Profile: Adam Pawlus, executive director, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists

For the past 20 years, Adam Pawlus (MA ‘01) has dedicated much of his career towards advocating for proper coverage of members of the LGBTQ community and promoting the need for diversity in newsrooms. 

Currently, Pawlus serves as the executive director for NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, an organization of over 1,000 journalists, news executives, communications professionals and educators that serves as a strong voice in the news industry, educating newsroom decision-makers about coverage of the LGBTQ community, promoting non-discrimination policies and the establishment of equal benefits, and creating educational opportunities to support the next generation of LGBTQ newsroom leaders.

Following is a brief interview with Pawlus.

Pawlus sits at a table and smiles.
“Pride month remains an opportunity to put a spotlight on the inequities faced by LGBTQ people and communities,” said Pawlus. (Photo:Submitted)
GC: What classes at Grady College did the most to prepare you for your career?

AP: I believe the balanced curriculum, including the practical, theoretical and skill-based course components that Grady College offered me as a master’s student, prepared me for a career in communications, as well as in nonprofit management. Twenty years after graduating, I may not be able to recite the five stages of the Transtheoretical Model of Change, but the analytical and critical thinking skills that were sharpened by the case studies presented as part of the curriculum have helped me through my career.

GC: What does LGBTQ Pride month mean to you?

AP: In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, a group of LGBTQ people gathered outside of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village and stood up to systematic discrimination and oppression in what has become immortalized as the Stonewall Uprising. That event was covered by the New York Daily News, under the headline “Homo nest raided, queen bees are stinging mad.”

These days, a headline like that would never fly (pun intended). Thanks, in part, to resources like the NLGJA Stylebook on LGBTQ Terminology, journalists across the country know that stereotypes and epithets like “homo” and “queen” are not appropriate for coverage.

In many ways, Pride month remains an opportunity to put a spotlight on the inequities faced by LGBTQ people and communities. Simultaneously, it is also an opportunity to publicly celebrate the people, successes and advancement the community has seen over the past half century.

On the most personal level, I see Pride month as an opportunity to celebrate the journey each of us in the LGBTQ community has taken in coming to terms with our own challenges, successes, milestones and self-acceptance.

GC: What advice do you have for a young member of the LGBTQ community who will soon be entering the workforce?

AP: Seek out allies and mentors who will support you to be your authentic self at work. Early in your career, it may be difficult to point out, and hold accountable, when you see people playing into stereotypes, using offensive, outdated language, or when you are on the receiving end of microaggressions. Find those leaders in your organization that can amplify your voice and help make cultural change when needed.

Also, join a professional network like NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, Journalism & Women’s Symposium, Asian American Journalists Association, Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists, Public Relations Society of America and others.

There are so many professional associations that have programs, scholarships, fellowships, job boards and mentoring opportunities geared toward helping young professionals launch and navigate their careers. Get involved and never stop networking.

GC: What has been your greatest accomplishment since graduating from Grady College?

AP: I still regard graduating from Grady College with a Masters in Journalism as one of my greatest accomplishments. After graduating, I expected to work in corporate communications or at a public relations agency. When I took an entry-level communications position at a small nonprofit, my career shifted faster than it started. I found myself moving more and more into the world of nonprofit management. Even with that shift, the foundation that Grady College gave me in journalism, public relations, branding, crisis communications, event management and ethical corporate social responsibility, has helped me become a successful catalyst for change. Finding my way into a role working in association management alongside LGBTQ journalists just seems kismet and is the current peak of my professional accomplishments.

GC: Any other comments?

AP: We are often asked what the state of LGBTQ news coverage is in the United States. The short answer is, we’re doing better than we were 50 or even 30 years ago. We’re seeing fewer mistakes in coverage, specifically surrounding lesbian and gay people. Reviewing increasing numbers of submissions to our Excellence in Journalism Awards, we see that coverage of the community is improving, not only in big cities, but also in smaller towns. We see that journalists are holding themselves accountable to produce fair and accurate coverage. 

But as the base of knowledge around lesbian and gay people has grown, it’s becoming obvious where the gaps in knowledge and coverage lie. It has shown us where we still need to focus our efforts and programs. For instance, the most questions we get about coverage are around stories relating to transgender and nonbinary people. The transgender community faces much higher rates of violence than their cisgender counterpoints. Even in that group, transgender women of color are disproportionately affected. But beyond the mistakes, those critical stories are all but missing in coverage.

One of the groups that continues to be erased in coverage is bisexual people. Bisexual people are often misidentified as gay or lesbian. Not to mention, the age-old, harmful stereotypes that continue to come up in coverage.

It is critical that we properly report how people identify and avoid perpetuating damaging narratives.

Profile: Jim Farmer, director of Atlanta’s LGBTQ film festival

Every fall, audiences gather for Out On Film, an 11-day, in-person and virtual film festival annually featuring more than 150 films by, for and about the LGBTQ community and its allies. The director of the festival is none other than Jim Farmer (ABJ ’88), who oversees the programming and scheduling of Out On Film, while also working with filmmakers and talent attending the event.

Following is a brief interview with Farmer.

GC: What clubs and activities did you participate in at UGA and Grady that were instrumental to your success?  

JF: I was in Cinematic Arts, which handled film programming for students at the Tate Student Center. I wrote about the arts for The Red & Black student newspaper. I served as president of Di Gamma Kappa broadcasting fraternity. I was also a student judge for the Peabody Awards.

Farmer (left) stands on stage during a screening of the film "Mapplethorpe" with director Ondi Timoner and actor McKinley Belcher III
Farmer (left) stands on stage during a screening of the film “Mapplethorpe” with director Ondi Timoner and actor McKinley Belcher III. (Photo: Submitted)
GC: What does LGBTQ Pride Month mean to you?

JF: For me, Pride Month is a time to remember and honor all of the LGBTQ pioneers who have made our lives today possible and celebrate everyone for their diversity and uniqueness, while also remembering that we have work to do still. 

GC: What advice do you have for a young member of the LGBTQ community who will soon be entering the workforce?  

JF: That is a tough question. Today’s workplace is different than when I first entered it. I took a job many, many years ago for the salary but had to remain closeted. It was in a Georgia county that had a history of LGBTQ intolerance. When I did come out, I was fired a few months later for “my job performance.” I vowed never again to take a job for the money and to find a place where I could be comfortable. Luckily, I have been able to do that. My advice is to find out everything you can about the company, your colleagues and the climate beforehand and make a decision accordingly. It’s obviously important to find a job that allows you to make a good living, but it’s also important to be in an environment that respects you for who you are.

GC: What has been your greatest accomplishment since graduating from Grady College? 

JF: I’m old, so I have several! I am proud of what my team with Out On Film has accomplished over the years, the support we provide filmmakers and that we have grown into an Oscar® qualifying film festival. I am an arts reporter as well and proud of the stories I get to write and cover every week. Most of all, I feel lucky to continue doing what I started doing during my UGA days, do it professionally and be happy doing exactly what I want to be doing.

Editor’s Note: UGA students looking for more information to learn about resources and support the LGBTQ community here on campus are encouraged to visit the UGA LGBTQ Resource Center website.

GSAB Profile: Ryan Carty

Ryan Carty (ABJ ’09) is an emerging talent recruiter for Meta. He has 12 years of experience that includes recruiting, university career services, diversity & inclusion, corporate relations, career coaching/counseling, college admissions counseling, and training and development.

Following is a brief interview with Carty.

Carty previously served as Director of Experiential Learning at Grady College. (Photo: Submitted)
Why are you involved with the GSAB?

I want to give back to Grady students because this college is responsible for a significant part of my educational, professional and personal development. It is my honor to continue the legacy of alumni who have also contributed to the success of Grady.

What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?

I would tell them to be flexible with their career path and be open to new possibilities or opportunities they previously didn’t know were available. The world has so much to offer outside of a traditional career path and it may benefit you to explore!

What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?

My time working at Grady College as the Director of Experiential Learning was my favorite college memory. With the help of Grady faculty and staff along with the UGA Career Center, we planned the largest-ever Grady Career Day which resulted in so many job and internship opportunities for students. That was easily my proudest moment and had the most influence on the trajectory of my career.

