MJ-school celebrates recent career achievements of four journalism alumni

As Hurricane Florence slows and Carolina gets back to its normal schedule, the UNC School of Media and Journalism recognizes recent successes by some of its journalism alumni.

Sharif Durhams '99Sharif Durhams ’99 — a senior editor at CNN Digital — was elected as the new president of the Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA) in early September 2018. He is the first African American to take a leadership role in the organization. Durhams joined NLGJA in 2000 and has served as both the vice president of broadcast and the treasurer. He is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

"I definitely want both organizations to work more together. In some ways, our issues mirror each other, such as making sure there is support in our newsrooms for diversity and getting people from diverse backgrounds into leadership positions,” said Durhams in the NABJ announcement

Prior to his position at CNN Digital, he also worked for The Washington Post, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Charlotte Observer.


Robbie Harms '15Robbie Harms ’15 was one of 13 selected contributors accepted to The Edit — a newsletter for The New York Times focusing on college students and recent graduates. He was among more than 20,000 applicants.

Lindsey Underwood, editor of The Edit, said in her Thursday, Aug. 30, Times Insider article: "My goals for The Edit go back to that original, simple idea: to give students and recent graduates the space to talk about the issues that are on their minds."

Harms will write for the newsletter during the 2018-19 academic year. While at Carolina, Harms double majored in journalism and mass communication and economics. He also earned a master's degree in education from the University of Florida in 2017. Besides his position with The Edit, Harms also teaches at an elementary school.


Michael Lananna '14Michael Lananna ’14 was showcased in The Best American Sportswriting 2018, an annual collection of outstanding sports journalism publications from various sources. Other writers from past issues include legendary journalists such as Sally Jenkins, Wright Thompson and Dave Kindred.

Lananna currently works as a writer for Baseball America. He was nominated for the collection by Jeff Pearlman, an American sports journalist and author and the 2018 editor of the collection.


Katie Reilly ’15Katie Reilly ’15 landed her first cover of Time magazine about teachers in America. Reilly currently works as a reporter for Time. Specializing in education and politics, Reilly has written stories such as “Read 13 Stories of Life on a Teacher's Salary” and “‘The Laws Need to Change’ After Shocking Reports of Child Abuse by Catholic Priests, Pennsylvania AG Says.”

A political science and English double major and a business journalism minor, Reilly spent her senior year at Carolina as the managing editor of The Daily Tar Heel. She also interned out of state for companies such as Thomson Reuters and Boston Magazine.