2019 Grady College Fellowship class, Sanford Circle honoree announced

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is pleased to announce its 2019 Fellowship class: Connie Ledoux Book (PhD ’93), Richard Griffiths, Dean Krugman, Carole Munroe (ABJ ’82) and Brian Robinson (ABJ ’97).

Established in 2008, the Grady College Fellowship honors alumni and friends of the college whose accomplishments and service to their industries have made a positive impact.

In addition, Tom Crawford (1950-2018) will be inducted into the Sanford Circle. A posthumous honor, the Sanford Circle recognizes friends of Grady College whose achievement and generosity of spirit remain with the college.

The induction of the Fellows and Sanford Circle honoree, along with recognition of the Grady College Alumni Award winners, takes place at “Grady Salutes: A Celebration of Achievement, Commitment and Leadership” on April 26, 2019, at the Athens Cotton Press, 149 Oneta Street, Athens.

Connie Ledoux Book –Book is president of Elon University. Early in her higher education career, Book spent 16 years at Elon University as a professor and senior leader before leaving for a job as provost and chief academic officer, of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. She returned to Elon University in 2018 to become its ninth president. Book earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University, a Master of Education from Northwestern State University and her Ph.D. in mass communication from Grady College.

Richard Griffiths – Before he retired in March 2017, Griffiths spent twenty years as CNN’s editorial oversight, most recently as vice president and senior editorial director. Currently, he serves as president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, focusing on government access and free speech issues. Griffiths has been named Distinguished Industry Fellow at the Cox Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership and serves on Grady College’s Board of Trust. Griffith’s work has been awarded two Emmys, five Peabody awards and two Investigative Reporters and Editors medals.

Dean Krugman – Krugman is professor emeritus in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at Grady College. Prior to his retirement, Krugman served as a department head and senior associate dean and director of graduate studies, playing an instrumental role in the creation of the doctoral program at Grady College. He is a prolific researcher, focusing on audience views of changing media environments and health communication, specifically surrounding anti-tobacco strategies. Krugman served as president of the American Academy of Advertising and was named a Fellow of AAA in 2018.

Carole Jackson Munroe – Munroe is a senior director of brand communications for portfolio, loyalty and content for Hilton Worldwide. Prior to Hilton, Munroe served as the director of public relations and content relations for Disney Parks. Her work has been recognized with PRSA and Telly Awards, and several first place awards from the Associated Press early in her journalism career. While she was a journalism student at UGA, Munroe was chosen as the first student selected for a full-time internship with the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta, where she served as a special assistant to Coretta Scott King. She continues to impact Grady College by serving two terms on the Grady Alumni Board and mentoring Grady’s PRSSA and NABJ chapters, as well as individual students.

Brian Robinson – As an owner of Robinson Republic, a communications consulting firm specializing in public affairs messaging, Robinson works with clients to develop media relations and manage crises. Prior to starting his own business, Robinson served as deputy chief of staff for communications during Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign in 2010 and 2014. In 2012, he was named UGA’s 40 under 40 class and is an alumnus of Georgia’s 2015 Leadership class. He was also an adjunct professor teaching public affairs communications at Grady College in 2016 and is a member of the Grady College Board of Trust.

By receiving the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, Chris Holcomb, chief meteorologist for WXIA/WATL-TV, will also be inducted into the Grady Fellowship.

Tom Crawford will be inducted into the Sanford Circle (photo: Jennifer Stalcup)

The Sanford Circle honoree, Tom Crawford (ABJ ’72), was the voice of Georgia politics, serving as the founder and editor of “The Georgia Report” (known early on as “Capitol Impact”) for more than 18 years.  He penned a weekly newspaper column that was published in nearly 30 Georgia newspapers, delivering political conversation beyond the capitol to towns and rural communities throughout the state. He was also an early adopter web-based journalism, sharing his political news via an online subscription and through blog posts. Crawford, a former editor of the Red & Black, studied journalism at Grady College and went on to write for the Marietta Daily Journal, the Montgomery Advertiser and The Atlanta Journal. His papers are archived in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

Visit the Grady Salutes ticket website for reservations to the awards dinner.

Grady Journalism students complete 2017 Cox Institute Leaders Program

The James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership at Grady College recognized Thursday evening the aspiring student leaders who completed the Institute’s fifth leadership development program.

Fourteen students were selected from a pool of faculty nominations based on a demonstrated commitment to their professional development through work in student media, internships and other student activities. They are Cory Cole, Taylor Cromwell, Denver Ellison, Daniel Funke, Zachary Hansen, Lauren Herbert, Reann Huber, McKenzie Lewis, Anna Logan, Miles Moraitis, Mollie Simon, Lauren Sloan, Jaylon Thompson and Katelyn Umholtz.

These students, family, faculty and guests gathered at the University of Georgia’s Special Collections Libraries for a dinner ceremony where the students received a Cox Institute Leadership Medal in recognition of their achievements.

Richard Griffiths (Cox Institute Industry Fellow)Richard Griffiths, who retired this week from his post as vice president and senior editor director at CNN, was the event’s keynote speaker. Griffiths, who is an Industry Fellow with the Cox Institute this semester, told the students: “Remember you don’t need a vice president and senior editorial director’s title to be a leader in a newsroom.  Don’t be a snotty know-it-all in your first job, but accept mentorship, and where you can offer insights and specific expertise, mentor upstream…Give the mentorship that you receive back.”

Cecil Bentley, who retired from Grady in August, was recognized with the Cox Institute’s Distinguished Service Award. Prior to his retirement, Bentley had served as the Cox Institute’s assistant director and leader of its annual Management Seminar for College News Editors.

Students participating in the leadership program met weekly during January and February with Keith Herndon, professor of practice in journalism and director of the Cox Institute. The sessions featured student discussion leaders guiding conversations about leadership principles drawn from the “Your Leadership Edge” course developed by the Kansas Leadership Center.

“The premise of this material is that you can ‘lead anytime, anywhere,’ and that is something I strongly believe in,” said Herndon. “Students entering the chaotic news industry find themselves leading teams and managing projects earlier and earlier in their careers. This program helps them understand proven leadership principles and how they can deploy them.”

The program features reading material and online video modules that focus on key elements of the training material, but the six live sessions were designed to foster discussion among the participants.

“Being a part of the Cox Leaders Program has given me the opportunity to engage and discuss important topics in journalism and leadership with fellow students,” said Cory Cole. “It has encouraged me to embrace change and to lead by doing things with my whole heart.”

Lauren Sloan said her “key takeaway is that a leader is not afraid of failure or change.” Denver Ellison added the program taught her how to approach leadership as a “learning process” that “involves practice and engaging with others.”

Unlike generic leadership programs, the Cox Institute Leaders program, places the discussion of leadership in the specific context of the news industry and the challenges facing newsroom leaders.

“The issues the media faces today are difficult and, at times, discouraging. But focusing in this program with media peers about those very subjects we’re about to face head on has made that chaos seem tamable,” said Miles Moraitis. “We have not just an opportunity, but an obligation to have the courage to solve these problems, and this program has given me confidence in that.”

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Richard Griffiths (Cox Institute Industry Fellow)

CNN’s Richard Griffiths to be Industry Fellow at Grady’s Cox Institute

Richard T. Griffiths, vice president and senior editorial director at CNN, will serve as an Industry Fellow with the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership during the spring 2017 semester at the University of Georgia.

Griffiths, who has worked for CNN for 25 years and has announced his CNN retirement effective February 28, will be a resource for journalism students at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  CNN is sponsoring Griffiths’ role at Grady where he will guest lecture in the investigative journalism and journalism ethics and diversity courses, and will be available to students as an editor and coach on investigative reporting projects.

“I am excited to work with the students at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication,” said Griffiths. “In this changing media environment, it’s more important than ever to build strong foundations and share our experiences with the next generation of journalists.”

Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute, said having Griffiths available as resource for Grady’s journalism students will be an invaluable educational experience.

“Richard Griffiths has been a key decision maker in the news industry for many years. Bringing his exceptional background to Grady this semester gives our students an intimate opportunity to learn and reflect on how the news business works,” Herndon said.

Griffiths had been in his most recent post at CNN since 2010.  He was named editorial director in 2004 after serving a dozen years in several critical frontline positions as producer, senior producer, executive producer and senior executive producer.  Griffiths joined CNN in 1991 after 7 years as a producer with CBS News.

During an exceptional career, Griffiths led reporting and investigative projects that won multiple George F. Peabody Awards, the Overseas Press Club David Kaplan Award, two Emmys, a National Headliner Award and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal.

His nine planned lectures for the journalism ethics and diversity course will be open to all Grady faculty and students. They will be held in Studio 100 at 12:20 p.m. on January 27, February 3, 10, 17, March 3, 17, 31 and April 7 and 14.