Jessica Lord Photo 1Media Day is a rewarding day for communication students at UWG. On March 8, outstanding senior Nikole Gianopoulos will be receiving the Department of Mass Communications’ Award of Excellence in Convergence Journalism and the most prestigious award of the day the Gordon R. Watson Award.  

 It is a huge honor to receive an award on Media Day and to receive two awards is an even higher honor. These awards highlight the best of the best in the Mass Communications department and is a chance to acknowledge the hard working and diligent students who go above and beyond. “There was great competition and many others who work hard and are so talented at what they do. So, to be selected among my peers makes me feel really honored and grateful,” said Gianopoulos.  

 Gianopoulos graduated from Pebblebrook High School and began her college journey four years ago, after choosing UWG out of several institutions. “I’m a daddy’s girl-family is really important to me and this school was closer to home,” said Gianopoulos. That was a big factor in choosing UWG but she believes it was by far the best choice. “This school has molded me into who I am, it has given me so many opportunities I am thankful for. It has really prepared me for the next step in my academic journey,” said Gianopoulos. She has worked in many areas during her time on campus. She has worked at The WOLF Internet Radio as their media relations coordinator, a student assistant for University Communications and Marketing and News Editor at The West Georgian. Gianopoulos is also a Resident Assistant for honors living learning community and a university ambassador. Gianopoulos likes to stay busy while being able to network and connect with other people.  

 When Gianopoulos first started college she knew she wanted to be a journalist. She has a passion for writing and wanted to turn that passion into a career. But as many students can relate her passion began to shift during her sophomore year. While Gianopoulos will still have a hobby for writing  she has chosen a new career path, a path into higher education administration. “I’ve had so many wonderful mentors while in college and have met so many people that have helped shaped my journey that I want to give that back to future students,” said Gianopoulos. After graduation, the next step is graduate school. While she is keeping her top school a secret, Gianopoulos has already been accepted graduate programs at UWG, Clemson University, The University of Tennessee, and Auburn University. After graduate school, she has even bigger plans. “I definitely want to end up at a university somewhere helping students, eventually be enrolled in a PhD program. Maybe even one day go into teaching,” expressed Gianopoulos. “I always want to work in the university realm but maybe in different capacities at different times.”  

 As a soon to be college graduate, Gianopoulos does not want to leave without giving words of advice to those coming up behind her. She stresses the importance of college, and the importance of making your time count. “When you take a class, it is so vital to not just go through the class for the grade, but actually take in what they are teaching, absorb it and apply it to what you are doing.” said Gianopoulos. “Put value behind your degree and connect with as many people as you can.”  She also has advice for those who will be graduating with her. “Trust your journey and know that whatever is meant to be will be,” said Gianopoulos.  

 As she receives her awards on Media Day and walks across the stage in May there are a few people she wants to make sure know how vital they have been to her college experience. “Thank you to the UWG Mass Communications department. There are so many professors that have helped me get to this point like Dr. Sewell, Dr. Cole, Dr. Morris, and Dr. Yates. They have inspired me and have  challenged me to go outside my comfort zone. What I’m most thankful for is that they taught me to be confident in myself and the work I produce. I am grateful and honored to be recognized on this day. Go West Go Wolves, I will always be a wolf for life,” said Gianopoulos.  

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