2022 in Review: Student Successes

Editor’s Note: This is part of our six-part series highlighting stories produced by Grady College in 2022. The features include stories in each of the following subjects:

  • Student Successes
  • Faculty Honors
  • College Headlines
  • Research & Expertise
  • Service & Partnerships
  • Alumni Spotlight

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but instead highlight a sample of just a few of the hundreds of stories about accomplishments by our students, faculty/staff and alumni. We invite you to visit our Grady College News page for a full list of features posted in 2022.


  • Seven Grady students were recognized as Multicultural Advertising Intern Program fellows


We are immensely proud of our students for all that they accomplish. Here are just a few headlines outlining their work and successes from 2022: 

Seven Grady students were recognized as Multicultural Advertising Intern Program fellows: In April, seven students were selected by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Foundation to participate as fellows in the 2022 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP). These students engaged in a 22-week fellowship program geared to prepare them with the skills and connections they need to build a foundation in the industry. The fellows participated in a 12-week virtual training series on topics within the industry and went on to complete 10-week paid summer internships with top agencies across the United States.

EMST major Abigail Clark earned an industry honor: Grady College Entertainment and Media Studies (EMST) major Abigail Clark was chosen as a multimedia journalist to work at the Broadcast Education Association/National Association of Broadcasters annual convention in Las Vegas, which happened in spring 2022. Clark was one of four students across the United States to be awarded this opportunity.

Journalism major Mennah Abdelwahab was selected as a UGA Presidential Award of Excellence recipient: Mennah Abdelwahab, who graduated this past spring, was selected, along with her twin sister, as a UGA Presidential Award of Excellence recipient, which recognizes the top 1 percent of UGA undergraduates who excel not only in academics, but also in service to the community and leadership, both on and off campus.

Grady InternViews: Madison Greer

graphic that reads "Madison Greer; Hometown: Lilburn, Georgia, Major: Public Relations; Title: Digital Intern; Company: MSL, Location: NY + AtlantaThis is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to share their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities.

I am an intern in MSL’s digital innovation center of excellence. My responsibilities include collaborating with the team on influencer pay gap research, writing case studies for consumer clients, contributing to the digital newsletter, and working on a project for a corporate reputation account. I’m also a MAIP (multicultural advertising intern program) fellow this summer, so I attend MAIP labs and work as a public relations specialist for my MAIP project.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that to be successful, you have to take initiative and be your own advocate. I have learned a lot and gotten new opportunities by not being afraid to speak up and ask questions or reach out to new people.

How will this role guide your future career path?

This role has exposed me to all the different areas of public relations and what I can do with my degree. I’ve learned that I’m interested in strategy, experiential marketing, and influencer marketing, and that I enjoy working on a variety of accounts. This internship has confirmed that I want to start my career at a public relations agency like MSL.

What lessons will you take back with you to the classroom in the fall?

A creative said in a meeting that successful PR campaigns “make the complex simple” and “the ordinary extraordinary.” This stood out to me, and I will take it back to my projects in the classroom as a reminder of what we are trying to accomplish.

What advice would you give to  students who are looking to pursue similar opportunities?

I would say get out of your comfort zone and take big swings with where you apply. If you are able, definitely apply for internships in different cities and take advantage of the Grady summer programs. Once you get in your role, look for people that interest you in the company and ask to put time on their calendar. In my experience, people are always happy to chat with interns.

madison waving, sitting at a desk in the office
Madison’s internship is hybrid, and she has gotten to work out of offices in both New York and Atlanta. (Photo:submitted)
What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?

My favorite part of this internship has been seeing what agency life is like both in-office and remote. I was surprised by the energy and community in the office as people return to work and how it carries over into online meetings. I’ve been able to work out of the Atlanta and New York offices, so it was fun to compare the two.

7 Grady students recognized as 2022 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program fellows

Seven Grady College students have been selected by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Foundation to participate as fellows in the 2022 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP).

These students, along with a group of over 200 of their peers from colleges and universities across the country, are engaging in a 22-week fellowship program that prepares them with the skills and connections they need to build a foundation in the industry. 

“Being selected as a MAIP fellow has been the highlight of my advertising journey thus far,” said Smera Dhal, a third-year Advertising major. “This program emphasizes the unique experiences that shape multicultural students and the significance of their representation in the advertising world.” 

In the spring, MAIP fellows participate in a 12-week virtual training series on topics within the industry, which is geared to prepare them for their 10-week paid summer internships with top agencies across the United States. 

“I’m looking forward to spending the summer gaining hands-on experience with real clients!” said Priya Desai, a fourth-year Advertising major. “I’m especially grateful to the 4A’s Foundation for creating a program that values my diverse experience and champions equity and inclusion throughout the industry.”

Throughout the program, fellows also have the opportunity to learn from a team of over 200 volunteer coaches and participate in advertising workshops and panels. The fellowships are available in over 16 disciplines, including social strategy, copywriting, design, public relations, communications planning and many more. 

“I feel lucky to have found an internship that isn’t just another desk job,” said Midori Jenkins, a second-year Entertainment and Media Studies major. “Additionally, I cannot wait to move to Los Angeles for the summer and will be using this time to maximize networking opportunities and explore the city.”

Since it started in 1973, MAIP has grown a vast and diverse alumni network of more than 4,100 who have come from more than 80 colleges and universities across the United States. Nearly 80 percent of MAIP’s participants are female, and 100 percent are members of minority groups. 

“I am honored to be a MAIP fellow and to contribute to the diversification of predominantly white spaces,” said Dhal. “I hope to see a future where more Indian girls can wholeheartedly and unapologetically pursue their creativity.”

The seven Grady students participating in the program are Priya Desai (SSCG Media Group), Smera Dhal (Digitas Boston), Melissa Flores (Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners), Madison Greer (MSL Group), Midori Jenkins (Ignition Creative), Jocelyn Peña (Sony Music Group) and Heaven Robinson (Saatchi & Saatchi).

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Smera Dhal

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity means bouncing back.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

Through Grady study abroad, I spent this past summer at the Creative Circus in Atlanta. While the course itself was rather rigorous, I got to spend every day with the most incredible and inspiring creatives. I’m grateful to say many of them are now my buddies here at UGA.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about people! I love getting to know someone new. The best feeling in the world is strengthening your connection with someone you love.

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

The Cookout on W. Broad Street has kept me going through my darkest hours.

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment has been being appointed a 2022 MAIP Fellow. This internship program focuses on promoting diversity within the advertising world, and I am so excited to have been placed with the Digitas agency for an Art direction internship this summer!

Dhal (far left) participated in the Creative Circus program in 2021.
What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?

Grady introduced me to the professional side of graphic design. This semester, I have begun creating posters, show announcements, and even cover art for local musicians. Check out “On Your Roof” by Evelia on all platforms, artwork by me!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

When I was learning how to ride a bike, my dad used to tell me “sedha dekho, pedal karo” which in Hindi means “look straight, keep pedaling.” I apply it more metaphorically to my life now, and it keeps me focused.

What are you planning to do after graduation?

Make cool stuff!

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I like to make candles!

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

There’s a bench right outside the Journalism building under the big magnolia tree. It doesn’t jut out, it’s obscured, but it’s got a wide view of Sanford Drive. It’s perfect for anything – eating, studying, people-watching.


Grady InternViews: Nhilynn Nguyen

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities. Graphic explains Nguyen is an advertising major working as a Social Strategy Intern for dentsu X remotely from Athens, GA

Every morning I wake up at 8:30 a.m. and get ready for my morning meeting with the rest of the team. This recurring meeting is to go over all clients, priorities and updates. Every day varies, but most of it is managing social media, collecting and analyzing data and providing insights to clients. Facebook Ad Manager has definitely become my best friend! After work, I have team project meetings and labs for my fellowship to attend. During these labs, we’re able to hear from companies and agencies directly on how they’re working to improve diversity and inclusion internally and learn more about those efforts.

My internship is fully remote! It’s been more challenging to network and get to know the rest of my team, but everyone has been really kind and has reached out to connect with me! 

Explain your opportunity with MAIP. 

The Multicultural Advertising Internship Program is a selective program for multicultural students in Advertising. Once MAIP fellows are selected they begin cultivating tangible, transferable skill-sets through Spring Training, a 12-week virtual series; connecting with their MAIP mentors and collaborating with cross-national teams on a project brief. Throughout the summer, fellows participate in agency-sponsored professional development workshops and seminars, which provide a deeper dive into the various advertising and media disciplines. 

As a MAIP Fellow, we are also selected by one of the partnering companies and agencies for an internship! So I am currently interning for dentsu X as a Social Strategy Intern under the Paid Social team. This internship is remote, so I have been working from Athens!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far would definitely be imposter syndrome. As a newcomer and minority, it’s easy to feel underqualified and undeserving of the opportunities you receive but throughout this summer I’ve learned how to gain more confidence and feel more secure about my abilities. I’m thankful to the 4a’s foundation and the rest of my MAIP fellows for providing a space and community where I can be candid and honest about these feelings! 

What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?

My biggest growth over the summer has been gaining more confidence in my skillset and abilities. I’ve learned so much about paid social and I’ve learned how to do things more confidently!  Walking into this internship I felt very underprepared and anxious but as the weeks went on and I learned more about paid social, I’m able to complete tasks without hesitation! 

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

The best advice I’ve heard so far is “the other side of adversity is an opportunity,” from the Chief Equity Officer for dentsu Americas, Christina Pyle. This has resonated with me after battling a year of Zoom university and the aftermath of quarantine. It can be really difficult to stay motivated when life keeps challenging you, but in the long run, opportunities will find you!

Grady students recognized as 2021 Multicultural Advertising Internship Program fellows

Every year, the American Association of Advertising Agencies selects college students from across the country to be chosen as fellows for the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP). 

This summer, nine Grady College advertising and public relations students will build necessary skills, develop a portfolio and intern with a variety of agencies in social, account strategy and public relations.

“Being a MAIP fellow means I get to be a part of an amazing cohort that not only provides a support system, but also actively celebrates diversity,” said Amari Tillman, a graduate student in integrated advertising and public relations. “My worth is being seen and advocated for in professional spaces and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.”

Over 90 companies participated in MAIP’s 12-week virtual program last year. The program is committed to bringing students from diverse backgrounds into the advertising industry. 

“I am proud to be a part of a program that strives to make diversity, equity and inclusion an integral piece in the future of advertising, so that when we see ads featuring people of color, they are ads that undermine rather than perpetuate stereotypes.”

– Fourth-year advertising and sociology double major Morgan Jackson said. 

Grady students will have the opportunity to network with their 2021 cohort, learn from industry professionals and gain the skills and experience that will prepare them for their post-graduate endeavors. 

The fellows are also excited to create meaningful work with their host agencies, including FCB Chicago, Weber Shandwick, Pavone Marketing Group and Rodgers Townsend.

“To me, it means I have been given a unique opportunity to not only get experience with real clients, but to also start making an impact in the media industry by contributing my diverse perspective,” third-year advertising major Alise Crittendon said.

For third-year advertising and marketing double major Shruti Muruganandan, she realized early on she didn’t know anyone in either field. Being a fellow will help Muruganandan grow her network and give her a sense of community within the fellowship program, she said.

“We love to say the industry’s all about the people you know, and I feel so grateful to say that I get to know and learn from the MAIP community,” she said.

The eight students participating in the program are Alise Crittendon (FCB Chicago, copywriting), Morgan Jackson (Pavone Marketing Group, Inc, account and strategy), Amari Tillman (Weber Shandwick, public relations), Camryn Williams (Weber Shandwick, public relations), Camden Dukes (LGA Agency, media), Isabel Weber (Entree Health, social strategy), Grace Yeo (Rodgers Townsend), Shruti Muruganandan (Doe-Anderson, strategy) and Nhilynn Nguyen.

Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) info session

The 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) provides students with the opportunity to work in advertising and marketing agencies, interact with advertising professionals on a day-to-day basis, work across multiple brands, and gain valuable professional ​credentials ​to get your first job in the industry.

Students selected for the annual 20-week fellowship program (10 weeks of virtual online ​training and a 10-week agency internship experience) will hone their skills in one of these advertising disciplines (includes ad tracks, PR, production & more). Learn more about the 2020 program here, and see application information here.

Join previous UGA MAIPers to learn about the program and their personal experiences. There will be a brief program overview and review of application requirements followed by a Q&A session. We strongly encourage you to attend before submitting your MAIP application.


Gossett selected as MAIP Fellow

Erin Gossett (AB ’18), a recently-graduated advertising major, has been selected as the Fellow for the 2018 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP), hosted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s).

“This is a great program offered by 4As and our advertising students have been very successful as MAIP Fellows,” said Bryan Reber, head of the Grady College Department of Advertising and Public Relations. “Erin follows a long line of Grady advertising students in this program, and I know she’ll represent our department well.”

MAIP is an intern program designed to promote and develop diverse talent within the advertising industry. More than 100 agencies are participating in the professional growth and development of these highly skilled and motivated students from across the country this summer.

The program began with a 12-week webinar series to give the fellows an in-depth look into the advertising industry. The second part of the program involves an immersive work experience within a host agency. For nine weeks, Gossett is working alongside industry professionals and learning the inner workings of her chosen disciplines.

While working on the 12-week webinar series, Gossett found the most informative webinar to be “The Art of Storytelling.” In addition to the 12-week webinar series, MAIP Fellows are required to take a coding Khan Academy course and create a personal website.

Gossett is currently interning at Droga5 in New York City.

“I’m excited to work with movers and shifters of the advertising agency that will help me grow to become a mover and shaker as well,” Gossett said.

Gossett is very active in Grady College and throughout UGA, as well. She was one of seven seniors in the PHD/ Grady Creative Collective program and was a member of several student organizations such as Black Affairs Council (BAC), LeaderShape UGA and Ad Club.

In addition to the professional and personal growth Gossett will gain this summer, she is excited to meet new people from different cultures and regions of the country.

“I’m most excited to meet individuals like myself all across the country who want to change the face of advertising into a diverse, well-rounded industry,” Gossett said. “Sometimes the minority perspective can be unheard and overlooked, but I will be soon joining a community that has a lot of the same goals.”

#GradyInternDiaries: Na’im Carlyle

Name: Na’im Carlyle 

Major: Advertising 

Title of Internship: Brand Management/ Content Creation Intern 

Company: The Richards Group

Location: Dallas, Texas 

Responsibilities: As a brand management intern, I assisted the principal brand managers on the team by updating status reports and sitting in on meetings with clients and other departments. As a content creation intern, I assisted the content team with production shoots and concepting for social media executions.

What is the biggest challenge you faced during your internship? 

The biggest challenge I faced during my internship was coming to terms with not knowing how to do everything and that being okay. Going into my internship, I thought that I needed to know everything and that wasn’t the case. Part of the growing process is being able to ask questions when you don’t know something.  

What was the best part about your summer internship? 

The best part of my summer internship would have to be the people I met. Everyone at The Richards Group, including Stan Richards himself, were always happy to talk to me and give me glimpse into their experiences in the creative and advertising world. It helped me to have a better understanding of my future career path and shows how incredibly humble and open The Richards Group is.  

Na’im Carlyle (center) is pictured with Karen Mejia (left) and Lisa Rainford. The Grady students were selected as 2017 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program Fellows, hosted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Mejia interned with Moxie and Rainford interned at 22Squared in Atlanta.

What is the most memorable experience you had during your internship?  

The most memorable experience I had during my internship was when all the interns were able to sit down and ask Stan Richards about the company and himself. It was amazing getting to ask the owner of The Richards Group about his success and why he enjoys getting to come to work every day. He’s very humble and gave us some great advice as we are starting to navigate our own careers.  

What was the biggest surprise in your internship?

How fast-paced the work environment is. I wasn’t expecting how fast I’d be doing projects and switching clients to help the team.

What is the most valuable lesson or skill you learned during your internship? 

To ask questions and learn as much as you can by talking to people outside of your discipline. Everyone has knowledge and experience that can benefit you in the long run. You just have to be willing to take a chance to ask them to coffee.  

What advice would you give to a student looking for an internship?  

Keep an open mind. You might not start out doing what you want to do but you can always gain valuable perspectives and insights with whatever you do. Always find a way to learn all that you can and make your experiences work to your advantage.  

What part of your Grady education did you find most valuable during your internship?  

All the opportunities and experiences that I’ve had a Grady really helped me to put myself out there and my willingness to talk to as many people as I could and continue to learn and grow my skill set. 

How did your internship help confirm your desired career path or make you re-evaluate what you want to do in the future? 

By entering the advertising industry in account management where I was able to see the interactions between the agency and clients and even the agency with other agencies, it’s shown me that I not only have the skill set to do client relations, but also I’m more passionate about the creative side of advertising, whether that lies in strategy or design. I definitely prefer the more tangible approach to the industry.  

Four advertising majors selected for MAIP Fellowship Program

Advertising majors Na’im Carlyle, Emily Laramy, Karen Mejia and Lisa Rainford have been selected as Fellows for the 2017 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP), hosted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s).

“We’re so proud that these students are representing UGA and the wonderful education they’re getting in AdPR,” said Tom Reichert, head of the Grady College Department of Advertising and Public Relations.

MAIP is an intern program designed to promote and develop diverse talent within the advertising industry. Over 100 agencies are participating in the professional growth and development of these highly skilled and motivated students from across the country this summer.

The program kicks off with a 12-week webinar series to give the fellows an in-depth look into the advertising industry. The second part of the program involves the fellows fully immersed within their host agencies. For nine weeks, the fellows work alongside industry professionals and learn the inner workings of their chosen disciplines.

Mejia, who will be interning at Moxie in Atlanta, said she is grateful to have been chosen as a MAIP fellow.

“I can’t wait to get to know all of the fellows and start my career,” she said. “I am excited for what the future holds and where this experience will lead me. Thank you 4As and Moxie!”

Rainford will be interning at 22Squared in Atlanta.

“I’ve interned at a variety of places during my college career, but never an advertising agency,” she said. “With my dream work environment being an agency, I knew I had to make it happen. A hefty application, an interview, and a draft day later and I’m a 2017 MAIP Fellow! This opportunity definitely means the world to me.”

She added: “I’m looking forward to this experience because it’s so jam-packed with all these great character/skill building opportunities. From spring training webinars, to learning HTML coding, to our group intern project, to professional development events, and to end it all in August, Face of Talent. But of course I can’t forget the most exciting thing of all, interning for my host agency 22Squared. I’m grateful they chose me as their fellow, and I cannot wait to work, learn, grow, and share my perspective with them this summer.”

Carlyle will be interning with the Richards Group, in Dallas, Texas.

“I am excited to be a part of the MAIP 2017 class,” he said. “I’m looking forward to learning the ins-and-outs of agency life, while also having the opportunity to interact with the other fellows. I plan to explore my knowledge, not only about the industry but also the role I will be able to play in showcasing diversity as a creative. Thank you to the 4A’s and The Richards Group for the opportunity!”

Laramy is entering her second year in the MAIP program. Last year she interned with GTB in Detroit and this year she will be interning with Publicis Health, in New York, New York.

“I’m so ecstatic to be working in New York City this summer for such an amazing company like Publicis Health and getting the fun experience of living with my fellow MAIPers,” she said. “MAIP is such a unique experience not only because of the professional opportunities it creates, but also for how it fosters multicultural talent through things like its spring training series, mentorship program, and engagement with its alumni long after graduation. MAIP ends up being so much more than just an internship, it feels like a family.”