College of Journalism and Mass Communications 2020 Annual Report
Dean & Professor
What a year! 2020 was filled with challenges and incredible accomplishments.
Our students covered the Iowa Caucuses and tracked political news coverage. They covered Covid-19 for the New York Times and used traffic patterns to provide local insight on the pandemic. They covered Husker Sports, even when they couldn’t attend the games. They dove even deeper into understanding climate change and received national attention for their coverage of the climate crisis. They worked on advertising and public relations campaigns for more than 50 university partners, community businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
Hundreds of stories were distributed to news organizations across the state through the Nebraska News Service, and our award cabinets are once again busting at the hinges with plaques and trophies for outstanding student work.
We moved all of our classes online in the middle of the spring semester, supported almost 60 students with paid internships over the summer and completely reorganized Andersen Hall to create a safe environment for the fall.
While we couldn’t study abroad, we collaborated with students from Oman in the global news class and are working to revamp Global Eyewitness for future semesters.
Chris Graves joined the college in August 2020 as an assistant professor in journalism.
Graves is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who held positions at the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio before joining the college.Meet Chris
Jessica Walsh joined the college in January 2020 as an assistant professor in journalism.
Walsh held positions at The Associated Press, the Patriot Ledger and the Boston Herald before joining the college.Meet Jessica
Election 2020: Student CoverageStudents gain real-world experience in American democracy
Throughout 2020, College of Mass Communications and Journalism students had the opportunity to experience the process of American democracy in a few different ways.
The first opportunity was in the beginning of February when twelve students traveled to Iowa to report on the caucuses. They made connections with news organizations, photographers and multimedia journalists from all over the country and world. CoJMC faculty members Jill Martin, Olga Pierce and John Shrader accompanied the students.
Welcome to Andersen HallRenovation creates welcoming spaces for students
This spring, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications will cut the ribbon on a renovation of the lobby to Andersen Hall, the college’s home.
Andersen Hall was almost entirely renovated in 2001 when the University decided to turn the old Security Mutual Life building on Lincoln’s Centennial Mall into the home of the CoJMC.
One area that was not updated during the 2001 renovation was the lobby. Dark wood veneer, marble trim and low ceilings were left in place.
When Shari Veil assumed the role of dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications in July 2020, she was determined to continue hosting alumni events despite the global pandemic.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communication launched a guest speaker program in July 2020 to bring alumni back to the classroom.
In August 2020, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications launched a year-long strategic planning process to lay the groundwork for the future.