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 undergraduate courses in public relations collateral materials, PR Campaigns, and research. She also teaches courses in the Master of Communication Leadership (MCL) program. Prior to joining the Drake faculty, Bruhn created award-winning campaigns for Verizon Wireless and various nonprofit organizations. Bringing years of public relations agency experience into the classroom, Bruhn creates real-world situations that prepare her students for top internships and positions globally. She also serves as Associate Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Kelly Bruhn

Associate Professor, Public Relations

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

Dr. Bruhn teaches undergraduate courses in public relations collateral materials, PR Campaigns, and research. She also teaches courses in the Master of Communication Leadership (MCL) program. Prior to joining the Drake faculty, Bruhn created award-winning campaigns for Verizon Wireless and various nonprofit organizations. Bringing years of public relations agency experience into the classroom, Bruhn creates real-world situations that prepare her students for top internships and positions globally. She also serves as Associate Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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

Prior to joining the SJMC faculty, 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 non-profit arts organization, to one of the world’s largest agricultural seed companies. Henry has won many awards for her work – including Addys, Tellys, NAMAs and CASE Awards – but she is most proud of the awards won by her students – including American Advertising Awards and the Broadcast Education Association International Festival of Media Arts Best of Festival Award.

Henry received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Drake, and a Master of Science in Mass Communication from Miami University. Her research interests include multimedia pedagogy, advertising in athletics (especially the Super Bowl), and curriculum development.

Sandy Henry

Professor

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

Prior to joining the SJMC faculty, 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 non-profit arts organization, to one of the world’s largest agricultural seed companies. Henry has won many awards for her work – including Addys, Tellys, NAMAs and CASE Awards – but she is most proud of the awards won by her students – including American Advertising Awards and the Broadcast Education Association International Festival of Media Arts Best of Festival Award.

Henry received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Drake, and a Master of Science in Mass Communication from Miami University. Her research interests include multimedia pedagogy, advertising in athletics (especially the Super Bowl), and curriculum development.

Jeff Inman

Associate Professor

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

Jeff Inman has spent the last 15 years documenting the ever-morphing world of pop culture. He’s been the Arts and Entertainment Editor at three alternative newsweeklies, starting with the Des Moines-based Cityview and ending with the Las Vegas Weekly. In between, he helped launch the Sin City music monthly Noise, received numerous accolades from the Nevada and Utah Press Associations, including Utah’s 2001 Media and Criticism Writer of the Year, and covered the Strip and surrounding city for Billboard and Rolling Stone.

Returning to Iowa in late 2001, Jeff started freelancing for numerous magazines before getting a master’s degree in education from Drake in 2008. He joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as an adjunct professor in 2006.

Jeff Inman

Associate Professor

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

Jeff Inman has spent the last 15 years documenting the ever-morphing world of pop culture. He’s been the Arts and Entertainment Editor at three alternative newsweeklies, starting with the Des Moines-based Cityview and ending with the Las Vegas Weekly. In between, he helped launch the Sin City music monthly Noise, received numerous accolades from the Nevada and Utah Press Associations, including Utah’s 2001 Media and Criticism Writer of the Year, and covered the Strip and surrounding city for Billboard and Rolling Stone.

Returning to Iowa in late 2001, Jeff started freelancing for numerous magazines before getting a master’s degree in education from Drake in 2008. He joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as an adjunct professor in 2006.

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, Public Relations

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

Professor Konfrst teaches public relations & strategic political communication courses at Drake. Prior to joining the journalism faculty in 2013, Konfrst worked in public relations for 20 years, most recently 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. Konfrst also has experience in agency public relations, providing counsel for clients in economic development, agriculture, and business.

Konfrst is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Drake University in public relations. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Drake, where she was selected to join the Pi Alpha Alpha honor society. In 2010, she was honored as a member of The Des Moines Business Record’s “40 Under 40” class of community leaders. Her research interests include the intersection of politics and public relations, particularly with regard to the effectiveness of evolving media relations strategies.

Jennifer Glover Konfrst

Assistant Professor, Public Relations

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

Professor Konfrst teaches public relations & strategic political communication courses at Drake. Prior to joining the journalism faculty in 2013, Konfrst worked in public relations for 20 years, most recently 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. Konfrst also has experience in agency public relations, providing counsel for clients in economic development, agriculture, and business.

Konfrst is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Drake University in public relations. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Drake, where she was selected to join the Pi Alpha Alpha honor society. In 2010, she was honored as a member of The Des Moines Business Record’s “40 Under 40” class of community leaders. Her research interests include the intersection of politics and public relations, particularly with regard to the effectiveness of evolving media relations strategies.

Dorothy Pisarski

Associate Professor, Advertising

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

Pisarski earned a BS in marketing/management from Siena College, Albany NY, and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. 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.

