Dean's Update: May 2022

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 5:00pm

Dear Alumni and Friends,

I am excited to announce an incredible $755,000 gift from the Donald and Lorena Meier Foundation to help build a new three-set television studio and newsroom in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The gift is part of a multi-million-dollar commitment that will also establish four new endowed scholarship funds and expand and permanently endow 14 existing scholarship funds across the University of Nebraska.

I’m also pleased to share that Roy Lenwell Studios, home of 90.3 KRNU, has a fresh new look. Check out the studio makeover and learn how our beloved college radio station has evolved over the years under General Manager and Associate Professor Rick Alloway’s leadership.

Adding two online KRNU stations has greatly increased the hands-on-learning experiences for students like those in Assistant Professor Kelli Boling’s Social Justice, Human Rights and the Media class. The class recently launched a podcast series, “And Still We Rise,” examining the Nebraska prison system. You can help support career-launching student experiences like these by joining us for KRNU’s 50th Anniversary Party on June 11. We’ll have live music, food, cocktails and a whole lot of fun while we raise money to support college radio. 

More than 240 registrants, spanning over 50 disciplines and 25 universities and colleges took part in the “Tools and Training for Social Media Research” workshop offered by our new Public Insight Lab. Valerie Jones, Fred and Gladys Seaton Professor and Director of the Public Insight Lab, and Lisa PytlikZillig, Interim Director of the UNL Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium, were the workshop’s creators and moderators. 

Our advertising and public relations students and faculty are once again leading the field. Our Bateman Team won the PRSSA National Case Study Competition. Also, our National Student Advertising Competition Team took home second at districts, nine of the team members were inducted into the Alpha Delta Sigma Honor Society and Assistant Professor of Practice Kelli Britten was named the American Advertising Federation District 9 Advisor of the Year! And, just last week, the Lincoln chapter of the American Marketing Association awarded our students nine Prism Awards and three Sterling Awards.

Students from across the college were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Honor Society, awarded scholarships from the Omaha Press Club, named Chancellor’s Scholars, CoJMC Ambassadors and Peer Mentors, received the Howard and Jud Vann Student Leadership Award, won the Roper Sports Writing Competition and Grimes Memorial Competition and traveled to Kansas City to learn about sports industry legends as part of the “Press Box” learning community. This weekend, almost 200 CoJMC grads will cross the stages at Pinnacle Bank Arena and Memorial Stadium during the spring graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies.

While I love sharing all the new and exciting opportunities at CoJMC, none of it would be possible without the dedication and continued investment of our alumni. Over the last few weeks, we have had to say goodbye to two talented, kind and courageous women who each had a major impact on the college.

On April 28, CoJMC alumna and namesake of Andersen Hall, Marian Andersen died at the age of 93. As co-chairs of the University of Nebraska Foundation’s Campaign Nebraska that ran from 1993 through 2000, Marian and her Husband Harold (Andy) Andersen helped raise the funds to remodel the former Security Mutual Life building, which was renamed Harold and Marian Andersen Hall. The Andersens also established a scholarship fund, which provides a $12,000 yearly scholarship to a new CoJMC student each year. I had lunch with Marian and three of the current Andersen Scholars the week before she died, and her entire focus was on the students and the careers they were building.

On May 9, alumna and former faculty member, Patti Harney, died at the age of 67. Following an impressive 30-year career at some of the nation's most prestigious advertising agencies, Patti returned to the CoJMC to teach advertising and public relations and launch a fruitful collaboration between the college and the Honors Program. On April 22, fellow grade school and j-school classmates Bob Cullinan and Rick Alloway arranged for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s a cappella group, The Red Keys, to serenade Patti on her birthday. You can see the video here.

These two trailblazing women were incredible examples for our students, and I am honored to have called them alums of our college.


Shari Veil at the Agency