Carty was worked in career services for over a decade. (Photo: Submitted)
How has the network of fellow Grady College alumni helped you in your career?

Grady alumni have always been willing to connect with students for countless opportunities including mentorship, education, hiring, you name it! I’m so happy to see alumni giving back because none of us made it to where we are now alone, so it’s great to see our network helping each other.

How has your field changed from your graduation to now?

I started interning at truTV in college and thought I wanted to be a TV producer. After some internships and studies in entertainment, as well as doing a deep dive with the UGA Career Center to understand my career motivations more clearly, I pivoted to education. I became a career counselor for students seeking jobs in media, advertising and PR, and this was such a rewarding career. Eventually, I leveraged my transferrable skills and network to pursue a career in recruiting. 


This series profiles members of the Grady College Alumni Board who make a positive difference in our College. We are grateful for the support and enthusiasm of our Grady Society Alumni Board members.


 

Remembering Millard Grimes

Millard Grimes (ABJ ’51), a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, editor/publisher of nearly three dozen publications and ardent supporter of The Red & Black, died May 3, 2022 at the age of 92.

Grimes received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from Grady College in 2007 and was inducted into the Grady Fellowship in its inaugural class in 2008.

“Millard represents an era of media entrepreneurship in which news companies took big swings, some hits and some misses, and Millard won way more than he lost,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College.  “He was always a presence in Athens and at Grady College. I took many a wonderful call from him, and will miss him a great deal.”

Four writers for the Red & Black in the 1950s read an issue of the paper.
Millard Grimes (third from left) wrote for The Red & Black all four years that he was a student, and served as editor of the then-daily newspaper in 1950. Others pictured include (from l. to r.): Dewey Benefield (ABJ ’53), news editor;
John Pennington (ABJ ’51), managing editor; Grimes; and Norman Friedman (ABJ ’50), business manager. (Photo: Grady College Archives)

While a student at the University of Georgia, Grimes applied at the student newspaper, The Red & Black, during one of his first weeks of school and served all four years, including working as editor in 1950. He later named a member of the paper’s first Board of Directors, when the paper became a student-run publication in 1981 and he served on the Board for eight years.

Working at The Red & Black “was the best training ground for newspaper people that you could have had,” said Grimes in a 2009 interview.

During his time as a student at UGA, Grimes was associate editor of Pandora yearbook in 1951 and was a member of the Gridiron Society, Sigma Delta Chi Honorary and Chi Psi social fraternity.

A. Mark Smith, Charles Davis and Millard Grimes
A. Mark Smith, Charles Davis and Millard Grimes at lunch in 2013. (Photo: Sarah E. Freeman)

“Millard Grimes was a kind, thoughtful person who believed in the value of newspapers to a community and protecting and affording free speech to all,” said long-time friend A. Mark Smith, Sr (ABJ ’66), president & CEO of Smith Communications Inc. “He was a special friend to Grady College and helped many a student find a job. He was a special person.”

Grimes began his love for newspapers as a high school student starting at The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Georgia) as a proofreader and copy boy, and continuing with increased responsibilities during and after college.  He was a copy editor on The Columbus Ledger staff in 1954-55 when the newspaper was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for revealing government corruption in nearby Phenix City, Alabama. By the time the Pulitzer Prize was announced, Grimes had decided to leave Columbus to start the weekly Phenix Citizen. He returned to Columbus in 1956 working for newspapers in that city for several years, culminating in his job as editor-in-chief of Columbus Enquirer from 1963 to 1969.

Over the course of the next 50 years, Grimes would serve in a number of publisher and editor roles of numerous publications throughout the southeast. In 1977 he founded Grimes Publications, a company that owned and operated more than 30 daily and weekly newspapers in Georgia and Alabama including The Rockdale Citizen (Conyers, Georgia), Clayton News Daily (Jonesboro, Georgia) and the weekly Athens Observer, among others. Grimes also owned and operated two statewide magazines, Georgia Trend and Georgia Journal, of which Grimes was publisher and editor from 1988 to 1998.

Millard Grimes talks with a student.
Millard Grimes talks with a student in this undated picture. (Photo: Ruhanna Neal)

“Millard Grimes bought and sold, launched and expanded more newspapers than I can recall,” Davis said.

