A letter from the dean

A series of incidents over the past few weeks have attempted to make members of our Drake community feel attacked or unwelcome. All of us in SJMC must stand up and make it clear that while we celebrate and encourage freedom of expression, bigotry of any sort has no place in our campus culture. Our many voices of reason, of empathy, of intelligent debate, of humor, curiosity and kindness will drown out the few misguided voices of division at our institution.

And it is our job as communication professionals to facilitate that honest discussion, as we tell the stories of all the members of our community — and our world. Please review our SJMC Diversity Statement as a reminder of the commitment we make to ourselves and each other:

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication strives to create a community of scholars that represents the complexity of the human experience in regards to race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, economic status, political views, gender identification, religion, age and physical abilities. We are committed to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for all our faculty, staff, students and visitors, and celebrating our differences through the lens of the First Amendment value of freedom of expression.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me, or to any SJMC faculty or staff member, if you have any thoughts or concerns.

— Kathleen Richardson, dean
Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Pulitzer-winning Drake alum to discuss storytelling

Tom Hallman Jr., JO’77, a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writer for the Portland Oregonian, will be on campus Nov. 26-28 as the 2018-2019 E. T. Meredith Visiting Professional. Hallman will visit classes every day and deliver a public lecture on Monday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Cowles Library Reading Room. During “An Evening of Storytelling,” Hallman will share his stories, discuss the art of storytelling, and explain how to tell your story. The event is free and open to the public.
Currently a senior reporter at The Oregonian, Hallman has also written for magazines including EsquireReader’s Digest and Men’s Health. In addition to his Pulitzer, Hallman has won every major feature-writing award. A link for the Facebook event is: https://www.facebook.com/events/2672992572926567/.

SJMC alum named KCCI news director

Allison Grotjan Smith, JO’00, has been named news director at KCCI-TV, the local CBS affiliate. Allison started her career as a producer at KCCI, and is currently news director at WLWT in Cincinnati. She replaces Dave Busiek, who has been KCCI’s news director for 29 years, during which the station has won numerous industry awards for its news coverage.

Journalism students cover election

Students in Professor Jill Van Wyke’s Public Affairs Reporting class spread out around town on election night last week to cover the local elections. Their live-blogging from throughout the night can be found on the Drake Digital News site.

In other SJMC-related election news: Professor Jennifer Glover Konfrst, JO’96, who teaches public relations and strategic political communication, was elected to a two-year term in the Iowa House. State Rep. Abby Finkenauer, JO’11, won her congressional race and will represent Iowa’s 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Deidre DeJear, JO’08, was unsuccessful in her bid to unseat the incumbent Secretary of State. All three ran as Democrats.

Speaker discusses news coverage of the Holocaust

Eric Schmalz of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum spoke to about 120 campus and community members last week about the museum’s crowd-sourced history project on newspaper coverage of events surrounding the Holocaust. Schmalz’s talk focused on editorials, letters to the editor and news stories in Iowa and elsewhere about the anti-Semitic rhetoric of prominent Americans Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford and Father Charles Coughlin. Schmalz also spoke in Drake classes. His visit was sponsored by the Drake SJMC, the Principal Center for Global Citizenship, Drake Hillel, the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines and the Iowa Council for Holocaust Education.

Meredith Hall building hours

Meredith Hall is unlocked during the following hours when classes are in session:

Sunday: 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Saturday: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Students with SJMC majors can swipe into the building with a Drake ID even when the building is locked from 7 a.m.-2 a.m., Sunday-Thursday. Students who are already in the building when it is automatically locked are allowed to stay in the building. Students who need 24/7 access to swipe into the building should talk to their faculty member or adviser about how to obtain all-hours access.

Have a news item for the Memo?

The SJMC Monday Memo is a weekly newsletter to keep members of the wider SJMC community updated on School news, achievements, events and opportunities. If you have an item for the Memo, please send it to Dean Kathleen Richardson (kathleen.richardson@drake.edu) or SJMC webmaster and multimedia professor Chris Snider (christopher.snider@drake.edu). SJMC alums and other professionals can also contact Chris to have the Memo delivered via weekly email.