SJMC Monday Memo

A special message from the dean:
Stay strong. Stay focused.

Watching the streets of our country erupt in protest and violence over the past week has unleashed a torrent of emotions: Anger. Anxiety. Anguish. Fear. Frustration. Profound sadness.

And sometimes hope, as we see people representing the rainbow of our nation come together in solidarity against institutional racism and injustice.

During this crisis, we also turn more frequently to our trusted sources of information, especially local news organizations. We are proud of our friends, our media colleagues, our alumni — journalists who are on the front lines, doing the difficult and dangerous work of keeping us informed about what is going on in our communities.

Now more than ever, if we aren’t part of the solution, we are part of the problem. What role can we can play — as individuals, as professionals, as an SJMC community — in building the future we want, we need and we deserve?

As always, I welcome your comments, questions, concerns and suggestions.

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

Share your experiences with first-year students

We officially welcome our newest SJMC family members at Orientation every June. This year, in this challenging environment, we have an important role for current students to play. We are seeking SJMC students to serve as mentors for our incoming students. We’ll assign small groups of a few incoming students and a few current students to help build community — and maybe even help someone meet their new “SJMC Besties”! Please send a message if you’re interested.

Professor Snider featured in news release

SJMC multimedia professor Chris Snider, who also acts as the SJMC’s webmaster and social media strategist, was featured in a University news release about using social media to maintain our community during the disrupted spring semester:

Free summer journalism “boot camp”

The Information, a website that reports on media and technology issues, is offering a free, four-week “boot camp” in July, led by media industry leaders. There will be eight hour-long evening “classes” taught by editors and writers from such organizations as the New York Times, Politico and Fast Company, covering topics like digital design and the future of magazines; covering the 2020 election; podcasting; journalism entrepreneurship, and getting a journalism job. For more information and to sign up, see

AT&T offers “learning academy” certificate

AT&T is also entering the arena of organizations stepping up to help college students who may have lost internships but are eager to keep moving ahead toward their future careers. The AT&T Summer Learning Academy launches June 22 and runs for four weeks. It includes professional development and business acumen coursework; those who complete the free, self-paced program will earn a certificate.

Alumni news

Lindsay Scarpello, JO’12, launches a new monthly literary anthology this week:

Meagan Flynn, JO’15, wrote this piece for the Washington Post, where she is a reporter:

Reminders of coming events

“Living, Working and Networking in Chicago”: Four members of Drake’s regional alumni board in Chicago have volunteered to share tips on Thursday, June 4 at 5:30 p.m. CDT. Click  here to join the event.

“Career Advice During COVID”: American Advertising Federation Kansas City (AAF-KC) and Ad 2 KC are partnering to host  a webinar for soon-to-be and recently graduated students, on Thursday, June 4 at 5 p.m. You can register here: Career Advice During COVID-19.

SJMC summer classes still available: You can register for two SJMC classes that run July 6-24 — JMC 41 Financial Fundamentals for Communication Professionals (1 credit), required SJMC course, CRN 9325; JMC 76 Advertising Principles (3 credits), Critical Thinking AOI, CRN 7440.

Have a news item for the Memo?

The SJMC Monday Memo (and other days of the week as needed) is a 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 subscribe to the Monday Memo via email here:

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.