Cox Institute Timeline


  • Dr. Amanda Bright named the Director of the Journalism Innovation Lab.
  • Lori Johnston named the Director of the Journalism Writing Lab.
  • A collaboration led by the Cox Institute received the Distinguished Paper Award for an innovative practice paper presented at the 2021 annual conference of the Association of Leadership Educators.
  • The Leadership Educator podcast featured a discussion about the Cox Institute’s podcast initiatives.
  • Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute, completed a 2020-21 Writing Fellowship with the University of Georgia’s Center for Teaching and Learning.
  • Mikaela Cohen, a graduate assistant for the Cox Institute, earned the Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing.
  • Cox Institute relaunches the Covering Poverty toolkit at
  • The 2021 class of Levin Leaders received their Leadership Medals during a special socially-distanced dinner at the UGA Center for Continuing Education.


  • Two graduate students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communication – Mikaela Cohen and Jessica Wurst – published industry white papers with the Cox Institute.
  • Twelve journalism students were selected during the Fall semester as Cox-SABEW Fellows, a financial journalism training program offered through the Cox Institute in partnership with the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW).
  • Two Cox Institute graduate assistants – Charlotte Norsworthy and Caroline Windham – presented research papers at a virtual national leadership conference.
  • The Scripps Howard Foundation awarded a grant to the Cox Institute for a poverty reporting initiative.
  • An eBook featuring excerpts of interviews from The Lead podcast won two gold medals in the 2020 eLit Book Awards competition.
  • The Lead podcast introduced Caroline Odom as its new student host in Fall 2020.
  • The Society of Professional Journalists recognized Grady’s The Lead podcast and its host Charlotte Norsworthy as among the best of collegiate journalism for Region 3.
  • The 2020 Levin Leaders were recognized at the Spring Leadership Dinner held in March.
  • Cox Institute hosted NewsCraft20 in February with a reporting theme centered around covering culture.
  • Nick Chiles, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and best-selling author, was named as the Industry Fellow for 2020.


  • An eBook featuring excerpts of interviews from The Lead podcast was released by Kendall Hunt Publishing.
  • Seven journalism students were recognized as Cox-SABEW Fellows in New York City during the fall conference of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW).
  • Charlotte Norsworthy, host of The Lead podcast, was inducted into the Sphinx Society, which is recognized as UGA’s highest student honor.
  • The Journalism Writing Lab launched with Nick Chiles, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, as its featured instructor.
  • Cox Institute and Newsy expanded student training relationship through new internships and summer training opportunities.
  • Cox Innovation Fellowships featured the largest summer group with seven students participating in experiential learning activities.
  • Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute, received the Darwin-Davis Award.
  • Five journalism students served as the inaugural group of Morris Media Fellows.
  • Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute, received a University of Georgia Creative Teaching Award.
  • Cox Institute recognized its inaugural class of Levin Leaders.


  • Cox Institute Director named William S. Morris Chair in News Strategy and Management.
  • The Cox Institute Leaders program became the Levin Leaders initiative following a gift pledge from Adam Levin and the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation.
  • Hosted the 23rd annual Management Seminar for College News Editors (MSCNE).
  • Hosted an immersive bootcamp training session in coordination with the Google News Lab and News Media Alliance.
  • Presented a third Entrepreneurial Journalism Symposium focusing on the business of podcasting.
  • Presented an innovative practice paper at the Association of Leadership Educators annual conference in Chicago, resulting from an ongoing collaboration with UGA’s Fanning Institute and the Cox Institute.
  • Recognized 15 aspiring student leaders who completed the Institute’s sixth leadership development cohort.
  • Recognized Ryan Kor as the first Cox Institute Scholar.
  • Welcomed NPR’s Marilyn Geewax as the Institute’s second Industry Fellow.


  • Presented “Leading Across Generations” session at Georgia Association of Broadcasters Conference.
  • Sponsored Association of Leadership Educators Conference; director and graduate assistant presented innovative practice paper on thought leadership.
  • Hosted the 22nd annual Management Seminar for College News Editors (MSCNE).
  • Partnered with Atlanta Press Club on Annual Awards of Excellence presentation.
  • Led effort to launch the Independent Journalists Resource Coalition in partnership with the National Press Photographers Association and the UGA Small Business Development Center.
  • Presented a second Entrepreneurial Journalism Symposium focusing on the intersection of entrepreneurship and innovation in news.
  • Recognized 14 aspiring student leaders who completed the Institute’s fifth leadership development cohort.
  • Kicked off the first live Google training event after affiliating with the Google News Lab University Network.
  • Welcomed CNN’s Richard Griffiths as the Institute’s first Industry Fellow.


  • Keith Herndon, Professor of Practice, Journalism, was named Director of the Cox Institute.
  • Author and consumer advocate Adam Levin pledged $150,000 to support the Cox Institute’s leadership development program.
  • The Cox Institute Presents lecture series became the Reynolds lecture series during spring semester thanks to a grant used to attract 10 leading speakers on a variety of business and economic journalism topics.
  • Kent Middleton recognized for his service as the Cox Institute director (2012-2015) during the Spring Leadership Banquet.
  • A Grady entrepreneurial journalism team sponsored by the Cox Institute was selected to participate in the UGA Next Top Entrepreneur pitch competition.
  • Janice Hume, journalism department head, named acting director of the the Cox Institute following the retirement of Kent Middleton.


  • Cox Institute faculty member Keith Herndon was named an Atlanta Mobility Star for his role in developing and leading Grady’s Mobile News Lab.
  • Hosted Entrepreneurial Journalism Symposium in partnership with the Terry College of Business
  • New cohort of Cox-SABEW Fellows attended the SABEW fall conference in New York City.
  • Offered mobile news lab as a for-credit, special topics course
  • Sponsored National Newspaper Association Foundation Fellow, Lauren McDonald


  • Launched a training partnership in economic journalism with Society of American Business Editors and Writers (Cox-SABEW Fellowship)
  • Launched “Cox Institute Presents,” an industry professional lecture series
  • Renamed the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership
  • Management Seminar for College News Editors recognized by College Media Matters as one of the “most indispensable regional, national and international conferences for individuals practicing, teaching, advising and studying journalism”
  • Created a mobile news innovation lab with several leading industry partners that launched during the fall semester


  • Sponsored National Newspaper Association Foundation Fellow, Kelsey Kent
  • Sponsored a digital and mobile skills training workshop with the Society of Professional Journalists and the Online News Association student group
  • Hosted media leadership symposium: “Managing News @ The Digital Edge;” proceedings published as a student-created book and eBook
  • Partnered with Poynter Institute to create the Cox Poynter Leaders program offering a Poynter certificate in media leadership to competitively-selected students


  • Appointed Professor Kent Middleton as director
  • Sponsored Keith Herndon as a visiting professor
  • Honored Conrad Fink, founding Institute director and legendary journalist and teacher, at University memorial service


  • Partnered with CNN to host and train students attending the Management Seminar of College News Editors


  • Partnered with the Poynter Institute to provide leadership training at the Management Seminar for College News Editors


  • Hosted the Online Journalism Series: “Changing Media for Changing Readers: The Morris Model” and “The Information Center: Gannett’s 21st Century Newsroom”
  • Sponsored an American Press Institute regional workshop focusing on its Newspaper Next initiative


  • Hosted the Online Journalism Series: “The Business Model for Journalism in Transition” and “Multi-Media Journalism Narratives”
  • Presented the first Betty Gage Holland Award recognizing excellence in college journalism


  • Co-sponsored annual First Amendment Essay Contest in partnership with the Georgia Scholastic Press Association
  • Appointed Cecil Bentley as assistant director


  • Published: Conrad Fink’s Strategic Newspaper Management


  • Hosted the first Management Seminar for College News Editors


  • Established and hosted an industry executive-in-residence program


  • Created the Cox Fellowship as an industry leader/student mentoring program


  • Founded by Professor Conrad Fink as the Cox Institute for Newspaper Management Studies