SJMC Monday Memo

Jump into January

January Jump Start is a series of virtual events designed to keep students of all levels engaged, connected and advancing on their college and career journeys. Events throughout the month of January will focus on health and wellness, developing good habits, civic and social change, career readiness and networking with alumni. Check out the Drake calendar for more information.

“Front Row” video submissions sought

A new initiative, “Front Row on Thursday Night,” seeks to highlight the energy and talents of the Drake community. Any member of the campus community is invited to submit a video, of between 5 and 30 minutes, to be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday nights through January. “Videos can include athletic, academic and artistic components, and should focus on members of the Drake community. Videos can be submitted from any college, school or department, and showcase anything from a research project, to a fine arts performance, to an athletic event. Videos should be between 5 and 30 minutes long, and if filmed on a phone, must be recorded horizontally. Student extracurricular groups are also encouraged to apply, but must comply with the DrakeTogether COVID-19 guidelines.” Submissions or questions should be sent to

Do your shopping, support a fellow Bulldog

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 (

SJMC grads are 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 today, 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, who covers voting rights and other state and local policy issues for Stateline, an independent news service funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Michelle Leland, JO’08, a graphic designer for the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the nation’s foremost civil rights organizations.

Danny Akright, JO’10, director of communications at Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity.

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, Sam Wolstenholm and Hannah Cohen.

Alumni news

Entrepreneur Benjamin Lefever, JO’00, was featured in a Des Moines Register story about how his telemedicine company is expanding during the coronavirus crisis.

Dartanyan Brown, JO’75, an educator, musician and activist, wrote an opinion piece for The Register in which he called for leadership, innovation and collaboration to deal with the pandemic.

New climate reporting guide for journalists

The Solutions Project, which supports climate changemakers and innovators at a grassroots level, has released a guide to help journalists source, report and write climate and clean-energy stories that include an equity lens. Download your copy here.  Register for a webinar about the project on Thursday, Dec. 10, noon-1:15 p.m. CST 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: