Student journalism work advances to SPJ nationals

Work by Drake students has advanced to the national competition in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence contest. Honors include best sports reporting, best online student publication, and three photography awards.

The winners were announced at the SPJ Region 7 conference on April 6. Region 7 includes universities and colleges in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. The first-place winners of all 12 regions will compete at the national level, and results will be announced in late spring.

Five Drake regional winners that advance to national competition:

  • Online Sports Reporting: Jessie Spangler
  • Best Independent Online Student Publication: Urban Plains (the senior journalism capstone website)
  • Breaking news photography: Lorien MacEnulty
  • General News Photography: Grace Hulin
  • Sports Photography: JD Pelegrino

Seven other projects were finalists at the regional competition:

  • Online feature reporting: Samantha Ohlson
  • Online sports reporting: Andrew Beall
  • Podcast: Jessie Spangler and Mitch Kedzior
  • Breaking news reporting: Marie Nalan
  • General news reporting: Rachel James and Phong Ly
  • Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper: Times-Delphic
  • Best Student Magazine: Drake Magazine

Seniors, pick up your SJMC coffee mugs!

Graduating seniors are encouraged to come pick up an SJMC coffee mug from Denise in the dean’s office, Mer. 118.

Awards, scholarships announced

SJMC awards and scholarships are being announced in classes, and will be publicized on the monitor at the front of Meredith Hall and through an ad in the Drake Relays issue of the Times-Delphic. Congratulations to all honorees!

Alumni news

Brandon Stahl, JO’98, and his colleagues from the Minneapolis Star Tribune were finalists in the local reporting category of the Pulitzer Prize contest. Their series, “Denied Justice,” told about the breakdown in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases in Minnesota.

SJMC co-hosting “Science on the Stump” forum

SJMC and March for Science Iowa will host “Science on the Stump,” a forum about science issues in the presidential campaign, on Friday, May 3, 3:30-6 p.m. in Sussman Theater. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

The event will include two panel discussions featuring Iowa scientists, science observers and activists, and political journalists. The audience will be engaged to identify key science policy issues that should be raised with presidential candidates.

Student tickets available for NPR show

The NPR weekly news show “It’s Been a Minute With Sam Sanders” will be recorded in Sheslow Auditorium on Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m. A limited number of free tickets are available to the broadcast for SJMC students. If you are interested, contact Dean Kathleen Richardson at

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 ( or SJMC webmaster and multimedia professor Chris Snider ( SJMC alums and other professionals can also contact Chris to have the Memo delivered via weekly email.

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.