Yarbrough-Grady Fellows for Fall 2023 announced

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication welcomes four Fall 2023 Yarbrough-Grady Fellows: Morgan Jones, Jin Lee, Lila Maiolo and Kathryn Penn. 

Jones and Lee are Yarbrough-Grady Communications Fellows, and some of their responsibilities include crafting Grady College’s social media graphics and copy, writing articles and strategizing Grady College’s website redesign campaign.

Jones and Lee smile for a photo outside of the Peyton Anderson Forum. (Photo: Jackson Schroeder)

Jones is a fourth-year public relations major and sociology minor with a certificate in new media. Throughout her collegiate career, Jones has been active in PRSSA, previously serving as the social media director and currently as the president. 

She was an SEO copywriter at Bipper Media, delving into technology-focused topics. Also, as a summer Yarbrough-Grady Fellow, she executed the InternViews series. 

Jones aspires to apply her hospitality and service-oriented background to food and beverage accounts within an agency before venturing into in-house or freelance work.

“This college provides such a solid foundation for students to succeed in the future,” Jones said. “I’m excited to be a part of the team that showcases these success stories.”

Lee is a fourth-year public relations major with minors in dance and business. She studied abroad at Oxford in 2022 and participated in the inaugural 2023 Grady Chicago internship program. 

On campus, she is the director of outreach and DEI for PRSSA, director of mass media for Shop with a Bulldawg and co-captain of the UGA club dance team. After graduation, she hopes to combine her love of travel and communications by working at a global PR agency. 

Lee is thrilled to work as a Fellow to recognize all the people and programs that make Grady College exceptional. 

Maiolo and Penn are Yarbrough-Grady Crisis Fellows and will join the Crisis Communications Think Tank leadership team in coordinating online content creation, event activities, and other communication efforts.

Maiolo and Penn pose with Dr. Jin, director and co-founder of Crisis Communication Think Tank at UGA. (Photo: Sarah E. Freeman)

Maiolo is a third-year public relations major and fashion merchandising minor with a certificate in new media. She is involved with Talking Dog Agency, PRSSA and Gamma Phi Beta sorority. In addition, she has interned at The Scratch Collective and Pineapple Public Relations. 

This summer, she was at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and will spend this upcoming spring semester in Oxford, England. After graduating in May 2025, Maiolo hopes to work at a PR agency. 

“I am eager to connect with more thought leaders in the niche industry of crisis communication,” said Maiolo.

Penn is a fourth-year public relations major with minors in film studies and general business. She serves as the director of member relations for PRSSA and as alumni relations chair in a Panhellenic sorority.

Penn has interned at Sloane & Company in New York and at Destination South Meetings + Events in Atlanta. She plans to pursue a career in corporate PR and crisis communications upon graduation.

The Yarbrough-Grady Fellowship is funded by Dick Yarbrough (ABJ ‘59), an alumnus of Grady College who has helped promote the success of Grady students for many years. Yarbrough also gives back to students via the C. Richard Yarbrough Student Support Fund, which has provided stipends to hundreds of Grady students for more than a decade.

“I am honored to be able to fund fellowships at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia,” Yarbrough said. “I can never repay my alma mater for what it has meant to me.  I am so impressed with the quality of the students there today and hope that perhaps the fellowship will give the recipients a learning opportunity they might not have been able to receive otherwise.  The only thing I ask in return is that when they are able, they give back to the next generation that will succeed them.”

Talking Dog partners with Share the Magic Foundation

In honor of International Literacy Day on Sept. 8, Talking Dog, the student-led advertising and public relations agency at Grady College, announced it will work with Share the Magic Foundation as one of its clients for the academic year ahead.

Share the Magic Foundation, a non-profit that provides services, programming and books to improve literacy, was created by Malcolm Mitchell, a former UGA football standout who played for the New England Patriots after graduation.

“The students’ Gen Z perspective along with their technical knowhow will help us advance our programs and merchandise our brand so we can take things to the next level like UGA always does,” said Mitchell, who is an author of several children’s books, including “The Magician’s Hat.”

This project will be directed by Paw Print, a division of Talking Dog dedicated to working with non-profit organizations.

Talking Dog is tasked with helping to raise awareness and visibility of the Foundation, engage community leaders and generate partnership and financial support. Tasks at hand for Talking Dog include a brand and website audit, a social media campaign and a PR plan with media kit.

“I am so excited to work on this campaign because literacy in America is something that is really important to me and anything I can do to help is so exciting,” said Ike Epstein, a fourth-year public relations major and co-director of Talking Dog.

Epstein said he hopes this is the start of a multi-year partnership.

Talking Dog just completed a record-setting recruitment, generating nearly 170 applicants for about 75 spots in the agency. The students will serve a variety of local and national brands throughout the academic year, culminating in presentations and Battle of the Brands, a friendly competition next spring.

According to the Share the Magic Foundation website, more than 600,000 students have been served to date through in-school and virtual programs.

Malcolm Mitchell and Ike Epstein discuss the Talking Dog and Share the Magic partnership.

Profiles of Tenacity: Claire Hensley

Fourth-year public relations student Claire Hensley found her home at Grady after entering college unsure of what she wanted to study. She views tenacity as an ongoing determination to make the most out of situations, pave a new path for oneself and never give up when faced with challenges. Read on as she describes her college experience.

Why did you choose your major?

I came into college undecided about my major and chose Sport and Exercise Science because of my background in dance and passion for exercise. After shadowing a physical therapist, I realized this was not the career path I wanted for myself. I decided to look at my different options and quickly found my place at Grady. Public relations was a much better fit, and I can confidently say, two years later, I made the right decision. I have loved all the public relations, advertising and journalism classes I’ve taken throughout my time in this college.

What does tenacity mean to you?

Coming into college and not knowing what major I wanted to pursue was challenging. I had to have a persistent determination to reach out to people, apply for internships and clubs and dig for opportunities. I’ve faced more rejections than acceptances, but the important thing is that I never gave up, and I eventually found an internship leading to a job!

What is one piece of advice that you would give to other Grady students?

Ask questions and talk to people! Everyone at Grady is eager to help you succeed.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?
Hensley posing in front of Trinity College in Oxford
Hensley attended the Grady in Oxford study away program.

I studied abroad with Grady in Oxford for a summer and took International Mass Communication. We focused on the intersection between gender and sports. While abroad, I deeply explored Oxford and learned a lot about the school while also traveling to different countries on the weekends. It was amazing to see how the Grady family took care of each other, even internationally. I got to form a connection with Dr. Suggs, as well as become friends with many other Grady students while traveling and learning about sports and journalism abroad. Besides studying abroad, I love the events Grady puts on such as back-to-school coffee bars, Dawgs with the Dean and finals pick-me-up events. These are so fun and make Grady feel like a community!

What are you passionate about?

I have many passions, but I get the most joy from meeting new people and spending time with friends. Although we are here to earn our degrees, college is a time to make lifelong friendships and support one another. The people I’ve met in Grady classes, my sorority and everywhere in between, have made UGA so hard to leave!

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?
Selfie of Claire Hensley posing with a KPMG badge
Hensley enjoyed her internship with KPMG this summer and used the skills she learned at Grady to excel.

This past summer, I interned with the KPMG Innovation Lab, which pushed me outside of my comfort zone but allowed me to grow tremendously. I worked on two strategic intelligence sprints where we focused on the integration of generative AI across industries for future work. I supported three client delivery sessions, including day-of delivery and post-session deliverables, and I captured notes, facilitated discussions, wrote post-session debriefs, and also networked as much as I could in the process!

Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?

I really enjoyed Public Relations Communication with Tom Cullen. This class offered professionalism tips and career advice that isn’t typically taught but is more expected of students entering the workforce to know. I also built a massive branding and style guide for a non-profit and was able to add this unique piece of work to my portfolio.

How have the classes at Grady prepared you for your future?

The classes at Grady provide students with skills necessary for the real world. I owe success in my internships at Talking Dog, the Office of Global Engagement and KPMG to the preparation I found in Grady courses.


If you would like to be considered for a Profile of Tenacity feature, email morgan.jones2@uga.edu. You can nominate yourself or a friend. 

Talking Dog Battle of the Brands

Talking Dog, the student-run advertising and public relations agency operated through Grady College, is gearing up for another new year and students are already thinking about the competition at the end of the season: Battle of the Brands.

During the academic year, each Talking Dog team works with local and national clients creating comprehensive campaigns through research, branding, design, messaging, website creation and more. The agency provides quality work, creative ideas and valuable Generation Z insights to clients, while each student learns valuable skills and begins establishing networks that help set them up for future success.

“I’m involved in Talking Dog because I want to work in an agency after graduation, and there’s no better place on campus to get real agency experience than Talking Dog,” said Ike Epstein, a fourth-year public relations major who is serving as one of the agency’s co-directors this year. Epstein was also on the Arby’s team, one of the final teams in the Battle of the Brands competition.

Mary Ellen Barto, Talking Dog agency manager, stresses that a huge advantage for students is  developing future leadership skills.

“Talking Dog is an extraordinary opportunity for students to put all they are learning in the classroom into practice with external clients and experience how the process works firsthand,” Barto said. “But, they also experience agency life’s realities: building client relationships, selling ideas, working collaboratively and navigating challenges. It not only hones their technical skills but also develops the soft leadership skills that are critically important to success in their post-grad life.”

Lauren Buie, this year’s director of new business and client relations for Talking Dog, shares her thoughts on Talking Dog and Battle of the Brands.

In April, each team presents their work for the year. Three teams are selected to move ahead to the Battle of the Brands, a formal presentation in front of the entire agency and a panel of industry professionals who award one team the winner in this friendly competition.

Last spring, the final three teams worked on a branding campaign Arby’s seeking an untapped market, a public relations campaign to generate awareness for Nebo Rescue Pledge for pet adoption and a digital shopping campaign on Shopify for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, bringing together all their sports championship merchandise together under one umbrella.

“Working in a student lead agency with real clients taught me more than any classroom exercise ever could,” said Hayden Martin, a public relations and political science major who worked on the Rescue Pledge team, winner of the Spring 2023 Battle of the Brands. “I got a taste of life in an agency and how difficult, but rewarding it is. I am so glad that all of the hard work we put in throughout the year was noticed and we were able to win Battle of the Brands.”

Paw Print, an agency focused primarily on non-profit clients, was folded in with Talking Dog’s for-profit clients last spring and will continue doing work in collaborations with Talking Dog this coming year.

Grady InternViews: Olivia Lamme

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

Olivia Lamme is a fourth-year public relations student working with UPS as a media relations intern. Read on as she provides insight into what this internship looks like.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities

This summer I am working as a media relations intern at UPS in the global communications department. In this position, I collaborate alongside other professionals from all around the United States. I work closely with the media relations team to develop content that highlights incredible UPSers. I amplify those Great Employer stories through connections with the top 10 media markets.

What does the structure of your internship look like?

I work full-time, five days a week. I work remotely on Mondays and Fridays, and I report to the Atlanta office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. My tasks and meetings vary from day to day, but a typical day includes calls with my manager, meetings with the media relations team and intern sessions with the eight other interns in the communications department. When I am not in meetings, I am helping my manager with pitches and stories or working with the other interns on our summer project.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Because of the large geographical areas each member of the media relations team covers, we are relatively spread out. Two of my teammates are in the Atlanta office, but my manager that I report to is based in Jacksonville, Florida. I initially found it difficult to feel connected to my team and ask for tasks. I didn’t want to bother anyone. However, I quickly realized that the company culture at UPS is centered around inclusivity. As previously mentioned, my manager and I call every day and message on Teams all the time. She makes me feel valued and appreciated by giving me tasks and substantial responsibility. Several other members of my team have also connected with and called me multiple times to check in on how I am adjusting to and liking my position. What started as a challenge quickly became one of my favorite parts of the team.

What has been your favorite part about your internship so far? Tell us a story if you have one!

I pitched and landed my first ever story! A UPS Tractor-trailer driver named Craig Campbell Sr. won the Florida Trucking Association’s Driver of the Year award. My manager tasked me with writing a pitch and trying to get news coverage in Jacksonville, Florida. I developed a strong pitch and spent a couple of days contacting and following up with news stations, newspapers and reporters in the Jacksonville area. One day later my story was broadcasted on News4Jax evening news! Then two more outlets picked up the story and wrote short articles. It was so cool to see my work being used and enjoyed by the public.

How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

PR Communication with Tom Cullen has by far been my biggest asset in terms of career preparation. The extensive portfolio I created in his class was the main attraction for the UPS recruiters. The two media relations professionals who interviewed me read the entire portfolio and asked numerous questions about it. Tom taught me the basics of writing pitches, crafting press releases and compiling media lists. These skills are essential in the public relations realm, and I am so thankful that his course prepared me for this position. Of course, I am gaining a real-world application at UPS, but Tom’s class set the framework for me.

Additionally, Crisis Communication taught me how to work on a large and complex project with a team. We created a crisis management plan that ended up being 52 pages long. The work was confusing at times and very time-consuming. But my team and I learned to work well together and share responsibility. I have continued to develop these teamwork skills with my team of interns at UPS. We have a group project presentation at the end of July, and we are already gelling and communicating as a unit.

What’s your advice to other students looking for a similar opportunity?
Group of students posing around Heritage Boulder
Lamme and her communications team pose in front of Heritage Boulder (Photo: Submitted)

Join clubs and get actual writing experience. UGA offers so many extracurricular and educational programs. I utilized Talking Dog and PRSSA to produce tangible content. When applying for jobs, actual work is way more impressive than a stacked resume. Prove to them that you are as good as you say.

Also, utilize the career fairs and learn to follow-up. I made a conscious effort this year to go to both Grady career fairs and even a Terry career fair. Even if you know the job isn’t for you, it never hurts to make connections, spread your resume and practice interviewing. I interviewed with so many companies just to get the experience. With time, I knew exactly how to pitch myself and talk with professionals. By the time I spoke with UPS, I had a well-developed PR portfolio and personal portfolio with a wide variety of work from different clubs and classes.

How will this role guide your future career path?

UPS has ultimately set me up for success. It is a large, well-known corporation with a huge network of professionals. I have connected and bonded with so many people already and its only week four of the program. The hands-on learning experience in media relations is exactly what I wanted. I want to experiment and try different fields of public relations, and UPS is a wonderful way to start that process. I hope to carry forward the relationships and work I develop at UPS.

What’s your career goal?

I just want to love what I do. I want to enjoy the culture and people around me. So far, UPS has provided exactly that. Everyone I have met is upbeat, friendly and always willing to help. In the next few years, I hope to continue working in an environment like this one. I also want to continue working for a big corporation. I love working for a company that everyone knows. And if I’m lucky, I would love to come back to UPS in my career.

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

Ask questions. It is very easy to feel intimidated or nervous to speak with industry professionals. I experienced this fear during the first week of my internship. But as previously stated, I quickly realized that the professionals (and professors) around you want to see you succeed. It is their job to answer your questions and provide you with the insight you don’t have. I am going to make a conscious effort to connect with my professors and establish connections. You can’t do it all on your own. Utilize the amazing professionals around you.

How has this role helped you discover what you are passionate about?

I have discovered that I am passionate about working for a company that does good in the world. UPS establishes itself as a progressive, forward-thinking company with a focus on sustainability and equality. It is so easy to write for a company and work with people who have similar views as you. I want people to know I represent UPS because I believe in the work they do. I want to always feel this passionate for the companies I work for.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

When it comes to extracurriculars and involvement, prioritize quality over quantity. It is so easy to get stressed because you think you aren’t “doing enough.” I remember feeling this way at the end of my sophomore year. I wanted to join five clubs because I thought that would look impressive on a resume. Well, the reality is, five clubs can’t all fit on a resume. Instead, pick one or two organizations/clubs that you are truly interested in and fully commit to them. For me, I committed to Talking Dog and the PRSSA content committee. Both positions provided me with tangible writing experience and allowed me to personally connect with new peers and classmates. Those clubs stood out to recruiters and provided me with content to put on my personal portfolio. Don’t get bogged down in the numbers. One club that you are extremely invested in is way more beneficial than five clubs that you don’t care about.

#ProfilesofTenacity: Rachel Ziner

Rachel Ziner was taught the value of setting goals and achieving them from a young age. To her, tenacity comes after those goals are achieved. Ziner is a Double Dawg, who first earned her bachelor’s in advertising at Grady College before staying this year to earn a master’s degree in Emerging Media through the New Media Institute. Ziner is currently interning as a corporate public relations intern for Golin, which she says has been her biggest accomplishment in the past year. This summer, she interned at McDonald’s corporate in Chicago, Illinois this summer for their in-house agency, Agency123. She currently serves as the director of intern relations for Talking Dog, and is a communications intern for the AdPR department.

Why did you choose your major?

For my undergraduate degree, I wanted to study something that challenged me to continually be creative and have no two days that were exactly alike. This led me to choose advertising due to the fast-paced nature of the industry and the creativity it takes to be successful. After obtaining this degree, I wanted to learn more about the future of the industry and the role technology plays in modern media, leading me to pursue the Emerging Media Double Dawgs pathway. This program focuses on the intersection of design and technology, teaching me how to leverage new technologies to communicate with audiences differently than before. The knowledge from both of my degrees has made me well-ounded in understanding both traditional and digital media strategy while prioritizing the needs of the target market. 

Ziner (front right) pictured with interns she worked with throughout the year as director of intern relations at Talking Dog Agency. This photo was taken in April 2023 at the ‘Battle of the Brands’ event.
What is your most memorable Grady experience?

I can easily say my most memorable Grady experience comes from my senior year of undergraduate when I was an account executive on the Luckie Health team within Talking Dog Agency. My seven-member team worked all year to develop a research-driven campaign for the launch of the sub-brand of Luckie & Co., Luckie Health. Our team had the opportunity to present at the agency-wide competition, Battle of the Brands, and our case study on our work won 1st place in the competition! I remember feeling so proud of my team and everything we accomplished. It felt like all the long hours had paid off and we were recognized for our success. 

Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?

Though she was not my professor directly, Missy Hill is easily the first person to come to mind. This past school year when I served as the director of intern relations within Talking Dog Agency and as a communications intern for the Advertising and Public Relations Department, Missy has been my advisor for both roles. I admire Missy’s work ethic in everything she does for the department and how she always leads with kindness first. She has so much impressive knowledge and industry expertise. I never leave a conversation with her without learning something new. I know I can always go to Missy when I need advice or have questions about the wide world of advertising and public relations. Missy has always been a champion for helping me achieve my goals and I know she’ll be a mentor to me for years to come. I am so grateful to have her in my corner as I will soon be navigating post-grad life. 

Before pursuing her emerging media masters, Ziner graduated with a degree in advertising in May of 2022.
What does tenacity mean to you?

From a young age, I was taught how to set goals and the value that comes with achieving those goals. When I set out to accomplish my goals, my drive and determination and what brings me to achieve them. To me, tenacity comes in after that, once those goals are accomplished. How can I continue to strive for further achievement? What’s the next level of success look like for me and what can be done to reach that? Tenacity is fighting to continually do better and build the life I want for myself, even after I achieve my goals. Tenacity is continually asking for and gladly welcoming what’s next, even if I know it will be challenging. 

Ziner pictured with other students in the ’emerging media NMIXPo’ class in fall 2022, where students present their progress on their capstone project.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

The best piece of advice I have ever received is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This means that everyone is on their own path and you cannot compare where you are at in life with anyone else. You will never find joy if you spend all day thinking about what other people are doing or the ways in which they are achieving. It’s better to focus on yourself, take things one day at a time and remember that you are your own person with a unique purpose in life that is not to be compared with anyone else. Instead of sitting around comparing yourself to others, think about what you can do to get yourself to where you want to be. Enjoy the journey that is uniquely yours (and rather than wishing you were in other’s shoes, choose to celebrate the success of others rather than sulk in what you feel you may lack). 

What are you passionate about?

Professionally, I am passionate about viewing the audiences my work serves as humans. In the modern age of information, we are constantly consuming media, whether we know it or not. I’m passionate about making this media consumption more enjoyable for consumers – not just another headline or advertisement in their feeds that does not connect with their wants and needs. The exciting thing about this passion is that every consumer is different and consumer desires will change over time. There will always be opportunities for me to consider first the individuals that my work is serving and use that as a guiding factor. I’m passionate about using this human-first approach in building campaigns that bring consumers closer to brands. 

Personally, I am passionate about creativity and trying new things whenever possible! I love to try cooking new recipes, exploring new places and most of all crafting new projects to gift to friends and family. I’ve always been very resourceful and had a passion for

Ziner pictured from her first internship at Krystal Restaurants LLC, when she was the marketing intern. She continued to work at Krystal for a year as the marketing coordinator  from June 2021 to May 2022.

flexing my creative muscles whenever possible. 

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?

My biggest accomplishment in the past year has been landing a job with Golin as a public relations intern, working on the Discover Financial Services and West Monroe Partners accounts. I knew in my final semester of graduate school I was interested in pursuing an internship opportunity to apply my skills and add to my resume before graduating. I applied for the opportunity at Golin, did some networking on LinkedIn and landed the job! I’ve really enjoyed working full-time, remotely, and gaining real-world agency experience while still in school. Having this role has taught me so much about client service and earned media strategy to couple with the emerging media strategy that I am learning my graduate program. 

Ziner’s final presentation for her internship with McDonald’s, where she was the intern for the in-house agency, Agency123 in Chicago this past summer.
What is an example of a time you used your skills in a real-world experience?

Last summer, I had the opportunity to intern at McDonald’s corporate office in Chicago, Illinois within their in-house agency, Agency123. I mostly worked on account management and project management for a number of internal clients. Throughout my final year at UGA, I acted as an account executive within Talking Dog and for my campaigns class team. In both of these experiences, I learned how to write project briefs and develop KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the success of a campaign. As the Agency123 intern, I was asked to write project briefs, including KPIs, for a few projects throughout the summer. My manager was impressed with my ability to write such comprehensive and detailed project briefs, thanks to my experiences in Talking Dog and in the classroom. It was a great feeling to be so early in my career and be given an assignment that I already knew how to complete. 

Where’s your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus would have to be Studio 100 in Grady! I spent so many Wednesday evenings there in the past two years as a member of Talking Dog Agency. I love the atmosphere of the room and always know I will be surrounded by talented, creative and overall awesome people when I’m there. 

#ProfilesofTenacity: Jonina Bullock

Jonina Bullock is a third-year student, double majoring in advertising and German. She is the creative coordinator for Talking Dog Agency, the PR chair for the National Association of Black Journalists, and she works as a resident assistant. She was recently awarded a scholarship from the Atlanta Ad Club. Last November, Bullock was the inaugural winner of the AdPR Vision Award. 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because it allows me to be extremely creative, while also providing the knowledge about business that I was looking for.

Jonina in New York City on the way to CultureCon, which she says is her most memorable Grady experience.
What is your most memorable Grady experience?

My most memorable experience has been Grady sponsoring me to attend CultureCon in Brooklyn, New York. It was one of the coolest things that I have experienced. I want to live in Brooklyn one day, so it was really nice to get a preview, while also connecting with other professionals of color in the creative industry. I was able to meet really amazing people, share my work with others, learn about opportunities post-graduation and try some really good food.

What does tenacity mean to you?
Jonina was a recipient of the Atlanta Ad Club Student Scholarship this year.

Tenacity to me equates to overcoming adversity and being persistent in chasing what it is that you want. Tenacious is a good adjective — I like that word.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself being very content! I hope to work for an international advertising agency, be able to travel and see the world and maybe even run one of my own at some point!

What motivates you?

I am motivated by all of those who surround me, but definitely by my family members. When I think about all that they have done and sacrificed, it motivates me to keep pursuing what I dream of.

Who is your professional hero?

Quinta Brunson — hands down. I used to be an avid BuzzFeed viewer and loved her then, so seeing her blossom into having her own highly-rated comedy series is extremely inspiring.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

“Your journey is your own.” It is so easy to feel like an imposter when at a college where everyone is so successful, but when you focus on your own journey without comparing yourself to your peers, things become much easier.

What are you passionate about?
Jonina in her Grady College sweatshirt shortly after being accepted into the college.
Jonina in her Grady College sweatshirt shortly after being accepted into the college.

A lot of things – mental health is definitely up top for me, followed closely by the idea that everyone deserves to feel a sense of community. It is one of the best feelings to know you have people that support you, love you, and are rooting for you. I think everyone deserves to know what that feels like.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
Jonina was a brand experience intern for Delta last summer. Here she is on the first day of her internship.

I speak German!

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?

In the past year, my biggest professional accomplishment was definitely being selected as a recipient of the Atlanta Ad Club Student Scholarship. My biggest personal accomplishment is being more confident in my knowledge and what I create. I used to be really scared to share the projects I work on and photos that I take, but not anymore — so growth!

#ProfilesofTenacity: Ike Epstein

Fourth-year public relations major Ike Epstein has made the most of the opportunities offered to him by Grady College and the University of Georgia. As a transfer student, Epstein has found his community at UGA by getting involved on campus. He serves as a research and strategy specialist for the Arby’s account at Talking Dog Agency and he is also involved in Dawg Camp and the Student Government Association (SGA).

What does “tenacity” mean to you?

To me, tenacity is about being persistent. College will have its fair share of ups and downs, something that I’ve certainly experienced myself. Sometimes, you will not do as well on a test as you thought—I know I have—and that feeling can be very defeating. However, learning to stay persistent throughout those ups and downs is something that has not only served me during college, but will also aid me in my career.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to pursue a degree in public relations because of how versatile it is. Considering how quickly the job landscape changes, having a degree that will give me the tools to succeed in various aspects of the public relations and advertising world will play an integral role in the success of my career.

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

Mary Ellen Barto has had the biggest impact on me during my time at UGA. She is so knowledgeable about the field of ADPR, and she has helped me hone my skills and find a career path that I’m legitimately passionate about. Sometimes I’ll go to her office between classes just to hang out for a second, and I’m very grateful to have met her this year.

Epstein (right) poses for a picture with other student transitions liaisons at the SGA banquet in the presidential suite at Sanford Stadium. (Photo/submitted)
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I’ve received is to try and stay in the moment. I often find myself worrying about things that are far in the distance, especially when it comes to jobs and internships. While I know this is easier said than done, it’s something that has really helped me this year, especially as my time in school is beginning to come to a close. Your time in college is short, so just try to enjoy the moment and make the most of it.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to other Grady students?

If I had to give one piece of advice to Grady students, it would be to get involved! Grady offers so many amazing opportunities, Talking Dog and PRSSA just to name a couple. Getting involved with Grady organizations has helped me make the most out of my time here and allowed me to form meaningful connections.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

My most memorable Grady experience has been my time with Talking Dog Agency working on the Arby’s account. Agency work is what I want to do with my career, but it was never something that I thought I could do during the school year. Having the opportunity to work with such an impressive client has been a rewarding challenge, something that I never thought would be possible. Learning how a professional agency operates and getting real world experience working with a big-name client has been an invaluable experience I’ll never forget.

Epstein (second from right) and some of the other members of Talking Dog Agency dressed up as their favorite sauces for a costume night in Studio 100. (Photo/submitted)
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?

My biggest accomplishment this past year was learning how to successfully build a survey for the Arby’s account at Talking Dog. I had never built a survey before, learning how to craft specific questions to get the most accurate data possible was a great challenge, but incredibly rewarding at the same time. Once it went live, I got about 3x more answers than I anticipated and got great usable data that the client was very happy with. The data ultimately shaped the idea for our campaign and is something that I’m incredibly proud of.

Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?

My favorite Grady professor is Michael Cacciatore. His classes are always ones I look forward to attending and I have never laughed so hard in an academic setting before. He’s incredibly well-versed in his field and worked closely with me to help build a successful survey for Talking Dog.

What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
Epstein (back right) and other Dawg Camp counselors smile for a picture at their color group reveal, where he and his team prepared to work together to welcome the incoming class in the fall. (Photo/submitted)

One thing that surprises people is that I’m a transfer student. While it’s been a challenge to integrate into such a big school, Grady has shown me the community and like-minded individuals that have helped shape my college experience.

Where is your favorite study spot?

My favorite study spot on campus is the main library. While this is a hot take for some people, I think it’s the best place to get work done. Whether I’m going to the fourth floor to work on a group project with my friends or sitting on the first floor to get more complex work done, the main library is always my first choice.

#ProfilesofTenacity: Raynor Manley

Fourth year public relations student Raynor Manley emphasizes the importance of joining clubs and getting involved as a student at the University of Georgia. Her involvement in organizations such as the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and Talking Dog Agency has helped her find the things that she is passionate about.

What does “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity is the quality of persevering even when faced with challenges. It is the unwavering commitment to putting forth your best effort, regardless of the obstacles encountered. Tenacity means to display resilience in all you do while maintaining confidence in yourself and your abilities. It means to not allow your mistakes to define you and stay committed to achieving greatness.

Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?

Without a doubt, my favorite Grady professor is Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru. Her unmatched teaching style has been a burst of positivity throughout my time in Grady. My first class with Dr. A was her Public Relations Management course, which was an exceptional learning experience. The practical and valuable PR knowledge that I gained from this class motivated me to take another course with her. And, as luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to take my PR capstone class, PR Campaigns, with Dr. A as well. Th

Manley leads a break-out session and gives other students resume advice at a PRSSA meeting. (Photo/submitted)

is was an unforgettable experience; working on an outstanding campaign with a professor who possesses a deep passion for what she teaches, and who is incredibly kind and encouraging. Dr A has undoubtedly left a lasting mark on my academic journey.

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

The UGA Mentor Program has been an invaluable resource throughout my time at UGA. I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with three different mentors through the program. One of my summer internships actually resulted from one of my mentor relationships! I am so passionate about this program because of its ability to match students with mentors from a diverse range of industries, allowing students to gain insight into various career paths. The program allows students to explore mentors and select one that closely aligns with their aspirations. Mentors offer guidance, expertise and unique insights. This program has been an incredible way for me to network with professionals in my field and explore new career path options that I might want to pursue in the future.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

My most memorable Grady experience, by far, has been my involvement and leadership in PRSSA! I joined PRSSA as a general body member after I was accepted into the PR major. I fell in love with the incredible knowledge and advice that I received in each of the meetings and knew I wanted to get more involved. In my junior year, I was appointed as the Director of Content on the Executive Board, where I managed our blog and website. This year, I have been serving as the Public Relations Director, where I am responsible for creating graphics and promoting PRSSA. PRSSA has provided me with the opportunity to gain valuable insight from various industry professionals across diverse PR sectors, including sports,

Manley smiles for a picture with her fellow PRSSA Executive Board members. (Photo/submitted)

entertainment, cosmetics, politics and more. PRSSA has also allowed me to make some of my closest friends and build a relationship with a wonderful mentor. If you don’t already know Kim Landrum, you should. I am a firm believer that everyone should have a Kim in their lives. Kim has been a phenomenal advisor to the PRSSA board, and we would not be half as successful without her. Overall, PRSSA has been an integral experience in my Grady journey, enabling me to learn from experts, enhance my leadership skills and forge lifelong friendships.

What are you passionate about?

Joining clubs and taking different classes within Grady is a really great way to discover new passions. Talking Dog Agency has been instrumental in helping me discover a new passion of mine – client engagement and management. As an Account Executive with Talking Dog this year, I have discovered a new love for serving as the liaison between my client and our team, ensuring seamless communication. I am a huge advocate for joining clubs because these experiences can lead you to new passions that you might want to pursue for the rest of your life.

What motivates you?

My campus involvement serves as a great source of motivation for me. Being able to give back to the UGA and Grady community and support my peers is something I truly enjoy. I am constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to get involved, take on leadership roles and continue making a positive impact on campus.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to other Grady students?
Manley poses with her Talking Dog Agency team. She serves as the account executive for their client, Shay Latte Coffee. (Photo/submitted)

Get involved early! Getting involved can definitely be overwhelming with how many different clubs are offered on campus. To avoid this, I suggest starting slow. Start by exploring the various clubs available, make a list of the clubs that interest you and then learn more about them. Then, narrow it down and be intentional in deciding which clubs you want to join. Avoid the temptation to join multiple clubs just to pad your resume. Instead, choose clubs that genuinely interest you and align with your passions. These are the clubs that will enhance your college experience in more ways than one. Once you’ve joined a club, take the time to learn about the leadership opportunities available. Most clubs offer committee positions, which provide a great starting point for getting more involved. As you gain more experience, you can then move on to higher positions, such as serving on the executive board or as a director.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Reach out to professors, peers and those in leadership roles you might want in the future. Throughout my time in Grady, I’ve learned that people are more than eager to help and offer advice in any way they can. There is always someone willing to provide guidance and share their experiences. Asking questions not only helps you gain a better understanding but also shows that you are interested and invested in learning. It’s important to remember that everyone was once a beginner, and by asking questions, you are showing a willingness to learn and grow. So, don’t be afraid to ask, because chances are someone is more than happy to help!

Manley smiles in her Grady Ambassadors uniform while working the Dawgs with the Dean event. (Photo/submitted)
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?

My biggest accomplishment in the past year is being selected to serve as a Grady Ambassador. I was selected out of a highly competitive pool of 90+ applicants, with only 20-25 positions available. However, it took me two application periods to finally secure the role. This experience taught me the invaluable lesson of perseverance as well as the importance of self-confidence. This accomplishment is one that I am immensely proud of, not only because of the prestige that comes with it but because it taught me to never give up on my goals. I want all of you to know that it’s okay to try again. Don’t give up and keep trying because sometimes all you need is a little confidence boost to achieve the goals you are striving for.

What are you planning to do after you graduate?

I was just accepted into UGA’s Graduate School last week! I will be spending one extra year in Athens to obtain my Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication in Grady College, with an emphasis in Integrated Advertising and Public Relations.

#ProfilesofTenacity: Dolores Trobradovic

Dolores Trobradovic is a fourth year public relations and international affairs student who understands the importance of getting involved on campus. Trobradovic serves as the president for the UGA Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), an organization that has had a large impact on her college experience.

What does “tenacity” mean to you?

To be tenacious is, above all else, to be persistent. Over my four years at Grady, I have learned that the key to success in academics and career is to just keep going. Natural talents can only take you so far, but in order to truly achieve your goals, you have to be willing to put in the work consistently. Tenacity means having a strong will and not giving up even when your dreams seem unattainable. It means pushing through difficult times and knowing that hard work will lead you to where you are supposed to be.

Who is your favorite Grady professor and why?

As all public relations students do, I took Public Relations Communications my junior year with Tom Cullen. Professor Cullen’s class is by far the most difficult and rewarding Grady class I will ever take. PR communications taught me truly what PR is in terms of practical skills. Beyond that though, Professor Cullen pushed me to do my best work in that class. I grew a lot in that class not just as a PR student but also as a human being. And all of that was thanks to Tom Cullen.

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?
Trobradovic leads PRSSA members through team bonding exercises at this year’s kickoff meeting. (Photo/submitted)

The UGA chapter of PRSSA has had a huge impact on my time as a student at UGA. Throughout my time serving on the executive board, what I have learned about commitment and leadership through that has been so important to me as a person. PRSSA has given me invaluable industry insight, networking skills and above all a sense of community at Grady and UGA. I have made amazing friends through PRSSA and the best memories that I will take with me after my time at UGA.

What motivates you?

When I was a little girl, I loved watching my mother dress in her high heels and professional outfits. I had this admiration for her as a working woman and internalized that to create a sort of vision of myself in her position. I am motivated by that image of myself in the future all dressed up, successful and happy with the contribution I am making to the world.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?
Trobradovic poses with a friend at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. (Photo/submitted)

My most memorable Grady experience is undoubtedly my study abroad experience in France this summer. I was lucky enough to participate in the Cannes Lions study abroad where I went to the Cannes Creativity Festival. I was able to hear speakers of diverse backgrounds from the creative industry and the world, such as Malala Yousufzai, Ted Sarandos and so many more. This summer helped create a real excitement for my career and what I can do after my time at Grady that I will always be grateful for.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I have ever received is to know your worth. It can be easy to think that as young college students with no industry experience, you should take every and any opportunity that comes your way. While you should take opportunities to get experience and grow, it is important to understand to know what opportunities will truly be beneficial for you as a person. Knowing your worth is integral to forging a successful path in your career and in your personal life. If you believe in yourself, then so too will others.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to other Grady students?
Trobradovic smiles for a photo with her fellow PRSSA executive board members at their kickoff meeting. (Photo/submitted)

Get as involved in clubs as you can. The earlier you get involved in organizations, the better. Grady offers so many amazing opportunities to learn and experience new things within the communications world and it is so important to take advantage of it. Don’t be afraid to run for positions of leadership and commit yourself to clubs, because they will not only teach you invaluable career skills, but they will also bring you some of your fondest memories of this time in your life.

What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

I lived in Frankfurt, Germany for four years. From the age of 11 to 15, I experienced new cultures and traveled across Europe. Living abroad at such a young age definitely gave me a unique way of thinking and perceiving the world. It wasn’t always easy living in a foreign country, but the difficulties gave me a confidence in myself that has shaped the young woman I am today.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?
Trobradovic leads a PRSSA meeting in studio 100 with guest speaker and alumna Amanda Maddox. (Photo/submitted)

This past year I have had the honor of serving as the president for PRSSA. My proudest moments are when our members tell me how much they have learned from our speakers or enjoy coming to our meetings. PRSSA has given me so much, and as president I want to ensure that everyone else has that very same experience. Knowing that I am able, even if it is in the tiniest manner, to help someone else in their journey at Grady is so rewarding.

Where is your favorite study spot?

This may not be a very popular destination for getting serious work done, but I often find that I am most productive at the Tate Student Center. While some prefer the silence of the MLC or Grady’s fourth floor, I thrive in the hustle and bustle of Tate. The energy and spirit of UGA brings me a lot of joy and I feel undeniably comfortable in the midst of all my fellow peers going about their days throughout the building.