314-252-8816 [email protected]

2022 Instructors

All instructors and class teaching assignments are subject to change

Jack Kennedy

Jack Kennedy

Jack Kennedy was the Dow Jones News Fund Journalism Teacher of the Year in, gulp, 1993, and advised newspaper and yearbook for three decades before “retiring” in 2010 and taking on the executive director gig for the Colorado Student Media Association. He won some other hot shot awards and his students did very well in both Iowa (at City High) and in Colorado. He was born in Iowa City and spent the first half-century of his life there before moving west. He’s a graduate of the University of Iowa and once was told by an instructor in the Undergraduate Writer’s Workshop that he could be a decent writer if he learned to “leave out the boring parts.” He’s been trying to do that ever since and thinks “leaving out the boring parts” is a solid rule for life in general.

Media Now Drake: Writing Advanced
Media Now Online: Writing Beginning + Advanced, Bonus Add-Ons for Advising Publications

Sarah Nichols

Sarah Nichols

Whitney High School (CA)

Currently in her 20th year advising, Nichols advises Whitney High Student Media (Details yearbook, The Roar newsmagazine and Whitney Update news website) in California, where her students have earned top honors such as NSPA Pacemakers and CSPA Crown awards. Nichols serves as president of the Journalism Education Association and is past president of the Journalism Education Association of Northern California as well as a member of its board of directors. She is certified as a Master Journalism Educator and serves on JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission and Digital Media Committee. Nichols was recognized in 2011 as the Cal-JEC High School Journalism Teacher of the Year for California. She was named the 2010 National Yearbook Adviser of the Year and received a Medal of Merit from JEA as well as the Pioneer Award in 2008 from the National Scholastic Press Association. Her published works include a yearbook adviser curriculum for Jostens Publishing and the current edition of the NSPA Yearbook Guidebook. She also teaches Advising Yearbook, a graduate course for the Center for Scholastic Journalism’s online masters program at Kent State University.

Media Now Drake: Yearbook
Media Now Online: Photography Essentials, Design

Carlos Ayulo

Carlos Ayulo

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Santiago Carlos Ayulo is Assistant Managing Editor / Presentation for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has been at the Post-Dispatch for eleven years. He has been the Sports Design Director and overall Design Director during his time with the P-D. Previously he was lead sports designer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Albuquerque Journal. Santiago served as a judge for the 30th edition of the Society for News Design annual competition in 2009. He and his staff have won several SND awards for the P-D. Santiago has collaborated in several journalism workshops including SND annual workshop sites, University of Missouri, Eastern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, University of New Mexico and Ohio University.

Media Now Drake: Design
Media Now STL Jam: Design
Media Now Online: Bonus Course Add-Ons for Design

Mitch Eden

Mitch Eden

Kirkwood High School (MO)

Mitch Eden, MJE, advises The Kirkwood Call newspaper, Pioneer yearbook and thekirkwoodcall.com website at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, MO. He has been teaching scholastic journalism 21 years and loves working with passionate young people to help them become better people and better journalists while creating the best publications possible. Mitch was named the Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year in 2015.

Media Now Drake: Editorial Leadership
Media Now STL Jam: Editorial Leadership

Kelsey Kremer

Kelsey Kremer

The Des Moines Register (IA)

Kelsey Kremer has been making photos and videos for Iowa’s largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, since 2013. While at the Register, she’s traveled all over the state and half-way around the world sharing stories about Iowans. Kelsey got her first taste of journalism making photos for her high school paper, the Vinton-Shellsburg Viking Voice and then the Iowa State Daily, Iowa State University’s student newspaper. Kremer has earned three Upper Midwest Regional Emmys and seven nominations. She is easily distracted by good video and can often be found looking for her next photo to post on Instagram.

Media Now Drake: Photography – Basic

Aaron Manfull

Aaron Manfull

Camp Co-Director, Francis Howell North High School (MO)

 Aaron Manfull is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Teacher of the Year and has spent the last 19 years advising student media in Iowa and Missouri and for more than half of that time his students have been working online with digital media. Aaron currently advises media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, MO. In addition to his teaching and advising duties, Aaron serves as the Journalism Education Association’s Digital Media Chair, heading their site, JEADigitalMedia.org.
Aaron has taught numerous web design courses for students and advisers. The National Scholastic Press Association honored him with their Pioneer Award.

Media Now Drake: Advising Publications
Media Now Online: Editorial Leadership, 
Advising Publications, Managing Your Online News Site

Chris Snider

Chris Snider

Drake University (IA)

Chris Snider has spent his career telling stories in innovative and creative ways. He’s currently an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Chris had a journalism degree from the University of Iowa and an MBA from Drake University. He’s worked as a newspaper designer at the Baltimore Sun and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He moved to Des Moines in 2005 to start a weekly magazine for readers age 25-34 named Juice. Prior to joining Drake full-time, he worked as an assistant managing editor for digital innovation at the Des Moines Register. Chris teaches classes in social media, multimedia journalism and web design.

Media Now Drake: Video + Podcasting
Media Now Online: Media Now Minis with Drake University (Free here!)

Eric Adae

Eric Adae

Drake University (IA)

Eric Kwame Adae, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Public Relations at Drake University, where he teaches in both undergraduate and graduate public relations programs. Prior to coming to academia, he was a media and communication consultant in Ghana. He has more than 15 years of professional experience under his belt, with practical experience in the promotional practices, including public relations, advertising, brand development and management, event management, and strategic change communication. His professional experience straddles diverse contexts, such as in-house strategic communication departments, PR consultancies, advertising and branding agencies, private and public sectors.

Media Now Drake: Communication Careers

Jordyn Kiel

Jordyn Kiel

Francis Howell North High School (MO)

Jordyn Kiel is a journalism adviser and educator at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles. She co-advises the student media program at the school, which includes a yearbook, newspaper, web, social media, photography and video team. Specifically, for the last several years, Kiel has worked directly with the yearbook and photography teams and also teaches the introductory courses in the media program. She strives to inspire a love and passion for storytelling in her students and works hard to help build the fundamental skills these journalists need to achieve their goals. Kiel is a recognized Certified Journalism Educator and Master Journalism Educator by the Journalism Education Association.

Media Now Drake: Writing – Basic

Ted Bryant

Ted Bryant

Chicago Fire Soccer Club (IL)

Ted Bryant is the Digital Media Coordinator at Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire Soccer Club. A proud alumnus of Aaron Manfull’s journalism program at Francis Howell North, his experience in the world of sports media since then has taken him from the athletic media relations office at the University of Missouri – where he graduated with a journalism degree in 2010 – to the communications department of the (former) St. Louis Rams, and on to one of the most storied franchises in the young history of Major League Soccer. There, Ted writes player features, co-produces club video content, oversees the club’s social media channels, and operates club web site. Ted believes strong stories are built through strong interviews and that developing a perspective is the hallmark of a great journalist.

Media Now Drake: Sports Journalism
Media Now Online: Bonus Course Add-Ons for Sports Journalism

Sarah Kirksey

Sarah Kirksey

Ladue Horton Watkins High School (MO)

Sarah Kirksey advises the Panorama newsmagazine and the Rambler yearbook at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Mo. She is in her sixth year of teaching and advising publications. Kirksey runs her own photography business, Snaps by Sisters, and has experience shooting weddings, events, family and senior portraits. Kirksey’s favorite thing to photograph is individual portraits because she loves to capture her subject’s personality and tell their stories in her photos.

Media Now STL Jam: Yearbook

Gary Hairlson

Gary Hairlson

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Gary Hairlson has been the video director for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch/stltoday.com since 2006 and has overseen newsroom video training and daily video coverage. After joining the Post-Dispatch’s photo staff in 1999, he has worked as a picture editor, assignments editor and assistant director of photography. Before joining the Post-Dispatch, he’s worked as a photo editor at the Pensacola (FL) News Journal and The Jackson (TN) Sun and as the University Photographer at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.  He got his start while in high school working part time for his hometown newspaper The Henderson (KY) Gleaner. He has been the Photo Director for the Western Kentucky University Xposure Journalism Workshop and last fall received WKU’s top award for his work teaching high school students during the two-week workshop each Summer since 1982.

Media Now Drake: Photography – Advanced
Media Now STL Jam: Beginning Photography
Media Now Online: Bonus Course Add-Ons

 Jennifer Konfrst

Jennifer Konfrst

Associate Professor, Public Relations & Strategic Political Communication at Drake University (IA)

Professor Konfrst teaches public relations & strategic political communication courses at Drake. Prior to joining the journalism faculty in 2013, Konfrst worked in public relations for 20 years, most recently at Iowa Public Television. There she led the network’s brand strategy, cross-platform promotion, media relations, crisis communication, and promotion to other PBS stations across the country. She served as the statewide network’s spokesperson, and worked extensively as an on-air host. Professor Konfrst has extensive political campaign and public service experience, and currently serves as an elected member of the Iowa House of Representatives and House Minority Leader. Her research interests include the intersection of politics and public relations, particularly issues related to how women communicate in political spaces.

Media Now Drake: Political Communications

Jim Streisel

Jim Streisel

Carmel High School (IN)

Jim Streisel, the 2013 Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, is the adviser of the Carmel (IN) High School HiLite newspaper and its website, www.hilite.org. Streisel has written two journalism textbooks, High School Journalism: A Practical Guide and Scholastic Web Journalism: Connecting with Readers in a Digital World. You can reach him at [email protected].

Media Now STL Jam: Reporting + Writing
Media Now Online: Bonus Course Add-Ons

Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith

Lafayette High School (MO)

Nancy Y. Smith teaches at Lafayette High School outside of St. Louis, MO where she advises the lancerfeed.press website and social media accounts, Image magazine and Legend yearbook. She is active in the Journalism Education Association, serving as the National Contest Chair since 2010 and is a recent Carl Towley Award winner. She is an NSPA Pioneer, a JEA Medal of Merit winner, a DJNF Special Recognition Adviser (2006) and Distinguished Adviser (2014) and was the 2017 JEA National Yearbook Adviser of the Year.  In her more than 30 years as an adviser, she has worked with thousands of student journalists and says she definitely has the best job in the world because every year is different and she is always energized by her students!

Media Now STL Jam: Advisers

Matt Rasgorshek

Matt Rasgorshek

Creighton Preparatory High School (NE)

Matt Rasgorshek is the journalism adviser at Creighton Prep in Omaha, NE. He has advised video and online publications that have received state, regional and national recognition.

Prior to teaching journalism, Matt worked behind the camera as a newscast director, commercial producer, videographer and editor in local affiliates in Omaha and Phoenix. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, running and playing guitar.

Media Now STL Jam: Video

Meredith Moore

Meredith Moore

Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Drake University (IA)

Meredith Moore is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Drake University. Meredith obtained her B.S. in Computer Science and Neuroscience from Drake University in 2015. She then went on to get her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Computer Science as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Meredith’s research focuses on using machine learning to improve the accessibility of technology for individuals with disabilities. Specifically, Meredith’s dissertation focused on developing machine learning algorithms to improve the intelligibility of the speech of individuals with voice disorders.

Media Now Drake: Computer Science
Media Now STL Jam: Computer Science

Andrea Bell

Andrea Bell

Education and Training Specialists, SNO Sites (MN)

Andrea Bell is an education and training specialist at SNO Sites. In addition to providing training and support to SNO clients, she also manages both the Best of SNO and Distinguished Sites awards programs. Prior to joining the SNO Sites team, Andrea taught high school English for several years at two of the largest public high schools in North Dakota.

Media Now Drake: Web (SNO)
Media Now STL Jam: Web (SNO)

Media Now On-Site Support Staff

Kate Manfull

Kate Manfull

Fierce Creative Agency

Emily Lammers

Emily Lammers

Fierce Creative Agency

Rebecca Clayton

Rebecca Clayton

Fierce Creative Agency

Tanner Butler

Tanner Butler

Fierce Creative Agency