CoJMC launches webzine focused on economic and community development

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 6:15am

The UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications published the first edition of Heartland Webzine on Oct. 29, 2021, focusing on women entrepreneurs in Nebraska.

Heartland Webzine is one of the programs in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications’ new Experience Lab. Working with faculty liaisons and professionals-in-residence, the Experience Lab offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in broadcasting, journalism, sports media or advertising and public relations while still in college. The webzine focuses on telling stories of economic and community development throughout Nebraska.

Four students participated in the inaugural semester of Heartland Webzine. Students spent the fall semester making contacts, conducting research and interviews and writing stories for the first edition. Each edition of Heartland Webzine will focus on a theme. The first edition is focused on Nebraska women entrepreneurs like Lyn Wineman, who founded Lincoln advertising agency KidGlov and Chevell Saunsoci, who founded the sports and athletic training startup, DVLP, in Omaha.

“These students really dug in during this first semester,” said Brian Hubbard, CoJMC assistant professor of practice and Heartland Webzine faculty liaison. “They developed the theme for our first edition and sought out amazing stories to tell about Nebraska.”

Students have also been working with local professionals to build the webzine. Derek Hernandez, brand manager for Mentor Collective and Randy Hawthorne, innovation director for Nelnet, helped students prepare for their roles.

In spring 2022, Gentri Shopp, talent development marketing coordinator for the Nebraska Office of Economic Development, will join Hernandez and Hawthrone. In addition to mentoring students, Shopp will facilitate the distribution of Heartland Webzine stories to the Nebraska economic development community.

The fall student participants are:

  • Kaitlynn Johnson, editor and student lead
  • Shreyoshi Ghosh, editor and graduate student lead
  • Lilliana Giesemann
  • Jordyn Senstock

The first edition of Heartland Webzine is available online at

“What these students have accomplished in just one semester is amazing,” said Jemalyn Griffin, assistant professor of practice and Experience Lab co-director. “Their work inspires me, and I’m confident it will inspire others to believe in the future of Nebraska.”

Student participants in Heartland Webzine talk at the launch on Oct. 29, 2021.
Student participants in Heartland Webzine talk at the launch on Oct. 29, 2021.