Grady Ph.D. students take home UGA Graduate School awards

Four Grady College Ph.D. students, JeongHyun (Janice) Lee, Taylor Voges, Jung Min Hahm and Youngji Seo, all recently received significant awards from the University of Georgia’s Graduate School. 

Each student was nominated by their faculty advisor and the Grady Graduate Office. The awards each provide recognition and/or support that will help the students complete their degrees and progress in their respective fields.

Janice Lee holding up her award.
Janice Lee received her award at the Delta Innovation Center on April 5. (Photo: Juan Meng)

Janice Lee receives UGA Graduate School Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Janice Lee, a third-year doctoral student researching in the areas of corporate communication, leadership and technologies, is the recipient of the UGA Graduate School 2021-2022 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. 

Administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning and sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction, this award celebrates teaching assistants who show superior instruction skills while serving in the classroom or laboratory. 

“The award means a lot to me because we have been through the pandemic, and it seems to be a recognition for all of us who teach and learn in this unprecedented era of hardship,” said Lee. “I also appreciate Dr. Juan Meng, my advisor, who has advised me as a researcher and inspired me as a teacher. Lastly, with this award, I am able to strive to focus more on students’ educational experiences.”

Taylor Voges receives UGA Graduate School Dissertation Completion Award 

Taylor Voges, a third-year doctoral student researching public relations and ethics, is the recipient of a UGA Dissertation Completion Award for the 2022-23 academic year. 

This very competitive award recognizes UGA’s top doctoral students. It provides funding during the final year of study so that doctoral students can focus on their dissertation without having to be a departmental graduate teaching or research assistant.  

“The Dissertation Completion Award assistantship is such an amazing opportunity, and I will be forever grateful to the University and my mentors,” said Voges. “The Graduate School was impressed by my dissertation, and this award allows me to focus all my time and energy on my dissertation. I am beyond excited to research and work on my passion project. Here’s to setting a better public relations ethics foundation for current and future practitioners!”

Jung Min Hahm and Youngji Seo receive UGA Summer Doctoral Research Assistantships

Jung Min Hahm, a doctoral candidate researching persuasion in advertising, and Youngji Seo, a fourth-year doctoral student researching health and risk communication, each received a Doctoral Research Assistantship for the summer. This assistantship provides a $3,500 award to assist in dissertation writing and on-time degree completion.

“I am honored to be a recipient of this award! I’m in the very last stage of my Ph.D. journey, and this award will help me cross the finish line towards my degree completion,” said Jung Min. 

“I am so glad that Graduate School and Grady College recognized my effort by supporting and nominating me for this assistantship,” added Youngji. “I view this assistantship as an opportunity to improve my dissertation and complete my Ph.D. degree on time successfully.”

Grady College ranked in top five of national Communication Ph.D. Programs by

Athens, Ga—The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication ranks among the top five Communication Ph.D. programs in the nation, according to the website

“Grady College’s doctoral program long has been known for its individualized instruction and for the quality and depth of its doctoral faculty,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “These rankings—based on an empirical evaluation of a variety of factors—place the college among the elite of the elite.”

The rankings were based on 20 factors including faculty metrics such as the number of publications and citations written by faculty, and number of awards won by faculty; student topics like GRE scores and percent of students with fellowships; and broader features of doctoral programs including the average time it takes to complete a degree and measures of ethnic and gender diversity.

The overall ranking lists Grady College fifth behind Stanford University, Cornell University, Michigan State University and the University of Pennsylvania. There were 83 communication programs included in the ranking. The complete list of communication programs can be viewed on the website.

The data used in the rankings come from four sources: the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, the National Research Council, the Survey of Earned Doctorates and the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.

“We are very pleased that the hard work and expertise of our faculty and their devotion to our doctoral students is reflected in this ranking,” said Jeff Springston, associate dean for research and graduate studies at Grady College.

Springston noted that Grady College is particularly strong in the student outcomes section of the ranking. This section includes length of time to graduate, placement rate after graduation, percentage of first-year students who receive full financial support and percentage of students who work in academia after graduation.

Graduate studies at Grady College include masters of arts degrees, a new low-residency MFA in Narrative Media Writing, a graduate certificate in Media Industry Research and Ph.D. degree programs in advertising/public relations, journalism and entertainment and media studies. More information about the Grady College Graduate program can be found at was originally funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the National Postdoctoral Association, and the Center for Science and the Media with the goal of providing the most accurate and recent data for every doctoral program in America. More than 4900 doctoral programs are included covering 59 fields of study.