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Today at Greenlee – Glimpse Winter 2019

Author: perkinsk | Image: perkinsk

Strategy for success

Ashley Kirkpatrick, senior in advertising, and Lindsey Moor (’18 public relations) were the first runner-up team in the Washington Media Scholars Foundation’s Media Plan Case Competition in June.

The duo was one of six teams to present a media plan for a multimillion-dollar arts funding promotion, including strategies to increase funding, infrastructure and attendance for a fictional city’s cultural association.

While in D.C., they also visited agencies, political consulting firms and media outlets. Associate Professor Jay Newell organizes Greenlee teams to participate in the annual competition.


students take selfie on bridge in Italy
Students in the spring 2018 group visited interesting spots in the Le Marche region, including this bridge that spans the gorge of the Metauro river. Photo by Dennis Chamberlin


Improving smartphone photography skills

Relying on the idea that “the best camera is the one that you have with you,” a new class shows students how to make better photos with their smartphones.

Associate Professor Dennis Chamberlin proposed the course after seeing a growing need for journalists to illustrate their own stories. He led the first iteration of the class for students studying abroad in Urbino, Italy, in spring 2018. Students posted their photos on Instagram using the hashtag #cyclonesinurbino18.

In fall 2018, Fundamentals of Mobile Photography was offered online and covered the basics, including lighting, composition and image-editing software.


Denise Essman, Joel Geske and Angela Powers stand with plaque
Left to right: Denise Essman, Joel Geske and Angela Powers


Joel Geske earns Greenlee’s first named faculty fellowship 

Associate Professor Joel Geske is the first recipient of the Allen Essman Faculty Fellowship made possible by Denise Essman (’73 marketing). The fellowship—the first of its kind at the Greenlee School—honors a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in advertising and/or public relations education. 

Denise Essman, who is a Greenlee School Advisory Council member and longtime supporter of Iowa State University, established the fellowship in honor of her late husband, Allen, who was an instructor in advertising and photography at the Greenlee School from 1969-1972. He passed away in 2010 after a distinguished career in advertising.

Allen K. Essman (’69 psychology, ’72 M.S. journalism and mass communication) was a copywriter for Meredith Corp. and Creative Director for Wesley Day Advertising prior to partnering with Denise, in 1977 to establish Essman/Associates, an integrated marketing communications company, and Essman/Research, a qualitative and quantitative research firm in Des Moines.

“Allen Essman was very well-respected in the advertising community, and I’m honored to receive this fellowship in his name. I also really appreciate the opportunities this support offers. These types of gifts really let the school go beyond everyday curriculum and provide enrichment to faculty who can bring this knowledge back to students,” Geske said.

As part of the fellowship, Geske is learning about virtual reality and 360-video production along with ways to implement them in the classroom.


Students gather at the soap boxes during the 2018 First Amendment Days Feast at the First. Photo by Emily Blobaum

Save the Date

Join us for the 17th annual First Amendment Days celebration in April. For a schedule as details become available, visit


Café Beaudelaire owner Claudio Gianello, left, and Lexi Romitti (’18 apparel, merchandising and design and public relations) show off Iowa’s Best Burger. Photo by Carole Custer

Campaigning for Iowa’s Best Burger

Café Beaudelaire, a Brazilian-inspired Campustown staple, secured the title of “Iowa’s Best Burger” for 2018 with the help of students in Senior Lecturer Erin Wilgenbusch’s spring 2018 Advanced Public Relations Campaigns (PR 424) course.

PR students Lexi Romitti, Audrey Nelson, Alfred James Spaulding, Harrison LaGambina and Maddie Hocking developed a campaign that would increase awareness of the restaurant and bring in new customers.

When the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council began accepting nominations for best burger, the students channeled their efforts on the competition. They conducted research, planned “Burger Bash” events and created flyers and social media content to earn votes from the public. With support from their customers, Café B advanced to the taste-testing round. Their hand-made patties won over judges.

Required of all PR majors, the campaigns course gives students a hands-on opportunity to develop a relationship with a client. “This class has prepared me so well for the future,” Romitti said. “It really gives you a lot of information on just knowing and being ready for real-world experiences.”


Left to right: Staci Hupp Ballard (’00 journalism and mass communication),
Professor Emeritus Tom Emmerson and Jeff Johnson, ISU Alumni Association president Courtesy of ISUAA


Professor Emeritus Tom Emmerson recognized by ISUAA

Greenlee Professor Emeritus James Thomas (Tom) Emmerson (’60 technical journalism, M.S. ’63 history) received a 2018 Iowa State University Alumni Association (ISUAA) Faculty-Staff Inspiration Award. Emmerson taught reporting, print media editing, media ethics, American journalism history and public relations before retiring in 2004. Recipients are nominated for the award by former students. “Tom transformed my life by example and instruction,” wrote his nominator. “His instruction — in journalistic skills, history, critical thinking, human decency and more — helped me achieve a velocity and trajectory that enriched my professional and personal life.”


Giles Fowler with cross-stitch saying, "If your Mother says she loves you, check it out."
Giles Fowler

Associate Professor Emeritus Giles Fowler dies

Giles Merrill Fowler, associate professor emeritus, died Nov. 3, 2018, in Ames. Fowler was well-loved by students and faculty at the Greenlee School, where he taught reporting and introduced courses on criticism and literary journalism.

Following his retirement from teaching in December 2002, Giles wrote Deaths on Pleasant Street, a nonfiction account of a 1909 Kansas City murder case.

Twice married and divorced, Fowler called his children “the joys and redemption of my life,” according to his obituary. They are Stephen Fowler (m. Mirjana Risek), Toronto; Andrew Fowler, Bangkok; Kate Fowler, Yangon, Myanmar; Will Fowler, Washington D.C.,; and two grandchildren, Milo Fowler and Tilda Fowler, Toronto. He is survived by first wife, Jane Pecinovsky Fowler, Overland Park, Kansas; second wife, Veronica Lorson Fowler of Ames; sisters-in-law, Libby and Kitty Fowler, both of Kansas City, as well as a niece, nephews, and other family. He is preceded in death by his brothers, Richard (Dick) and Lee. Read a tribute about Fowler written by his former colleague Tom Emmerson.


headshots of Whitney Mason and Emily Blobaum
Whitney Mason (left) and Emily Blobaum

The Pulitzers of student journalism

Greenlee students received 2017-18 Hearst Journalism Awards for their work published by the Iowa State Daily Media Group.

Emily Blobaum (’18 journalism and mass communication), News and Features Photojournalism, semi-finalist

Emily Blobaum and Whitney Mason (junior in public relations), Multimedia Team Reporting, sixth place


Sherry Berghefer in her office
Sherry Berghefer was named the Iowa Communication Association’s 2018 Adjunct of the Year.

Adjunct of the year

Sherry Berghefer, senior lecturer, received the 2018 Iowa Communication Association Adjunct of the Year Award. Since 2010, Berghefer has taught Greenlee School visual communication courses.



Denise Coberley at the Story Collider podcast event. Photo by Munn Woods Studio

Live storytelling

Five Iowa State researchers, including Greenlee School graduate student Denise Coberley, shared their personal stories about science as part of a live storytelling event hosted by The Story Collider podcast series and Iowa State’s Office of the Vice President of Research.

Coberley, a 23-year teaching veteran, shared the impact biology has had in her life. Hear her story.



Dara Wald and Kathleen Hunt stand at the podium
Dara Wald (left) and Kathleen Hunt at the 2018 Science Communication Symposium at Iowa State University.

Focus on science communication

In June 2018, over 50 interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners from around the country descended upon the Iowa State University campus for the sixth biennial Science Communication Symposium.

The event was co-organized by members of Iowa State’s Science Communication Project, including Greenlee faculty members Dara Wald and Michael Dahlstrom, and Kathleen Hunt and Shuyang Qu of agricultural education and studies.

Attendees explored the theme “Understanding the Role of Trust and Credibility in Science Comunication” as it relates to the environment, health, crisis and risk through several panels and presentations.

The next symposium will take place in spring 2020.


Accolades aplenty

Greenlee students received a number of recognitions for their work in 2018:

2018 Alumni and Friends Honors

2018 Iowa STATEment Makers

Kelsey Kremer (’13 journalism and mass communication)

Maia Zewert (’15 journalism and mass commnication)

2018 Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award

Brooke Almasi (’18 public relations)

Emily Barske (’18 journalism and mass communication, marketing)

2018 ISU Alumni Association Alumni Service Award

David Kurns (’82 journalism and mass communication)

2018 LAS Dean’s Arts and Humanities Award

Henry Ong (’78 M.S. journalism and mass communication

2018 LAS Distinguished Service Award

Art Slusark (Greenlee School Advisory Council)

2018 LAS Young Alumnus Award

Dan Winters (’03 journalism and mass communication)

2018 CALS Outstanding Young Professional Award

Jen Sorenson (’01 animal science, journalism and mass communication)

2018 LAS Faculty and Staff Honors

Early Achievement in Teaching

Jan Lauren Boyles, assistant professor

Excellence in Graduate Mentoring

Daniela Dimitrova, professor

Institutional Service

Joel Geske, associate professor

Outstanding Teaching

Deb Gibson, senior lecturer, Meredith Professional in Residence

P&S Outstanding New Professional

Jessica Hansen-Moench, academic adviser