Grady students to present research at CURO Symposium

On April 4, two Grady College undergraduate students, Ireland Hayes and Josie Lipton, will be presenting their research at the CURO Symposium, an annual event highlighting undergraduate research at the University of Georgia. 

Held by the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, this year’s symposium will take place from April 4-5 at the Classic Center in downtown Athens and feature both oral and poster presentations from UGA students. It is the first CURO Symposium since 2019 to be held in person. 

Ireland Hayes presents “Making the News: Rural Georgia Influencers”

Hayes, a third-year journalism major from Folkston, Georgia, will be presenting her research on how small communities throughout the state without traditional news coverage, like a daily paper or local news station, are filling those gaps. 

“I’m looking mostly at Facebook groups, talking to the administrators and moderators of the groups to see how they view themselves and how they decide what goes on and what might get taken off of the pages,” said Hayes, who has been working with Karin Assmann, assistant professor of journalism, as her mentor.  

Ireland Hayes sitting outside of Grady College working on her computer.
Hayes, who is from a mostly rural area in southern Georgia, said her hometown receives Jacksonville news. (Photo: Jessica Gratigny)

“When Ireland heard that I was working on a study about rural information networks here in Georgia, she asked if she could participate with her own set of research questions,” Assmann said. With her Qualitative Research Lab, Assmann hopes to support more students like Hayes and Lipton, as well as graduate students interested in doing this kind of research with her. 

“It’s exciting to see our student journalists wanting to engage with larger questions about the future of the industry and journalism’s role in society,” Assman added. “CURO is a great way to support these emerging scholars as they take their first steps into research.”  

“Dr. Assmann has been very helpful in getting me into that research mindset and teaching me how to conduct research, guiding me through that as I start this first project,” said Hayes. 

With first-hand experience living in a Georgia news desert, Hayes’ ultimate goal is to identify what impact Facebook groups and rural influencers have on news-starved communities. She is evaluating if Facebook groups are used out of necessity or if they are desirable. 

While her research is ongoing, Hayes intends to use the results to develop a pilot information pipeline system that is ideal for these rural news deserts. 

“That is the end goal of all of this,” said Hayes. “How can we create something to fill that need for reliable local information that is more fact-checked and standardized?”

Ireland Hayes' poster displaying her research.
Ireland Hayes’ poster displaying her research. (Created by Ireland Hayes.)
Josie Lipton presents “One Town, One Newspaper: A Case Study of Information Routines Among Citizens of Oglethorpe County, Georgia”

Lipton, a third-year journalism major from Seattle, is also studying news deserts. However, her research focuses specifically on Oglethorpe County, an area that recently had its local 148-year-old newspaper, The Oglethorpe Echo, revitalized thanks to a partnership with Grady and its students. 

Josie Lipton works on her research while sitting outside of Grady College.
Lipton, a third-year student, hopes to attend law school in the future. (Photo: Jessica Gratigny)

“UGA joined the project as a way to take over the paper and make sure that people in Oglethorpe County still have a news source, but they do still only have the one paper. So, my research, to sum it up, is about finding a balance between where people are getting their official news and how the community supplements that,” explained Lipton. 

And where do they turn? Again, the answer is Facebook. 

“You hear this association between Facebook and news and you immediately get goosebumps as a journalism major,” said Lipton. “But, it is really not as bad as you think.”

“It is a lot of smaller groups that function just to discuss what is going on in the community,” she added. “I found that a lot of people who are in charge of the big groups are like newsmakers. Because they’re informed on what is happening in the community, they use Facebook as a platform to keep other people informed.”

Lipton dissected the types of posts and topics discussed on Oglethorpe County Facebook news groups and determined that the topics “pets” and “events” comprised 56 percent of all content. She also interviewed the administrators of Oglethorpe County’s Facebook groups and found that residents view Facebook as a tool to get immediate access to information. 

“By the time a story came out in the Echo, it was already old news. Having Facebook groups allows for more immediate access…to things going on in the county,” Stephanie Maro, the administrator of the Facebook group Oglethorpe County Local News, told Lipton during her research. 

Lipton, who is also mentored by Professor Assmann, and whose research will contribute to Assmann’s ongoing project, thanks both Assmann and Kyser Lough, an assistant professor of journalism, for help and inspiration with her research. 

“Of course I thank Dr. Assmann,” said Lipton. “Dr. Lough has also been really helpful. He wasn’t directly involved in this research project. But just by taking his classes, I’d say he was really helpful in terms of encouraging me to see people how they are. I took his photojournalism class, and that really helped me get over my anxiety when approaching people.”

Josie Lipton's poster. Created by Josie Lipton.
Josie Lipton’s poster displaying her research. (Created by Josie Lipton.)

Both Hayes and Lipton will be presenting their research on posters in the Grand Hall of the Classic Center from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, April 4. 

Journalism Innovation Lab Team finishes in top six in nationwide competition

The first-ever Journalism Innovation Lab Team from the Cox Institute of Innovation, Management and Leadership finished in the top six teams in the nation, out of more than 50, in the 2022 Reynolds Journalism Institution Student Innovation Competition.

Team members Sophia Haynes, Cassidy Hettesheimer and Gabby Vitali, all journalism majors, created and tested a product called j-notes, which improves news literacy and relationships between audiences and journalists by lifting the veil on how reporters make decisions and cover stories. This web-based design allows for short-form, embedded videos from the journalists themselves that walk the audience through how a story was covered and why — to increase trust in the news.

“The journalists can explain why they decided to write something a certain way, how they found a piece of information, or show a video from the field,” the team said in their presentation. “The goal of j-notes is to build connections with journalists, increase transparency, and help audience members feel confident in knowing what to look for in trustworthy journalism.”

Screenshot of the news literacy tool j-notes in action.
j-notes consists of short-form, embedded videos that allow the journalist to speak directly with the audience.

The team started in fall 2021 with the creation of this research-based concept. Then, they developed a wireframe and made a brief presentation for RJI judges, who moved their team to the second round, where they built the product and tested it with audience members through in-depth, qualitative interviews. Then, the team created a final presentation for a panel of judges.

WATCH: View the final presentation for the UGA Journalism Innovation Lab Team:

On March 21, the UGA team was one of the top six finalists for an awards ceremony, which also included teams from the University of Oregon, University of Missouri, Ohio University, University of Florida and Purdue University-Fort Wayne. University of Florida took the top prize, which was $10,000.

Even though the UGA team didn’t place in the top spot, Vitali said she gained experience she wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

“It was amazing to work with others with the same goal in mind and to bounce our ideas off each other in a productive way,” Vitali said.

According to Cassidy Hettesheimer, the process wasn’t without its challenges, but was ultimately rewarding.

“The process of brainstorming, creating and gathering feedback pushed us to be creative, collaborative and decisive,” Hettesheimer said. “I learned a ton participating in the RJI Student Innovation competition that will hopefully help shape how my teammates and I look at journalism in the future.”

Sophia Haynes said she had an eye to the future of journalism as well, as she did research and the wire-framing process in creating J-Notes, which she believes has a real application in news organizations.

“Hopefully, this idea doesn’t just stop here,” Haynes said. “I love the concept of short-form videos to engage readers in stories and to answer potential questions that may arise while reading.”

Dr. Amanda Bright, director of the Journalism Innovation Lab, said she could not be more proud of the team and what it accomplished in this first-ever endeavor.

“Our three team members were thoughtful, reflective and so professional throughout the process — from the conception of the idea through to the final presentation,” Bright said. “They truly created a product that would be a benefit to any newsroom to create stronger ties and trust between journalists and audiences.”

Bright said the Journalism Innovation Lab plans to create another team and enter the RJI competition again next year.

New program brings journalism students, Georgia newsrooms together to achieve digital goals

When initial discussions began about creating a new program called Digital Natives at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t factored into its launch. Despite the unforeseen challenge, program director and academic professional Amanda Bright and eight students jumped into action.

Digital Natives was developed in conjunction with the Georgia Press Association. The program pairs UGA journalism students with local GPA member newsrooms to help them accomplish a specific digital goal, from improving social media to experimenting with video production. 

“Once I heard about the program I was absolutely in,” Bright said. “I know that [newsrooms] need that support, and who better to give that to them than boundless energy college students?”

For 2021, eight students were selected through an application process that highlighted their abilities and interest in community journalism. The newsrooms also completed an application that determined their digital needs, willingness to work with the students and ability to follow through on what they learned. Students were matched with news organizations based on how well their skill sets would meet the newsroom’s needs.

The students spent a month preparing for an intensive week with their newsrooms. They consulted with editors and publishers about their digital goals and prepared a community audit that covered demographics, economic outlook, government, local competition and an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

Starting on Jan. 4, they implemented their weeklong plans to teach the newsrooms using guided practice, feedback and independent practice resources that they made themselves.

The students created synchronous and asynchronous video tutorials, how-to guides and presentations to explain how to get the most out of digital tools like Instagram and Facebook and develop strategies for optimal use based on the newsroom’s goals.

Senior Alexander Merritt worked with his newsroom, Hometown Headlines, to design infographics to embed in their digital content.

Fourth year Alexander Merritt said Grady Newsource prepared him to confidently work with Rome-based Hometown Headlines editor John Druckenmiller.

Merritt and Druckenmiller worked together to include more infographics in daily content, learn to manage and track a Google analytics page for the website and make a YouTube channel.

“Everyone’s thinking of the CNNs and the Wall Street Journals, you know those kinds of big name jobs, but we forget to understand that local journalism is just as important and those jobs are still good jobs,” Merritt said.

The program is designed to enrich the learning experience for both the students and newsrooms, and that sentiment was especially clear for third-year student Livia Geiger. Geiger’s parents own The Herald Gazette in Barnesville, and even though Geiger is a marketing major in the Terry College of Business, she was able to work with her parents’ newsroom.

“My parents kept referring to themselves as ‘dinosaurs’ and they truly didn’t know anything about Instagram,” Geiger said. “I had to create a Google Drive for them and show them how to post on Instagram. I also was able to level with my parents more because I didn’t have to worry about stepping on anyone’s toes.” 

Kate Hester, a fourth-year student from Monroe, Georgia, said the most rewarding part of the program was looking at the Instagram page of her newsroom, The Hartwell Sun, before and after she arrived. By the end of the week, they were implementing what she recommended. 

“It’s nice that both parties got a new perspective,” Hester said. “When you’re teaching someone else, that’s the best way to learn. I realized how much I really did know about my field and what I needed to improve on in my field.”

The feedback from the newsrooms and the GPA was extremely positive. 

“On behalf of the GPA Board and the Georgia Press Educational Foundation Trustees, yes, a truly amazing report and program. We owe a huge thanks to the Dean for spearheading it and to Amanda for taking it and running with it,” GPA Executive Director Robin Rhodes said.

Bright remains optimistic with Digital Natives’ success and growth in a post-COVID-19 environment. 

“I hope one of the outcomes is that more students decide intentionally to do local journalism,” Bright said. “We have now an established understanding that local news is imperative and crucial and it also needs assistance.”

Grady Digital Natives was modeled off a similar endeavor called Potter Ambassadors at the University of Missouri, where Charles Davis was a professor before becoming dean of Grady College.

If member GPA newsrooms have any questions about the application for the 2022 program, please email Amanda Bright at

Editor’s Note: This feature was written by Megan Mittelhammer, a 2021 Yarbrough Fellow in the Grady College Department of Communication. She was also a participant in the Digital Natives program.

#GradyGrit: Meet Yash Bhika

Why did you choose to study Journalism?

I chose to study journalism because I want to create content that people will connect and engage with.


How did it feel to be recognized as a 2019 McGill Fellow?

It was an amazing feeling being recognized as a McGill Fellow. I couldn’t have gotten to that position without the help of my peers and professors who have helped push me along the way. It was also great seeing seven other of my Grady Sports peers being recognized as McGill Fellows too.


What is the hardest part about being a Grady student?

The hardest part is trying to do everything. At Grady, there are so many opportunities around you that it is easy to want to do everything, but you have to put time into the projects you care about to get the best results.


What is your dream job?

My dream job would be to work in social media for a sports team or company, such as ESPN.


What do you think is the most influential industry-related event to happen in the past 5 years?

The rise of social media has been huge. Social media is now where people go to for their breaking news. Reporters and news organizations are using social as a way to get news and content out to the world.


What academic superpower do you wish you had and why?

Being able to multitask efficiently would be great. There are so many tasks thrown at you sometimes, so it would be great to just be able to do them all at once.


Where do you get your news? Outlet, app, online vs. print?

For news I go to the New York Times and BBC News. For sport news, I use ESPN. I definitely read all my articles online on my laptop or on my phone.


If you were on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you and why?

I would have a book, speaker and some dumbbells. Time always goes by quickly for me when I’m reading a good book and having some nice background music will help with the reading experience. Also, it’s always great to get a workout in when you can.

Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page.

Grady students complete 2019 Cox-SABEW Fellowships

A group of seven Grady College journalism students were recognized in New York City during the fall conference of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) through a fellowship organized by the college’s James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.

The Cox-SABEW Fellows for 2019 were: Jada Bowman, Mikaela Cohen, Kelly Mayes, Skylar Nicholson, Erin Schilling, Amy Scott and Ashlyn Webb. The students were recognized during a luncheon held November 12 at Reuters in New York City.

The Cox-SABEW Fellowship was created to honor students who have taken the initiative to engage in financial journalism and business education through class assignments, student media and professional internships, said Dr. Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute. This year’s group marked the seventh year of the partnership with SABEW, which was created in 2013 and has recognized 31 participants.

The Cox-SABEW Fellows visited with Grady alum Polina Marinova (ABJ ’13), who is editor of The Term Sheet at Fortune magazine. (Courtesy: The James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership)

Amy Scott described the conference as an incredible opportunity to connect with business journalism professionals and learn more about what is going on in the industry. “I’m inspired by just how passionate and committed so many of these journalists are to their work,” she said.

This year’s program was the second year of a two-year readership initiative the Grady College established with Barron’s through a sponsorship by PagnoKarp, a wealth management and advisory firm.  As part of this initiative, the seven students were hosted at a luncheon by Lauren Rublin, Barron’s senior managing editor.

In addition to attending the SABEW conference and Barron’s luncheon, the students also met with business journalists from Fortune magazine, NPR and the Wall Street Journal. The Fortune visit featured meeting with Grady alumnus Polina Marinova (ABJ ’13), who writes The Term Sheet newsletter. The students also had dinner with Grady benefactor Adam Levin and were joined there by alums Taylor Cromwell (2017), a social media editor with The Wall Street Journal, and Lisa Fu (AB ’17), a reporter with Private Equity Real Estate magazine (PERE).

“I really enjoyed learning about business journalism from experts in the field. It showed me how diverse this field can be and how much business relates to all other beats,” said Erin Schilling. “I met business journalists and editors who inspired me to continue on this path and gave me amazing advice about how to be a better journalist.”

The Red & Black receives prestigious Pacemaker Award

The University of Georgia’s student-run newspaper, The Red & Black, took home a Pacemaker Award at last weekend’s Fall National College Media Convention. The Pacemaker Award recognizes student publications for overall excellence throughout the school year.

The Pacemaker is considered the Associated Collegiate Press’ “preeminent award,” according to Laura Widmer, the ACP’s executive director. There are also categories for online, magazines and yearbooks, in addition to newspapers.

There were 160 applicants from both two- and four-year schools for the 2019 newspaper award, which was then narrowed down to 46 finalists. Being among the 19 winning newspapers  puts The Red & Black in the top 12% of competing publications.

