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Lee Joliffe


Lee Jolliffe, Ph.D., Professor of Journalism at Drake University, is an active scholar who has written over 80 academic articles, book chapters, papers, and presentations for American Periodicals, Journalism Quarterly, Journalism Educator, Journal of Popular Culture, Journalism History, and other venues. She served for over 10 years on the Magazine Division Executive Board of the international Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), holding posts as Program Chair, Research Chair, and Division Head, among others. Her teaching awards include the Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award from University of Missouri at Columbia, an MU Centennial Medal for mentoring honors students, and a Gannett Foundation Teaching Fellowship, as well as national recognition for her coaching and for student projects in freedom of expression and in magazine publishing. Her most recent effort is leading a joint group of Drake and Missouri Journalism School students at the 2008 historic Democratic National Convention.

Jolliffe came to academia after heading up Battelle Institute’s Editorial Department, where she helped generate over $950 million in grant awards and oversaw 55 people and a multi-million-dollar budget. Her specialties included risk assessment, disaster planning, and scientific problem-solving. Projects included the US EPA’s model sampling and analysis plan for cleaning up the Savannah River DOE facility (also used at a number of other tainted sites), establishing an independent review process for all Air Force engineering projects (to stop the need for those notorious $600 toilet seats), round-the-clock reporting to get the AIDS therapy AZT into the marketplace more quickly, a NASA whistle-blowers’ hotline after the Challenger explosion, and risk analysis and emergency communication procedures for the American Society of Chemical Engineers after Union Carbide’s Bhopal disaster. She held Secret, Top Secret, and Q clearances.

Jolliffe was a full-time freelancer, newspaper columnist, and magazine restaurant reviewer in the early 1980s and has continued to freelance, authoring over 200 articles. In the 1980s, she wrote chiefly for the Regional Magazine of the Year of that era, Ohio Magazine. She currently writes occasional Op-Ed pieces for the Des Moines Register.

During her graduate studies in the 1970s, she taught juvenile delinquent high school students how to read, led a manpower study for the Columbus, OH, fire department (riding to fires with the arson investigator), and worked for the Deputy Coroner preparing evidentiary materials and pre-court briefings on murder and accidental death cases (including such cases as a radiologist who killed 27 patients, a child-smothering case, and the death of a student at a football practice held by OSU Coach Woody Hayes).

Jolliffe holds a B.A. in English and Journalism from Lindenwood College (1974), a master’s degree from the Ohio State University in Humanities Education (1977) and a Ph.D. from Ohio University in Mass Communication (1989).

When not engaged in teaching or research, she is an active Democrat and loves to be part of the Iowa caucus season. She is a wildlife rehabilitator of songbirds and occasional newborn raccoons and bunnies. She gardens for wildlife and renovates historic homes (one at a time).

Jolliffe is currently on sabbatical.

Contact Information

Phone: 515-271-3950
Address: 2805 University Avenue Des Moines, IA 50311-4505