Each year, the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication invites media professionals, experts, and scholars to campus to speak with our students. These visitors represent various media industries and professions. They visit classes and meet with students and faculty in small groups and individually.

2023-2024 Visitors

Brandee Britt
October 2023
Britt is the Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy at University of Iowa Athletics. She started with the University of Iowa Athletics as a communications intern when she was a student and has worked her way up to her current position.

Ty Rushing
October 2023
Rushing is the senior editor of Iowa Starting Line, a member of the Courier Newsroom network. Their mission is to protect and strengthen democracy through credible, fact-based journalism that seeks to create a more informed, engaged, and representative America.

Noah Eagle
September 2023
Noah Eagle is a play-by-play broadcaster for NBC Sports' Big Ten Saturday Night and Big Ten Basketball on Peacock, the Tennis Channel and the NFL on Nickelodeon.

Todd Blackledge
September 2023
Todd Blackledge is a former American football quarterback in both the NCAA and National Football League (NFL). Blackledge is a college football television broadcaster, working for ABC Sports from 1994 through 1998, for CBS Sports from 1999 to 2005, ESPN from 2006 through January 2023, and NBC since February 2023.

Jelani Cobb
September 2023
McGranahan Lecturer
Dean of Colombia Journalism School
Jelani Cobb is a staff writer at The New Yorker, writing on race, history, justice, politics, and democracy, as well as Columbia University’s Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism and next Dean of Columbia Journalism School. He co-edited The Matter of Black Lives, a collection of The New Yorker’s most ground-breaking writing on Black history and culture in America, featuring the work of legendary writers like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison.

2022-2023 Visitors

Wayne Drehs
April 2023
Award-winning storyteller, team builder, digital communications expert
Hired as one of the first feature writers at ESPN.com, with the directive to produce engaging, impactful content. Multiple award-winning stories played a key role in the growth of ESPN’s longform journalism team while helping ESPN.com blossom from ESPN TV’s sidekick to the No. 1 ranked sports site in the world. In addition to ESPN.com, wrote for ESPN Magazine and reported/produced award-winning pieces for ESPN Television’s SportsCenter, E:60 and Outside the Lines.

Brian Ross
April 2023
Host, Brian Ross Investigates, Law&Crime
From his first full-time job at KWWL, Ross moved on to work for WCKT-TV in Miami and WKYC-TV in Cleveland, before joining NBC News in New York City. From 1975 to 1994 he served as a correspondent for NBC News, and from 1994 to 2018 he was chief investigative correspondent for ABC News. He reported extensively for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, 20/20, and Good Morning America. He current hosts Brian Ross Investigates on the Law & Crime network.

Caitlin Carlson, Kamp Media Law Scholar
April 2023
Associate Professor, Communication and Media, Seattle University
Carlson's primary research interests are in media law and policy as they pertain to new media, freedom of expression and social justice. Her current work focuses on hate speech. She is also interested in women’s freedom of expression, including women’s press freedom and women’s media ownership. She is the author of the book “Hate Speech,” which was published by MIT Press in 2021.

Isaiah Scales
March 2023
Senior Manager, Marketing Operations - Disney Entertainment
Scales started his career as an intern for Fox Sports talk show ‘The Best Damn Sports Show Period’ featuring fellow Hawkeye, Tom Arnold. Isaiah became a versatile player within Fox. Before transitioning into management, Isaiah was an Assistant Director for live Fox programming. 

Maxwell Bernstein
November 2022
Fermilab and SQMS Editor
Bernstein is the Editor for Fermilab’s Superconducting Quantum Materials and System (SQMS) Center. Read more here

Barbara Rodriguez
October 2022
State Politics and Voting Reporter, The 19th 
Rodriguez is a state politics and voting rights reporter with The 19th. Before that, she was a politics reporter at the Des Moines Register and The Associated Press. Read more about her and her work here.

Thomas Horky
September 2022
Professor of Sport Communication, Macromedia University in Hamburg
Horky has been an invited lecturer in South Africa, China, and all over Europe. In 2018, he taught classes related to the 2018 World Cup as a visiting lecturer at the University of Indiana. He served as the Lynn and Dana Roper Visiting Professor in Sports Journalism at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln from August to October of 2022. 

2021-2022 Visitors

Don Heider
April 2022
McGranahan Lecturer
Santa Clara University
Don Heider is the chief executive of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics as well as the John Courtney Murry, S.J. University Professor of Social Ethics at Santa Clara University. Heider began his career as a TV journalist and received five Emmy awards for this work. He is the author or editor of seven books including a A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics and Ethics for a Digital Age, Volumes 1 and 2. 

Mary Mathis
April 2022
Freelance Audio and Photo Journalist
Mathis is the creator and reporter for the independent podcast Parks which was recently featured on Apple Podcasts. She also currently fact-checks at Spotify Podcasts. She's worked as an audio producer and fact-checker for shows like American Prodigies and American Diagnosis. As a photographer, she freelances in Chicago for The New York Times and The Washington Post, and has covered everything from sensitive portraiture to the aftermath of shootings. Learn more about Mary here.

Genevieve Trainor
February 2022
Arts Editor, Little Village
Trainor has prioritized engaging diverse perspectives in cultural conversation. Several years in marketing at Bankers Advertising reinforced a passion and skill for reaching people where they are and driving dialogue. Genevieve has a bachelor’s in English from the University of Iowa. Past projects have included Weird Cookies Poetry magazine; editorial work with One Squared Studios, 48 Hour Comic Project and Red Stylo Media; and volunteer work with various community arts organizations. Genevieve currently sits on the board of Public Space One and the Center for Afrofuturist Studies digital circle.

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.

2020-2021 Visitors

S. Craig Watkins
April 2021
McGranahan Lecturer
University of Texas School of Journalism and Media
S. Craig Watkins is the Ernest M. Sharpe Centennial Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also the founding director of the Institute for Media Innovation, a new hub for research and design located in the Moody College of Communication. Prof. Watkins' work centers on Black and Latinx youth cultures and the media, particularly innovative uses of media technologies. He is the author of five books and numerous refereed articles on these topics. He was a 2009 Fellow at Stanford University's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and his work has been supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. 

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

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.

2019-2020 Visitors

Barbie Zelizer
March 2020
McGranahan Lecturer
Raymond Williams Professor of Communication, Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Center for Media at Risk, University of Pennsylvania
Barbie Zelizer is a former journalist known for her work on journalism, culture, memory and images. She has authored/edited fourteen books and over 150 articles/essays. Coeditor of Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, she is past President of the International Communication Association.

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.

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.

2019-2018 Visitors

Michael Schudson
April 2019
McGranahan Lecturer
Columbia Journalism School
Michael Schudson has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of California, San Diego and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of seven books and co-editor of three others. He is the recipient of a number of honors; has been a Guggenheim fellow, a resident fellow and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellow.

Michael Schudson
April 2019
Professor of Journalism
Michael Schudson is a professor of journalism in the graduate school of journalism of Columbia University He is an accomplished author who has has published many books. Schudson has also been published in academic and general-interest journals.

Maudlyne Ihejirika
October 2018
Multimedia Journalist Chicago Sun-Times
Maudlyne Ihejirika is an award-winning, longtime Chicago Sun-Times Reporter and Columnist, with a career spanning Journalism, Public Relations and Government.

2018-2017 Visitors

Sarah Banet-Weiser
April 2018
McGranahan Lecturer
London School of Economics and Political Science's Media and Communication
Sarah Banet-Weiser is a successful academic and author. She is a professor and current Head of the London School of Economics and Political Science's Media and Communication Department.

2017-2016 Visitors

Janice Radway
April 2017
McGranahan Lecturer
Academic and Author
Janice Radway is an American literary and cultural studies scholar. She has published multiple books and is currently the Walter Dill Scott Professor of Communication Studies and a professor of American studies and gender studies within the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.