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.”

#GradyGrit: Meet Kelly Mayes

Editor’s Note: #GradyGrit is a new series of profiles of Grady College students who show determination, leadership and outreach to the community. Search “#GradyGrit” on the Grady College website for additional profiles. 

Hometown: Woodstock, Georgia

Year: Junior

Degree: Journalism and Ecology major

Activities and Involvement: lab technician and undergraduate researcher in the Structural and Household Entomology Laboratory, Grady Mobile News Lab, executive board member for SPJ/ONA, tutor at Oasis Catolico de Santa Rafaela, former science writer for The Red & Black, former volunteer in a marine ecology lab.

How has Grady influenced your time at UGA?

I have a double major in journalism and ecology, so I’ve spent my time at UGA walking a line between the humanities and the sciences. At times this has proven quite difficult, but Grady has made it a lot easier for me to pursue both dreams. The school has also provided a lot of opportunities for working independently and creatively on projects. I have never been fond of classroom learning, so this was a welcomed experience for me.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?  

My most memorable Grady experience was probably the admit day. I was really excited about the number of opportunities there were and programs to get involved with.

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

I should probably say something about journalism, but a journalist’s first obligation is to the truth, and the truth is my job working in the entomology lab has had the biggest impact on my life during my time at UGA. It has certainly made me a better journalist. It’s given me this amazing experience and pushed me to think in a million different ways. I get to work with insects, which I think are the most amazing creatures on earth, and travel to places either on fieldwork or for conferences. The people are what has really made it great though. The professor and graduate students I have worked under have taught me a million things not just about insects but college and life in general. The lab is my safe space where I can experiment in countless ways. I really learned how to think there.

What is your best advice for a student taking their first class at Grady College?

My advice for a student taking their first class at Grady College is to write about things that matter to you and get involved. If you care about your story then nothing is going to stop you from doing your best on it. You do have to stay on top of your work though. Just because you think you have everything for a story doesn’t mean you do. It’s a fast-paced business where everything changes in the blink of an eye. That’s also why it’s awesome. My last piece of advice is to not get too stressed out about anything. You can do this, and you’re going to be great.

Kelly Mayes, a journalism major, photographs a man in Athens, Georgia.

What motivates you?

Day to day it’s mostly caffeine that keeps me going. In the grand scheme of things, my motivation comes from my work. I try to pick projects and write articles about things I genuinely care about. Usually, that’s science, but I’ve done a few human rights articles that were really important to me as well.

Last show/favorite show you binge-watched?

My favorite show that I have binge-watched is “Atlanta.” I finished it in two days and then immediately watched it again.

Favorite quote?

My favorite quote is “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” It’s a quote from Emerson in his essay “Self-Reliance.” I like this quote in spite of Emerson’s tendency to throw shade at those in power because it talks about looking at things in different ways and from different perspectives.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I’m really interested in entomology. I almost chose that as a full career instead of journalism. I currently work as a lab technician in an entomology lab specializing in termites and cockroaches, and I’ve conducted research of my own. One of my jobs is to take care of the cockroaches and rear them for experiments.

Favorite Athens restaurant?

I’m a vegan, so The Grit is the obvious choice. Mama’s Boy is also really good though … and Last Resort. I also like Taqueria del Sol and White Tiger Gourmet. You can’t go wrong with Tlaloc though. Tlaloc is amazing. That’s it. Tlaloc is my favorite Athens restaurant.

Create your own question: What other ways would you recommend students get involved in the Athens community?

Oasis Catolico de Santa Rafaela, commonly referred to just as Oasis, is an organization in the Pinewoods community in Athens that sponsors an afterschool program where university students tutor children ages kindergarten to fifth grade. This gives the Pinewoods students support and help that they might otherwise not be able to access. I have volunteered with them for a semester, and I highly recommend it.