The ad world continues to change rapidly. One of the ways Pisarski tries to keep up is by using and analyzing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Periscope, for their use and content. She is an advocate for international learning experiences, and since 2013 has led Drake students on travel seminars to Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Chile, and China. As the SJMC Faculty Senator, she is the go-to person for university policy questions. She also sits on the JTerm Task Force, the Ad Hoc General Education Committee, and the Global and International Programs Academic Council. Pisarski is a certified USSF soccer referee who officiates league and tournament matches during the outdoor season.

Dorothy Pisarski

Associate Professor, Advertising

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

Pisarski earned a BS in marketing/management from Siena College, Albany NY, and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. 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.

The ad world continues to change rapidly. One of the ways Pisarski tries to keep up is by using and analyzing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Periscope, for their use and content. She is an advocate for international learning experiences, and since 2013 has led Drake students on travel seminars to Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Chile, and China. As the SJMC Faculty Senator, she is the go-to person for university policy questions. She also sits on the JTerm Task Force, the Ad Hoc General Education Committee, and the Global and International Programs Academic Council. Pisarski is a certified USSF soccer referee who officiates league and tournament matches during the outdoor season.

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

Chris Snider joined Drake University full-time in 2010 after spending three years as an adjunct instructor. Chris teaches classes in web design, social media strategy, as well as multimedia and digital strategy. His research topics include smartphone video and social media. In addition to teaching at Drake, he teaches digital media workshops in Des Moines.

He moved to Des Moines in 2005 to work as editor of Juice magazine, a weekly publication for readers age 25-34. In 2007, he became assistant managing editor for digital and innovation at the Des Moines Register. At the Register, Chris was a leader in how media companies use social media, live content and mobile. He was named the top digital editor in the Gannett company in 2008, and he was named to Presstime Magazine’s 20 under 40 list the same year.

Chris Snider

Associate Professor

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

Chris Snider joined Drake University full-time in 2010 after spending three years as an adjunct instructor. Chris teaches classes in web design, social media strategy, as well as multimedia and digital strategy. His research topics include smartphone video and social media. In addition to teaching at Drake, he teaches digital media workshops in Des Moines.

He moved to Des Moines in 2005 to work as editor of Juice magazine, a weekly publication for readers age 25-34. In 2007, he became assistant managing editor for digital and innovation at the Des Moines Register. At the Register, Chris was a leader in how media companies use social media, live content and mobile. He was named the top digital editor in the Gannett company in 2008, and he was named to Presstime Magazine’s 20 under 40 list the same year.

Catherine M. Staub

Associate Professor; Peggy Fisher and Larry Stelter Chair of Magazine Journalism

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

Dr. Staub joined the SJMC faculty in 2015 and teaches classes in the Magazine Media program and in the School’s Master of Communication Leadership program. She is the founder and CEO of Lexicon Content Marketing, a Des Moines firm that provides its clients with communications, marketing, PR, 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. She has earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership, an Ed.S. in education, an M.A. in journalism and a B.S.E. in English and Education, all from Drake.

Catherine M. Staub

Associate Professor; Peggy Fisher and Larry Stelter Chair of Magazine Journalism

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

Dr. Staub joined the SJMC faculty in 2015 and teaches classes in the Magazine Media program and in the School’s Master of Communication Leadership program. She is the founder and CEO of Lexicon Content Marketing, a Des Moines firm that provides its clients with communications, marketing, PR, 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. She has earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership, an Ed.S. in education, an M.A. in journalism and a B.S.E. in English and Education, all from Drake.

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

Professor Van Wyke graduated from Drake in 1985 with a degree in news-editorial journalism. A college internship at The Des Moines Register turned into an 11-year career there, as reporter, copy editor, and an assistant city editor.

In December 1996, she received her master’s degree in education from Drake and joined Drake’s staff as JMC internship coordinator in February 1997. She has been teaching full-time since 2004 and also serves as the adviser 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.

Jill Van Wyke

Associate Professor, News

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

Professor Van Wyke graduated from Drake in 1985 with a degree in news-editorial journalism. A college internship at The Des Moines Register turned into an 11-year career there, as reporter, copy editor, and an assistant city editor.

In December 1996, she received her master’s degree in education from Drake and joined Drake’s staff as JMC internship coordinator in February 1997. She has been teaching full-time since 2004 and also serves as the adviser 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.

Back to: Master of Arts in Communication

Lifelong Learning for a Lifetime of Success

By submitting this form, I understand that Drake University may email me or contact me via telephone, pre-recorded messages, and/or text messages about educational services at the phone number(s) provided, including a wireless number, using an automated technology. I also understand that consent is not a condition of enrollment.