Eric Baker, Delaney Tarr named convocation speakers

Grady College proudly announces speakers for its online 2022 spring convocation. Alumnus Eric Baker (ABJ ‘90) has been selected to deliver the charge to candidates and Delaney Tarr, a graduating journalism major, has been selected as the distinguished senior speaker.

The online convocation will be available for viewing on the UGAGrady YouTube channel, UGAGrady Facebook page or the Grady College graduation webpage starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 13.

Following a positive response from graduates over the past few semesters, the online convocation will be accompanied by a Celebration of Graduates from 2 to 5 p.m. on May 13, before the UGA Commencement at 7 p.m. at Sanford Stadium. Commencement ceremonies for graduate students will be held on May 13 at 9:30 a.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.

Eric Baker is senior prop manager with Universal Creative, where he contributed to multiple award winning projects including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. He supervised the design, construction, art direction and installation of more than 106,000 pieces of props and set dressing. Prior to Universal, Baker served as creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering and was responsible for storytelling and playscapes of everything from Disney cruise ships to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Baker spent time on the Star Wars film sets, as well as traveling the world to find almost 100,000 pieces of props and set dressing that brings Galaxy’s Edge to life.  He graduated from Grady College with a degree in EMST (then Telecommunication Arts) and was active as a student with WUOG and the University Union.

Delaney Tarr is a senior from Coral Springs, Florida, studying journalism with a minor in women’s studies. Tarr has interests in broadcast news, political reporting and food writing, and her background in activism led her to pursue stories that uplift unheard voices in the community. She has spent her collegiate career writing for The Red & Black, UGA’S student-run independent newspaper. During the summer of 2021, Tarr interned with the independent news outlet The Pavlovic Today as a White House reporter and Gen Z voice reporter. She was named a 2022 McGill Fellow and was active in Phi Kappa, the debate society.

Online Convocation

All spring 2022 graduates are invited to submit a photo or short video clip to be included in the online convocation program. Details and a custom link for each graduate can be found in the emails from StageClip. The deadline to submit materials is May 6, 2022. Questions can be directed to Karen Andrews.

Graduation Celebration

Grady College’s Spring 2022 Graduation Celebration will take place on the College lawn and is open to graduates and their families.

Graduates can walk across the graduation stage, have their name read aloud by a faculty member and receive congratulations from Dean Davis.

  • AdPR faculty will be on hand to read names of AdPR graduates from 2 to 3 p.m.
  • Journalism faculty will be on hand to read names of journalism graduates from 3 to 4 p.m.
  • EMST faculty will be on hand to read names of EMST graduates from 4 to 5 p.m.

While these are dedicated times for each department, graduates and their families are welcome any time during the event and names will be called whatever time period is most convenient.

This drop-in celebration will feature light refreshments and will feature the online convocation ceremony playing on a loop throughout the event.

Visit the Grady College Graduation webpage starting May 13 for a list of graduates and messages of congratulations.

Visit the UGA Commencement for more details about the UGA ceremonies.

Hsiao and Esemuede named Grady Convocation speakers; Perry named UGA Commencement student speaker

Wendy Hsiao (AB ‘09) will deliver the Charge to Candidates and Eden Esemuede will be the senior speaker during the virtual Fall 2021 Grady College Convocation, available to view starting at 10 a.m. on Dec. 16, 2021.

Meagan Perry, a graduating public relations student and Grady College Ambassador, has been named the University of Georgia student speaker for the undergraduate commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Dec. 17 at Sanford Stadium.

Hsiao is an account director at Weber Shandwick in Atlanta. She specializes in media relations and works with clients including McDonald’s and Anytime Fitness. She has been profiled by several publications including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Atlantan Magazine and VoyageATL. She was recently named an honoree in the Top Women in Communications for the Leader category by Ragan Communications and PR Daily.

Hsiao earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and a certificate from the New Media Institute. She is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the Public Relations Society of America, ColorComm and the UGA Atlanta Alumni Association. She also serves as a mentor for the University of Georgia.

Esemuede will graduate this semester with a degree in Entertainment and Media Studies and a minor in communication studies. During her time in school, she has been involved as a volunteer with Grady Newsource and a variety of student productions. She is a HOPE scholarship recipient and Presidential scholar and is president of the On The Spot Improv group. Her career aspirations include going to law school and becoming an entertainment lawyer.

Perry is a Grady Ambassador and has been involved in the Public Relations Student Society of America Drewry chapter. She serves as an event coordinator for UGA CHAARG, a health empowerment organization, was on the summer staff member if the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center and moderated Grady College’s 2021 40 Under 40 panel. Perry has studied abroad in Madrid, Paris and Rio. Her capstone project is a year-long public relations initiative for the Athens Athletic Hall of Fame.

The UGA graduate student Commencement will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 17 at Sanford Stadium.

All Grady College graduates and their families are invited to a Celebration of Graduates on the Grady College Lawn on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. Students can drop-in and walk across the graduation stage, visit with other graduates and faculty and have a picture taken with Dean Davis. Light refreshments will be served. 

Congratulations, Spring 2021 Graduates

After a year like no other, we proudly recognize the perseverance, determination and tenacity of our graduates.

Our graduates are celebrated in a virtual convocation this year and an in-person Senior Sendoff on the Grady College Lawn on Thursday, May 13 from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Commencement Ceremonies for Grady and Terry College graduates take place Thursday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Sanford Stadium. The Commencement speaker is Maria Taylor (ABJ ’09, MBA ’13).

Please visit the following to celebrate the Class of 2021:

Greg Bluestein, Joshua Marx headline College Spring Convocation

Greg Bluestein (ABJ ’04), a political reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Joshua Marx, a graduating Entertainment and Media Studies student, will be the featured speakers at the Spring 2021 Grady College Convocation.

The convocation ceremony will be virtual and broadcast on the UGA Grady College YouTube channel, UGAGrady Facebook page and on the college graduation webpage beginning at 10 a.m. on May 13, 2021.

Bluestein will deliver the charge to candidates. As a political reporter, Bluestein covers the governor’s office and state politics. He joined the newspaper in June 2012 after spending seven years with the Atlanta bureau of The Associated Press, where he covered a range of beats that included politics and legal affairs. He also contributes to the AJC’s Political Insider blog and is writing a book, “How the Peach State turned Purple,” about the 2020 Georgia elections. He discussed the publication process, the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and identifying local angles in national stories in this episode of The Lead podcast. Bluestein received the College’s John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award in 2014.

Marx is from Gainesville, Georgia, and was selected in a competitive search to address the graduates as the distinguished senior speaker. In addition to his EMST studies, Marx is also majoring in economics. During his time as a student, Marx has written multiple screenplays and pilot scripts, as well as an economic thesis investigating the impact of Georgia tax credits for the film industry. During his sophomore year, Marx studied at Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg in Germany. Marx has been involved with several organizations on campus including serving as vice president of Esports at UGA, president of On the Spot Improv and a judge for the Bahamas International Film Festival screenwriting competition. Following graduation, Marx plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in screenwriting at Boston University in further preparation for a career in screenwriting, directing and producing for film and television.

In addition to comments from Bluestein and reflections from Marx, the virtual convocation will include comments from Dean Charles Davis, a virtual roll-call of graduates with self-submitted pictures and short videos, a welcome message from Grady Society Alumni Board President Lauren Izzo (ABJ ’05, MA ’07) and reflections from some Grady Ambassadors.

Spring undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit pictures and short videos for the production which is being produced by StageClip. Graduates who did not receive an email from StageClip with a link to submit materials should email Karen Andrews at KarenA@uga.edu for further instructions.

Editor’s Note: Several UGA Commencement ceremonies will be offered to encourage social distancing.

 

The UGA Commencement ceremony for Grady College undergraduate students and family members takes place Thursday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Sanford Stadium. Maria Taylor (ABJ ’09, MBA ’13) will deliver comments live to graduates.

 

The UGA graduate student Commencement ceremony takes place Friday, May 14 at 10 a.m. at Sanford Stadium. David Lee, vice president for research, will deliver comments to graduates.

 

A special Senior Send-off will be hosted on the Grady College lawn for all College graduates and their family members on Thursday, May 13 from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The convocation video will be played and graduates will have a chance to enjoy some light snacks, photo opportunities and visiting with faculty and staff.

 

Ryan Carty, Maggie Cavalenes headline virtual fall convocation

Ryan Carty (ABJ ’09) and soon-to-be graduate Maggie Cavalenes will not be at a loss of topics related to overcoming challenges and persevering when they address the fall Grady College graduates during virtual convocation ceremonies.

The ceremony will be available for viewing beginning at 11 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2020, and will include comments from Dean Charles Davis, a virtual roll-call of graduates complete with self-submitted pictures and short videos, a welcome message from Grady Society Alumni Board President Lauren Izzo (ABJ ’05, MA ’07), comments from Carty who will deliver the charge to candidates and reflections from Cavalenes who was selected to be the distinguished senior speaker.

Carty currently serves as recruiter in GMS, partnerships and consumer marketing for Facebook. He is well-known here not only from his time as a student, but also serving as the college’s liaison with the UGA Career Center followed by its first director of experiential learning from 2014 to 2016. Since that time, Carty has served in various recruiter roles at Tegna and Truist, before joining Facebook early this year. During his time as a student, Carty served as a college ambassador and held a T. Howard Foundation internship and went on to earn a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in professional counseling from UGA.

Cavalenes was selected to be the distinguished senior speaker based on an audition process among graduating seniors. She graduates with a degree in public relations, a minor in women’s studies and a Public Affairs Communications certificate. Cavalenes was very involved with campus activities during her time as a student including serving as social media editor for The Red & Black special publications, co-president of HER Campus UGA, executive communications director of Student Government Association and a Tieger Fellow for the Public Affairs Communication Program, among others. She also held several internships during her time including positions, among others, at the Disney College Program; Guardian; and Tupperware Brands where she is currently focusing on social media strategy in their Early Talent Identification Program. Cavalenes is from Cumming, Georgia.

Cavelenes was interviewed for a profile in spring 2019 at which time she talked about what it’s like to be a student with initiative and a positive attitude: “There’s no need for negativity in an empty space – I try to come into things with positive energy and with the hope of receiving good things back.”

Fall graduates are invited to submit pictures and short videos for the video production produced by StageClip. Graduates who did not receive an email from StageClip with a link to submit materials should email Karen Andrews at KarenA@uga.edu for further instructions.

The ceremony will be available to watch any time on the UGA Grady College YouTube channel and on the college graduation webpage.

Fall 2019 graduates challenged to be informed and active in communities

Graduates Call the Dawgs prior to convocation.

Pictures from the Fall 2019 Grady Convocation can be viewed on the UGA Grady Flickr gallery:

Fall 2019 convocation graduates:

Video of convocation:

Grady College graduates were celebrated and challenged to lead in their respective fields at the Fall 2019 Convocation ceremonies on December 12, 2019, at the Hugh Hodgson Performing Arts Center. More than 160 students graduated from Grady College this semester, many of whom participated in convocation.

Graduate students eligible for graduation included 25 MFA, Emerging Media and master’s in public relations students. Undergraduates who were recognized included 24 students with an advertising degree, 19 with a degree in public relations, 52 from the journalism program and 40 from entertainment and media studies.

Dean Charles Davis presided over the ceremony, giving an overview of Grady’s accomplishments this past year and praising students for their hard work, passion and academic excellence.

Randy Travis (ABJ ’82), investigative reporter for Fox 5 Atlanta and a recent Peabody Award winner, addressed graduates with a talk focusing on fulfilling the responsibility to be informed and challenge government leaders.

“This is a crucial time for journalism,” Travis said. “Rise to the occasion and do what you have been taught here. You have got the tools now and I know you have the confidence.”

Travis encouraged graduates to consume news from respected sources every day.

“Be an ambassador for news,” Travis said. “That means being informed.”

The distinguished senior speaker, a student chosen based on an audition among the graduates for the honor, was Peyton Lewis, a journalism major. She focused her remarks on the relationships she built at Grady College.

“It was so nice to know that I would always have someone in my corner to mentor me and grow me,” Lewis said. “I think we should all strive to be that person for someone else.”

Michael Gray (ABJ ’11), a member of the Grady Society Alumni Board,  concluded the platform of speakers by welcoming the students to the alumni ranks of the college and encouraging new alumni to stay involved through mentoring, coming to alumni receptions to meet current students and supporting Grady Giving Day.

“Your time here has afforded you the opportunity to build relationships that will be with you forever if you take the time to stay in touch,” Gray said.

 

Compilation video produced by Dayne Young

 

Travis, Lewis to address fall 2019 graduates at convocation

Grady College graduates will gather for Fall 2019 Convocation ceremonies on Thursday, Dec. 19 at the Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

Randy Travis (ABJ ’82) will be the keynote speaker at the event. Travis is a Peabody Award-winning investigative reporter for Fox 5 Atlanta.

During his career, Travis has won two national Edward R. Morrow Awards and more than 20 regional Emmys. His Peabody win came this past May for a series of investigative reports he produced, wrote and reported called “$2 Tests: Bad Arrests.” He was the recipient of the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award from Grady College in 2005, and in 2015, Travis was named to the Silver Circle, a lifetime achievement honor given by the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

The senior speaker at convocation will be Peyton Lewis. Lewis is a journalism major with a minor in communications and a New Media Certificate.

Lewis interned for Joy FM’s radio team in the summer of 2018, where she worked on storytelling through mediums such as radio and social media. During the summer of 2019, she worked as a news intern at 11Alive.

Lewis, a native of Stockbridge, Georgia, aspires to work as an investigate reporter after graduation.

Taylor Maggiore, a journalism major and Grady Sports Certificate student, will be the senior speaker at the UGA Commencement on Dec. 13.

For more information about convocation, please visit the Grady convocation webpage.

Themes of truth in storytelling and making connections highlight 2018 Fall Convocation

Pictures from the Fall 2018 Grady Convocation can be viewed on the UGA Grady Flickr gallery:

Fall 2018 convocation graduates:

Themes of hard work, perseverance, truth in storytelling and making connections were shared as Grady College graduates were celebrated at the Fall 2018 Convocation ceremonies on December 13, 2018, at the Hugh Hodgson Performing Arts Center. Nearly 170 students graduated from Grady College this semester, many of whom participated in convocation.

Graduate students eligible for graduation included 28 MFA, Emerging Media and master’s in public relations students. Undergraduates who were recognized included 32 students with an advertising degree, 30 with a degree in public relations, 45 from the journalism program and 31 from entertainment and media studies.

Dean Charles Davis presided over the ceremony, giving an overview of Grady’s accomplishments this past year and praising students for their hard work, passion and academic excellence.

Adam Levin, founder of CyberScout and author of “Swiped,” addressed graduates with a talk focusing on employing truth in storytelling to “critique, clarify and convince,” and to bring stories to light that need to be told.


“Your mission is to seek out the truth, explore human emotions and give expression to the hopes and dreams of your fellow human beings,” Levin said. “Your duty is to use your talent, your skill and your public platform to give a voice to those who have none of these things. This is an awesome responsibility.”

Levin continued by saying that freedom of the press is vital to our democracy and as graduates go out into the world to pursue these professions, they will have the support of others.

“In the war on truth, you are the front lines,” Levin added. “We owe you our support. As a society, it’s incumbent upon us to stand with those with the guts to engage the world and bear witness to it…journalists, communication professionals…those who reflect reality back to us and help us make sense of it.”

He continued: “As you are society’s storytellers, I implore you to keep the stories that matter on our radar to keep them from being forgotten.”

The distinguished senior speaker, a student chosen based on an audition among the graduates for the honor, was Kathleen Brennan, an EMST major who also earned a major in English.

Brennan’s talk focused on the power of connection and relying on fellow graduates.


“If you know the people next to you, great,” Brennan said. “They will our greatest asset as we venture out into the world. Not just as networking opportunities, but as friends who can attest and support us during our greatest struggles. If you don’t, say ‘hello.’ They might just be the Lennon to your McCartney or maybe just someone who can sublease from you in LA someday. We are entering a really intimidating field, but I feel so blessed to be doing it alongside some insanely cool people.”

Lauren Izzo (ABJ ’05, MA ‘07), a member of the Grady Society Alumni Board,  concluded the platform of speakers by welcoming the students to the alumni ranks of the college and encouraging new alumni to stay involved through mentoring, coming to alumni receptions to meet current students and supporting Grady Giving Day.

Complete versions of the speaker comments can be found here:


Adam Levin to address Grady College graduates at Fall 2018 convocation

Adam Levin, founder of CyberScout and author of “Swiped,” will address Grady College graduates during the Fall 2018 Convocation ceremonies Dec. 13. The ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. at the Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall and is expected to be live-streamed on the UGA Grady College Facebook page.

Adam Levin (photo: Allison Michael Orenstein)

Levin will lead the charge to graduates through his talk, “Two Plus Two Equals Four:  A Speech About Truth.”

Levin is a nationally recognized expert on cybersecurity, privacy, identity theft, fraud, and personal finance. He is a former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and a co-founder of Credit.com. He is author of the critically acclaimed book “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.” Levin’s mission is to educate consumers, businesses, journalists, law enforcement officials and lawmakers on identity management and protection, privacy, credit, and election security issues. His writing and interview credits include ABC News, Inc., The Huffington Post, Yahoo!, The Today Show, Good Morning America and the CBS Evening News, among others.

Levin, a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Michigan School of Law, is a friend to Grady College, visiting several times over the last few years to talk with students about entrepreneurship and cyber security. In October, Adam Levin and the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation pledged a gift to the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership to create the Levin Leaders Initiative.

Kathleen Brennan is 2018 Fall Convocation Senior Speaker.

In addition to Levin’s talk, Kathleen Brennan, an Entertainment and Media Studies student, was selected as the distinguished senior speaker and will address the graduates.

Grady College students can find more details about the ceremonies on Grady’s convocation webpage.

Tickets are required to attend the convocation ceremonies and can be ordered by contacting Karen Andrews via email at karena@uga.edu.

First MFA and Emerging Media graduates among those recognized at Fall 2017 Grady Convocation

Pictures from the Fall 2017 Grady Convocation can be viewed on the UGA Grady Flickr gallery:

Master’s degrees, Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism, EMST

Nearly 175 students graduated from Grady College this semester, many of whom were recognized at the Fall 2017 convocation on December 14, 2017, at the Hugh Hodgson Performing Arts Center.

A student celebrates with a moment of victory as he crosses the stage at the Grady College Convocation ceremonies.
Sports Media Certificate graduate Patrick O’Shea celebrates with a moment of victory as he crosses the stage at the Grady College Convocation ceremonies. (Photo: Chamberlain Smith)

Among graduates were 28 master’s students, including Grady’s first graduates of its Master of Fine Arts program and its new Emerging Media master’s degree.

Undergraduates who were recognized included 32 students with an advertising degree, 20 with a degree in public relations, 59 from the journalism program, two who studied digital and broadcast journalism, 28 from the entertainment and media studies department and five with a mass media arts degree.

Dean Charles Davis presided over the ceremony, giving an overview of Grady’s accomplishments this past year and praising the students for their hard work, passion and academic excellence.

Jody Danneman (ABJ ’88), executive producer and president of Atlanta ImageArts and a member of the Grady Board of Trust, addressed candidates with a speech that compared the five principles of journalism — who, what, when, where and why — and challenged the graduates to ask themselves questions to determine what their personal story is.

Danneman explained that much of this is rooted in the values and principles you hold dear.

“If you can find your ‘why’ and you can be rooted in your values, you are going to be happy when you get up and go to work every day,” Danneman advised.

He also challenged the graduates to “let people know by the integrity of your work, by the quality of your work, by the camaraderie and friendship that you have with your co-workers, that you are a team player…that you are a Grady graduate.”

“I am Grady, you are Grady and it is a great day to be a Grady Dawg,” Danneman concluded.

The distinguished senior speaker, a student chosen based on an audition among the graduates for the spot, was Gabrielle Cowand, a journalism major and communication studies minor, who is working toward her master’s in Emerging media, as well.

“Grady didn’t teach us the ‘it’ factor; we already had that,” Cowand said. “It simply taught us how to use our talents at max capacity. It opened our minds to what we didn’t know to do or create. We have learned how to constantly strive to reach our full potential and that we have no limits.”

“We have to create our own circumstances,” she continued. “We define the rules. We write our own story. A whole lot of legwork is required on our end, but the good news is that we have a whole lot of people behind us. Grady really is a family.”

Bryan Harris (MA ‘03), outgoing chair of the Grady Society Alumni Board, concluded the platform of speakers by welcoming the students to the alumni ranks of the college.

“The real education is just beginning and members of the Grady Society will be with you every step of the way,” Harris said.

He encouraged the students to stay in touch with the college and give their time, experiences and talents to future students.

Harris finished his thoughts with this advice: “Stay engaged and raise your hand when Grady calls.”