SJMC Monday Memo

SJMC creating “big/little” mentorship program

The SJMC will once again create a mentorship program to welcome our incoming first-year students. We’re also expanding this program to include sophomores this year, recognizing that many of them may have never stepped foot on campus due to Covid.

SJMC juniors and seniors: Would you be interested in serving as a mentor or “Big” for these students? You would be paired with at least one other current SJMC junior/senior student and several new students to help build connections in the weeks prior to moving to campus. It’s our hope that you’ll commit to:

  • Sending a welcome message to the new students (either individually or via group) within the first few weeks of July, offering your availability to answer any questions they may have about Drake and their transition to college.
  • Hosting a virtual connection within the month of July or the first week of August, either via video conference or text.
  • Attending an SJMC in-person gathering with these “new” students in conjunction with Welcome Week events. The University is still finalizing the Welcome Week schedule, but we’d love for these small “SJMC Families” to meet up and connect in person. We are also planning to bring back the Dean’s Ice Cream Social in the first week of classes, so that would be another perfect event to meet up.
  • Connecting with each new student at least once in the Fall 2021 semester to check in on their transition and offer any additional advice/connections you can.
  • Participating in fun activities held in conjunction with JMC 30. Dr. Catherine Staub is still finalizing the JMC 30 schedule for Fall 2021, but there will likely be opportunities to share your expertise with our newest SJMC Bulldogs.

We hope this experience will help them build relationships with outstanding students like you and identify opportunities they may want to explore (like Drake Mag, The Times-Delphic, Drake Broadcasting System, PRSSA, Drake Political Review, Ad Club, student government, Student Activities Board and more).

Interested? Contact Associate Dean Kelly Bruhn ( for more information or to volunteer.

Rebuilding 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.

Alumni news

At least two SJMC alums were on teams that won awards at the recent Cannes Lions international Festival of Creativity 2021, the world’s largest gathering of creative marketing. Jenna Pate, JO’12, is associate director of client engagement at VMLY&R in in Nashville, which won a Gold Lion for its work for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Greg Swan, JO’03, was recently promoted to head of creative innovation at Fallon in Minneapolis, which won a Silver Lion for a social campaign for Arby’s.

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: