Faculty:School of Journalism & Mass Communication

Master of Arts in Communication

Kelly Bruhn

Associate Professor, Public Relations

515-271-2124 | kelly.bruhn@drake.edu

Dr. Bruhn teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public relations strategy, PR campaigns, and research. She earned her doctorate from Michigan State University, a master’s degree from Ball State University, and an undergraduate degree in communications from Valparaiso University. She is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. Prior to joining the Drake faculty in 2009, Bruhn created award-winning campaigns for Verizon Wireless and various nonprofit organizations. In 2013, she was recognized by the Des Moines chapter of the Public Relations Society of America as outstanding chapter member, and she served as the 2018 Central Iowa PRSA Chapter president. Her research interests include public relations pedagogy and agency-client relationships.

Kelly Bruhn

Associate Professor, Public Relations

515-271-2124 | kelly.bruhn@drake.edu

Dr. Bruhn teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public relations strategy, PR campaigns, and research. She earned her doctorate from Michigan State University, a master’s degree from Ball State University, and an undergraduate degree in communications from Valparaiso University. She is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. Prior to joining the Drake faculty in 2009, Bruhn created award-winning campaigns for Verizon Wireless and various nonprofit organizations. In 2013, she was recognized by the Des Moines chapter of the Public Relations Society of America as outstanding chapter member, and she served as the 2018 Central Iowa PRSA Chapter president. Her research interests include public relations pedagogy and agency-client relationships.

Todd Evans

Professor, Electronic Media

515-271-2544 | todd.evans@drake.edu

Todd has juggled multiple responsibilities as a faculty member and administrator since arriving at Drake in 1984. His students have received national recognition of their productions by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Telly Awards, and Communicator Awards. Todd is past-chair of the Communication Technology division and past-chair of the Juried Faculty Production Competition for the Broadcast Education Association.

Todd’s research interests include digital audio for video production and post-production, the culture of popular music, and new media for distributed learning. He keeps professionally active in both audio and video production, and his work has been recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Broadcast Education Association, and the American Cancer Society.

Todd Evans

Professor, Electronic Media

515-271-2544 | todd.evans@drake.edu

Todd has juggled multiple responsibilities as a faculty member and administrator since arriving at Drake in 1984. His students have received national recognition of their productions by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Telly Awards, and Communicator Awards. Todd is past-chair of the Communication Technology division and past-chair of the Juried Faculty Production Competition for the Broadcast Education Association.

Todd’s research interests include digital audio for video production and post-production, the culture of popular music, and new media for distributed learning. He keeps professionally active in both audio and video production, and his work has been recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Broadcast Education Association, and the American Cancer Society.

Sandy Henry

Professor

515-271-3714 | sandy.henry@drake.edu

Henry teaches creative advertising, visual communication, and multimedia capstone classes. Prior to joining the SJMC faculty in 2007, Henry amassed more than 20 years of experience in creative advertising and marketing, in both agencies and in-house environments. Her clients have covered the spectrum, from a major grocery store chain to a nonprofit arts organization to one of the world’s largest agricultural seed companies. Henry is active with the Interactive Media and Emerging Technology division of the Broadcast Education Association. Her research interests include advertising and multimedia pedagogy and Super Bowl ads.

Sandy Henry

Professor

515-271-3714 | sandy.henry@drake.edu

Henry teaches creative advertising, visual communication, and multimedia capstone classes. Prior to joining the SJMC faculty in 2007, Henry amassed more than 20 years of experience in creative advertising and marketing, in both agencies and in-house environments. Her clients have covered the spectrum, from a major grocery store chain to a nonprofit arts organization to one of the world’s largest agricultural seed companies. Henry is active with the Interactive Media and Emerging Technology division of the Broadcast Education Association. Her research interests include advertising and multimedia pedagogy and Super Bowl ads.

Jeff Inman

Associate Professor

515-271-3941 | jeff.inman@drake.edu

Inman teaches primarily in the Magazine Media major and serves as the coordinator of the Meredith Corp. apprenticeship in service journalism. He also created and teaches an interdisciplinary mobile app class with faculty from computer science and graphic design. He joined the faculty in 2008. He has been an active freelance writer for such publications as Billboard and Rolling Stone, and has been the Arts and Entertainment Editor at three alternative newsweeklies, including the Las Vegas Weekly. He serves as the chair of the university’s Board of Student Communication and is the marketing chair on the Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation Board of Directors. His research interests include the latest developments in multimedia magazine journalism.

Jeff Inman

Associate Professor

515-271-3941 | jeff.inman@drake.edu

Inman teaches primarily in the Magazine Media major and serves as the coordinator of the Meredith Corp. apprenticeship in service journalism. He also created and teaches an interdisciplinary mobile app class with faculty from computer science and graphic design. He joined the faculty in 2008. He has been an active freelance writer for such publications as Billboard and Rolling Stone, and has been the Arts and Entertainment Editor at three alternative newsweeklies, including the Las Vegas Weekly. He serves as the chair of the university’s Board of Student Communication and is the marketing chair on the Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation Board of Directors. His research interests include the latest developments in multimedia magazine journalism.

Lee Joliffe

Professor

515-271-3950 | lee.jolliffe@drake.edu

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. 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).

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.

Lee Joliffe

Professor

515-271-3950 | lee.jolliffe@drake.edu

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. 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).

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.

Jennifer Glover Konfrst

Assistant Professor

515-271-3167 | jennifer.gloverkonfrst@drake.edu

Konfrst teaches public relations, strategic political communication, and core journalism courses. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Drake, and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. Konfrst brings more than 20 years of professional experience to the classroom. She has experience working on political campaigns, in a U.S. Senate office, in public affairs, and with communications in political contexts and regarding political issues. Prior to joining the journalism faculty in 2013, Konfrst most recently worked at Iowa Public Television. There she led the network’s brand strategy, cross-platform promotion, media relations, crisis communication, and promotion to other PBS stations across the country. She served as the statewide network’s spokesperson, and worked extensively as an on-air host. Konfrst was selected as the national PBS Communications Professional of the Year in 2007. She currently serves in the Iowa House of Representatives. Her research interests include political communication and public relations pedagogy.

Jennifer Glover Konfrst

Assistant Professor

515-271-3167 | jennifer.gloverkonfrst@drake.edu

Konfrst teaches public relations, strategic political communication, and core journalism courses. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Drake, and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. Konfrst brings more than 20 years of professional experience to the classroom. She has experience working on political campaigns, in a U.S. Senate office, in public affairs, and with communications in political contexts and regarding political issues. Prior to joining the journalism faculty in 2013, Konfrst most recently worked at Iowa Public Television. There she led the network’s brand strategy, cross-platform promotion, media relations, crisis communication, and promotion to other PBS stations across the country. She served as the statewide network’s spokesperson, and worked extensively as an on-air host. Konfrst was selected as the national PBS Communications Professional of the Year in 2007. She currently serves in the Iowa House of Representatives. Her research interests include political communication and public relations pedagogy.

Dorothy Pisarski

Associate Professor

515-271-1857 | dorothy.pisarski@drake.edu

Pisarski teaches primarily in the account management side of advertising. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing/management from Siena College and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She joined the Drake faculty in 2004. She has extensive professional experience in marketing and advertising, in both consumer and industrial products. Her most recent professional experiences were with Philip Morris USA in Manhattan, where she held several positions in marketing and trade advertising. Pisarski is active in the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation and American Marketing Association. Her research interests involve advertising pedagogy and communication ethics.

Dorothy Pisarski

Associate Professor

515-271-1857 | dorothy.pisarski@drake.edu

Pisarski teaches primarily in the account management side of advertising. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing/management from Siena College and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She joined the Drake faculty in 2004. She has extensive professional experience in marketing and advertising, in both consumer and industrial products. Her most recent professional experiences were with Philip Morris USA in Manhattan, where she held several positions in marketing and trade advertising. Pisarski is active in the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation and American Marketing Association. Her research interests involve advertising pedagogy and communication ethics.

Kathleen Richardson

Dean & Professor, Media Law

515-271-2295 | kathleen.richardson@drake.edu

Kathleen Richardson worked at The Des Moines Register for 20 years in a variety of newsroom jobs: copy editor and copy desk chief, wire editor, news editor, features editor, book reviewer, and columnist. Richardson taught part-time in the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication for several years before joining the faculty full-time in 2001. She was director of the School from 2007-2014 and has been Dean since 2014.

She was the executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, a non-profit organization that promotes open government, from 2000-2015. In that role, she produced educational materials on the state’s open meetings and records laws, conducted workshops, and answered citizens’ and journalists’ inquiries. She was also a founding member of the Iowa Public Information Board, a state agency that helps enforce the open-government laws.

Richardson has been given the Iowa Newspaper Association Distinguished Service Award and the Governor’s Volunteer Award; honored by the state judicial branch for her service to the state legal system; and named an Iowa Watch Free Press Champion and Iowa State University Greenlee School Friend of the First Amendment.

Kathleen Richardson

Dean & Professor, Media Law

515-271-2295 | kathleen.richardson@drake.edu

Kathleen Richardson worked at The Des Moines Register for 20 years in a variety of newsroom jobs: copy editor and copy desk chief, wire editor, news editor, features editor, book reviewer, and columnist. Richardson taught part-time in the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication for several years before joining the faculty full-time in 2001. She was director of the School from 2007-2014 and has been Dean since 2014.

She was the executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, a non-profit organization that promotes open government, from 2000-2015. In that role, she produced educational materials on the state’s open meetings and records laws, conducted workshops, and answered citizens’ and journalists’ inquiries. She was also a founding member of the Iowa Public Information Board, a state agency that helps enforce the open-government laws.

Richardson has been given the Iowa Newspaper Association Distinguished Service Award and the Governor’s Volunteer Award; honored by the state judicial branch for her service to the state legal system; and named an Iowa Watch Free Press Champion and Iowa State University Greenlee School Friend of the First Amendment.

Chris Snider

Associate Professor

515-271-4594 | chris.snider@drake.edu

Snider joined Drake full-time in 2010 and teaches classes in web design, social media strategy, multimedia, and digital strategy. Prior to teaching, he was assistant managing editor for digital and innovation at The Des Moines Register, where he was a leader in how media companies use social media, live content, and mobile. He continues to be recognized as a national leader in social media and digital innovation. He collaborates with faculty from entrepreneurship, math, and computer science in the Drake Innovation Studio and does web design and digital marketing for Des Moines companies.

Chris Snider

Associate Professor

515-271-4594 | chris.snider@drake.edu

Snider joined Drake full-time in 2010 and teaches classes in web design, social media strategy, multimedia, and digital strategy. Prior to teaching, he was assistant managing editor for digital and innovation at The Des Moines Register, where he was a leader in how media companies use social media, live content, and mobile. He continues to be recognized as a national leader in social media and digital innovation. He collaborates with faculty from entrepreneurship, math, and computer science in the Drake Innovation Studio and does web design and digital marketing for Des Moines companies.

Catherine M. Staub

Associate Professor; Fisher-Stelter Chair of Magazine Journalism

515-271-3050 | catherine.staub@drake.edu

Dr. Staub joined the SJMC faculty in 2015 and teaches classes in Magazine Media and in the MAC program. She earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership and Ed.S. in education, an M.A. in journalism, and a B.S.E. in English and Education, all from Drake. She is the founder and CEO of Lexicon Content Marketing, a Des Moines firm that provides its clients with communications, marketing, public relations, photography, graphic design, and more. Prior to starting her own business, Staub was Learning and Development Manager and National Implementation Team Consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, an associate editor at Meredith Corporation, and a high school English teacher. Her research interests include magazine history and modern magazine industry practice.

Catherine M. Staub

Associate Professor; Fisher-Stelter Chair of Magazine Journalism

515-271-3050 | catherine.staub@drake.edu

Dr. Staub joined the SJMC faculty in 2015 and teaches classes in Magazine Media and in the MAC program. She earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership and Ed.S. in education, an M.A. in journalism, and a B.S.E. in English and Education, all from Drake. She is the founder and CEO of Lexicon Content Marketing, a Des Moines firm that provides its clients with communications, marketing, public relations, photography, graphic design, and more. Prior to starting her own business, Staub was Learning and Development Manager and National Implementation Team Consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, an associate editor at Meredith Corporation, and a high school English teacher. Her research interests include magazine history and modern magazine industry practice.

Matthew Thornton

Assistant Professor, Public Relations

515-271-3083 | matthew.thornton@drake.edu

Dr. Thornton returns to the Midwest following seven years spent in Louisiana, most recently leading a media and communication program at a small private college in Central Louisiana. A native of Missouri, Thornton attended the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, where he studied marketing management. He earned a Master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri and his Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication.

While at LSU, Thornton’s interdisciplinary studies focused on aspects of political communication. He has authored or coauthored numerous conference papers and presented at regional and national conferences on aspects of media effects in political messaging as well as news coverage of political institutions. In addition to his academic work and research, Thornton brings professional communication and non-profit public relations management experience to the classroom, having served four years as director of a countywide community and economic development corporation in southwest Missouri. Among notable projects in that role, he organized and served as spokesperson for two countywide issue-oriented political campaigns; crafted documents creating a foundation for a local school district; administered and or secured numerous community grants; and helped facilitate regional alliances to improve infrastructure resulting in significant economic development and job creation.

Matthew Thornton

Assistant Professor, Public Relations

515-271-3083 | matthew.thornton@drake.edu

Dr. Thornton returns to the Midwest following seven years spent in Louisiana, most recently leading a media and communication program at a small private college in Central Louisiana. A native of Missouri, Thornton attended the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, where he studied marketing management. He earned a Master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri and his Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication.

While at LSU, Thornton’s interdisciplinary studies focused on aspects of political communication. He has authored or coauthored numerous conference papers and presented at regional and national conferences on aspects of media effects in political messaging as well as news coverage of political institutions. In addition to his academic work and research, Thornton brings professional communication and non-profit public relations management experience to the classroom, having served four years as director of a countywide community and economic development corporation in southwest Missouri. Among notable projects in that role, he organized and served as spokesperson for two countywide issue-oriented political campaigns; crafted documents creating a foundation for a local school district; administered and or secured numerous community grants; and helped facilitate regional alliances to improve infrastructure resulting in significant economic development and job creation.

Jill Van Wyke

Associate Professor, News

515-271-3867 | jill.vanwyke@drake.edu

Van Wyke teaches journalism classes in multimedia reporting, editing, and visual communication. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and her master’s in education from Drake. Prior to joining the faculty in 1997, Van Wyke had an 11-year career at The Des Moines Register as reporter, copy editor, and an assistant city editor. She has served as Drake SJMC’s internship coordinator and is the long-time advisor to the Times-Delphic, Drake’s student-run newspaper. She is a member of the Online News Association, Broadcast Education Association, College Media Advisers, Iowa College Media Association, and Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her research interests involve multimedia journalism and journalism ethics.

Jill Van Wyke

Associate Professor, News

515-271-3867 | jill.vanwyke@drake.edu

Van Wyke teaches journalism classes in multimedia reporting, editing, and visual communication. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and her master’s in education from Drake. Prior to joining the faculty in 1997, Van Wyke had an 11-year career at The Des Moines Register as reporter, copy editor, and an assistant city editor. She has served as Drake SJMC’s internship coordinator and is the long-time advisor to the Times-Delphic, Drake’s student-run newspaper. She is a member of the Online News Association, Broadcast Education Association, College Media Advisers, Iowa College Media Association, and Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her research interests involve multimedia journalism and journalism ethics.

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