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.
We celebrated our fifth anniversary of Fox Sports U, 10th anniversary of Jacht and 50th anniversary of KRNU.
We started a book club to facilitate important and long overdue conversations about race in our college and immersed ourselves in an intense strategic planning process with 78 committee members, including 30 students, alumni and community partners.
We developed a partnership with the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center, awarded an endowed chair and two endowed professorships and created a new research and grant activity awards program.
We launched a peer mentoring program for first-year students, started two new student organizations, established four new scholarships, and engaged more than 120 alumni through Drinks with the Dean and the Virtual Big Red Reunions and more than 150 potential students through recruiting visits and tours.
We taught 24,328 credit hours to 10,902 students in 405 classes.
We did all of this during a global pandemic.
I am immensely proud of our college and all we have accomplished this year, not in spite of the pandemic, but because of it. We provided our students, and each other, with a safe and caring environment in which we could be successful. It wasn’t always easy, and it certainly wasn’t how we planned the year would go, but just look at all we have accomplished!
Thank you to the faculty, staff, students and alumni who welcomed me to the CoJMC Family. I am excited for our future and look forward to many years of celebrating our accomplishments together.