Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Journalism Academy hosted by the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication recently recognized their “All Stars,” including Cedar Shoals High School rising senior Justin Van Wicklen of Athens who was named the “MVP.”
Van Wicklen was one73 participants of the Academy-a weeklong camp for high school journalists. Students lived in a campus residence hall during the week and took classes at the Grady College in one of seven core areas: broadcast writing and reporting, broadcast news production, news writing, feature writing, editorial writing, photojournalism and graphic design. “Friday Night Lights” was the theme of this year’s camp.
The academy “All Stars” were recognized at a closing banquet in the Sanford Stadium Sky Suite. Along with Van Wicklen, the following students were named “All Stars” in their respective classes:
- Logan Butler (Stratford Academy/Macon), broadcast writing and reporting
- Margaret Chwat (Northview High School/Suwanee), editorial writing
- Meredith Fowler (Camden County High School/Kingsland), graphic design
- Macy Lister (Union Grove High School/McDonough), photojournalism
- Mary Lyons (Northside High School/Columbus), news writing
- Ayana Moore (Dunwoody High School/Lithonia), feature writing
As broadcast students produced The Grady Gridiron, a 20-minute TV news show, newspaper students were working on The Goal Post, a 12-page newspaper featuring local news, features, sports and opinions.
Van Wicklen, a member of the broadcast production team, was named an “All-Star” of his class by his instructor, Vanessa Nguyen, and competed against other class “All-Stars” for the title of “MVP.”
“Justin was a great team player who was willing to do anything,” said Nguyen. “He is a multi-talented student who not only produced great work, but motivated other students to do their best.”
Van Wicklen, who also has an interest in sculpting, said he enjoys the creative aspect of broadcast production. “I’m a very hands-on kind of person,” he said. “I like to create things, and I like to show people what’s going on in the world, so broadcast news is a natural fit.”
Van Wicklen, who hopes to attend the University of Georgia and the Grady College, said his Academy experience has helped further develop skills he learned under his high school adviser at Cedar Shoals. “I’ve gotten a new perspective on editing and I’ve learned some tremendous technique,” he said. “This has been a wonderful experience.”
The Georgia Journalism Academy is held every year in June. Instructors include Grady College faculty, staff, graduate students and alumni. Students are supervised in the dorms by current UGA students and eat meals in a dining hall. Entertainment activities on campus are planned each night for the students.
Established in 1915, UGA’s 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 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 http://www.grady.uga.edu/.