UGA’s Grady College announces 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

UGA’s Grady College announces 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

Athens, Ga. – Four distinguished alumni from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication have been named recipients of its annual alumni awards.

Carolyn Caudell Tieger (ABJ ’69), Gene Colter (ABJ ’89), Jessica Foster Bonner (ABJ ’04), and Elizabeth Hirschman (ABJ ’71) have been named 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners. The foursome will be honored in a special “Pride of Grady” ceremony on Wednesday, April 23, at 3:30 p.m. in UGA’s Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.

Tieger will be honored with the John Holliman Jr. Award for Lifetime Achievement, while Colter will receive the Henry W. Grady Award for Mid-Career Achievement. Bonner will be presented with the Dean John E. Drewry Young Alumnus Award, and Hirschman will receive the college’s Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award.

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

Holliman Award winner Carolyn Tieger, 60, is a Washington, D.C. communications veteran and considered one of the top public affairs strategists in the country, especially on tough legislative issues. She also is skilled in corporate and industry crisis, litigation and reputation management.

A partner and managing director of Porter Novelli’s Washington, D.C. office, as well as its global public affairs leader, Tieger’s expertise has been forged through work in the challenging communications environments of Capitol Hill, in the Department of Commerce, at the White House, and in more than 20 years at leading public relations agencies. Under her guidance, Porter Novelli’s public affairs business has grown significantly in size and accounts, and today boasts a diverse range of associations and corporate clients with primary interests in environmental, financial and chemical issues, health care, and legal reform.

Gene Colter, the Henry W. Grady mid-career honoree, spent nearly 20 years as a business journalist at some of the most significant financial news publications here and abroad.

Today the 40-year-old serves as the editorial director and management committee member at Peppercom, a strategic communications firm in New York City, where he counsels executive-level clients on media and business and also is responsible for the content and tone of Peppercom’s public relations and marketing materials.

Before joining Peppercom, Colter was news editor of the Money & Investing section at The Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining The Journal, Colter was the deputy managing editor of the Dow Jones News Service, tasked with day-to-day management of the country’s premier news service for financial professionals and corporations. He also held reporting and editing posts in New York and London, and his articles and columns have appeared in dozens of publications in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He continues to write for outlets including Dow Jones and also serves as a member of the Grady Society Alumni Board.

Drewry Award winner Jessica Foster Bonner, 26, is a meteorologist and reporter at WMBB-TV in Panama City, Fla. Her life-saving information made quite an impact on the Florida Panhandle during the active hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. She was part of the weather team that provided 36 hours of continuous coverage during Hurricane Dennis-coverage which won an Associated Press award.

Bonner served as executive producer and show host of a children’s weather program, Weather 101 for Kids, which airs in nine television markets across the country. She has also served as reporter/producer for several special newscasts related to health and community issues. In 2006, Bonner was named WMBB-TV’s Employee of the Year. She also serves as event coordinator for the Emerald Coast UGA Club, which was named Club of the Year in 2007 by UGA’s Alumni Association.

Rutgers University’s Elizabeth Hirschman, 58, was named recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award. A professor of marketing and a prolific author, she has published more than 160 journal articles and academic papers in marketing, consumer behavior, sociology, psychology, and semiotics.

In addition, Hirschman has written book chapters in eight edited books and authored or co-authored 15 books and monographs. She was named a Top 100 Marketing Researcher in 1998 and received the 2002 Outstanding Scholar Award from the Society for Marketing Advances. The Institute for Scientific Information named Hirschman a “Most Highly Cited Researcher,” an honor reserved for those in the top 0.5 percent of all published researchers.

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. The Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award honors a Grady graduate demonstrating excellent and sustained contributions to scholarship in journalism and mass communication education.

The 2008 “Pride of Grady” ceremony will celebrate extraordinary achievement of both distinguished alumni and the college’s top students, bringing together both groups for recognition on April 23.

Established in 1915, the 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, visit www.grady.uga.edu.