Our Stories April 2023
Our Stories April 2023

Director's Note

We have a lot to celebrate as we wrap up April and head into the final few weeks of the semester. Several SJMC faculty members were recognized by graduating seniors as having made a positive difference in their lives during their time at Iowa. Tracy HuffordPatrick JohnsonHeather Spangler, and Jenifer Vick were named by five or more students.

SJMC also received a Career Impact Award in the category of Highly Engaged Academic Department from the Pomerantz Career Center. These important recognitions reflect the hard work and dedication of SJMC faculty and staff. 

On April 13-14, members of the SJMC Professional Advisory Board met in Iowa City. Jeff Grisamore received the PAB Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the School. The spring meeting concluded with the Hall of Fame lunch. Dan Berkowitz and Roxanna Scott were inducted into the Hall of Fame for their contributions to the academy and profession. Congratulations Dan and Roxanna!

                      Dan Berkowitz and Roxanna Scott

We also hosted the Ken Starck memorial seminar to honor Ken’s life and work. Participants joined in Iowa City and virtually to offer remarks on graduate education, internationalization, and journalism ethics. It was a lovely event to recognize and reflect on Ken’s legacy.

If you have a story to share, please send it to sjmc@uiowa.edu.

Melissa Tully, Interim Director

Faculty News

Tracy Hufford won a UI Mental Health Champion Award.

Alex Scott won the International Communication Association Visual Communication Division Dissertation Award.

Rachel Young won a 2023 Hubbard-Walder Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Congratulations Tracy, Alex, and Rachel!

Undergraduate News

Austin Hanson and Chloe Peterson won Hearst Journalism Awards in the personality profile. Hanson placed third for his profile on UIowa wrestler Alex Marinelli. Peterson placed sixth for her profile on UIowa Women's Wrestling coach Clarissa Chun

Grace Smith and Jerod Ringwald won Hearst Photo II Picture Story/Series Competition Awards! Smith placed fourth and Ringwald placed sixth. The University of Iowa had the second highest accumulated student points in the two photo competitions.

Eleanor Hildebrandt received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Germany for 2023-24.


                                  Eleanor Hildebrandt

Alumni Engagement

We are grateful for the alumni who visit with our students and faculty throughout the year. We had several recent visits from alumni working across media industries.

Mike Tuvell, a Senior Vice President of Nexstar Networks, visited students in Charles Munro’s Business of Media class. In class the students were studying the inner workings of media businesses, particularly the complicated process of starting business from scratch. Mike described how his company debuted a national newscast, NewsNation, two years ago. Mike’s virtual visit offered students an opportunity to see how concepts they were studying in class worked in the real world.

                                            Mike Tuvell

In addition to the spring PAB meeting, board members visited classes and met with students and faculty during their visit. Thank you to Dana Roberson, Jim Heininger, and Sydney Hofer for visiting SJMC classes and to all the board members for spending time with SJMC students and faculty.

SJMC alum and emeritus PAB member, Brian Ross, also visited campus and sat down with students for a Q&A in the Student Center.

                               Brian Ross and Students

Wayne Drehs visited SJMC as a Professional-in-Residence to discuss his sports journalism career. Wayne was one of the first feature writers hired at ESPN.com.

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