Not surprisingly, Grimes read three or four newspapers daily for many years, according to Smith.

Grimes served as president of the Georgia Press Association in 1985-86; president of the Magazine Association of Georgia in 1996-97; and vice president of the Alabama Press Association in 1981-82.

In 2020, at the age of 90-years-old, Grimes self-published his first novel, “The Last New Dealer.”

At the time of his Fellowship induction in 2008, Grimes shared his views about the state of the newspaper industry. He pulled the following quote from the book “The Last Linotype: The Story of Georgia and Its Newspapers since World War II,” that he wrote in 1985.

Grimes began by quoting the French historian Alexis De Tocqueville: “A newspaper can drop the same thought into a thousand minds at the same moment.  A newspaper is an adviser that does not require to be sought, but comes to you without distracting your private affairs.  Newspapers therefore become more necessary as men become more equal individuals.  To suppose that newspapers only serve to protect freedom is to diminish their importance; they maintain civilization.”

Grimes continued with his thoughts: “De Tocqueville wrote those words in the 1830s, when he could not have imagined how much more pervasive newspapers and other media would become.  The demise of newspapers and the printed word has been forecast during all of the 60 years I have worked in print journalism, and if that time is finally at hand, it will be a shame, not only for newspapers, but for “maintaining civilization,” a task the printed word still performs most ably as De Tocqueville recognized so many years ago.”

A nearly 90-minute interview with Grimes can be viewed here.  It was filmed in 2009 as part of the Georgia Politics Oral History Project through the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at UGA.

The official obituary for Millard Grimes can be read here.

Grimes and his wife, Charlotte, have three children.

Millard Grimes and Claude Williams
Millard Grimes and the late Claude Williams (ABJ ’47) in 2007. (Photo: Grady College Archives)

2022 Fellowship Profile: Susan Goodenow

Congratulations to Susan Goodenow (ABJ ’90), a 2022 Fellowship inductee.

Goodenow is executive vice president of marketing & communications for the Chicago Bulls, where she is responsible for developing and managing the team’s marketing efforts, directing and integrating all team content and communication and overseeing the team’s community engagement efforts.  

Goodenow graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in public relations (ABJ ’90) and continued her education at Georgetown University with a master’s degree in American studies. She also earned an Executive Scholar Certificate in General Management from the Kellogg Executive Education program at Northwestern University.  

Before joining the Bulls in 2012, Goodenow spent four years with the Boston Red Sox as the senior vice president of public affairs and marketing.  She has also worked for Major League Baseball/Office of the Commissioner, the American Red Cross and public affairs firms in Washington, D.C. 

Goodenow continues to serve UGA as a member of the AdPR Executive Committee and the Alumni Sports Industry Council. A resident of Chicago, Goodenow is also a member of the Gilda’s Club Chicago Governing Board, American Red Cross of Greater Chicago Tiffany Circle and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Following are excerpts from an interview with Goodenow:

Grady College: What is it about your field that appeals the most to you?  Why did you decide to enter that field? 

Susan Goodenow: My choice to enter PR was made, in part, after contemplating a role in broadcasting as a sports reporter. Soon after I started down that path, I realized being in front of a camera is not for me – I break out in hives and cold sweats! – so I decided a role behind the camera was a much better fit. I have always loved words, and it oddly brings me joy when someone lands on the perfect word choice or sentence structure. Growing up I was also intrigued by marketing – more specifically advertising – along with business news and current events, so the combination of those interests with my love of words and my aversion to being in front of the camera made PR a good fit.  

GC:  What do you miss the most about being at UGA? 

SG: Ah, that’s easy – walking through North Campus.

Goodenow, pictured at a work-related event, has always had a passion for words.
GC:  What does this recognition mean to you? 

SG: I am a very proud Georgia Bulldog – just ask anyone who knows me, particularly during football season. I’ve been going to games since I was four years old. My sister and I both graduated from Georgia, as did my brother-in-law. My niece is a junior, and my nephew will be a freshman in the fall.  It is an incredible honor to be recognized by an institution that is so much a part of my family and helped shape who I am.  

GC:  What are your best strategies for keeping up to date with industry advancements? 

SG: The world evolves and changes, so it is important to stay current and adapt. While you may be an expert in something right now, some of your go-to knowledge and skills could someday become funny “do you remember when we did that?” topics, so always stay curious and never stop learning. PR is a profession where you provide strategy and counsel to people and organizations spanning industries and interests that can be affected by a number of internal and external factors. Staying up to date on current events and emerging trends prepares you to be ready in a crisis or when an opportunity to create value comes up. It’s easy to scroll through social and feel like you know what’s going on, but that’s just a surface look. Go beyond the “what” and find ways to dig deeper to learn the “why” and “how” by reading articles and books, listening to podcasts and seeking out interesting people and have conversations with them.  

GC:  Is there anything else you would like to share?

SG: Being in PR can mean you’re always on call, so take time for yourself when you can. Develop interests and hobbies that make you happy. Learn this lesson now, not later. It is something I only recently started to practice and am still not very good at it.  I even bought a sign that reads “Don’t forget to go outside and play” that hangs in my house to serve as a constant reminder.  


This is one in a series of profiles about our 2022 Alumni Award honorees and Fellowship inductees.
All our honorees and inductees will be honored at Grady Salutes: Celebrating Achievement, Leadership and Commitment on April 29, 2022 at Athens Cotton Press. 

 

2022 Fellowship Profile: Alan Massengale

Alan Massengale’s Twitter profile provides a glimpse into his character: “In the sports broadcasting world my moniker is — ‘The Legend’ — which means I am old, but well loved. Proud UGA Bulldog.”

He was a legend, well loved, and a proud Bulldog, graduating from Grady College in 1980 with a degree in journalism. He was not, however, old when he died of cancer on March 12, 2022 at the age of 63.

As we celebrate the induction of Massengale (ABJ ’80) into the Grady College Fellowship, we honor an impressive career spanning some of the most watched sports including basketball, boxing, the Masters and the Indianapolis 500, among other sports competitions.

Massengale was a well-known sports reporter in Los Angeles from 1990 to 2007. His award-winning pregame, halftime, and postgame shows covered the Lakers, Angels, Dodgers and Clippers, and established national standards for local sports coverage.

Pat Harvey, an anchor at KCAL/KCBS and former colleague of Massegale, remembered him at the time of his death for his funny colloquialisms and his piano playing. Most of all, he was an “ultimate storyteller.”Massengale was one of the most watched international boxing announcers on television and was voice of the World Series of Boxing from 2010 to 2013. He called the world championships twice in Guiyang, China, and travelled extensively around the globe for Top Rank Boxing.

In 1985, he was an anchor for a new fledging network called ESPN. He was the first Sportscenter anchor to report live from the Masters, Indianapolis 500 and Boston Marathon.

In 1990, Massengale was lured to the nation’s first regional sports network, Prime Ticket. Among his duties, he hosted Press Box, a nightly 30-minute sports report and the first regional sports report of its kind.

In October 1996, Massengale joined Fox Sports Network as anchor for their new network.

Massengale received the Golden Mike Award twice for best sportscast, as voted by a panel of broadcasters in the Los Angeles market. He was also honored four times by the Southern California Sportscasters Association.

He self-reported that “he has a bunch of Emmys but he does not remember how many.“

While a student at Grady College, Massengale interned and was a fill-in reporter for The Atlanta Journal Constitution sports department. He was also on the Dean’s list all four years of his UGA career.

Massengale was aware of his Fellowship honor, which according to his wife, Elizabeth, meant a great deal to him. Family and friends will be on hand at the Grady Salutes event to celebrate this honor when he is inducted into the Fellowship April 29.


This is one in a series of profiles about our 2022 Alumni Award honorees and Fellowship inductees.
All our honorees and inductees will be honored at Grady Salutes: Celebrating Achievement, Leadership and Commitment on April 29, 2022 at Athens Cotton Press.

 

GSAB Profile: Debbie Ebalobo

A seasoned storyteller with more than 14 years of communications and marketing experience, Debbie Ebalobo (ABJ ’10) is the director of global and financial communications at The Coca-Cola Company. She is responsible for developing strategies and messaging on matters of public policy and promoting and protecting the Coca-Cola brand across the globe. 

