inspiring and enlightening. She tells stories about tenacity, both from her and from the people she has met around the world.
What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?
Twitter is my favorite app (as many journalists would say). I love being exposed to different viewpoints from people and following reporters that I admire to learn more about them and their reporting process.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I lived in Okinawa, off the coast of Japan, on a military base when I was younger.
Where is your favorite place on campus and why?
North Campus is amazing because it’s so peaceful and beautiful. I love walking on the paths or sitting in the sun with a drink from Starbucks or Bubble Café.
Date: March 18, 2022
Editor: Sarah Dorr, Sarah.Dorr@uga.edu