Ex-PRIZE to support experiential learning and travel for Grady College students

There is no doubt that UGA students receive rich benefits from international and study-away travel experiences, but many times financial constraints prevent these opportunities from taking place.

Carolyn Tieger (ABJ ‘69), chair of the Grady College Board of Trust, has established, along with the Board of Trust, the Ex-PRIZE  as a commitment to making sure that financial needs do not become an obstacle for some students to take advantage of learning experiences outside of the classroom.

Tieger worked with Charles Davis, dean of Grady College, to pledge $50,000 to endow a fund that will help match contributions from other alumni. Financial support of study away opportunities are the main focus of this new fund.

“I told Dean Davis I want to help make something significant and permanent happen during my tenure as board chair,” Tieger explained. “I asked him his biggest concern, and he immediately responded with, ‘We just don’t have the dollars to support students who desperately want to participate in programs outside the classroom but don’t have the resources to do so.’”

Davis is grateful for support from alumni like Tieger.

“Carolyn shares my passion for helping students gain real-world experience, and she’s once again leading by example,” Davis said. “Her commitment to this college, and to our students, makes me so proud to team with her and our Board of Trust in this important initiative.”

Tieger believes that experiential learning is just as important as learning in the classroom.

“I so wish I had had the opportunity to be an intern, study overseas or participate in a domestic field study when I was at Grady,” Tieger continued. “To have an opportunity to experience real world work environments and see how classroom learning is actually applied on the job expands the lives and minds of our students immeasurably.”

Tieger’s idea for the Ex-PRIZE fund was inspired from the global XPRIZE Foundation that works to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges and provides funding for projects that make the world a better place.

Tieger is one of the top public affairs strategists in the country. She served in executive  roles in the Washington, D.C. offices of Burson Marsteller and Porter Novelli, as well as worked in the White House, on Capitol Hill and owned her own firm. Now retired in Naples, Florida, she still is involved in local politics and issues through her firm Tieger Public Affairs

The creation of the Ex-Prize is the most recent gift of impact that Tieger has made at Grady College. She has also supported Talking Dog, the student-led advertising and public relations agency, and in 2013, she envisioned and endowed the Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professorship in Public Affairs Communications (PAC), leading way to the creation of the Public Affairs Communications certificate program.

Grady College offers nearly a dozen study away opportunities, including domestic programs in cities like New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago; and international programs in locations including Cannes, Prague and Croatia, among others.

Tieger concluded: “We are hoping we will receive an outpouring of financial support from our alumni and donors for the Grady Ex-PRIZE endowment so that Dean Davis leaves no student behind when it comes to priceless opportunities to see the real world in action through experiential learning.”

To contribute to the Ex-PRIZE and have your gift matched, please visit our Ex-PRIZE giving webpage.

Students to work on WWII documentary production crew in France

Grady College students will work side by side with documentarians in the field under an exciting new experiential learning partnership with the World War II Foundation.

Five Grady College students and Sanghoon Lee of the MFA Film, Television and Digital Media faculty will travel to France this summer to serve as production assistants for a World War II documentary that will be filmed for PBS.

The opportunity was introduced to Grady College by Bryan Harris (MA ’03), a part-time faculty member in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and his friend, Glen Jackson, co-founder of Jackson Spalding Public Relations, who serves on the Board of Directors for the World War II Foundation.

“This is a stellar opportunity for our students to not only gain first-hand experience with an unbelievably high production value, but also to travel and learn history at the same time,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “We are grateful for the opportunity and our hope is to continue this for years to come as a study away experience.”

Jackson serves on the board of the WWII Foundation in honor of his father and Grady College alumnus, Ed Jackson, whose 70th Tank Battalion landed on Utah Beach on June 6, 1944. Edward Jackson (ABJ ’47) was a journalism major at UGA. Glen and his brother, Clay, have provided part of the funding for this opportunity for the students and Lee.

The students will travel to several cities in France including Paris, Limoges and Lyon, as well as Geneva, Switzerland, in early July to work on a documentary about the French Resistance. While there, they will serve as production assistants for the film crew. They will have some time to work on their own projects while there.

For one of the students, Emani Saucier, who is in his first year in the MFA Film program, this trip holds special significance since he is a junior officer in the US Army.

“It’s a thrill to adapt my civilian skills to my role in our armed forces,” Saucier said. “Battle lessons from WWII have been used throughout my training and the opportunity to visit some of the war’s campaign locations is more than I can ask for. I’m looking forward to sobering moments as I try to imagine the conflicts that warriors my age and rank faced all those years ago.”

A similar program is offered to students of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at  Syracuse University. The documentary film their students helped produce last summer, “The Tuskegee Airmen: Return to Ramitelli,” recently aired on PBS.

