SJMC Monday Memo

Message from the dean

Welcome back from spring break . . . and to our new reality. The current world health crisis, and the way it has upended our lives, can be unsettling, even scary. But you know what, folks — if any group of people can do this thing, we can!

Continuity: SJMC faculty and staff have been working thoughtfully and professionally to move their on-campus courses and services into the world of distance learning. Yes, there may be bumps in the road. But we’ll learn together.

Communication: The SJMC dean’s office has been planning ways to keep you informed.  You’ll receive regular updates each day when necessary (a Tuesday Memo or Wednesday Memo, anyone?) via various communication channels, both email and social. And we’ll keep you connected with campus resources. We’re all working from home, so keep in touch via email, Microsoft Teams, social media or whatever way your faculty member advises. Keep in mind that Drake employees are simultaneously balancing work with family responsibilities, especially if they have small children at home, so please be patient.

Community: We’re also conjuring up ways to create a virtual, interactive “Meredith Hall” on various social media platforms that will allow us to stay in touch and in community (and maybe even have a little fun in these difficult times!). Join the Drake SJMC Group on Facebook.

Collaboration: If you have any ideas and suggestions on these topics or anything else, let me know. Send questions, news and photos. We know you are an innovative bunch!

As I walked through the halls of Meredith Hall before spring break, and as I have read the flurry of emails and social media posts shared by SJMC faculty and staff since then, I heard the creative, can-do, MacGyver attitude and energy that has been the defining characteristic of the Drake SJMC throughout the years. Yes, this sucks. Yes, it will be a pain. But damn, we can do this. And we’ll do it well.

Thank you for being on this journey with us!

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

Life hacks and lifelines

Here is the first of a running list of tips and resources to help you navigate this new academic reality:

Advising for fall registration: Stay tuned for more detailed information and don’t panic. Your adviser will set up a way to meet with you remotely and the dean’s office will keep you apprised of deadlines and procedures.

Microsoft Teams: Many Drake faculty, staff and departments will be shifting to Microsoft Teams as a way to schedule appointments, hold meetings, chats and one-on-one calls. Drake Information Technology Services has pulled together a cheat sheet on how to access and use Teams, as well as other online learning resources:

Online tutoring: Tutoring appointments – including the Writing Workshop and the Math Lab — will take place on Blackboard. 

  • Schedule appointments as usual on the tutoring website
  • Tutors will email you a link before the start of your appointment.
  • For the Writing Workshop: Respond to the tutor’s email by sending the tutor a copy of your paper.
  • At the time of your appointment, click the link sent to you by the tutor to enter the virtual tutoring session on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
  • Once you’ve entered, enable both audio and video at the bottom of your computer screen.
  • On the bottom right-hand side of your screen, click the purple tab to view a chat box.
  • Tutors may use this chat to send questions for you to answer while they read your paper or go over the assignment with you.
  • The appointment will proceed virtually.

Free Adobe access: Follow the directions below. If, after you are logged in, you are asked to start a trial or something to this effect, please send your email address to Clayton Mitchell in ITS ( and he can set things up.

  • Adobe has provided temporary at-home access for impacted students and faculty, so that they can continue their work remotely. Please follow the instructions below to enable access to Creative Cloud Desktop Apps on your personal device.
  1. Visit and use your school credentials to sign in.
  2. If prompted, select Company or School Account and then enter your password. Or provide your credentials in your school’s login screen.
  3. From the Creative Cloud website, browse for and download your desired app. Click Apps on the top of the page to view all apps.
  4. For more information on how to download or install apps, see Download and Install Creative Cloud apps.
  5. Please visit this HelpX page if you have questions.
  6. For Higher Education students to continue developing skills, Adobe offers free “Daily Creative Challenges.” These are guided projects where participants receive creative prompts and connect with pros, mentors and other students for feedback and support. Click on the app name to learn more: Photoshop, XD and Illustrator. Also, for inspiration and over-the-shoulder learning, watch pros share their creative process on Adobe Live daily at

Drake magazine major recognized as Top 10 program

College Magazine has named Drake as one of the top schools in the nation for studying magazine journalism. The article says, “Drake takes its students out of the minor leagues and throws them straight into the majors right off the bat freshman year.” The full story can be found at

Drake offers remote career development support

Questions about your internships

If you have an internship now and need assistance in how to work with your employer to continue your internship through to its completion, contact SJMC Internship Coordinator Carlyn Crowe by email (, phone (515-974-7775 cell) or Teams. She can work with employers on modifications to your requirements if necessary. She is also tracking how internships are being completed, evaluated and implemented at other schools across the country.

Seniors looking for jobs or students looking for internships for summer/fall

We are online to help! Carlyn and also Drake Professional and Career Development Services  staff are available to discuss your search, review your application materials and help you make connections if possible. These appointments can take the form of email, phone or video chat. If you select phone, you will need to provide the best number to reach you during the scheduled time.  Video chats will take place using Teams. Contact Carlyn or PCDS staff member Annette Watson ( for details.

Searching for internships and jobs remains virtually the same during this time where we are all working remotely. Use your network, including advisers and faculty. Use Handshake and LinkedIn to search for jobs and connect with individuals working in your chosen field.  Hint: when using Handshake for your job search, be sure to search the “employers” tab listed under the “jobs” tab.  This gives you access to reviews, interview information and jobs that employers have not included on Handshake. Visit for information on resumes, cover letters and additional job search information.

SJMC hosted International Woman of Courage

One of the last campus events before spring break was an appearance by Zarifa Ghafari, a U.S. Secretary of State’s 2020 International Women of Courage Award recipient. Ghafari, at left, was interviewed by Rekha Basu, award-winning columnist for The Des Moines Register. Ghafari discussed her inspiring story of facing political opposition, harassment and death threats to lead the city of Maidan Shar, Afghanistan as mayor. The International Women of Courage Award annually recognizes women from around the world who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength and leadership.

SJMC centennial party postponed

The SJMC centennial celebration scheduled for April 25 has been canceled for this spring because of the national health emergency. People who have already registered will receive communication from the Drake alumni office about how to receive a refund.

We are planning to celebrate the centennial during Drake Relays 2021. SJMC 100+1!

Professor Todd Evans’ retirement party is also postponed. However, please still send your thoughts, memories and best wishes for Todd to Dean Kathleen Richardson ( for compilation.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks for ways we can celebrate both events virtually yet this spring! And if you have any ideas, send them to Richardson.

Meredith Hall building hours

Students currently have access to campus academic buildings with their Drake ID from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekdays only. However, that doesn’t mean that classrooms are always unlocked. Students are encouraged to follow governmental guidelines, practice social distancing and refrain from coming to campus if possible. Students with questions should contact Dean Kathleen Richardson (

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, gender, 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.