Born in the Philippines and raised in Scotland, Ebalobo graduated with a degree in public relations from Grady College, where she took advantage of many educational and extracurricular opportunities. In addition to earning a New Media Certificate, she was a member of the national champion Bateman competition team through PRSSA, served as a Grady Ambassador and was a communications intern with the College, among other activities.

Following is a brief interview with Ebalobo.

GC: What are you hoping to contribute to the GSAB during your time of service?

DE: I hope to listen and learn what students and faculty think before landing on the item I’d like to focus on. However, my passion is rooted in diversity. Grady College creates storytellers and problem solvers. Enabling diversity of thought and experience creates folks that are better at asking the RIGHT questions. I hope to contribute ideas that enable this type of experience for students and faculty. 

Debbie Ebalobo at the Coca-Cola office.
Ebalobo, once the president of Grady’s chapter of PRSSA, originally enrolled at UGA to study environmental sciences. (Photo:submitted)
GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?

DE: Meet folks who don’t think like you. Search them out. 

Listen.

Be curious and question everything.  

Fail fast. Learn faster. 

GC: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?

DE: I came out during my senior year of college. It was scary. I was afraid of what my future would look like as a gay mixed Asian woman. Shortly after coming out, I vividly recall receiving a text message. One of my professors, Dr. Kaye Sweetser, sent me a note reminding me that I’ll be okay and she thought the world of me. 

When I think of my time at Grady, I think of the support system built underneath me. It enabled me to accomplish a lot in my time as a Grady College student. We jumpstarted diversity initiatives for the college. I recall meeting with the dean and presenting the idea of diversity councils, which he loved. I served as a Grady Ambassador. I served as the president of PRSSA. I was on a winning Bateman team.  

Looking back at Grady, it gave me the toolbox to think critically, risk greatly and to listen intently. 

GC: Looking back at your time at Grady, is there anything you wish you had done (classes you had taken, skills you would have liked to have learned, clubs to be involved with) that would help you with what you are doing today?

DE: I wish I would have taken more classes that had nothing to do with my major — computer science, biology, programming, French, etc. I was too afraid to fail, especially because it hindered me from learning as much as I could. 

GC: What is your favorite place on campus and why?

DE: As a multicultural leader on campus, I spent a lot of my time in Memorial Hall, which is adjacent to the Grady College building. I learned a lot about different cultures roaming the halls of Memorial Hall. The building and the people in it made me feel at home.


This series profiles members of the Grady College Alumni Board who make a positive difference in our College. We are grateful for the support and enthusiasm of our Grady Society Alumni Board members.


 

GSAB Profile: Quanza Brooks-Griffin

Quanza Brooks-Griffin (ABJ ’01) is a public health advisor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she has worked for nearly two decades. Four years ago, Brooks-Griffin was inducted into UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 for the impact she has made in her career.

Following is a brief interview with Brooks-Griffin.

GC: What are you hoping to contribute to the GSAB during your time of service?

QBG: I can remember walking the halls of Grady. I loved my courses, classmates and professors. It was very exciting to be a student at one of the top journalism schools in the country. Now, as professional adult, my top goal is to give back to the university that groomed me into who I am today. During my time of service on GSAB, I hope to share my experiences and knowledge to keep the legacy of Grady alive. I want to influence decisions that benefit the students and staff for years to come. 

It is also my hope to be an example to students of how your initial career goals can shift in a major way. I always knew I wanted to work for a PR firm. But, look at me today. I work in public health. My Grady education has allowed me to be successful in a public health career. This field requires good writing, strategic thinking and the ability to tell the true story in an impactful way. Ultimately, I am doing PR for public health. I love it. My path is a great representation of the diverse careers that can come from Grady. 

Quanza Brooks-Griffin sits in front of the CDC sign.
Griffin outside of the CDC. (Photo: Submitted)
GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?

QBG: Keep in contact with your classmates and professors! I worked alongside some amazing students and professors during my time at Grady. I wish I could call some of my classmates and catch up over coffee. But, after 20 years of life passing by, I have lost all contact with people who were really impactful in my life. It would be awesome if I could catch up with one of my favorite professors, Ruthann Lariscy.  She was amazing!

Grady College students should keep in contact with everyone – whether you are close friends or not. Everyone you meet is a part of your network. I am sure it is a lot easier now because of social media. One tip I learned from my mentor is to add contacts’ birthdays to your calendar. If possible, add other details, like their favorite store, activity, etc. When their birthday comes around, you can call or email them. You can even invite them to their favorite coffee shop! It’s a nice way to keep your professional network active.

GC: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?

QBG: One of the biggest influences of my time at Grady College was my senior PR project where I worked in a small group to create a PR plan for an actual client. Our client was the Athens Transit Authority. It was a real-life experience that encouraged us to be dependable, academically savvy and professional. At the time, I was working in Atlanta and would drive to Athens for our group meetings. I was committed to my group and the work. This experience helped to prepare me for my career in public health where there are similar workgroups and expectations.

A photograph of Quanza Brooks-Griffin wearing a white shirt.
Brooks-Griffin’s first internship was with the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC peer-reviewed journal). (Photo: Submitted)
GC: Looking back at your time at Grady, is there anything you wish you had done (classes you had taken, skills you would have liked to have learned, clubs to be involved with) that would help you with what you are doing today?

QBG: I would encourage every student to learn a skill that you can use as a hobby or way to earn extra cash. Learn the basics of using a professional camera or understand the concepts of basket weaving. Find something you are interested and make a side hustle out of it!

GC: What is your favorite place on campus and why?

QBG: My favorite place on campus was the Tate Student Center! It was the hub of random engagement on campus. One day there could be a step show, and the next you may have people drawing cool pictures on the ground with chalk. It was the place to be between classes to relax, have lunch and chat with friends. When I visit campus today, I feel a sense of joy whenever I am at Tate.

 


This series profiles members of the Grady College Alumni Board who make a positive difference in our College. We are grateful for the support and enthusiasm of our Grady Society Alumni Board members.


 

GSAB Profile: Chase Cain

Chase Cain is a storyteller, covering climate change for NBCLX on Peacock. His reporting has earned three Emmy Awards and a National Edward R. Murrow for an innovative story about the impact of a warming planet on Southern California’s endangered Joshua trees. Chase documented firsthand the summer of unrest in Washington, D.C., the 2020 presidential campaign, and traveled to Tokyo to cover the Olympics for NBC. Previously, he reported for NBC in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but his first television job began in Augusta, right after graduating from Grady College in 2005 with a major in Broadcast News. Chase also spent three years at Hulu, creating original content for acclaimed series likeThe Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock. Originally from Marietta, Chase is proud to now call Southern California home.


What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?

The most important advice is to follow your passion. What interests you? What excites you? Follow that! There are plenty of jobs which pay well or seem to be glamorous, but if there’s not passion behind what you do, happiness is far more elusive.

Cain alongside a classmate at the anchor desk for Newsource15 during his time in the College. (Photo: submitted)

What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?

My involvement with Newsource15 remains the most invaluable experience of my time at Georgia. The opportunity (and pressure) to produce a live daily newscast absolutely prepared me for the real expectations of a career in television news. I am eternally grateful for the intentionally challenging instruction of former professors like David Hazinski, Michael Castengera and Steve Smith.


What modern challenges would you like to see current students and recent College alumni solve?

Personally, I would love to see more students pursue environmental journalism and social justice. There’s an important crossroads between the two, and there are far too few journalists bringing attention to those issues. There is no more important story than the future of our planet, our ecosystems, and the survival of our species.


What is your favorite place on campus and why?
Cain stands outside the White House in Washington, D.C. during President Joe Biden’s inauguration. (Photo: submitted)

I always loved Herty Field, and how can you not? I would also use the law library as a favorite study spot. I would feel somewhat out of place as a journalism student in the law library. Would someone ask me to leave? Could they tell I wasn’t a pre-law major? Lol. But I really loved being inside and looking out the window to the beautiful fountain. It was just a wonderful, peaceful escape — and sometimes I would actually study!


How has your field changed from your graduation to now?

