Melissa Tully

Melissa Tully, Ph.D.

Interim Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Associate Professor
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.

Venise Berry

Venise Berry, Ph.D.

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.

Stephen Bloom

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.

David Dowling

David Dowling, Ph.D.

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

Frank Durham, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

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.

Gigi Durham

Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Ph.D.

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.

Brian Ekdale

Brian Ekdale, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director

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.

Kylah Hedding

Kylah Hedding, Ph.D.

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.

Tracy Hufford

Tracy Hufford, M.B.A.

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.


Angela Looney

Instructional Service Manager - Production Unit
Adjunct Instructor
Lillian Martell

Lillian Martell, M.A.

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.

Don McLeese

Don McLeese, M.A.

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

Charles Munro, M.A.

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.

Thomas Oates

Thomas Oates, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

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.

Kevin Ripka

Kevin Ripka

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.

Sujatha Sosale

Sujatha Sosale, Ph.D.

Sujatha Sosale is interested in media development and social change in Global South countries, with a focus on South Asia and the southern Indian Ocean Rim. She has published in the areas of 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 contexts. Her current research examines the development of mobile technologies in a rural region in South India.

Heather Spangler

Heather Spangler

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.

Jenifer Vick

Jenifer Vick

Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy Certificate Co-Director
Associate Professor of Instruction

Jenifer Vick, lecturer 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 Vogan

Travis Vogan, Ph.D.

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.

Rachel Young

Rachel Young, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Undergraduate Program Director

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.