Current Students

Lee AdcockLee Adcock is a second-year graduate student aiming for a career in print and digital journalism. She graduated from Mercer University with a bachelor's degree in English and studied literature for one semester at The University of Swansea in Wales. Over the summer she worked with Georgia Health News, investigating "cancer clusters" in South Georgia that may be linked to unsafe drinking water. As a HMJ student, she wants to learn more about data journalism, epidemiology, and reporting on the rural health issues that urban news centers overlook.

Deborah ChasteenDeborah Chasteen (B.A., English, U. South Carolina) spent years creating advertising design and copy for many publications, but coveted editorial space. Thus she began freelancing. The Knight Health program supports Deb's goals: sharing science's benefits and wonder through accessible writing, and working for social justice.

Hyacinth EmpinadoHyacinth Empinado is a second-year student whose goal is to create exciting scientific content for television and mobile devices. She graduated from the University of Florida with a biology degree in 2011 and worked in a research lab before coming to UGA. Over the summer, she helped edit shows for WUGA-TV, created videos for the Athens Health Network and reported on science for the Red & Black.

Aaron HaleAaron Hale is a second-year graduate journalism student and the senior reporter for UGA's faculty/staff newspaper Columns. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004 and subsequently worked for The Naples Daily News in Naples, Fla., and The Times, of Gainesville, Ga., before coming to work at UGA.

Lindsey JohnstonLindsey Johnston is a first-year graduate student aiming for a career that allows her to pursue her love for writing and travel. At UGA, she develops web content and social media campaigns for the Georgia Sea Grant Program. In 2014, she graduated from Clemson University with a B.A in English writing and publication studies and communication studies.

Andrew LowndesAndrew Lowndes graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012 with a bachelor of science degree in biology, specializing in neurobiology. As a journalist he hopes to make complex principles more accessible by bridging the communication gap between the world of science and the general public.

Chris McGeeChris McGee is a first-year graduate student in the HMJ program. In 2014, he graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in film and video, with a minor in English. His experience at an inner-city high school in Atlanta gave him experience mentoring and tutoring disadvantaged Latino youth. This sparked his interest in researching and reporting on social determinants of health in low-income communities.

Jodi MurphyJodi Murphy graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in English and minors in Spanish and environmental law. She grew up in the backwoods of North Central Florida, did volunteer work in Guatemala and emerged passionate about environment issues and global health. She is a contributing writer and former intern at Flagpole magazine in Athens and a former intern at the Mother Nature Network in Atlanta. She spent the past summer as an editorial assistant at Kinfolk Magazine in Portland, OR.

Lauren SchumackerLauren Schumacker is a first-year graduate student and aspiring food writer. In 2013, she graduated from Saint Louis University with a B. S. in occupational science, a minor in history and a certificate in interprofessional education from Saint Louis University. She also holds a certificate in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu (Chicago), which she earned in 2014. While in culinary school she worked for Chicago-based nonprofit Purple Asparagus and is passionate about increasing food literacy and education, particularly in urban environments.

Alicia SmithAlicia Smith graduated from Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina in 2012, earning a degree in English/Creative Writing and a minor in business administration. This summer she worked as a production intern at WUGA. There she transcribed video, wrote and researched stories for television and radio, and assisted in producing a daily newscast.

Alyssa Stafford Alyssa Stafford is a second year graduate student concentrating in Health Media and Communication. She specializes in social media and works with Piedmont Healthcare as a freelancer in their public relations department. She enjoys writing about women's health topics, digestive illness, food and nutrition. She graduated from Agnes Scott College with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing.

Julianne WyrickJulianne Wyrick graduated from Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky with a degree in biochemistry and big dose of curiosity. Since then, she's interned as a science writer for Fermilab, a national particle physics lab, and Alltech, an animal nutrition company. This year she's writing about science for UGA's Office of the Vice President for Research. She also explores the science of food while blogging for Scientific American's Food Matters. Find her on the web at or on Twitter @juliannewyrick.


The Grady Journal

What happens when a medical school opens a new campus within a major state university? What if that state university is the flagship institution for a state in desperate need of more medical professionals?

From the dean down through the first students, from a temporary location into a brand new campus, the new MCG-UGA Medical Partnership will affect all aspects of life in Athens - the students, the faculty, the administration, the hospitals and the residents.

Through a series of documentaries, students in the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Health and Medical Journalism program are exposing what the new school will mean to the community and the state.

Student Portfolio Archive >