Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Professor and CLAS Collegiate Scholar
Easton Professor of Research
Melissa studies digital and social media, international communication, and news media literacy. Melissa has a particular interest in media produced in and about Africa and has conducted research in Kenya, Ghana, and Burundi. She is currently working on research about misinformation and media literacy in Kenya. Melissa teaches courses that focus on social and digital media for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Tessa Adams is a Ph.D. student interested in race and representation in film and television. Adams is a critical-cultural scholar particularly interested in the intersections of racism, sexism, and classism in “woke” horror productions.
Easton Graduate Teaching Fellow
Munachim Amah is a Ph.D. candidate and teaching assistant in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is broadly interested in journalism studies and economic development, with a more specific interest in language use in journalism, journalism practice, and representation of poverty in news media.
Mir is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa, whose research interest is in journalism studies, especially journalism ethics.
Dan’s primary research interests focus on social and cultural approaches to the study of news, particularly news narratives, collective memory, professional boundary work and the media/terrorism interface.
Stephen J. Berry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter, specializes in investigative reporting. His book, Watchdog Journalism: The Art of Investigative Reporting (Oxford University Press), was released in July 2008. He is now conducting research on liberal newspaper editors in the South during the civil rights movement for his second book. He is co-founder, senior advisor and the former interim executive director-editor of The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, a non-profit organization that publishes the online news site, IowaWatch.org. The Iowa Center is dedicated to collaborating with other news organizations to produce in-depth explanatory and investigative projects on serious public affairs issues confronting Iowans. During his tenure as editor, he supervised and edited more than 100 student-produced investigative or explanatory projects for IowaWatch.
Berry's research is in the area of African American Cultural Criticism. She is developing a theory called "racialism," which involves the influence of the media on African American images and messages. She is published widely in academic circles with numerous articles based on her research in the area of media, youth, and popular culture. Her two most recent nonfiction projects, The Historical Dictionary of African American Film (Scarecrow Press, 2005) and The 50 Most Influential Black Films (Citadel, 2001) are co-authored with her brother S. Torriano Berry, a professor in film at Howard University in Washington , DC. She also co-edited the book Mediated Messages and African-American Culture: Contemporary Issues (Sage, 1996), which won the Meyers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America in 1997.
Katy Biddle is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa. Katy's research interests lie at the intersection of television and social media.
Rachelle has taught a variety of MASC classes since 2017. While she enjoys the study of communication and public speaking, the most rewarding aspect of teaching in the MASC program is seeing those intersections reflected in the lives and practice of the students.
Stephen G. Bloom
Stephen G. Bloom's current work focuses on long-form nonfiction, oral history, and online narrative journalism. He teaches magazine reporting and writing, and media ethics in a digital age. Bloom was named the 2020 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award by the Society of Professional Journalists.
Lei Chen is a Ph.D. student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His research interests fall in digital media, narrative journalism, and online deliberation.
Professor Pamela Creedon was the first woman hired as director of School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa in 2002. After retiring from Iowa in 2012, she continued her academic career in the United Arab Emirates and retired as the Acting Dean of ZU's College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University. Creedon started her academic career after 15 years in the public relations profession at The Ohio State University School of Journalism and later was Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University.
Michael Davis is a Ph.D. candidate at SJMC. He has taught Reporting and Writing and Multimedia Storytelling for the department.
Associate Director - Financial Analysis
David Dowling’s work in digital media and journalism studies centers on developments in publishing industries that drive markets and cultural production. The impact of shifts in online culture and digital publishing industries on multimedia narrative is the focus of Immersive Longform Storytelling: Media, Technology, Audience (2019). This research on digital journalism’s pivot toward increasingly immersive forms—from podcasts to 360/VR and interactive documentaries—provides the foundation in interactive news media for The Gamification of Digital Journalism: Innovation in Journalistic Storytelling (2021), his ninth solo-authored book. Also extending from the 2019 book are studies on podcasting that include two award-winning articles (Dowling & Miller 2019; Fox, Dowling, & Miller 2020) and a current book project on the rise of audio reporting in the digital age.
Frank Durham’s research interests include journalism history and media framing analysis. Prior to completing his doctorate, he worked in strategic communications. He teaches courses in journalism history, strategic communication, and cultural satire. Frank Durham is a member of the University Faculty Senate, a member of the University Faculty Council, a member of the Senate Committee on Academic Values, and a founding participant in the University Office of Teaching and Learning Committee’s large lecture development program. He won the 2011-2012 Collegiate Teaching Award in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa.
Meenakshi Gigi Durham
Meenakshi Gigi Durham is a distinguished scholar, teacher, and writer whose work centers on media and the politics of the body. Her research emphasizes issues of gender, sexuality, race, youth cultures, and sexual violence. She holds a joint appointment in Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies and was Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 2017-2019.
Director of Graduate Studies
Brian studies media work within global digital cultures. His research looks at how and why people create media content in the digital era. He has a particular interest in media produced within and about Africa. Brian has professional experience as a software trainer, instructional technologist, and video producer. His documentary 10 Days in Malawi was screened at 11 film festivals and won 8 awards.
John Erickson's research interests are in the history of mass communications in the United States, specifically the intellectual history of inquiry into news and the cultural history of reporting. He also is researching the social meaning of news. He teaches news reporting and writing, depth and specialized reporting, news editing, historical and cultural foundations of communication, history of communications in the United States, social meanings of the news, and mass communication and modern society.
Kylah’s research interests lie at the intersection of political communication, environmental communication, and strategic communication. She studies the roles of media and advocacy in politics and policy making. She is especially interested in water and energy issues, particularly how scientific information is used and discussed. Currently she is researching the role of media and advocacy in Iowa environmental and agricultural policy making. Additional projects include examinations of civic engagement, advocacy organizations, community newspapers, and alternative media and their influence in politics.
Event Management Certificate Internship Coordinator
Tracy’s story began in the world of business as she grew up in a family of small business entrepreneurs. Tracy followed in those footsteps and received a MBA from Thunderbird in Glendale, Arizona. She has worked in Fortune 500 companies, private companies, and been an independent business consultant and owner.
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
Abubakar is a graduate student at the University of Iowa with interest in the future of newsrooms in a post-pandemic world.
Bruce Japsen specializes in writing and communicating about healthcare. Japsen writes about healthcare for Forbes and is the author of “Inside Obamacare: From Barack and Michelle to The Affordable Care Act.”
John Kimmich Javier
Photographing the diversity of culture and history has led John Kimmich Javier from pre-Columbian civilizations in Central America to European and Islamic civilizations in Spain. Assignments have taken him to Spain to photograph architecture, to Egypt to document an ancient ceramist community, and to Sweden to photograph palace interiors.
Visiting Associate Professor
Brett comes to UI after teaching at the Missouri School of Journalism from 2015 to 2022. Brett received his MA from UI SJMC in 2011, and his PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota in 2015. His research and teaching focus on media law, media ethics, media sociology, and the disruptive forces of digital technology on all of these fields. Brett is also a JD candidate at the UI College of Law, with his degree expected in spring 2024.
Patrick is Ph.D. student and graduate instructor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He comes from nearly a decade of teaching high school journalism and English, and a decade of being an adjunct professor in journalism and media studies at Marquette University (where he received both my bachelor's and master's degrees).
Administrative Services Coordinator
Annie specializes in storytelling for strategic communication and milestone events. She currently serves as Vice President, Senior Creative Director at brand experience agency, August Jackson.
Equipment Checkout Manager - Production Unit
Instructional Service Manager - Production Unit
Ugochukwu Madu is a doctoral student in The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of Iowa, with a concentration on Health Communication. He is seeking scientific ways of combating Health Misinformation using a multi-methodological approach. He is open to scholarly collaborations.
Lillian’s career has been dedicated to newswriting for contemporary audiences. She joined the University of Iowa faculty in January 2016 after previous teaching assignments at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. A longtime journalist in Kansas and Oklahoma, Lillian served 15 years in the newspaper industry, most recently at the Wichita Eagle. She worked as both a copy editor and a reporter covering government, business, health care and higher education. She holds a bachelor of science degree from Kansas State University and a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Frankline Matanji is a Ph.D. student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a specialization in international/development studies. Frankline’s research interest ranges from the empowering role of participatory communication for directed social change, international communication, media influences on people’s attitude and engagement and, digital media use especially in the Global South.
Don has spent his career immersed in arts, entertainment and popular culture. He was the popular music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Austin American-Statesman; a columnist, reviewer and feature writer for Rolling Stone; and a frequent music and book reviewer for a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites. His work has appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post and the Oxford American to TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly and Salon.com. He has also written three books and contributed to many others.
Charles Munro has been a journalist, manager, industry consultant and educator, for over 30 years. He started as a television trainee news writer at WXYZ in Detroit, and moved into producing and after eight years and two Emmy awards for news coverage. A promotion to Assistant News Director took him to WABC-TV in New York City. After ten years with ABC and aspiring to lead a TV newsroom he became News Director WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.
Anna Newnum is the Academic Advisor for Journalism & Mass Communication Majors. The first time she set foot on campus was as a Ph.D. student in English. She was previously a undergraduate advisor for the department of English and has worked as a writing tutor. She’s taught literature and composition courses at both the University of Iowa and Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH.
Thomas’s primarily interest lies in sports coverage within magazines, newspapers, websites, video games, and videos. During his childhood, Thomas would sometimes spend summer at work with his father, who was also an academic. To pass time, he would spend time leafing through bound copies of old Sports Illustrated magazines. He found himself fascinated in the kinds of stories that were told about great athlete and memorable games. Additionally, he found that there were innumerable ways to tell these stories, yet most conformed to similar patterns.
Administrative Services Specialist
Polumbaum joined the Iowa faculty in 1989 and became professor emerita in mid-2015. She was one of the first Western scholars to focus on journalism and media in mainland China. She continues to write and publish on many subjects; her forthcoming book All Available Light: The Life and Legacy of Photographer Ted Polumbaum (McFarland Press, fall 2021) relates the story of her social activist photojournalist father, whose defiance of the House Committee on Un-American Activities as a young wire service reporter compelled him to take up a new, ultimately successful career behind the camera. Judy has a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, a master’s from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a doctorate in communication from Stanford University.
Kevin's area of interest is data and information visualization within experiential, participatory, and interactive contexts utilizing web technologies, new technologies, and physical pieces. Subjects he likes to explore in these works include science communication to the public; pop culture & Americana (baseball cards being at the forefront of this inquiry); and heftier subjects such as time and mortality.
University Shared Services
Instructional Service Specialist - Production Unit
Alex Scott’s research is focused on non-fiction practices of visual communication. He analyzes the construction of social difference through visual representation and seeks to illuminate the material processes that engender them. He holds a Ph.D. in Journalism and Media from The University of Texas at Austin.
Recruitment, Internship, and Placement Coordinator
Jane Singer is Professor of Entrepreneurial Journalism at City University London, where she is continuing her teaching and research into journalistic innovation. At Iowa, she most recently taught undergraduate classes in writing, ethics and political journalism, as well as graduate courses on social science theory and the changing media landscape.
Sujatha Sosale studies media and social change in Global South countries, with a focus on South Asia, Southeast Asia and parts of Africa, especially areas with a history of Anglophone and Francophone colonization. Her publications include research on news and public affairs reporting about contemporary development, trade agreements in the news, national identity and news discourse at critical historical junctures, the political economy of the development of media technologies in colonial contexts, and media technology use in contemporary urban, postcolonial contexts. Her current research examines the integration of mobile and electronic media in the daily lives of communities in rural South India.
Associate Professor of Instruction
Event Management Certificate Coordinator
Easton Professor of Teaching
Heather Spangler is interested in helping brands of all types meet their goals through strategic communications, especially through events, social media, and written communications. A Hawkeye since birth, Heather has worked as a newspaper reporter and spent a decade working in strategic communications, event management, and alumni relations in higher education. In addition to her teaching duties as a lecturer in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Heather coordinates the University of Iowa’s Certificate in Event Management.
Kenneth Starck's research interests are in intercultural journalism, the journalistic process, and press responsibility. He teaches international communication, journalistic reporting and writing, and intercultural journalism courses.
Rebekah is Ph.D. student in mass communication focusing her research on strategic messaging and issues management. She is particularly interested in the dynamics at play in the institutional response to crises common to higher education.
Associate Professor of Instruction
Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy Certificate Co-Director
Jenifer Vick, associate professor of instruction and co-director of the Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy Certificate, came to the University of Iowa in 2016. The newly-created program combines two related certificates—Nonprofit Management and Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication. Most nonprofits are small to medium in size and require professionals be well-versed in multiple functions, so providing this wider breadth of knowledge is important to UI students who will soon be utilizing those skills on the job.
Travis's research and teaching center on sport, media, and U.S. culture. I am especially interested in film and television, media industries, documentary, and how understandings of "high" and "low" culture figure into these topics.
Zhiying (Jenny) Xu is currently a Ph.D. student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her research interests lie in the media effect/influences of social media usages.
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Rachel’s research investigates the role of social media and other user-generated digital content in health and wellness. Overall, the goal behind her research is to apply mass communication theory to improve health outcomes.
Student Success and Engagement Coordinator
Rachel Fisher holds a MA in Communication Studies with an emphasis in corporate communication. Rachel firmly believes that each person can make THE difference in communication and organizational growth. Rachel currently provides leadership, motivation and marketing training to organizations and corporations around the United States. Her research deals with employee motivation and engagement. Rachel is currently pursuing her PhD in Leadership & Change.
Belle DuChene is an award-winning content producer with a background in public relations, journalism, digital marketing, talent management, and affiliate commerce writing. She currently owns an award-winning content creation agency where she represents more than 100 midwest-based influencers.
Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy Certificate
Angela Joens joined the faculty as an adjunct instructor in August 2023. She has over 30 years of fundraising experience. She is also a non-profit consultant, an executive coach, and speaks nationally on topics related to stewardship, development and leadership. She has been featured in several industry publications. Joens is a proud alumnus of the University of Iowa, earned her MPA from Iowa State University, and an Executive Coaching Certificate from UC Davis.
Julie Kraft has an extensive background with the media, having worked in television, radio, management and TV consultation for many years. She currently consults and coaches executives, develops strategic communication plans, advises on media relations, teaches at the university level, and works with various clients on marketing, organizational development, and crisis communication.
Mark W. Tatge is CEO and founder of Deadline Media, a Chicago-based firm that creates specialized content and conducts survey research. Tatge has taught for more than a decade, focusing his efforts on multimedia storytelling and how to write intelligently about business topics.
Bingbing’s current research areas include media effects, political communication, health, and science communication. The primary goal of her research is to explore how strategic media messages bolster healthy social practices in the following four aspects: encouraging prosocial behaviors, promoting healthy practice, increasing public understanding of science, and fostering democratic engagement.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Director of Online Master’s in Strategic Communication
Joanna Krajewski holds a PhD in Mass Communication, emphasis in Environmental Risk Communication, an MPH in Community and Behavioral Health, and a BA in Communication Studies, all from the University of Iowa. Krajewski worked previously as a professor of and director of strategic communication at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. As an educator, she hopes to inspire students to create communication campaigns that are effective and help make a positive difference in the world.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Sang Jung Kim
Eric's been an adjunct for the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication since 2013, teaching Digital Strategic Communication, Digital Analytics for Strategic Communication, and Copywriting for Strategic Communication.
Sabena Abdul Raheem