SJMC Monday Memo

Drake students, alums honored by PRSA

Drake SJMC students and alumni were recognized with top honors at last week’s Public Relations Society of America Central Iowa annual conference. The PRIME Award winners were:
  • Public Relations senior Greta Haas was named the 2020 Iowa Outstanding PR Student of the Year.
  • The Strategic Political Communication class of 2020 won the Community Champion award  for its capstone campaign last spring for the Alzheimer’s Association of Iowa.
  • SJMC National Advisory Council member Kevin Waetke, JO’86, APR, Fellow PRSA, was named 2020 Outstanding Iowa PR Professional. Waetke is associate vice president, corporate marketing, at Sammons Financial.
  • Laura Plumb, JO’15, digital strategist at Lessing-Flynn, was recognized as the state’s Outstanding Chapter Member.
In addition, Joseph Jones, executive director of the Harkin Institute, was named the 2020 Outstanding Iowa Advocate.

Stay tuned for JMC Days

Every year we take a week in October to celebrate our School of Journalism and Mass Communication and our SJMC Family. Next week, please look for social media posts online and tables and exhibits in the Meredith Hall lobbies and participate virtually and in person as your schedules allow.

  • Mon., Oct. 19: Make It Monday
  • Tues., Oct. 20: Tinker Tuesday
  • Wed., Oct. 21: Wellness Wednesday
  • Thur., Oct. 22: Thankful Thursday
  • Fri., Oct. 23: Fun Friday
  • Sat., Oct. 24: Spontaneous Saturday
  • Sun., Oct. 25: Selfless Sunday

Stay tuned for details next week and join the SJMC Days activities.

New student HR organization launching

A new organization is forming for students interested in careers in human resources. The kickoff event is Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. CDT. The group is open to all majors. Attend and learn about the Drake Student HR Association’s mission and events, and hear from a guest speaker. Join the Zoom meeting at, Meeting ID 846 0250 7122. For more information contact

Learn how to get involved in your community

Looking for ways to volunteer and get involved with your community (and do so safely during a pandemic)? Tune in to the Drake University Alumni #DUGoodMonth Q&A session on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. CDT for a discussion about volunteering and the nonprofit sector. The event will be conducted via Zoom (sign up and instructions and an access code will be emailed prior to the event).
Panelists are:
Kiley Kahler, Drake student, community engagement peer
Jay Geneske, AS’03, executive director of marketing/communications at World Bicycle Relief
Crystal Everett, AS’10, JO’10, real-world learning coordinator, Kansas City Public Schools
Jazlin Coley, JO’19, service coordinator for equity and inclusion, Drake University
Moderator: Amanda Martin, assistant director, Drake University Community Engaged Learning & Service

Build your future career

Keep an eye on the Monday Memo and the Drake SJMC Careers and Internship Facebook group for announcements about career development events. If you’ve missed an event, you can watch an archived recording at
Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile and Connections Workshop: Led by Amanda Mulcahy, a recruiter with the Palmer Group in Des Moines is today, Monday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. CDT. Zoom link can be found by joining the event on Handshake
Living, Working and Networking in Dallas/FortWorth: Meet a panel of alumni living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, including SJMC PR alum Adam Graves. This panel on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 5 p.m. CDT will meet on Blackboard Collaborate. Sign up on Handshake here

Alumni news

Cameron Goode, JO’13, a Chicago-based freelance multimedia content creator whose clients have included Nike, the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Fire, recently helped produce an ESPN video to promote the NBA Finals:

Scholarships available

The Black Play-by-Play Broadcaster Grant & Scholarship Fund:  The nonprofit is looking to distribute scholarship money to Black college undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in play-by-play sports broadcasting.
Three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded in time for the spring 2021 semester. Every applicant — regardless of whether they are awarded a scholarship — will be assigned a professional broadcaster mentor who will be reaching out to provide guidance as they navigate the early stages of the industry. Information about how to apply can be found at

WiseGeek Mental Health Wellbeing Scholarship: For college students who have experienced challenges with mental health or had those close to them who have. Amount: $500. Application Deadline: Dec. 31, 2020. More information:

The African-American Entrepreneurs Grants: Aim to help close the funding gap for African-American entrepreneurs (current or aspiring). Students in any undergraduate or graduate field are welcome to apply for the award. Students don’t need to have already started a business to apply.

More information about the awards can be found here:

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: