SJMC Monday Memo

Support SJMC small businesses

Drake SJMC is promoting the entrepreneurs among us this holiday season. This website highlights small businesses operated by SJMC students and alumni: The page contains a link if you’d like to submit your own business.

Contribute to the rebirth of Meredith Hall

The campaign is booming to raise money to refresh and revitalize the SJMC’s historically and architecturally significant home, Meredith Hall. Plans include more flexible classrooms, collaboration spaces and a building that is accessible, inclusive and environmentally sustainable. For more information on how to invest in this initiative, contact Tim Tesar, JO’06, GR’14, in University Advancement (

Interested in changing the world?

SJMC students interested in careers in social change, innovation, social justice and changemaking are welcome to join a panel session for prospective students featuring SJMC alumni and current students on Monday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. CST. Email SJMC internship coordinator Carlyn Crowe ( to obtain a link to the virtual panel discussion.

Participants are:

Matt Vasilogambros, JO’11, covers voting rights and other state and local policy issues for Stateline, an independent news service funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Before joining Pew, he was a writer and editor at The Atlantic, where he covered national politics and changing demographics

Michelle Leland, JO’08, is a graphic designer for the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the nation’s foremost civil rights organizations. She maintains and enhances the SPLC’s reputation through content design and creation, including the Intelligence Report and Teaching Tolerance magazines.

Danny Akright, JO’10, is director of communications at the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity and former director of communications and marketing for the Food Bank of Iowa. With a degree in news and experience as a digital media producer, he moved to promotions positions for two of the most highly regarded non-profit organizations focused on food security and affordable housing.

Also on the panel will be three current SJMC students who have had internships and experience in social change and social justice organizations:

Katelyn Farebrother a junior public relations, marketing and music major

Sam Wolstenholm, a junior in digital media production and rhetoric, media and social change

Hannah Cohen, a junior news and graphic design double major and music minor

Co-leading the session will be Jarad Allread, a senior PR major who is interning for the Drake Office of Admissions as a Student Ambassador.

Alumni news

The following SJMC alumni won Emmys in the recent regional National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences contests:

Laurel Bower, JO’95, producer/writer, editor, Iowa PBS
Phong Duong, JO’15, graphic designer, Iowa PBS
Debra Herbold, executive producer, Iowa PBS
Neal Kyer, JO’95, video engineer/editor, Iowa PBS
Ciera Lundgren, JO’12, producer, KMBC-TV in Kansas City

Annelise Tarnowski, JO’15, was a guest on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa” program, discussing how to play games virtually during the holiday season. Tarnowski and fellow SJMC alum Tony Tandeski, JO’08, co-own The Rook Room, a game and puzzle event company.

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: