SJMC Monday Memo

Hope you had a happy summer solstice!

Drake SJMC places in top 10 in national writing contest

The Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication placed seventh in the national Hearst Intercollegiate Writing Competition for 2020-21.

The competition, often called “the Pulitzers of college journalism,” is a yearlong series of monthly contests in writing, photojournalism, audio, television and multimedia. Student winners earn points for their institutions. Three Drake students won writing awards this year in the categories of explanatory journalism and personality profile.

The competition is held in collaboration with the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, and currently 104 programs are eligible to participate. Drake was one of the few private institutions to place in the contest and by far the smallest university. Other institutions that placed in the top 10 in the writing competition were Syracuse University, Indiana University, Arizona State University, University of Florida, University of Oklahoma, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Brigham Young University and Pennsylvania State University.

Konfrst elected to Iowa House leadership post

SJMC associate professor Rep. Jennifer Glover Konfrst has been elected as minority leader by the Democrats in the Iowa House. Konfrst, JO’96, MPA’98, APR, represents the Des Moines suburb of Windsor Heights. She is the first woman to lead Iowa House Democrats. Konfrst joined the Drake faculty in 2013 after a 20-year career as a public relations professional. She teaches in the public relations, strategic political communication and master of communication programs.

Alumni news

Selchia Cain-Hinton, JO’15, was featured in a story in Vice about efforts to make childbirth safer for Black women in Iowa. Cain-Hinton is certified as a holistic fertility doula through the National Black Doulas Association and she is co-founder of the Iowa Black Doula Collective.

Rebuilding our community — together

After more than a year of pandemic cocooning, many of us will venture back to campus next fall to rebuild our community and connections. What will our “new normal” look like? What would you like to see at Drake in the fall? Are there any particular in-person community-building events you’d like us to host? What pandemic-inspired innovations would you like to see continue? Shoot an email to Dean Kathleen Richardson ( or Associate Dean Kelly Bruhn ( with any ideas.

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: