The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has named four students Yarbrough-Grady Fellows for the Fall of 2022: Emily Alexander, Ashley Balsavias, Elise Kim and Emma Stefanik.
Alexander and Stefanik are Yarbrough-Grady Crisis Fellows, and some of their responsibilities include planning for the 2023 Crisis Communication Think Tank Conference, developing social media content, Crisis Communication Coalition member outreach and active discussion of current crisis trends.
Balsavias and Kim are Yarbrough-Grady Communications Fellows, and some of their responsibilities include content and graphic creation, helping to develop communications strategies, writing articles and helping to manage Grady College’s social media accounts.
Alexander is a fourth-year public relations student with a minor in English from Louisville, Kentucky. Throughout her time at UGA, she has been involved in many student organizations, such as Alpha Delta Pi sorority and UGA Miracle. She has also served as the public relations assistant for Strike Magazine.
Additionally, Alexander has had multiple internships at both Verde Brand Communications and Heaven Hill Brand.
Upon graduating in May of 2023, Alexander hopes to move to Chicago to pursue a career at a consumer or entertainment-focused public relations agency.
Balsavias is a fourth-year journalism student with a minor in law, jurisprudence and the state and a certificate in news literacy. She is from St. Louis, Missouri, and during her time at UGA, Balsavias has served as a reporter for the Grady Newsource Election Show, a production manager for Grady Newsource and the digital director for Online News Association and Society of Professional Journalists at UGA. She is also a member of DiGamma Kappa and Delta Zeta sorority.
In the summer of 2022, Balsavias was a news and sports intern for Atmosphere TV in Austin, Texas. She was also a Yarbrough-Grady fellow over the summer and is excited to be continuing that role into this semester.
“My favorite part about being a Yarbrough fellow—besides working with the amazing communications team—is that I’m given the freedom to work on projects that I’m interested in,” Balsavias said. “I recently expressed interest in writing more, and now I am working on two feature stories for the college website. I love that I am given the trust and responsibility to work on projects that spark my interest.”
After graduating in May of 2023, she plans to pursue a career as an on-air reporter.
Kim is also a fourth-year student studying journalism and international affairs with a minor in Spanish and a certificate in public affairs communications. She is from Greenville, South Carolina.
Throughout her time at UGA, Kim has been heavily involved in UGA HEROs, serving as a team leader, the recruitment chair and presently the co-executive director. She is also a student tour guide at the UGA Visitors Center and she is a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Over the summer of 2022, Kim was selected to participate in the Grady in D.C. study away program and she lived in Delta Hall while interning with PLUS Communications and the Student Press Law Center.
Upon graduating in May of 2023, Kim hopes to move to New York City or to move back to D.C. to work in the communications industry.
Stefanik is a fourth-year public relations major with a fashion merchandising minor from Richmond, Virginia.
She is also a public relations specialist with Talking Dog Agency, a student-led advertising and public relations agency at UGA that gives members the opportunity to create and implement real campaigns for different brands and, in turn, get hands-on experience in the advertising and public relations sphere.
Stefanik has also interned with Strait Insights in Charlotte, North Carolina. After graduation in May of 2023, Stefanik hopes to work at a public relations agency.
The Yarbrough-Grady Fellowship is funded by Dick Yarbrough (ABJ ‘59), an alumnus of Grady College who has helped promote the success of Grady students for many years. Yarbrough also gives back to students via the C. Richard Yarbrough Student Support Fund, which has provided stipends to hundreds of Grady students for more than a decade.
“I am honored to be able to fund fellowships at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia,” said Yarbrough. “I can never repay my alma mater for what it has meant to me. I am so impressed with the quality of the students there today and hope that perhaps the fellowship will give the recipients a learning opportunity they might not have been able to receive otherwise. The only thing I ask in return is that when they are able, they give back to the next generation that will succeed them.”