Campus News Society & Culture

Grady College to recognize distinguished alumni

Athens, Ga. – Four distinguished alumni of the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will be recognized May 9 at 10:30 a.m. at the Georgian Hotel in Athens.

Claude Felton, who received a bachelor’s degree in 1970 and master’s degree in 1971, will receive the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, while William Ostick, a 1988 graduate from Fairfax, Va., will receive the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award. Ben Mayer, a 2006 graduate from New York City, will receive the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award. Marie Hardin, who received her doctoral degree in 1998, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award.

“The selection committee of our Alumni Board has made yet another stellar set of recommendations for our four outstanding achievement awards,” said E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College. “Each recipient exhibits a commitment to excellence in a purposeful life, and thereby commands the attention of our students as role models.”

Felton has served in the Georgia Athletic Association since 1979, holding positions such as sports information director, assistant athletic director and associate athletic director for external affairs. He currently serves as the senior associate athletic director.

A decorated alumnus, he was inducted into the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2008, he received the Football Writers Association of America Bert McGrane Award for his service to the organization and the writing profession. His most recent recognition came in 2012, when he received the Contributions to Amateur Football Award by the UGA chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Ostick is a career senior foreign service officer at the U.S. Department of State. He was promoted to the rank of counselor in January 2012. He currently serves as press adviser and spokesperson for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. He is the chief spokesperson on Western Hemisphere issues and advises senior department officials on media, public outreach and strategy.

His foreign service assignments have taken him to Madrid, where he was the information officer at the U.S. Embassy, and Panama, where he served as the public affairs officer and information officer. He has received the State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award several times-in 2002, 2005 and 2010-along with the Superior Honor Award in 2001 and 2003 and the Benjamin Franklin Award in 2004 and 2010.

Mayer, a former broadcast news major, is a producer for the critically acclaimed MSNBC morning show “Morning Joe.” After graduating, he worked as a producer at WCIV-TV in Charleston, S.C., and a freelance producer for “Good Morning America” and “World News with Charles Gibson.” He has also served as manager of content for the Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA-TV and WATL-TV.

He has received several Emmy, Murrow and AP awards for his work and earned a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. He has also received the Chairman’s Award from Gannett.

Hardin is professor of journalism and associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies in the College of Communications at Penn State. She also directs research activities at the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism and the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State.

Hardin’s research, which focuses on diversity, ethics and professional practices in mediated sports, has been published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Sociology of Sport Journal, International Journal of Sport Communication, Sex Roles, Newspaper Research Journal, Mass Communication & Society and Journal of Sport Management, among others. She is the co-editor of an upcoming handbook dealing with new media and sports and the associate editor of Communication & Sport.

The Grady College Alumni Awards are given to those who demonstrate distinguished achievement in journalism and mass communication. The Holliman Award honors Grady alumnus and former CNN reporter, the late John Holliman, and is given to someone who has accomplished exceptional contributions within his or her journalistic profession. The Henry W. Grady Award honors a mid-career graduate who has been influential in his or her field. The Dean John E. Drewry Award honors a graduate of the last decade who has experienced a successful early career. The Distinguished Scholar Award honors an alumnus for excellence and sustained contributions to scholarship in journalism and mass communication education.

Reservations for the Alumni Awards Brunch can be made through May 3 at The cost is $15 per person.