SJMC Monday Memo

Congratulations to the December 2020 graduates of the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication! Check out the SJMC’s Instagram to learn more about these fascinating individuals’ accomplishments and future plans.

SJMC students win feature writing awards

Two Drake students placed in the top 10 of the annual Hearst Feature Writing Competition.

Lorien MacEnulty, a May 2020 graduate, won second place for her story on a craft barrel maker that was published in Urban Plains, the senior capstone multimedia website. Hannah Nuss, currently a senior, won seventh place for her Drake Magazine story on “cancel culture” in the music scene.

There were 150 entries from 79 universities. They were judged by Dwayne Bray, senior coordinating producer/enterprise reporting unit, ESPN; Larry Kramer, retired president and publisher, USA Today; and Maria Reeves, managing editor, Houston Chronicle. The Hearst Journalism Awards are conducted under the auspices of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and consist of 14 monthly competitions for writing, photography, audio, television and multimedia.

Save the date for career conference

The Drake office of Professional and Career Development Services will host a series of events in February 2021 to make sure you are career ready. Save the date of Feb. 19 for a daylong conference, “Be Unstoppable: Flexible and Fearless.” No matter where you are on your professional or personal journey — internship, full-time job, fellowship, work abroad, graduate school or gap year — there will be support and tips for you.

Emmy award contest, scholarships open to entries

The 2021 Upper Midwest Emmy awards are now open for entries, with a deadline of Feb. 1. Categories include best newscast, news stories, non-fiction, music video, public affairs, public service announcements, commercials, sports and more. There are also categories for writers, photographers, editors, talent and graphics. Entries must have been produced for a class or school media platform during 2020. For more information, see

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Upper Midwest Chapter is also offering scholarships. The deadline for applications is also Feb. 1. For more information, see

Reporting class helps with public records project

Associate Professor Jill Van Wyke‘s public affairs reporting class has been helping the Iowa Newspaper Association with an open records project this fall. SJMC students have worked with Des Moines Register reporter Jason Clayworth, JO’99, on a statewide project to monitor the responsiveness of law enforcement agencies to public records requests. Reporters and journalism students from throughout the state are collaborating on the initiative, which will form the basis for a series of news stories to be released in the new year.

Check out Harkin Institute politics program

The Harkin Institute recently hosted a presentation by renowned political analyst Charlie Cook, discussing the 2020 election and the state of American politics. The recording can be found here

Alumni news

Jordan Lundquist, JO’19, an account coordinator at Saatchi & Saatchi in Dallas, has shifted from the Olympics sponsorship team to the Toyota Sales Event and general retail account, working extensively on this year’s Toyotathon campaign. The campaign recently received a shoutout in Adweek (

Jane Burns, JO’83, a writer for the University of Wisconsin, wrote a freelance story about event venues in Madison, WI, that offered holiday photo shoots with personalized messages on their marquees.  

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: