SJMC Monday Memo

Welcome to Teacher Appreciation Week! Thank you to all of the SJMC faculty who work so hard and have such a powerful impact on their students, their professions and their communities.

Associate professor Chris Snider spoke with journalism students from Chariton, Iowa, who visited Drake SJMC on a field trip. The students had told their adviser that as a reward for staging a successful fundraiser, they wanted to tour a college journalism program.

Leigh elected 2021-22 SJMC senator

Madeleine Leigh has been elected to represent SJMC next year in Student Senate. Congratulations, Madeleine!

PRSSA elects executive board

The Drake Public Relations Student Society of America executive board for 2021-22 is:
President: Justine Drake
Vice president: Alexia Simonton
Secretary: Everett Mullican
Treasurer: Lizzie Murphy
Communications: Lindsey Herazy

Opportunity for SJMC students to work with Boys and Girls Club kids

The SJMC is finalizing plans to host a weeklong, half-day camp for Boys and Girls Club middle school students in late July. The afternoon sessions will be held Monday, July 26 through Friday, July 30 in Meredith Hall. If you are interested in serving as a paid “camp counselor” to help with their digital projects and represent Drake SJMC, please email for more details.

Communication leadership class opens to SJMC students

Business 120 Communication Leadership for Virtual Teams (CRN 10859), a team- and project-based course, has been opened to SJMC students. The prerequisites for the course (BUS 073 and BUS 074, verbal and written communication classes) can be waived with instructor permission based on equivalent coursework. The course has confirmed participation in the University of Southern California’s VBP (Virtual Business Professional) project, which “gives students real-world experience using communication and collaboration technologies employed in today’s corporate environment.” If you have any questions, contact College of Business and Public Administration associate dean Sean Severe at

SJMC prof to give tips on fighting fake news

Join SJMC associate professor Jennifer Konfrst for “Back to Class: Fighting Fake News – How You Can Help Stop the Spread of Misinformation” at 6 p.m. on May 19. Back to Class features speakers from Drake’s campus in a virtual setting. Bulldogs are invited to join from wherever they are to learn about unique topics, hear from voices on campus, and connect with the Drake community.

Writing Workshop ending for semester

The Writing Workshop will close for this semester at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 9.

Alumni notes

Erika Owen, JO’13, has published a book, “Lawbreaking Ladies: 50 Tales of Daring, Defiant, and Dangerous Women from History.” Erika’s personal favorite? “Mary Fields, otherwise known as Stagecoach Mary. She was born into slavery, later worked as a housekeeper in a convent, and eventually became the second woman (and the first African-American woman!) to get a job as a contracted route mail carrier. She had the dangerous task of protecting the mail from bandits as it traveled to Cascade, Montana, all the while donned in men’s clothing.”

Mackensie Graham, JO’12, a third-year student at the University of Iowa law school, was a member of the search committee that recently helped choose the university’s new president. Mackensie is the president of the campus Graduate and Professional Student Government.

Seniors, pick up your SJMC mug!

School of Journalism and Mass Communication coffee mugs are available as farewell gifts for SJMC graduates. Contact administrative assistant Denise Ganpat at to arrange to obtain yours.

Report analyzes media coverage of renewable energy

The Solutions Project, which supports renewable energy, has released its 2020 report on media coverage of renewable energy and equity. The report is a resource for journalists covering climate change issues.

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: