Each year, the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication invites a number of visitors from the field to campus to speak with our students. Our list of visiting professionals represents a variety of the types of careers that are available in the field for students to learn and inquire about.

2021 Visiting Professionals

Alison Baker Jensen
November 2021
Attorney Guardian ad Litem at The Law Office of Alison B. Jensen
Jensen started her career in public relations at a global agency, specializing in youth-focused non-profit work. Channeling her interest in writing and advocacy on behalf of youth, she then went on to attend law school 
at the University of Colorado in Boulder with the aim of representing children and young people as a Guardian ad litem (“GAL”). Following law school, she was in London for several years and was the communications and development manager for a non-profit providing legal support to young people in difficulty. Now in Denver, Jensen has been practicing as a GAL for over seven years. She runs her own multi-disciplinary law firm, 
representing the best interests of child clients.

Shireen Ahmed
October 2021
Writer, Public Speaker and Award-Winning Sports Activist
Ahmed is an industry expert in Muslim women in sports. She is an Inclusion and Diversity consultant. She is also an athlete, advocate, community organizer, and works with Youth of Colour on empowerment projects and is an avid sports coach and mentor. Shireen attended the University of Toronto. She is a regular contributor to TSN, Muslimah Media Watch and a former Global Sports Correspondent for Safe World For Women and Muslim Women in Sports website. Learn more here.

Alison Overholt
February 2021
Senior Vice President, Multiplatform Storytelling and Journalism, ESPN
Alison Overholt is Senior Vice President, Multiplatform Storytelling and Journalism for ESPN. She oversees all of ESPN's storytelling, including E:60 and The Daily Podcast. In 2016, Overholt became the first female editor-in-chief of a national sports magazine when she was promoted to run ESPN The Magazine. In 2018, she served as the lead executive for ESPN's annual awards show, The ESPYS. Overholt has received numerous awards for her roles as an executive, editor, and writer. 
Learn more about Ms. Overholt.

Seth Wickersham
February 2021
Senior Writer, ESPN
Seth Wickersham is a senior reporter for ESPN producing long form enterprise and investigative work on the National Football League. His work has been featured on Emmy-award winning programs E:60 and Outside the Lines. Wickersham has profiled legends such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Bill Belichick. Wickersham has won awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the Pro Football Writers Association, and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 2018.
Learn more about Mr. Wickersham.

André Perry
March 2021
Executive Director, Englert Theater (Iowa City)
André Perry is the executive director of the Englert Theater in Iowa City. He is also cofounder of both the Mission Creek and Witching Hour Festivals. An MFA graduate from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program, he is the author of the essay collection "Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now." He writes about race, racism, homophobia, self-discovery, and identity. Perry has been profiled in the Press-Citizen and the Gazette

2020 Visiting Professionals

Jamelle Bouie 
October 2020
Opinion columnist for The New York Times, political analyst for CBS News
Jamelle Bouie is an opinion columnist for The New York Times and a political analyst for CBS News, often appearing on Face the Nation. He extensively covers race politics in America and has been labeled as a "defining commentator" during the Trump administration. He was formerly the chief political correspondent for Slate magazine and was named to Forbes' "30 Under 30: Media" list in 2015.

Shereen Marisol Meraji
September 2020
Co-Host & Senior Producer, NPR's "Code Switch"
Shereen Marison Meraji is a journalist and podcast host of the critically acclaimed "Code Switch", hosted by NPR. Meraji joined NPR in 2016 to host "Code Switch", a podcast covering race and cultural issues. It's one of NPR's top-rated podcasts. Meraji has won journalism awards from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2015 and 2016. 

Barbara Kinney 
January 2020
Photojournalist, former personal White House photographer for President Clinton
Barbara Kinney is a photojournalist whose work has appeared in TIME, Life, and American Photo. In 1996, Kinney won first prize in the World Press Photo Foundation's Photo Contest, People in the News. For six years, she was the personal photographer for President Bill Clinton and was the official photographer for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. She is currently a photographer at Emerson Collective.

2019 Visiting Professionals

Marcus Leshock
October 2019
WGN Morning News Trending News Anchor and feature reporter
Marcus Leshock is an Emmy-winning journalist and news anchor who joined WGN-TV in 2009. His "Trending News Segment" on WGN Morning News collects stories and videos being shared online while his travel segment and podcast "Coastin' the Country" highlights the best rollercoasters and amusement parks in America.

Seung Min Kim
October 2019
White House correspondent at The Washington Post
Seung Min Kim is a White House correspondent at The Washington Post and provides political commentary for CNN. After graduating from the University of Iowa's School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2007, Kim joined USA Today as a reporter. She now covers President Trump's relationship relationship with Capitol Hill.