Other winners include Texas A&M’s The Battalion, Syracuse University’s The Daily Orange and UCLA’s Daily Bruin.

“What’s so meaningful about the Pacemaker is that it represents the hard work of the entire Red & Black staff throughout an entire school year,” said Rebecca Burns, the publisher and editorial advisor at The Red & Black. “It reflects the consistent commitment to journalism excellence by everyone at The Red & Black, from contributors still in training to seasoned desk editors who have been involved for years.”

Burns also gave special recognition to Erin Schilling and Maggie Holland (AB ’19), the former editors in chief from fall 2018 and spring 2019, respectively.

The fall 2018 Ampersand Magazine, one of The Red & Black’s special publications, was one of 41 finalists for the Pacemaker Award in the magazine category.

Individual awards were also given at the convention. The categories include reporter, advertisement, cartoon, design, local climate change reporting, multimedia story, photo and story.

Christina Manacotta (AB ’19), former chief photographer for The Red & Black, won first place in the feature photo category for a photo taken an Extra Special People event last spring.

Honorable mentions for the Red & Black include former Staff Cartoonist Nile DeFrietas’ comic strip “Fresh” in the cartoon category, and the spring 2019 edition of the special publication Eat & Drink, Athens, GA, under advertisement.

The Fall National College Media Convention was held from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C. The Red & Black was represented at the convention by former Editors-in-Chief Sofia Gratas and Erin Schilling, both Grady journalism students, and incoming Editor-in-Chief Hunter Riggall.

#GradyGrit: Meet Luis Contreras

How did you choose your Grady major?

Even before I transferred to UGA, I knew how powerful the concept of communication is. I started off as a journalism major and absolutely loved print writing, but after taking Dr. Cacciatore’s Intro to Public Relations course, I fell in love all over again. The concept of brand management and the power that campaigns have to change the life of an organization officially made me a public relations major at Grady.

What skills/knowledge will you take away from Grady?

 One incredibly important skill that Grady taught me is how teamwork truly makes the dream work. By creating a collaborative environment, individuals within a group can exchange a diverse range of ideas, allowing for a quicker, more creative way to finding the best solution. Grady does a wonderful job of preparing those in the school for the real world ahead of them.

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

 I can say without a doubt in my mind that Professor Kristen Smith has had the biggest impact in my life during my time at UGA. Professor Kristen showed me what it was like to have a genuine passion for something, which motivated me immensely to continue pursuing what I love and to never give up.

What is an example of a time you used your Grady skills in a real-world experience such as an internship or leadership role?

Over the summer, I worked for a property management real estate group where I was tasked with leading a small group in organizing an event for over 200 people. Aside from teamwork, organization is also an incredible skill that I learned through my PR Communication and Campaigns class. Thanks to what I learned in those classes, I was able to plan ahead of time, market the event and implement it along with my team. Overall, the event was a huge success, and I give Grady all of the credit for giving me the knowledge to properly organize and work as a team.

Proudest moment in the past year?

 This summer, aside from my internship, I was awarded a scholarship by an organization called IREM that flew me out to San Francisco for a real estate conference. Thanks to the writing styles that I picked up in Grady, I was awarded the scholarship through my essay and became recognized at the conference as a Student Scholar. I had never been flown out and recognized in front of hundreds of people before, so this was my proudest moment in the past year. It was absolutely great and made me more ambitious overall.

Contreras (center) pictured with other attendees at the Institute of Real Estate Management Global Summit conference in San Francisco this year. (Courtesy: Luis Contreras)

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would most definitely visit Italy. Being from a Hispanic household, there are a great amount of cultural similarities that I would love to experience for myself, as well as plenty of differences. Their food, architecture and history are some things that have always excited me.

 Thoughts on the Chick-fil-A vs. Popeyes debate?

I thought the Twitter debates and conversations online were genius ways of marketing Popeyes’ product. For the longest time I ignored what people said about the Popeyes sandwich until I finally gave in and tried it. While it’s sandwich, in my opinion, was better, Chick-fil-A definitely won in the fries category.

Favorite comfort foods?

 I am a huge fan of wings and fries. Traditional, not boneless. If a wing doesn’t have a bone in it, it’s practically a chicken nugget. Let’s debate about it.


Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page.

#GradyGrit: Meet Lucia Vereen

What made you want to study Entertainment and Media Studies?

My entire life I’ve been in awe of the power of media, specifically film and TV. As I contemplated what program of study I wanted to pursue at the University of Georgia, it seemed as if Entertainment and Media Studies would be the best fit to help me unlock the magic behind creating stories on-screen that have the power to change people’s lives.

How has Grady influenced your time at UGA?

I’ve been involved with Grady the entirety of my time here at UGA. I started volunteering with Grady Newsource as a crew volunteer in the first semester of my freshman year, was promoted to a manager in my second semester and have been in and out of Grady ever since. Grady has effectively shaped my time here at UGA as I made connections through my volunteering with Grady Newsource, my subsequent promotions and other projects I was able to work on because of my classes in EMST and work with Newsource.

What motivates you?

I’m motivated by my love for my family, for those I’ve met here at UGA who are my family away from home and my desire to move through this life with them and support them as we all continue to grow. I’m also motivated by my deepest desire to put stories out into the world, whether they be through fiction writing, film, or television, and representing those who rarely see themselves in the mainstream.

You’ve worked at WUOG in several different positions. What have you learned from those roles and how have they helped you prepare for your future?

Working at WUOG as an Operations volunteer, a DJ and then a talk show host has allowed me to learn and practice audio equipment skills in the context of live audio broadcast as well as discover dozens of new songs for myself and those in the Athens area. During my time as a co-host for “Film Thing” for the last two years — WUOG 90.5 FM’s source for all things film — I’ve developed a deeper relationship with the people who make the arthouse theatre Ciné downtown what it is and support us as an underwriter, allowing us to give a free pair of tickets out during every show and attend early screenings when our schedules permit. Being one of the hosts for “Film Thing” has also allowed me to further sharpen my analytical skills when it comes to looking beyond the magical veil of mass media to inspect texts as the sum of their parts rather than just the whole given to us, the consumers, as an end product.

If you could go back, what would you tell yourself before you began taking Grady classes?

Knowing what I know now, before I started my EMST degree program, I would take the chance to be honest with myself concerning how challenging it truly is in the beginning, and I would want others to do the same. I would give myself the mental space I needed by not taking a full schedule and try to find peace of mind through recognizing that it is a learning experience rather than a make or break test of your character or value as an individual. Although Grady classes are classes like any other at this university, they serve the dual purpose of teaching you practical and theoretical skills as well as teaching you about yourself. They inform your outlook on your future career, your spot in the industry or maybe even outside of it and what it means to you to create art for yourself and others.

You recently helped produce a new faculty recruitment video. What was that process like?

I was recently tapped to help produce the faculty recruitment video “We Are Grady: The Future of Media is Here.” One day, I saw an email from Dr. Hamilton (the head of the EMST department) in my inbox detailing an opportunity to write a short spot about faculty recruitment for Grady college. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to write more as well as to write something more commercial instead of fictional and narrative-based. Soon after I signed on to be the writer, I began workshopping drafts of the script with Dr. Kohn, one of the faculty in the EMST department. We soon got it to a place that we both felt represented our mission as a college and the tone we wanted to strike. After I returned to the States from the Cannes Film Festival Study Abroad Program, I worked together with Dr. Len-Ríos to gather the necessary resources to produce the video. I hand-picked my own team from a network I made through my studies in EMST at Grady, worked with Grady faculty as the cast, rounded up extras from all over — and we got it done! It was a very rewarding experience to work with so many people within Grady to make something for the college itself, and I’m proud of the result of my own hard work and that of so many others.

Who is your professional hero and why?

My professional hero isn’t just one person, but many. I find inspiration in the success and words of black women from any field. Toni Morrison gives me strength as a black woman who writes, even in her passing. Ava Duvernay and her mission to use her platform to enfranchise women of color in above-the-line positions gives me strength and inspiration. The light that shines from within comes from so many and offers so much solace — Tracee Ellis Ross, Rihanna, Solange, Beyoncé. I see professional black women succeeding in the world and I am inspired. I am moved. I am awed. And I’m ready to join them.

What is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is the walkway that connects Sanford drive, the Miller Learning Center and the back of the Fine Arts Building. It’s always busy, but there’s something about it that offers the opportunity for a moment of peace and solace among the hustle and bustle of a campus with tens of thousands of students. The generous shade provided by the trees, the way the light shines through the leaves, bouncing off of your skin, as if in gentle greeting. It’s the perfect place to be outside, but not suffer too much under the Georgia sun.

What is the last show you binge-watched? Would you recommend it?

The last show I binge-watched was the first season of True Detective on HBO starring Matthew McConaughey (a very important fact for me). It was one of the most satisfying and fulfilling shows, from both the writer and viewer perspectives, that I’ve seen in a really long time. The creators, Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Joji Fukunaga, wrote and directed the entirety of the first season, respectively, and delivered a visual and psychological tour de force. Although we’re following a pair of detectives, what we’re really doing is engaging in a study of the human mind. It’s a thrill to watch, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

  • Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page.

Grady College announces 2019-2020 Grady Ambassadors

Grady College is happy to announce the 15th group of Grady Ambassadors. Students involved in the 2019-2020 program come from a range of undergraduate degree programs and have strong academic records.


“I think being an ambassador benefits students because we are lucky to have a platform where we can share our Grady experience,” said Myan Patel, who is entering his second year as a Grady ambassador. “Storytelling is one of the cornerstones of the college, and Grady ambassadors gives us a chance to tell [our stories].”


As ambassadors, students act as the face of the college and are present at many university events. Throughout the year, the students will interact with prospective students and their families, special guests and potential donors, among others.


These are the 2019-2020 Grady Ambassadors, listed with their majors and hometowns:




Shelby Brand, Dallas, Texas

Jazmin Carswell, Macon, Georgia

Hanh Nguyen, Morrow, Georgia

Daley McCallum, Canton, Georgia

Anna Kate Newall, Alpharetta, Georgia

Olamide Ogunjobi, Jonesboro, Georgia


Entertainment and Media Studies


Grace Bedsole, Healdsburg, California

Grace Donelson, Morresville, North Carolina

Katherine Hoovestol, Brookhaven, Georgia

Jennifer Peña, Dallas, Georgia

Rachel Yuan, Fountain Valley, California




Yash Bhika, Cartersville, Georgia

Ashley Carter, Conyers, Georgia

Cat Hendrick, Orange County, California

Peyton Lewis, Stockbridge, Georgia

Skylar Nicholson, Newnan, Georgia

Myan Patel, Knoxville, Tennessee

Ashley Soriano, McDonough, Georgia

Lauren Swenson, Toccoa, Georgia

Lainey Tagliaferri, Danville, California

Ashlyn Webb, Tallapoosa, Georgia

Megan Wahn, Marietta, Georgia


Public Relations


Cade Anderson, Atlanta, Georgia

Madeline Coley, Peachtree City, Georgia

Madeline England, Grover, North Carolina

Austin Gibbons, Stone Mountain, Georgia

Kelsey Nicholls, Cumming, Georgia

Marquan Norris, Fitzgerald, Georgia

Lauren Willis, Canton, Georgia

Students learn and travel the world through Global Grady 2019

Grady College students are experiencing some of the world’s most renounced media, film, and communications through Global Grady 2019. Grady Newsource is publishing stories learned through international study abroad trips such as this piece from Munich’s Documentation Centre. Continue to check their site for the latest stories. Here is a look at social media from Global Grady 2019.