Campus News Society & Culture

Twelve University of Georgia students selected as McGill Fellows

Athens, Ga. – Twelve undergraduate and graduate students have been named McGill Fellows by the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

They were selected by a faculty committee “for their strengths in academics, practical experience and leadership,” said John F. Greenman, Grady’s Carter Professor of Journalism, who chaired the committee.

The McGill Fellows are listed below with their class, major and hometown:

Katie Barlow, senior, broadcast news major, Cumming;
Daniel Burnett, senior, newspapers major, Canton;
Sonya Collins, graduate student, journalism Snellville;
Elissa Ewald, senior, magazines major, Roswell;
Michael Fitzpatrick, senior, newspapers major, Morrow;
Anita George; senior, magazines major, Lilburn;
Omar Lewis, senior, broadcast news major, Snellville;
Yanli Liu, graduate student, journalism, Wuhan, China;
Carey O’Neil, senior, newspapers major, Snellville;
Kelundra Smith, senior, magazines major, Loganville;
Ashley Strickland, senior, magazines major, Alpharetta; and
Yasmin Yonis, senior, newspapers major, Lawrenceville.

The McGill Fellows will participate in the McGill Symposium, which brings together students, faculty and leading journalists to consider what journalistic courage means and how it is exemplified by reporters and editors. The McGill Symposium will be held on Wednesday. Oct. 20, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Grady College’s Drewry Room.

Later the same day, the McGill Fellows will attend and be introduced at the McGill Lecture, which will be presented by Paul Steiger, editor-in-chief of ProPublica. The lecture will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 171 of the Miller Learning Center.

The McGill Fellows also will help select the third winner of the McGill Medal, awarded annually to a U.S. journalist whose career has exemplified journalistic courage.

Finally, the McGill Fellows have first priority to enroll in a one-hour, spring semester independent study on journalistic courage, to be taught by Greenman.

This is the fourth class of McGill Fellows. The first class was selected in 2007.

Joining Greenman on the selection committee were journalism faculty members Valerie Boyd, Conrad Fink, Janice Hume and Patricia Thomas.

For nearly 30 years, the McGill Lecture has brought significant figures in journalism to the University of Georgia to help us honor Ralph McGill’s courage as an editor.

McGill, while editor and publisher of The Atlanta Constitution, was regarded as the “conscience of the South,” using the newspaper’s editorial pages to challenge segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. McGill was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1958 for “long, courageous and effective leadership.”

Established in 1978, this University of Georgia annual lecture series addresses major issues impacting the American press.

The McGill Symposium is funded by the McGill Lecture Endowment. Contributors include Gannett Foundation and Grady’s Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism.

Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to WNEG-TV, 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 Grady on Twitter at