Stubblefield named ‘top student’ at Academy

Judy Stubblefield of North Cobb High School was named the “top student” by teachers and fellow students at the 32nd annual Georgia Journalism Academy, held June 8-14 at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“Judy represents what the journalism camp is all about,” said Academy co-director Joe Dennis, director of diversity and high school outreach at the Grady College. “She came here as a student looking for her calling, and found it in photojournalism.”

Stubblefield was among 45 high school journalists who participated in the weeklong, residential camp, themed “Grady Games” after the popular “Hunger Games” novel. Students select a core area of study: feature writing, sports writing, editorial writing, photojournalism, broadcasting or advertising, and also receive training in publication design, web design, public relations and staff leadership. Students receive roughly 30 hours of hands-on training working on a specific project in their area, with their final work published on the Academy website,

“To witness the Grady Journalism Academy in action is like dropping in on the future of journalism, and the future is bright,” said Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College. “The energy in the camp spreads throughout all of Grady College throughout the week, and the bright faces of the campers are a real shot in the arm of all of us awaiting another generation of Grady leaders, many of whom catch the fever during this memorable week.”

As a member of the photojournalism class, Stubblefield had the opportunity to go around campus and Athens, developing her skills under the leadership of her teacher, Sue Myers Smith (MA ’01).

“Judy is a natural leader and helped keep the whole class on track to get the images we needed,” Smith said. “She spent extra time outside of class working on her images, and was just a fabulous person to be around. She has a bright future ahead of her.”

Stubblefield was one of 20 students who attended the 2014 camp with financial assistance from CNN, which for the past 10 years has provided more than $100,000 in grants to help offset the cost of tuition for students with financial need.

At the end of the week, each teacher nominates his or her top student for the camp award, which is then voted on by all the campers. In addition to Stubblefield, this year’s top students were:

• Mamie Davis of North Oconee High School and Taylor Pittman of Statesboro High School, feature writing;
• Maggie Cavalenes of South Forsyth High School, editorial writing;
• Garrett Podell of Fort Worth County Day School (Texas), sports writing;
• Madison Balfe of Brookwood High School, broadcasting; and
• Haley Kellner of South Carolina Government School for the Arts, advertising.

The Georgia Journalism Academy is a public service outreach of the Grady College. For more information about the camp, visit

About Grady College
Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising; digital and broadcast journalism; magazines; newspapers; public relations; publication management; and, mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.

Date: June 16, 2014
Author:  Joe Dennis,
Contact:  Joe Dennis,