Campus News

UGA Grady College to recognize three distinguished alumni

Athens, Ga. – Three distinguished alumni of the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will be recognized on May 12 at the college’s Alumni Awards Brunch at 10:30 a.m. at the Georgian Hotel, Athens.

Roger Strauss, Marietta, will receive the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award while Col. Bryan Salas, Warrenton, Va., will receive the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award. Kelly Hornbuckle of Atlanta will receive the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award.

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

Strauss, a 1980 graduate, is currently a senior director at CNN, where he has directed over 17,000 live shows, more than anyone at the network. During his 31 years there, he has covered breaking news stories, political campaigns and conventions, the D-Day anniversary in France, as well as revolutions in China. Strauss is one of 15 current CNN employees who have been with the network since its inception.

His work has garnered many awards including Emmys, Cable Ace awards, Dupont-Columbia awards and International Film and TV Festival of New York gold medals. He also has contributed to Peabody Award-winning coverage at CNN.

A Grady College telecommunication arts alumnus, Strauss has been a speaker in television production classes, given CNN tours to current Grady students and is currently watching his son, a UGA freshman, strive to reach his goal of being accepted into Grady’s advertising program.

Salas, a 1987 graduate, is the director of U.S. Marine Corps Public Affairs in the Pentagon’s Marine Corps headquarters. The former public relations major now deals with public affairs, grass roots outreach, media relations and internal news for the Marine Corps, a 220,000-person organization with a $29 billion budget.

Enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve while still in high school, Salas was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1988. He has filled several military public affairs roles in locales such as Shawnee Mission, Kan., Parris Island, S.C., Norfolk, Va., Camp Pendleton, Calif., Norway, Haiti and Iraq before his current assignment at Marine Corps Headquarters in the Pentagon.

With Salas at the helm, the Marine Corps has received numerous awards for its recruiting and communications through social media outlets and now boasts more than one million Facebook followers. He has dealt with sensitive issues, such as the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and the current operations in Iraq.Salas’ personal decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Former public relations major Hornbuckle is a 2006 graduate. As director of marketing of the Georgia Restaurant Association, she represents the largest private sector employer in Georgia, where she oversees web design and implementation, internal and external communications and event management.

Hornbuckle has written for the Restaurant Forum magazine and managed the GRACE Awards, a gala for over 400 guests and celebrity speakers, as well as the Green Restaurant Revolution Forum with Ted Turner, the Taste of Asia Dine-Out Week, and many more events.

Starting as an intern, Hornbuckle has continued to move up in the GRA, as well as build her involvement in the community. She serves on the advisory boards of the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters, and has championed community involvement projects that raised more than $1.6 million. Her efforts have been recognized by the Atlanta City Council, who proclaimed a Restaurant Community Involvement Week in both 2009 and 2010.

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 their journalistic profession. The Henry W. Grady Award honors a mid-career graduate who has been influential in their field. The Dean John E. Drewry Award honors a graduate of the last decade who has experienced a successful early career.

Reservations for the Alumni Awards Brunch can be made through May 5, at The cost is $15 per person.

Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, digital and broadcast journalism, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.