This documentary and the one that will be produced this summer are part of a series of educational films produced by the WWII Foundation, several of which are aired on PBS.

Grady College launches 2 new study away programs

This summer, Grady College is offering two new study away programs, in Chicago and Croatia, and bringing back the Travel Writing in Prague program. Information sessions on these programs and seven additional Grady study away programs are happening throughout the months of September, October and early November.

The deadline to apply to all Grady study away programs is November 10, 2022. Students should apply through the application portal and direct all questions to Rebekah Seabolt, global studies program manager. 

Grady Chicago Field Study and Internship ProgramA quote graphic that reads "Chicago is a breathtakingly gorgeous and exciting city that's full of opportunities for Grady majors.

Students on the new Chicago Field Study and Internship Program will spend eight weeks in Chicago, one of the top media and communications hubs in the United States. 

Travelers will gain hands-on experience in their areas of interest by participating in internships Monday through Thursday of each week. One evening each week, students will take a course. Fridays will be open for participating in local learning experiences and exploring the city. 

The course is titled ADPR 5990 Special Topics in Ideation: The Power of Big Ideas. In it, students will study the cutting-edge creative work being done in the Chicago market, meet the people and organizations behind it, and learn how to develop creativity by generating their own sharp and powerful ideas. Students will receive three credit hours for the course and three credit hours for the internship, for a total of six upper-level elective credit hours. 

“Chicago is a breathtakingly gorgeous and exciting city that’s full of opportunities for Grady majors,” said Dr. Jennifer Griffith, program director and senior lecturer in Advertising. “I’m excited about helping students find meaningful internships and seeing them fall in love too with one of my favorite cities.”

The program lasts from June 3 to July 29, 2023. Internships should begin June 5 and end July 27, 2023. All Grady students are eligible to apply. 


Quote graphic that reads "The program is unique as it does not focus on one location, but offers students the opportunity to travel throughout the country and be actively immersed in Croatian way of life and culture."International Mass Communication in Croatia 

The new International Mass Communication in Croatia program will run in Maymester 2023 and include a three-credit hour course, JRLC 5080 International Mass Communication. In addition to participating in class lectures, students will have the opportunity to learn about international communication processes from Croatian journalists and academics. They will also visit media organizations and a variety of cultural sites throughout the country. According to the preliminary itinerary, the program will run in three cities, the capital Zagreb and two more on the Croatian coast, Split and Dubrovnik.

“The program is unique as it does not focus on one location, but offers students the opportunity to travel throughout the country and be actively immersed in Croatian way of life and culture. It has a strong stress on academic and experiential learning. We hope that students will enjoy the lectures, media and cultural site visits, as well as guest speakers that we planned for them,” said Dr. Ivanka Pjesivac, program director and associate professor in Journalism.

The program runs from May 14 to June 3, 2023. All Grady students are eligible to apply. 

A quote graphic that reads "We’ll visit a nearby medieval town and an old film photography studio, go on a delicious food tour, see two important sites from WWII and more. The whole time, students will be learning about travel writing and how to explore culture and humanity through their own lived experiences. "Travel Writing in Prague, Czech Republic

After a year hiatus, the Travel Writing in Prague program is returning for the summer of 2023. 

Students in this program will be immersed in an exciting three-credit hour travel writing course, JOUR 5570 Introduction to Travel Writing, which will teach them how to develop strong stories, how to pitch articles to editors, and other practical tools needed to work in the field. 

The objectives for the course are for students to develop an understanding of foreign travel and to learn and practice the skills required of a travel journalist. Emphasis is placed on teaching students how to think critically about gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other forms of diversity in relation to travel journalism and to evaluate how various digital media are disrupting travel journalism.

“Our time in Prague and the Czech Republic will be full of cultural excursions as well as ample opportunity for students to explore on their own,” said Dr. Kyser Lough, program director and assistant professor in Journalism. “We’ll visit a nearby medieval town and an old film photography studio, go on a delicious food tour, see two important sites from WWII and more. The whole time, students will be learning about travel writing and how to explore culture and humanity through their own lived experiences. Prague is one of my favorite cities in the world, and a favorite site to bring students to.”

The program is expected to run from June 6 to June 29, 2023. The exact dates are subject to change at this time. All Grady students are eligible to apply. 

  • Grady students posing in front of the water while on a study away trip in Cannes.


Graphic outlining the dates for study away info sessions. Graphic outlining the dates for study away info sessions.

EMST students network with alumni and creatives in Los Angeles

The opportunity to network and learn directly from the experiences of alumni and industry professionals is one of the key advantages of study away programs. Entertainment & Media Studies students have spent nearly two months in Los Angeles as part of the Grady LA Field Study program, and the following recap follows along one week of the program. It was written by Laurena Bernabo, assistant professor and lead instructor for the LA program which included 24 students this year.

Kathryn Kostovetsky stands at the head of the table talking as a group of eight students listen.
Kathryn Kostovetsky (AB ’18), associate producer at 51 Minds Entertainment, shared her experiences moving to Los Angeles after earning her journalism degree.

The week started with guests in Tuesday’s class including Grady alumna Kathryn Kostovetsky (AB ’18), associate producer at 51 Minds Entertainment, and Lisa Steele, a three-time Emmy award winning producer for “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” who earned her fourth nomination just that morning. Students were excited to learn more about the career opportunities that exist in the world of unscripted television production.

On Wednesday night, Emmy award-winning television writer Ellen Plummer sat down with a small group of students who specifically want to write for film and television. Plummer shared wisdom from her years writing on “Friends,” as well as general advice for succeeding as a writer in Hollywood. After her talk, she gave feedback as the students practiced pitching scripts they are currently writing.

The next evening, the class guests were Matt Solik, a “baby writer” for “9-1-1: Lonestar,” and UGA alumnus Brent Fletcher (ABJ ’98), established television writer and current showrunner for “Superman & Lois” on the CW. Though Solik and Fletcher met only minutes before class started, it seemed the two had been best friends for years; their chemistry was amazing, and the students learned a lot while sharing many laughs.

The week concluded with two exciting excursions. On Friday morning the group traveled to the Disney Studios lot to meet with UGA alum Mitch Powers (ABJ ’96), vice president and general manager for D23, the Walt Disney fan club. After an exclusive tour of the lot, Powers and his colleague, Patty Miranda (ABJ ’13), shared their exciting work with D23 and answered student questions. Later that evening, the group was hosted by UGA alum Jace Cook (ABJ ’90) and his wife Rachel O’Connor, an executive producer at Pascal Pictures. While students chowed down on pizza and cupcakes, Cook and O’Connor shared their career trajectories including Cook’s many years at CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and O’Connor’s success with the recent Spiderman films and “Little Women.”

Jace Cook and Rachel O'Connor talk with students outside. A grove of palm trees is in the background.
Jace Cook (ABJ ’90) and his wife, Rachel O’Connor (far right) talk with students after a dinner they hosted.

Students return from first-ever Health Journalism in Cuba study away trip

From May 30 to June 8, a group of students from Grady College participated in a new study away Maymester program in Havana, Cuba.

The program, titled “Health Journalism in Cuba,” gave both undergraduate and graduate student travelers an in-depth look at the island nation’s healthcare system and how local and international journalists find and convey health stories to the public.

Students Delaney Tarr and Keshondra Shipp learn how to dance the salsa.
Keshondra Shipp (L) and Delaney Tarr (R) learn Cuban Salsa during a class at El Centro de Investigaciones Psicológicas y Sociológicas (CIPS) in Havana, Cuba, on June 6, 2022. (Photo: Maureen Costello)

“This unique, interdisciplinary program was such a valuable experience for all involved,” said Sabriya Rice, Knight Chair of Health and Medical Journalism at the College. Rice coordinated the program with the help of Hilda Mata of the Office of Global Engagement and Maureen Costello, of the Lamar Dodd School of Art. 

While there, students had the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with Cuban health and science journalists, and they were able to speak with doctors, nurses and sports medicine specialists about a public health system that differs from what exists in the United States.

“It was amazing to observe ‘aha’ moments as they noted the differences and stepped outside of their comfort zones for this truly eye-opening intercultural exchange,” Rice added.

Over the course of the 10-day trip, students also had the opportunity to explore in and around Havana. They toured a nature reserve, tried local honey, visited radio and television studios, and, of course, visited local hospitals and clinics, among other activities.

“It was a great atmosphere. It’s a gem. I don’t know how else to describe it,” Keshondra Shipp, a Health and Medical Journalism graduate student, said about visiting Las Terrazas, a small, rural community outside of Havana.

To document their trip, students were tasked with creating blog posts and photo stories. Regularly, they were able to converse with health care professionals and journalists, as well as mass communication students at the University of Havana, about their experiences.

“Having the opportunity to do this sort of cultural exchange while in school is so important,” said Alex Anteau, also a Health and Medical Journalism graduate student.

“Despite the fact that the planet is very large, a lot of the problems people face are very universal – especially when it comes to health communication,” Anteau added. “On the whole, we are really dealing with similar issues, and it is really interesting to see how people with different backgrounds approach those challenges.”

  • Students visit the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) in Havana, Cuba. They are seated in front of portraits of José Martí (left) and Juan Gualberto Gómez (right). (Photo/Sabriya Rice)