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SJMC Monday Memo – April 1, 2024

Monday, April 1st, 2024

SAA Fireside Chat

Join the Student Alumni Association for a Fireside Chat April 4 with House Minority Leader and Drake SJMC associate professor Jennifer Konfrst. This event is at 7pm in the Reading Room of Cowles Library. Light refreshments will be provided. Reach out to with any questions! Register here.

SPJ has launched

SJMC students Seth Coughlin and Reno Valentino have reinvigorated our Society of Professional Journalists chapter. Currently, they are holding meetings weekly on Thursdays at 5 p.m. in Meredith 124C. 

Relays SJMC Celebration and Meredith Unveiling

Gather your friends for the annual Drake Relays SJMC alumni reception on Saturday, April 27, 5-8 p.m. in Meredith Hall. We’ll be celebrating the building renovation; applauding the generosity of our donors (including Sandy Henry and Cathy and Todd Evans), AND toasting the retirement of beloved professor Jill Van Wyke. The party is FREE, but please RSVP so we can stock up on enough food and drink!

Alum to visit Dean Team

SJMC grad EZ Okeleye will meet with SJMC students Tuesday, April 2, to talk about his career path. This is part of the SJMC Dean Team program, but all SJMC students are invited to attend the conversation – especially Open SJMC students still searching for a major and/or career path. Email Kelly Bruhn for more information.

Alumni news

Eduardo Zamarripa, JO’12, recently became a U.S. citizen in a ceremony in Des Moines. Zamarripa, who was an international student from Mexico, is director of youth sports market development at Musco Lighting in Oskaloosa, IA. Zamarripa is a member of the SJMC National Advisory Council.

Generative AI lunch and learn events

Want to go deeper into generative AI skills? The Drake SJMC is doing just that in our new AI Lunch Club virtual events. These will take place over zoom from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Central:

April 1: GPTs and Me: Learn to make custom GPTs.
April 3: Go AI Yourself: Create an avatar and make it talk.
April 8: Advanced Image Prompting: Take a deep dive into image creation.
April 10: Next Steps in Prompting: Advanced prompting techniques for LLMs.

Sign up for events here. Use the code SAVE10 to save $10 off the price for each event.

Donate to SJMC Emerging Media Fund

Longtime SJMC professor and alumna Sandy Henry and retired professor Todd Evans have devoted their lives to nurturing generations of multimedia professionals. Their family — which includes Todd’s wife, Cathy, who is Sandy’s sister and also a Drake alumna — is generously donating seed money to create the new SJMC Emerging Media Fund.

This gift honors the legacy of Cathy’s and Sandy’s beloved mother, Anne McCrimmon, and her support of her daughters, Drake and the power of lifelong learning. The ongoing fund will support technology and initiatives to keep Drake SJMC at the forefront of media innovation across all majors. Donate here.

To give online, click on Make a Gift – Drake University. In the “Give To” pulldown menu, choose “Other.” Then in the “Other” box, type “SJMC Emerging Media Fund.

Sign up for summer classes

Taking summer classes is a great way to catch up or get ahead on your degree. The SJMC is offering the following classes this summer:

  • JMC 30 – Mass Media in a Global Society
  • JMC 54 – Reporting and Writing Principles
  • JMC 059 – Visual Communication Methods
  • JMC 065 – Social Media Strategies
  • JMC 085 – Public Relations Principles
  • JMC 105 – Web Content and Development