SJMC Monday Memo

Congratulations to Professor Adae and the Drake PR team!

Last week was a good week for the Drake SJMC public relations team. Congratulations to Assistant Professor Eric Kwame Adae, who was named the 2021 outstanding Iowa PR professional by the Iowa chapter of the Public Relations Society of America during its annual PRIME Awards. There was wonderful recognition from PRSA for Drake students as well, as senior Justine Drake received the Milam-Bonomi scholarship and was named outstanding student member; last spring’s senior capstone work for Svens Skincare, an alum-owned startup, won an award of merit; and junior Alexia Simonton swept the student category. Well done!

Applications open for On Painted Street

Drake University’s Instagram account that captures students’ Drake experience, OnPaintedStreet, is accepting applications for the spring semester. This application is for the opportunity to take over the student-led Instagram account @OnPaintedStreet for a week sometime between Jan. 22, 2022 to May 15, 2022. You will be contacted by email if you are chosen to run this account. Upon placement, you will be provided with tips and guidelines to help you tell your story for the week. If you have any questions, please email

Student tickets available to Harkin Institute event

The Harkin Institute is offering a limited number of tickets exclusively to Drake University students to attend “An Evening with Charlie Cook” in person at Sheslow Auditorium on Tuesday, Dec. 7. Though this is an online event, a small in-person audience will be allowed as well. Tickets are free and available to all Drake graduate and undergraduate students. However, only 30 seats are available. Regarded by many as one of the leading authorities on the U.S. political scene, Cook provides a yearly lecture on American politics. Cook is a political analyst for National Journal magazine, founder of and contributor to the Cook Political Report, and a National Advisory Council member for The Harkin Institute. Link to in-person sign-up:…/student-registration-an…Link to virtual sign-up:…/an-evening-with-charlie…

NPR opens annual “podcast challenge”

For the fourth year, NPR is hosting a Student Podcast Challenge, and this year the radio and Internet network is opening up the contest to middle and high school students as well as college students pursuing their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. This year for the first time there will be a $5,000 grant for the College Podcast Challenge winner plus $500 for finalists. The College Podcast Challenge will be open from Dec. 1, 2021 through Feb. 28, 2022. The contest for middle and high school entries will run from Jan. 1 to March 21, 2022. The winners from each will be notified in late spring.

Iowa Newspaper Foundation offers scholarships

The Iowa Newspaper Foundation offers scholarships to incoming college first-years through senior year. See for more information regarding applying for 2022-23.

Scholarships for central Iowa residents

The Des Moines Women’s Club has 14 scholarship programs available to students from Polk, Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Story or Warren counties. Applications are due Jan. 18, 2022. To learn more about the available scholarships and to apply, visit

Alumni news

Sarah Mondello, JO’18, AS’18, has joined the nation’s leading book publisher, Penguin Random House, as a freelance editor. She works on projects for the Penguin Young Readers department. “Working in the children’s department of Penguin has been my dream day job ever since my ‘childhood self’ discovered they published my favorite books,” she said. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity to be one of the first people to read amazing books while being one of the last people to ready them for publication.” Mondello remembers developing a portfolio for Penguin Random House for the “dream employer” assignment as a sophomore in JMC 123 Public Relations Writing. “Five years later, it’s deeply satisfying to see that class come full circle!” she said.

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: