Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?
I was originally very unsure about going to UGA. As someone from metro Atlanta, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to branch out from the many high school friends already committed to UGA. It was at one of the Grady Days in February of 2017 that really made me fall in love with Georgia. Choosing Grady and choosing UGA always went hand-in-hand for me. I’ve always loved to write and tell stories, but Grady showed me that journalism is so much more than that and really taught me — and continues to teach me every day — how to be the best in my field.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Everyone is usually surprised that I used to be a theatre kid in high school. I was really big into musicals and it’s carried on into college, when I joined a jazz a cappella group on campus called Classic City Jazz. I’ve loved singing with the group and keeping up with theatre through my theatre minor.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?
Going live with the election show and finishing Newsource, which I had been building my entire four years at Georgia waiting to do, was a big accomplishment for me this semester and something I was really proud of.
What is your most memorable Grady experience?
For me, the most memorable experience at Grady was working as a senior producer on our three-hour coverage on election night this past semester. Until that experience, I had never helped to produce something so big or so important to the community. For three hours we worked tirelessly to keep up with election results as they came to us in real time, calling counties’ election boards for updated numbers and candidates for comment. The nerves were definitely there, but the excitement was so much greater. That’s what made me realize I was exactly in the right place when it came to choosing journalism as a career path.
What are you passionate about?
I love putting a story together. More specifically, I love listening to people tell me their stories. From a piece on broadband internet to a piece on election unrest, everyone I’ve interviewed has a story to tell and I’m so grateful that they choose to share that with me.
What is your favorite app or social media channel?
Like everyone else, I’m obsessed with TikTok. I think it probably accounts for most of my screen time on my phone and literally so many life hacks and products I’ve bought because of it.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor/mentor/family member?
To take things one day at a time. It’s the piece of advice I have to remind myself of the most often, especially now that I’m preparing to graduate and go out into the real world. It’s so easy to get ahead of yourself when it comes to feeling like you have to be immediately successful right after college; when I remind myself of this advice, it brings me back down to earth.
Where is your favorite place on campus?
I love the hustle and bustle of Tate and the Starbucks I frequent, but I also love the Main Library and its view out onto North Campus on a sunny day.
What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?
Last spring I had a dream internship at CNN as a fact-checker on the Row, CNN’s fact-checking body. It was a crazy time to work there, as COVID-19 was just starting to sneak up on the world and cases were going up. It was so incredible to be able to be in the room where it happens and work alongside experienced journalists in the newsroom who really care about the information going to the public. It helped me to look at words and figures more critically as I fact-checked scripts and articles from all around CNN and CNN International, and in the end it made me a better, more thorough journalist.
What has been the hardest part about adjusting to COVID-19 in your life as a student and future professional?
The learning curve that came with adjusting to COVID-19 was not fun at all, but it has forced me to be more creative with the way I do journalism and the way I go about searching for stories. This year, I have had to rely on the internet more than ever; for story ideas, for communication between fellow journalists, for finding sources — for everything! I’ve definitely had to get crafty when it comes to making engaging b-roll and interviewing subjects all socially distanced, but in a way it has inspired me to work that much harder to make a story stand out.
Who is your professional hero?
After the election, my professional hero right now is Kaitlan Collins, who’s now CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent at only 28 years old.
Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.
The #ProfilesOfTenacity series is a set of student features highlighting the strength, determination and leadership of students in Grady College. Visit our Profiles in Tenacity webpage to view other profiles.