UGA Grady College names Distinguished Alumni Award winners

UGA Grady College names Distinguished Alumni Award winners

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has named the winners of its 2009 Distinguished Alumni Awards. R. Alex Crumbley Jr. (ABJ ’64), Josh Jackson (ABJ ’94), and Jennifer Rainey Marquez (ABJ ’00) will be honored in special award ceremony on Thursday, May 7.

Crumbley, of McDonough, will be honored with the John Holliman Jr. Award for Lifetime Achievement, while Jackson, of Decatur, will receive the Henry W. Grady Award for Mid-Career Achievement. Marquez, who lives in New York City, will receive the Dean John E. Drewry Young Alumnus Award.

The threesome will be recognized at 4 p.m. in the college’s Drewry Room with an awards ceremony and reception. A private awards dinner will be hosted by Grady College Dean E. Culpepper Clark and The Grady Society Alumni Board. They will receive additional recognition at Grady’s Spring Convocation at 2 p.m. Friday, May 8 at the Classic Center.

“These exceptional individuals demonstrate how Grady alumni carry the banner of achievement in journalism and mass communication forward into their professions,” said Clark. “They and the alumni they represent are extremely valuable resources to the college. Their character, careers and service to the field teach and inspire.”

Crumbley, 67, is a Henry County native who has had a distinguished career in state politics and government. After graduating with a Grady College degree in journalism, he completed a UGA law degree in 1967. After setting up practice with his uncle in McDonough, Crumbley secured a job with the state attorney general’s office and became an assistant attorney general. After two-and-a-half years there, he began practice in Atlanta with former Congressman and later Georgia Supreme Court Justice Charles Weltner.

When the need was recognized to provide counsel for Henry County’s indigent defendants, Crumbley answered the call setting up the first public defender’s office for the Flint Judicial Circuit, consisting of Henry, Butts, Lamar and Monroe counties. For a year, he represented indigent defendants in criminal cases in the four counties. At the age of 36, Crumbley was appointed superior court judge of the Flint Circuit by then Governor George Busbee, a position he held until 1983. In 1986, he ran for state Senate and was elected from Henry and Clayton counties, serving a two-year term. When his term expired, he decided to go back into law practice with his brother, Wade, in Henry County. The Crumbley & Crumbley firm lasted 25 years.

A gifted writer, Crumbley has written numerous guest editorials for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A fearless advocate for what he believes is right, he was instrumental in exposing fraud in the Henry County Sheriff’s Office that resulted in the removal of the sheriff.

Now retired from the bench, Crumbley has resumed full-time practice of law in McDonough. He is a member of the Henry County Bar Association and the State Bar of Georgia. He is authorized to practice in the federal courts, including being a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court.He has been active in civic affairs in Henry County and currently serves as chairman of the Spivey Foundation which supports Spivey Hall, a nationally famous recital hall located at Clayton State University, Jonesboro.

Crumbley and his wife, Claire, have been married 41 years and have one son, Alexander.

Josh Jackson, the Henry W. Grady mid-career honoree, is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the popular Paste music magazine which actor Jason Lee calls “so deliciously sweet, I often put it on my waffles in the morning instead of syrup.”

Under Jackson’s editorial leadership, Paste has been named “Magazine of the Year” each of the last three years by the Plug Awards and each of the last two years by the GAMMA Awards. It was also nominated for a 2008 National Magazine Award for General Excellence and was twice listed among the 50 Best Magazines by The Chicago Tribune.

The 37-year-old Jackson has been named one of min magazine’s 21 “Most Intriguing People in the Magazine Industry,” one of Relevant magazine’s “12 Revolutionaries” and one of Georgia Trend magazine’s “40 Under 40.” He’s served as a regular music and film critic for CNN Headline News and Atlanta radio station Dave-FM and has written over 100 pieces for Paste, including three cover stories.

Jackson majored in magazines while a Grady College student and currently serves on its alumni board. He served for two years on the board for the Magazine Association of the Southeast and currently serves on the board for Meet Justice, a non-profit combating human trafficking and child sexual exploitation, and the Independent Magazines advisory board for the Magazine Publishers Association.

Prior to launching Paste, Jackson served as communications director for the Luke Society and freelance writer and photographer, covering assignments on six continents. He lives in Decatur with his wife, Lori, and their three children.

Drewry Award winner Jennifer Rainey Marquez has spent close to nine years at consumer women’s magazines in New York City, working her way towards becoming one of the genre’s top editors covering health issues.

In 2007, she joined noted health and wellness publisher Rodale as the senior health editor at Women’s Health. The 30-year-old directs and produces all of the magazine’s health and medical coverage, including investigative reports and feature stories, as well as special projects such as the “Best and Worst Cities for Women” and “America’s Top Doctors for Women.”

Prior to working at Women’s Health, Marquez was the health editor at Woman’s Day magazine, where she edited articles on health, nutrition, fitness and psychology. There, she helped produce special sections in conjunction with the American Heart Association and the American College of Ob-Gyns, as well as the annual Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards, created to raise awareness of heart disease in women. In 2004, she was hired as part of the launch team of the Time Inc. women’s magazine All You. The Grady College magazines major began her career in New York at Mademoiselle magazine. She is a member of the Association of Healthcare Journalists.

Marquez has also dedicated her time to mentoring and educating journalism students, meeting with Grady magazines majors during their annual New York City trip and serving as a guest lecturer at New York University’s School of Continuing Education. She is married to Grady College alumnus Harry Marquez (ABJ ’98).

Grady College alumni awards demonstrate recognition of distinguished achievement by professional peers in journalism and mass communication. The John Holliman Award is given in honor of the late Grady alumnus for exceptional and sustained contributions to the profession throughout a career. The Henry W. Grady Award, named for the college’s namesake, honors an influential mid-career graduate. The John E. Drewry Award honors a graduate of the last decade who has seen exciting and productive career developments.

Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors including 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 www.grady.uga.edu.