SJMC Monday Memo

Happy Drake Relays Week!

Top SJMC students 2021 are recognized

Please congratulate the following students whose names will be added to the plaques outside the Dean’s Office:

  • The SJMC Top Scholar Plaque honors the graduating senior who has the highest overall grade point average. This year the honor goes to Sarah Bogaards, Greta Haas and Maddie Topliff, all of whom have 4.0 GPAs.
  • The 94.1 Top Dog Award is for the top disc jockey for DBS and this year goes to Nils Armitage.
  • The Patricia Prijatel Storyteller Award, named for the former SJMC director and founder of the E.T. Meredith Center for Magazine Studies, recognizes the magazine major who best displays the ability to find, report, write and publish stories that both inform and inspire. This year’s winner of the Prijatel Storyteller Award is Allaire Nuss.

Kappa Tau Alpha is national honor society founded at the University of Missouri in 1910 to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship. Membership in Kappa Tau Alpha is by invitation only for students majoring in journalism or mass communication who rank in the upper 10 percent of their class based on overall grade point average. This year’s undergraduate honorees joining Kappa Tau Alpha are Sarah Bogaards, Alina Dorion, Greta Haas, Katherine Hull, Lauren Lawson, Holly Santman, Maddie Topliff and Addison Weakley. The graduate honorees joining Kappa Tau Alpha are Jasmine Brooks, Diane DeVault, Lynn Ekblad, Jennifer Halupnik, Krista Jackson, Kenyon Kemnitz, Ben Landis, Christine Thiriet and Kyle Torkelson.

The Public Relations and Strategic Political Communication programs recognize the following students and alumnae:

  • The PR Student of the Year is Alondra Gonzalez Carrillo
  • The PR Alumna of the Year is Courtney Fishman, JO’16, associate director of social strategy at Ogilvy in Chicago
  • SPC Student of the Year is Valerie Buvat de Virginy
  • The SPC Alumna of the Year is Madison Holmes, JO’17, finance director at the New Jersey Republican State Committee

The Master of Arts in Communication Student of the Year is John Cooper, English teacher and speech and debate coach at West High School in Iowa City.

New campus media leaders chosen

Congratulations, too, to the 2021-22 leaders of Drake’s campus media organizations:

Drake Broadcasting System: Savanna Bous
Drake Mag: Kaili Miller
Drake Political Review: Jessica Comstock
DUiN: Emma Stockman
Periphery: Anna Richardson
Times-Delphic: Emma Brustkern

Get involved in Meredith Hall renovation campaign

SJMC alumni and students: The people and places of your School of Journalism and Mass Communication days left an indelible mark on your life. And Meredith Hall has served as the hub of the SJMC for more than 50 years.

Exciting things are in store for Meredith. An extensive renovation will make the building more environmentally friendly and better suited to modern teaching and learning styles. And starting next fall, Meredith will become even more the creative heart of campus as the home of Drake’s new John Dee Bright College and a new entrepreneurship incubator.

Find out how you can become involved in this transformation at We have three matching gift challenges for the renovation campaign through June 30, 2021:

  • A challenge for the Times-Delphic from Clark Bell, JO’73, and Doug Sauter, BN’73. Clark and Doug will match $30,000 in gifts made to Meredith, in honor of our historic and highly acclaimed student newspaper. Clark is retired director of journalism programs at the McCormick Foundation. He is responsible for the SJMC’s longtime collaboration on political reporting with the prestigious Poynter Institute.
  • A challenge for Professor Bob Woodward from Jeff, JO’94, and Lisa Russell, JO’93, JO’98. Jeff and Lisa will match $15,000 in gifts made to Meredith, in honor of a beloved and legendary teacher and mentor.
  • An alumni challenge for your favorite SJMC professor, mentor or advisor from Dean Kathleen Richardson, JO’76, JO’01, LW’02. Dean Richardson will match $10,000 in gifts made to Meredith, in honor of your favorite SJMC professor, mentor or advisor.

Times-Delphic staff positions for 2021-22 open

The Times-Delphic is hiring staff editors and other positions for the 2021-22 school year. The application deadline has been extended to April 23. Any questions can be directed to Emma Brustkern, incoming editor-in-chief, at The link to the application and more information can be found at

SAB seeks applications for 2021-22 Executive Board

Drake University’s Student Activities Board is the largest event-planning organization on Drake’s campus. There are a number of programming and marketing positions open for the upcoming year, including Marketing, Graphic Design, Public Relations and Digital Media. If you have any questions, email current SAB president

To apply, visit, or follow this link: Applications due by the end of the day on Monday, April 26.

Student HR Association offers salary negotiation tips

Dr. Claire Muselman will discuss compensation and negotiation on Wednesday, April 21, at 4 p.m. CDT, hosted by the Drake Student HR Association: Meeting ID: 831 0643 4357

Alumni note

Lucca Wang, JO’11, wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Kansas City Star. In her commentary, Wang discusses her experience growing up as a biracial Chinese American woman in Kansas, and the long but often unknown history of bigotry against Asians in the United States.

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: