The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has named veteran sports reporter Vicki Michaelis as the John Huland Carmical Distinguished Professor of Sports Journalism to lead the college’s new sports journalism program.
As the Carmical Professor, Michaelis will teach sports journalism courses and will direct the college’s sports media initiative, the first of its kind among universities in the Southeastern Conference.
“Vicki Michaelis has the professional experience, vision and leadership to excel in the classroom and develop a program in sports journalism and society unique in the Southeastern Conference,” said E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College.
“Professor Michaelis will instill the same ethical standards and social responsibility in our sports journalism classes that we encourage in all fields of journalistic inquiry and reporting.”
Michaelis was the lead Olympics reporter for USA Today through six Olympic Games. She also covered professional and college sports for USA Today, the Denver Post and the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post. She graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is the past president and chair of the Association for Women in Sports Media.
“We will have a pre-eminent sports journalism program at Grady, one that will give students real-world journalism experience, the tools to succeed in sports media careers and the ability to evolve within an ever-changing industry,” said Michaelis, who just returned from covering the London Olympics.
A $1 million gift and pledge agreement from Atlanta’s John Huland Carmical Foundation funded the distinguished professor position and also will fund the creation of a Chair in Sports Journalism and Society, which Michaelis will hold. As the chair, Michaelis will work with professors of all disciplines within the Grady College—including journalism, advertising, public relations and telecommunications—to develop a curriculum for students interested in working in sports.
In addition, Michaelis will develop a proposal for an interdisciplinary Center for Sports Journalism and Society comprised of teaching and research faculty from the Grady College and other UGA departments and colleges. The new center will encourage teaching and research in sports journalism, sports communication and sports management, as well as lead a national dialogue on sports and society.