Campus News

Tucker’s Wilson named Georgia Journalism Academy’s ‘superstar’

Grady summer academy-h.env
Sue Myers Smith

Athens, Ga. – Tucker resident Raven Wilson of Parkview High School in Lilburn was named the “superstar” of the 2012 Georgia Journalism Academy held at the University of Georgia June 10-16.

Sponsored by the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the academy is a weeklong, residential summer camp for aspiring high school journalists. Fifty-seven students from across the Southeast enrolled in one of six core classes-broadcasting, news writing, feature writing, editorial writing, photojournalism or graphic design-and produced a 15-minute TV news broadcast and a 12-page newspaper. Each course’s teacher nominated a student to be the “rising star” for the class, and all camp students voted on the winner at the closing banquet.

“Raven already has a good eye for photographs and a command of her camera equipment that only comes with time spent developing one’s craft,” said Sue Smith, the camp’s photojournalism instructor. “This week, she pushed herself to talk to unfamiliar people and get the story behind her photographs, and she showed good judgment when editing her work to select the best photos.”

Wilson, a rising senior, said her experience at the camp helped reaffirm her desire to pursue a journalism career. “This week was such a good opportunity,” she said. “I had a great time here and found a new love for journalism.”

Wilson, who was one of several participants to receive a scholarship from CNN to attend the academy, credited her teacher for her experience.

“Ms. Sue loves what she does, which is obvious by how she talks about and practices photography,” Wilson said. “You can tell she wants her students to share in her love. She has sparked a passion I’m sure will be with me the rest of my life.”

Other “rising stars” nominated by the academy teachers were:

• Louise Platter, Clarke Central High School, Athens, newswriting
• Eli Guidry, Perry High School, Perry, feature writing
• Luis Ruuska, Ooltewah High School, Ooltewah, Tenn., editorial writing
• Carly Kanwisher, Walton Comprehensive High School, Marietta, graphic design
• Brooke Budnik, Druid Hills High School, Decatur; broadcasting
• Madison Swab, North Cobb High School, Kennesaw, broadcasting

In its 28th year, the Georgia Journalism Academy is held annually by the Grady College to offer high school students an in-depth journalism experience. Students spend the week researching, reporting, news editing and producing a newspaper and broadcast before the Friday afternoon deadline. Course instructors include Grady College faculty, graduate students and area professionals. To view the newspaper, The Dynamic, or the news broadcast, “The Grady Glee Report,” see

In addition to their core classes, students also participate in a series of afternoon lectures focusing on advertising, public relations and leadership. Nightly activities are planned to expose students to other parts of campus and Athens. CNN supports the academy by providing grant funds for interested students unable to afford the full cost to attend. Students live on campus during the academy.

Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in journalism, advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism, 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.