About VM

Hello and welcome.portrait

My name is Vanessa McCray.

For two decades, I’ve worked as a reporter at newspapers in Michigan, Ohio, and now in Georgia.

As the higher education reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I cover Georgia colleges and universities.

My career started at the Escanaba Daily Press in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, followed by a decade of storytelling from the shores of Lake Michigan at the Traverse City Record-Eagle. I spent about five years in Toledo, Ohio writing about education and other issues for The Blade.

I’m a note taker, friend maker, and Great Laker.

During my years at The Blade, I covered both K-12 and higher education and spent a few years as a regional reporter covering northwest Ohio. These are a few of my favorite stories from my time in Toledo:

  • This seven-part series about the slow reversal of the Great Migration that grew out of a recent reporting trip to the Deep South.
  • A data-driven piece  comparing the stagnant graduation rates at Toledo Public Schools to gains made by other urban districts in Ohio.
  • A public records-based story describing how the University of Toledo used private dollars to furnish its new presidential house. (Gilded trefoil table, anyone?)
  • This feature story on Arcadia that was part of the newspaper’s 2012 presidential election series on small-town Ohio life.
  • Detailed, daily deadline reporting from a 2014 trip to the tobacco fields and migrant camps of North Carolina.