#ProfilesOfTenacity: William Newlin

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

I began my college career as an International Affairs major in SPIA. History, English, political science and economics had always been my favorite subjects, and IA seemed to bring it all together. But as an avid news consumer with a penchant for writing, I realized there was more I wanted to do. Grady allowed me to join a field with colleagues who have goals beyond themselves. I knew it would give me the leeway to find my passion and the opportunity to write with purpose.

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

To me, tenacity is a willingness to leave your comfort zone to get what you need, whether in your personal life or professional pursuits. In journalism, it’s not backing down in the face of authority. It’s being dogged, nosy and courageous. In life, it’s sticking to your values and reaching for your goals no matter the obstacles. 

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about improving public debate through good journalism. I think the best reporting keeps important issues centered in our collective consciousness and directs attention to topics that might otherwise fall through the cracks. We need to have more fact-based debate in all aspects of American life, and I’m excited to contribute to that throughout my career.

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

The Red & Black. After joining in fall 2019, I immediately found a group of people who both supported me and created the environment of healthy competition that shaped me as a reporter. Over two years of reporting and editing from contributor all the way to managing editor, I honed my writing, fact-finding and storytelling skills. It was the real-world experience I needed to feel confident in my abilities as a professional journalist and leader.

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

In March, I presented original research at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Midwinter Conference. The idea originated in a research theory class the previous fall, and I developed my topic and method alongside Dr. Karin Assmann. Focused on the rhetoric of Fox News’ Sean Hannity, I found the data needed for the project, learned to use a new analysis software and wrote a lengthy paper that was accepted by the AEJMC. Despite taking the non-thesis route in my graduate program, I’m excited to leave with a tangible piece of scholarship. My goal is to submit the finished article for publication in a political communication journal.  

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

Find something interesting in every assignment. Even if you’re covering what seems like the driest beat in the world, there are always people, trends and storylines to keep you and your audience engaged. 

Who is your professional hero?

A few people come to mind. As exemplars of my first journalistic passion – sports writing (specifically baseball) – Tony Kornheiser and Jeff Passan are at the top. Their reporting chops and undeniable style continue to inform my approach to writing. I also greatly admire CNN’s Clarissa Ward and NBC’s Richard Engel. They’re in the most important places at the most important times, and I hope to emulate their unflinching courage to whatever extent I can. And if I had to throw in a historical hero, it would have to be Edward R. Murrow. Aside from the obvious reasons, who doesn’t want a catchphrase?

What are you planning to do after obtaining your degree?

I plan to hit the ground running as a reporter. With experience in sports, news and features, I’m excited to get started and adapt to new challenges.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

It might surprise people that I make music – sort of. I play the drums, can strum a guitar, and I’m oddly decent at composing piano music, which I’ve translated into a few songs. Some are on SoundCloud, and some are just for me. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

The Founders Memorial Garden on North Campus is and always will be my favorite spot. It was my between-classes refuge freshman year and continues to be a peaceful place when I need some quiet time in nature. 

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Sherry Liang

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

The only class I enjoyed in high school was newspaper, so I came into college as an intended-journalism major. I joined The Red & Black within my first month and became an editor the following semester. But I already felt stagnant, which is not a feeling you want as a freshman, so I sought a creative outlet with EMST. I wish I could reassure freshman me that both journalism and EMST would welcome (and continue to welcome) me with open arms — that pursuing both paths would change my life — but I think she already knew.

What are you passionate about?

A lot, sometimes too much. I’m passionate about independent student journalism and innovating the newsroom’s status quo. I’m passionate about people and our emotions — the way we interact and react — and finding the universal in the personal. The entertainment and journalism I grew up with rarely told the stories of my community. I never saw myself in the media industry, so I hope I can play my part in changing that for future generations.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

I hope I’ll remember the everyday moments like mingling with friends between classes, group exercises in cinematography, staying up until 2 a.m. finishing a script, sheltering from a tornado in one of the many windowless first floor classrooms, busting a kneecap open after class (unrelated to the tornado), table reads in Writers’ Room or watching film premieres at Ciné and University 16 … the list goes on. 

I also think back to when we planted seeds for ideas that would shape my college experience — like brainstorming web series concepts in Writers’ Room, pitching an AAJA chapter at UGA to Dr. Lough, the first conversations about the Backlight Student Film Festival, or the beginnings of what would become The Red & Black’s DEI Committee.