The biggest shifts have been in the immediacy of news and the abundance of mis/disinformation. The “fake news” moniker has been incredibly harmful to journalism, and I would encourage everyone to stop using it, stop joking about it. While journalists work to share the truth, we’re also under increasing demands of immediacy. It’s no longer enough to spend weeks producing engaging work. It often needs to be shared while in-progress, and that is fundamentally changing how we work.

 


This series profiles members of the Grady College Alumni Board who make a positive difference in our College. We are grateful for the support and enthusiasm of our Grady Society Alumni Board members.


 

Alumni Award Profile: Julia Carpenter

Julia Carpenter (ABJ ’13) is this year’s recipient of the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award, honoring a graduate of the last decade who has experienced a successful early career.

Carpenter is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. She previously worked at both CNN and The Washington Post, and has also written for publications including Glamour, Vogue and New York Magazine.

Covering stories on gender, culture, finance, technology and everything in between, Carpenter has received several awards for her reporting. In 2019, she was honored with the Excellence in Business Coverage Award from The Association of LGBTQ Journalists for her story “When Work Puts You Back in the Closet,” published in CNN Business. In 2020, she received a Front Page Award in the Personal Service category from the Newswomen’s Club of New York for her reporting in WSJ’s “The New Rules of Money” series.

In addition to reporting, Carpenter also publishes a daily newsletter, “A Woman to Know,” and mentors aspiring writers through Girls Write Now.

Following is a brief interview with Carpenter:

GC: What is it about your field that appeals the most to you? Why did you decide to enter that field?

JC: I’m a big talker and an obsessive journaler. As soon as teachers saw those two things, they started recommending I think about studying journalism. In my career now, those two things — my chattiness and my note-taking — are huge strengths of mine. As a student, I loved the idea that journalists could ask anyone about anything and spend all day learning about everything. Even today, I’m still marveled that I will think “I wonder how that’s going to work?” and then I’ll call someone and say, “You’re the expert, and I’m a journalist — can you tell me how that’s going to work?”

Carpenter is currently based in New York City, where she reports for The Wall Street Journal (Photo: submitted).
GC: Looking back at your time at Grady, is there anything you wish you had done (classes you had taken, skills you would have liked to have learned, clubs to be involved with) that would help you with what you are doing today?

JC: As a college student, I was so intent on double-majoring (in English and in journalism) and excelling at the student newspaper. I wish I had taken more classes just for fun! Looking back on my time at UGA, I can truly think of only a handful of classes I took that weren’t fulfilling a requirement or adding to some other part of resume. If I could go back, I like to think I would do that differently. I know I would be a better writer for it, that’s for sure. 

GC: What would you tell your 20-year-old self?

JC: There’s no “right way” to build a career and a creative life. Stop trying to find it! Go to Marti’s and eat some pita chips.

Carpenter graduated In 2013 with a degree in journalism (Photo: submitted).
GC: What motivates you?

JC: The day after I publish a piece, I set aside time to read all the tweets, emails and comments responding to it. Sure, some of them are negative, and many require an eye roll or, in bad cases, a block and report. But I save all the emails that say, “you put words to what I was experiencing” or “thank God someone finally said this!” or — this one most of all — “I thought I was the only one.” Those motivate me. 

GC: Is there anything else you would like to share?

JC: I have spent countless hours, therapy sessions and fat baby tears stressing over finding a mentor. Everyone kept telling me “Do you have a mentor? You need a mentor!” and at all these different points in my career, I resolved to find a mentor who (I presumed) could shepherd me to career enlightenment. But here’s the thing: my strongest advocates and best advice-givers and most generous sounding boards have always been people at the same level as me. Some of them I met at The Red & Black, some of them I met at internships and some of them I met during my early days at my first job. But we’ve all come up together, and grown together, and I want future students to know that building those connections is enough. Now, these peers are worth more to me than any idea I had of some “Fairy GodMentor.”


This is one in a series of profiles about our 2022 Alumni Award honorees and Fellowship inductees. 
All our honorees and inductees will be honored at Grady Salutes: Celebrating Achievement, Leadership and Commitment on April 29, 2022 at Athens Cotton Press. Please visit our Grady Salutes registration webpage for more details.