UGA NABJ Organization names student chapter of the year

UGA’s NABJ Organization named student chapter of the year

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia’s Grady College chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) was named Student Chapter of the Year during the NABJ National Convention held in Las Vegas last month. The honor was shared with the University of North Carolina’s NABJ student chapter.

Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication students Geneva Greene, former chapter president; Mandi Woodruff, current president; and Tamara Best, vice president, attended the four-day event which drew more than 2,000 journalists.

Guest speakers for the convention ranged from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to Steve Harvey and Alfe Woodard, as well as the nation’s premier African-American journalists.

Workshops were offered each day for both the professionals and student journalists. A career fair that spanned an entire ballroom hosted recruiters from media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC and Hearst Publications. Columbia University and Penn State University were among the universities to represent graduate schools of journalism.

“The convention was an eye opener for me,” said Woodruff, a sophomore magazines and Spanish major. “I was also overwhelmed and pleased by the professional journalists’ willingness to help us.”

During the annual Hall of Fame banquet, the Grady College chapter and the University of North Carolina’s chapter were each named NABJ Student Chapters of the Year. Geneva Greene, a senior public relations and sociology major, gave the acceptance speech for the UGA chapter.

The award follows the UGA chapter’s success in mentoring high school students from Athens’ Cedar Shoals High School. The chapter also held programs featuring the history and future of African Americans in the field of journalism and dedicated hours to becoming a well-known organization on campus.

“My favorite program last year was Soldiers without Swords, a historical chronicle of African-American journalism since Frederick Douglass,” Woodruff said. “In a world where we’re wrapped up in where we’re going, it’s humbling to be reminded where you’re coming from.”

Chapter president Woodruff said that in the 07-08 academic year, NABJ will continue to promote the growth and success of aspiring African-American journalists while raising awareness about the issues concerning minority populations in the media.

She said she wants to better prepare the chapter’s members for the world after college through a career fair, recruiters and networking.

“It’s about outreach and getting students across majors and even non-majors to network,” said Sharon Shannon, Grady College academic adviser and the NABJ chapter’s new adviser. “Students should be able to showcase their work, get involved with the faculty and not be afraid to ask the best way to present their clips.”

Prior to Shannon, the NABJ faculty adviser was Dwight Brooks, former associate professor of telecommunications at Grady College. Brooks left Grady in June 2007 to serve as a professor and chair of the Department of Mass Communication at Jackson State University in Mississippi.