Liang served as the editor-in-chief of The Red & Black in spring 2021 (Photo: Taylor Gerlach).
What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

The students, by all means. From day one, I’ve been inspired by everyone’s dedication to each other’s work at The Red & Black, The Industry, in classrooms and on the screen. Members of Writers’ Room, for example, have exceeded every conceivable expectation of mine when I restructured the club. From first-time screenwriters to EMST veterans, everyone’s bonded over these characters and scripts that we’ve created. I’m also beyond impressed by students on the Selection Committee for the Backlight Student Film Festival, who have spent nearly 10 hours across three weeks watching and judging film submissions. This level of commitment and collaboration is a trademark of the students at this college.

As I round out my senior year, I feel like I’ve finally found my place with my people. Graduating and leaving UGA feels bittersweet and pre-nostalgic, but I am mostly relieved that given the volatility of the universe and its infinite possibilities, we all found ourselves here, together, if only for a moment. (Existential thoughts courtesy of Everything, Everywhere All at Once.)

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

Directing my first short film this semester was one of the most surreal moments of my college career. I’ve written a few scripts, so that part of the process was familiar. But as I watched actors bring the characters I created to life, heard people laugh at these jokes I wrote from my bed at 3 a.m., and witnessed an entire crew devote their many precious hours to execute my story — I felt a type of unbridled joy and gratitude that I had never experienced in a collaborative environment. I’ll chase that feeling and those people for as long as I create. 

(Bonus full-circle moment: The film is about student journalism!)

What are you planning to do after graduation?

Lots of soul-searching, a bit of traveling, and hopefully some revelatory experiences — but first, the Cannes Film Festival.

A behind the scenes look at Liang’s short film directorial debut (Photo: Jaida Green).
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

Coming in as a beginner, I was intimidated by EMST before even setting foot in a classroom. But over the last two years, I’ve never had a professor who expected us to know everything. Professor Evans taught my first screenwriting class, and from day one, he emphasized improvement above all else. Your work doesn’t have to be perfect, it might never be, but you just have to do and improve. I’ve always had some level of performance anxiety, and reminding myself of that philosophy has been liberating. As a chronic procrastinating perfectionist, it’s what motivated me 24 hours before the deadline to write my first TV pilot that became a BEA Festival finalist. It wasn’t a perfect script — one judge’s comments made that very clear — but that’s one script (and an award) more than I had before I started. 

Who is your professional hero?

I have so many. UGA alumnae Kendall Trammell, Elaine Reyes, Samira Jafari, Alex Laughlin and Amanda Mull are just a handful of the journalists who inspire me. Editors at CNN and The Red & Black have shaped my confidence and voice as a journalist. The writer-director in me also looks up to the power-duo of Lulu Wang and Barry Jenkins (who share a dog-child with a hyphenated last name — talk about life goals). 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I talk to myself a lot, entire conversations. Sometimes I’ll mute my podcast in the car just to hear myself talk … to myself. Most of these answers came from me talking to myself. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

My body is actually solar-powered. Give me some sun, a few trees, maybe a sprinkling of fall foliage or spring flowers, and I’m there. I frequent Herty Field or the MLC stone benches for napping, and outside the PAF for a solid four-legged table to do some work. You can also find me gazing off into the sunset at Lake Herrick to inspire an aforementioned revelatory experience … been doing a lot of that lately.



#ProfilesOfTenacity: Kacie Geter

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

I chose Grady because since I was young, I always wanted to be a broadcast reporter or television personality. Grady has one of the best journalism programs in the country and to be in the same program that alums like Ryan Seacrest and Bonnie Arnold were in assures me that there is no limit for success I want to reach in the industry.

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity means betting on yourself. I am a believer in the privilege of luck, connections, and access, but it also comes down to how determined you are to get to where you want to be. Tenacity means to me that no matter the odds, you give it your all. 

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

My college friends. I had no high school peers that were coming to UGA and I had to make entirely new relationships. I am grateful to have connected with the friends I have now because we have similar aspirations and mindsets, and they’re just really good people to surround myself with. 

Geter is an intern for NBCUniversal.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment in the past year was being accepted to intern at NBCUniversal’s E! News for this current spring semester. I am blessed and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work for such an amazing company while only being a sophomore and recently Grady accepted. Having this opportunity has equipped me with knowledge to believe any door will open for you as long as you work hard and ask for it. 

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

People are going to judge and have opinions about you anyway, so do as you please. I am the creator of my future and therefore I control my outcome and anyone that disagrees does not matter. I stick by this advice that my mentor gave me habitually.

Who is your professional hero?

I don’t really have a professional hero, but I love seeing Black women paving the way for us, such as Issa Rae, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes and Rihanna.

Geter also works at The Red & Black as a social media coordinator.
What are you planning to do after graduation?

Honestly, I am not sure, and that’s okay. I know I want to work in the film/television industry and possibly be a TV personality or work on the business side of the media industry. Whatever opportunities come my way that nurture me and bring me closer to what I love, I’m taking.

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

My favorite app is Pinterest. I like how you can just see random photos catered to your interests without the opinions or judgment of others. Pinterest is a very inspiring platform; who doesn’t love to be inspired?

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I love reading people and knowing their opinions. I habitually go on Reddit and just read people’s opinions about random topics. I want to know others’ mindset and their thinking processes behind everyday ideas.

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus would have to be Lake Herrick. Especially in the fall when the leaves are turning different colors, the wind is crisp and the sun is shining bright. It brings me to a Zen state of mind and makes me feel as though I am one with nature when I sit and mindlessly stare at the lake. It brings me peace, and as a college student that’s sometimes hard to come by.



#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.

 

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Bryson Henriott

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

I chose Grady because of the high caliber level of resources and professors. I enjoy the practical real-life education and experiences Grady provides to all their students. I have always found politics interesting, but especially the public affairs and communications side of politics, this is why I chose public relations paired with my political science degree.

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity means the culmination of determination and perseverance. For me, tenacity is the ability to take whatever situation is given and not only overcome it but use it to its fullest potential. Coming in as first-generation college student and a rural student, I was faced with unique challenges; however, through tenacity, determination, and perseverance, I have been able to overcome barriers and give back to other students like myself.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

My most memorable Grady experience was getting to work on a semester-long crisis management plan in Dr. Jin’s Crisis Communications course. We were able to present our plan that we did for a local Athens business to a panel of our peers, Grady professors, and UGA administration. It was an amazing experience getting real-world experience and having the opportunity to help a local business.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about people; it sounds cliché but is true. Coming into UGA from an area that was very homogeneous, I have enjoyed getting to meet so many people and listen to everyone’s unique story and path to UGA. I am also passionate about both rural education and first-generation college student success in higher education and how to lower the barriers for students who identify in those communities.

Henriott is the president-elect of UGA Student Government Association.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

Winning SGA President has been the proudest moment for me in the past year. Not because of the pomp or circumstance, but because it was tangible proof for me that anything can be possible with enough work and motivation. It also allows for the perfect intersection of service and using the skills I have learned in Grady to best support and help students.

What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?

I am constantly using the skills I have learned through Grady, public relations, and the PAC Program in real-world experiences. I have used the communications and writing skills learned during my time as an Orientation Leader, internships, leading advocacy campaigns, in the organizations that I am part of, and most recently through SGA.

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

Oftentimes I like to see proof. If someone tells me something I want to see the data to support or if I set out to do something I want to see the tangible impact. Vice President Wilson always tells me, “get used to planting seeds for a tree under which you will never enjoy its shade.” This has since stuck with me and impacted the way I approach situations and leadership. It is not always about seeing the end result and it is certainly not about receiving the praise for it, but rather to look at life and service as constantly planting seeds that one day will benefit others.

Henriott served as an Orientation Leader in 2021.
What are you planning to do after graduation?

After graduation, I am planning to enter the field of government relations. One day, I would love to come back to UGA for government relations to work and give back to the place that has given me so much.

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

I enjoy Instagram, because although sometimes it paints an unrealistic picture of people’s lives, it allows for me to stay connected to so many friends that I otherwise would not be able to. I also enjoy how social media and particularly Instagram has the ability to raise awareness and support for a myriad of issues and promote engagement.

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

It seems like the most obvious answer, but Tate is my favorite place on campus. It is the heart of UGA, and it allows me to see many people and stay connected with students. Whether that is grabbing a coffee from Starbucks, having meetings in the ELS, getting lunch with a friend in the Market, or seeing who all is tabling under the breezeway, it is always busy and exciting. 

 

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Amelia Green

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

Grady offered versatility and an environment that was challenging yet welcoming to a new student at the University of Georgia. I felt as though the goals outlined in Grady coursework aligned with my personal career goals and that the Sports Media Certificate would offer me real-world experience in the sports media field. I am so grateful that I pursued my undergraduate education with Grady and will cherish the experience for a lifetime. 

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

To me, tenacity means thriving when challenges are presented and offering innovative and creative solutions when new endeavors present themselves as difficult.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about presenting the world of sports to viewers and fans in a new and captivating way. Whether it is working for the PGA TOUR as head of event planning, the Nashville Superspeedway as a social media manager, or even the National Olympic Committee as a marketing analyst, ideally, I see myself in a field that allows me to make meaningful contributions to both the media consumers and the athletic organizations. I enjoy telling stories and I enjoy making compelling content, but most importantly I want to make people care about the why in sports. 

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

Professor Finlay had acted as my mentor for the past three years at UGA. He has given me so much advice and is always available when I need to ask a question or simply decompress about school to someone who understands the convoluted times of undergrad.

Green was selected to work as an Associated Press Photojournalist for the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment in the past year was being selected to travel to the Beijing Winter Paralympics as an Associated Press Photojournalist. Even though we were not able to go due to COVID-19, the other selected students and myself prepared for months and strengthened our skills to be able to tell stories about the incredible athletes competing in Beijing.

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

The best piece of advice I have received while at UGA has been to take risks. During my early years in the Sports Media program, Professor Finlay and Professor Michaelis reminded me that while skill is important, being willing to do any task that is asked of you says a lot about your work ethic and character. I was encouraged to make opportunities where there are none and that stepping out of my comfort zone is what will continue to give me a competitive edge in a very competitive field. I now believe that every success in your personal and professional life comes from taking risks and that is the key to being successful in today’s sports media industry.

Green is an intern for the Clarke Central High School Sports Information Department.
What are you planning to do after graduation?

I find myself striving for an opportunity in the sports media field because of its extensive range, rapid pace and growing influence in today’s society. After graduation, I will be attending Vanderbilt University for a Masters in Marketing to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the evolving, complex and global reach of the sports marketing and media industry.

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

Instagram is my favorite social media channel because of my passion for photography. Instagram allows me to follow my favorite photojournalists and photographers around the globe and provides a lot of inspiration when it comes to making engaging photographs and writing stories. 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am a licensed pilot and frequently fly rescue missions for Pilots N’ Paws Animal Rescue!

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

The UGA Intramural Fields is my favorite spot on campus because I can either play in one of the many intramural sports leagues for students, take a relaxing walk around Lake Herrick or read a good book!

 

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Jacqueline GaNun

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

I had been contemplating the idea of pursuing journalism since junior year of high school because I loved writing and talking to people, and especially loved the idea of informing people of what is going on in the world. I visited UGA when I was in high school and picked up a copy of The Red & Black, and from then on, I was hooked. I joined The Red & Black as soon as I arrived in Athens and realized how fulfilling and interesting journalism was. I want to tell stories that matter, and Grady has the classes and extracurricular opportunities to help me do that.

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

To me, tenacity means pursuing your goals relentlessly and not giving up when you run into obstacles or self-doubt. 

What are you passionate about?

Traveling and education are two of my biggest passions. I feel that traveling is itself a form of education. There are things that you just can’t learn in a classroom. Lifelong learning is incredibly important to me and is also crucial for people to make well-informed decisions that will positively impact their lives. These passions are both intertwined with my career goal of being a reporter who gets to travel — I hope to both educate myself about people’s stories and to educate others so that they can make positive decisions. 

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

This answer is easy — The Red & Black has impacted the entire trajectory of my life. Joining the first semester of my freshman year made it possible for me to realize the passion I have for storytelling and journalism. The numerous mentors that have taught me and helped me at R&B have also hugely impacted me both personally and professionally. 

GaNun is currently studying abroad at the University of Oxford.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

Some of my work was published in The New York Times in March 2021, an experience that still feels surreal. One of the national desk editors emailed about needing a stringer to cover a shooting that happened in Atlanta, and I drove there to help cover the aftermath. I am proud of myself for saying “yes” to the offer despite anxiety that I felt and of the hours I spent traveling and interviewing people. It was truly an incredible experience that I was very lucky to have had.

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

My mom is one of my biggest role models for many reasons, but one of the most impactful is how she approaches life through a lens of constant learning. She taught me that nobody knows everything and that I should always strive to learn new things about people and the world.

Who is your professional hero?

I look up to many figures in the media, but foreign correspondents who put their life on the line to tell stories from the front line are my personal heroes. I just read an autobiography by Clarissa Ward about her journey to become a conflict journalist and found it incredibly inspiring and enlightening. She tells stories about tenacity, both from her and from the people she has met around the world.

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

Twitter is my favorite app (as many journalists would say). I love being exposed to different viewpoints from people and following reporters that I admire to learn more about them and their reporting process.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I lived in Okinawa, off the coast of Japan, on a military base when I was younger.

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

North Campus is amazing because it’s so peaceful and beautiful. I love walking on the paths or sitting in the sun with a drink from Starbucks or Bubble Café.

 

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Jillian Smalls

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

I decided to come to UGA specifically to attend Grady College. Among all the colleges I was interested in, none of them offered a major that was as comprehensive of my interests as the entertainment & media studies major. I grew up writing stories and watching classic movies, so I’ve had a passion for storytelling for as long as I can remember. I loved that the EMST major encompassed so many different aspects of the entertainment industry beyond film production, so I knew Grady would be the place where I could grow and continue to hone my passion for storytelling. 

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity means believing in yourself every step of the way towards achieving a goal. I believe that by having self-confidence, you can transcend the impossible. You can achieve anything you want in life if you believe you can achieve it. 

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

My most memorable Grady experience would have to be when I took my first production class in the fall of 2020. I will never forget making a short film documentary from start to finish during a pandemic. The process was challenging and stressful, but I think it was a valuable experience that taught us the importance of work ethic and perseverance to complete a project under unfavorable circumstances. Our documentary was about an art school student and how the pandemic and online school affected their creative process. It was inspiring seeing the positive impact storytelling can have on a situation like the pandemic. I was also grateful for the time I got to have with my teammates as we bonded over our experiences as college students in a pandemic. 

Headshot of Smalls
Smalls, an EMST major, is also pursuing a marketing degree and the New Media Certificate.
What are you passionate about?

I have a passion for serving others. I am a former site leader for IMPACT and that was probably the most fulfilling experience of my life. However, I believe that service can manifest itself in many ways beyond volunteering. I think storytelling is a form of service in some ways because stories that amplify marginalized voices, for example, are a form of service to audiences. 

What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?

Last summer, I was a digital marketing intern for Verint, a customer engagement software company. Even though this was a marketing position, I felt like my storytelling background through EMST is why I stood out from other candidates for the position. During the internship, I was tasked with many projects, but for one of them, I had to write and produce a series of promotional videos for one of their products. I worked in collaboration with animators to write a script and storyboard videos that showcased the features of the software. It was an awesome experience seeing my courses of study work together in the real world. 

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

My favorite piece of advice is “stay curious.” It’s a short and vague piece of advice, but that is why I like it. I think it can be applied to pretty much any situation. For me, it means avoiding becoming complacent. I think that in school, work or even relationships we can get too comfortable in a routine. By staying curious and being inquisitive, you will learn new things and open your mind to different points of view. 

What are you planning to do after graduation?
Smalls and a fellow Grady Ambassador checking students in
Smalls, a Grady Ambassador, assists incoming Grady students at the Spring 2022 New Admit Fair.

I will be working full-time at Cox Enterprises in the LEAD Program after graduation. I am excited to bring the skills I acquired from experiences in Grady to LEAD.

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

TikTok has been my favorite app lately. I enjoy both music and video, so the way the app fuses the two together is fun and interesting to me. I love that TikTok is showing people the endless possibilities of what they can create with just their smartphone. It’s been inspiring seeing that you don’t need an expensive camera to create successful video projects.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am a huge foodie. I love cooking or baking new recipes in my free time. I also love trying new restaurants and cuisines. Tlaloc and The World Famous are my favorite places to eat and hang out in Athens.

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus is the area outside of the Peabody Archive on the third floor of the Grady building. I love the view of Sanford Stadium and Hooper Street from there. It is the perfect spot to take phone calls and wander around when the weather is nice. I think of it as one of Grady’s hidden gems.

 

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Armani Kardar

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?  

I chose Grady and journalism because I love to talk and tell stories. I love meeting people and learning random information. Journalism has allowed me to be put in spaces and opportunities that I wouldn’t normally be in because I have to tell the story.

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity means to never give up. Nobody can truly stop you from being successful other than yourself. It means to bet on yourself every time regardless of your confidence in your abilities.

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

Professor Carlo Finlay marked a pivotal moment in my development as a man and journalist. I was interested in the Sports Media program as a sophomore but opted not to apply out of the belief that I wasn’t good enough to be accepted. My Junior year a friend of mine, Tylar Norman (Grady and Sports Media Alum),  told me that Professor Finlay asked about me and wondered why I had not applied to the Sports Media program because he felt like I would be a good fit. It shocked me because while I didn’t believe in myself, someone else did. It made me realize I held myself back out of fear of failure and changed my outlook on life. I eventually went on to join the Sports Media program as a senior and decided to stay an extra year at UGA to complete it.

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

The best advice I’ve received is from my fraternity advisor Dr. Dennis Humphrey. He always uses old and obscure adages and the one that stuck with me the most is: “The race is not given to the swift, but to those who endure.” Which essentially means that it is better to finish at your own pace rather than placing a timetable on accomplishments based on others.

Kardar, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, hosted the Greek NPHC Step Show in 2021. (Photo: submitted)
Who is your professional hero?

My professional hero is Stephen A. Smith because of how he went from being a beat reporter in Philadelphia to the biggest name in sports show business. I also appreciate how he is able to be himself on television without being stereotyped or ridiculed.

What are you planning to do after graduation?

I plan to work in sports media as a career. 

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

I love to use Twitter because of its versatility. It provides news, jokes, updates and a platform to share your creativity with others.

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

I don’t learn very well in classroom settings and most of my skills are self taught. I really enjoy learning new things.

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus is North Campus because of how beautiful it looks and how close it is to downtown.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about mentoring young black men in hopes of instilling the confidence I once lacked in them at an early age. It is important to invest in our youth because they are the future and need to know that their potential is truly limitless.

 

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Riley Armant

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study? 

Being that I am a COVID-19 graduate, I knew that the job market was not ideal for me. I decided that a master’s degree was the best option for me. The idea of going to school again was not the most appealing, but it has been the best decision I have made so far. I want to be a great storyteller and journalist. I knew that Grady is the best of the best, therefore I felt as though it was only right to join the UGA community.

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you? 

Tenacity, in my opinion, means possessing the determination to reach a personal goal or level of success. Having this quality also means that you won’t settle for anything less than what you envision.

What is your most memorable Grady experience? 

Being able to get into the Newsource class, hands down. This was definitely the hardest class I have ever taken but I am a better journalist because of it.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about connecting with my community and creating a platform for their voices to be heard. Like I have said before, I want to be a great storyteller and journalist, so a personal passion of mine is to create this platform. I also want to join the efforts to restore trust in news media, especially in the Black community. I have personal passions for things like fine arts (especially dance), food, and music.

Armant was previously an intern with WJBF News Channel 6.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year? 

Creating a newsreel from my summer internship and Grady Newsource that I feel confident in!

Who is your professional hero? 

A few of my favorites are Angela Rye, Maria Taylor (even though I don’t have a huge interest in sports) and Jeannette Reyes.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am classically trained in ballet and danced for a solid 15 years.

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why? 

My favorite social media app is Tik Tok because it’s almost like a search engine. I go there for news, makeup reviews and clothing reviews. Instagram has always been a favorite of mine as well, but I would say that I frequent Tik Tok more often.

What are you planning to do after obtaining your degree? 

I have plans to become a multi-skilled Journalist. Later in my career, my goal is to be an anchor and a great storyteller overall.

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

“As a journalist you will always get better interactions if you lead with honey” Ralitsa Vassileva, the Grady Newsource professor, gave us this advice before we started doing live shows. To me, this meant that you should always go into an interview with a positive attitude and grace. By doing this you begin to build a bond with your source and which enables you to tell an amazing story.