Our communication faculty stress elective internship and real-world, hands-on experience in addition to a solid education in liberal arts. We have long-held relationships with area employers who expect more from Grand View graduates for the simple fact that we consistently turn out top-notch professionals.
Click the icon to watch a video about our communication department.
You can major or concentrate in mass communication, digital media production (including broadcast), journalism, graphic journalism or public relations. Your courses are taught by professors, not grad students ... and you'll learn in studios, control rooms, and newsrooms, not lecture halls.
Becky McDonnell, professor of communication
Welcome to Grand View! I have taught courses such as TV Directing, Broadcast Advertising, and Mass Communication for 24 years. I enjoy bringing learning to life by encouraging students to realize that no specific area of study exists in a vacuum. I believe in enthusiasm, creative teaching, and commitment to lifelong learning. I love watching movies and reading as a member of two book clubs. I like entertaining, decorating, and trying out new restaurants. I can't wait to see you in class!
Kaylene Ruby, professor of communication
Welcome to the Grand View Communication Department! I have been a professor here since 1981. I teach Reporting, Computer Journalism Lab, Newspaper Essentials, and Newsletter Editing and Copyediting. I believe that students learn most by doing. My classes center on student-produced projects that are reflective of real-world situations. Since I came into teaching with a minor in theatre, I enjoy bringing my theatre skills into the classroom to make the experience as interesting and fun as possible. Life is not a dress rehearsal. We each have one shot at it, so let's enjoy it!
Mark Siebert, assistant professor of communication
I have been at Grand View since 2004 and teach mainly upper-level classes, including Advanced Reporting, Feature Writing, Communication Law and Public Relations. Before coming to academe, I worked as a newspaper reporter for The Des Moines Register, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Iowa City Press-Citizen. Journalism and communications have changed tremendously in recent years. And one way we've kept our students up-to-date is through student media. This is where students can experiment, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. I am the advisor to both The Grand Views (our student-run newspaper) and ALT (a general interest magazine published by our Honors Magazine class). Both publications are regularly recognized in state and national collegiate competitions for their print and online work.
Doug Wells, professor of photography
I’m the new addition to the Communication Department, teaching digital photography classes after 28 years as a staff photographer for The Des Moines Register newspaper. It’s been an exciting transition. I love all types of photography, though my professional background is heavily weighted towards the publications aspect of the medium. You will see my photo classes all around campus with our cameras, looking for the perfect shot. Learning is hands-on here. And no one leaves school without taking that staple of the Grand View photo experience, the jump shot. Come see what I mean. Taking photographs makes the world seem somehow more real, more interesting, and more personal. I can’t just watch life flow by; I feel a need to document it in pictures.
Stephen Winzenburg, professor of communication
At Grand View I teach the radio and TV production courses, as well as Sports & Media, TV in Society and the senior Career Seminar. I started here in 1989 after teaching at three other colleges and moving to Iowa from Florida. I have worked at 16 radio stations and manage our two campus stations. We were one of the first stations in the state to stream audio online and to have a Webcam in the studio. I am most proud of the many broadcasting awards that our students have won, including being named the Best College Radio Show in the state three years in a row.
The Cowles Communication Center was dedicated in October 1987. The facility contains a television studio, control rooms and editing suites for radio and television; layout and design facilities for journalism; and studio and digital production center for photography.
The Communication Department has up-to-date equipment to maintain consistency with the technological advances students find outside the college setting. Students can feel confident that when they graduate they will have a quality education and the know-how needed to work in the communication industry.
Go to the Virtual Tour for a photographic look!
Journalism Computer Lab
The journalism computer classroom has Macintosh computers for students to use during classroom time and for homework and projects.
Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Microsoft Office are several programs available for use. The lab also includes three flatbed scanners and a ceiling-mounted LCD projector that is used for both computer instruction and viewing of DVDs.
The lab computers have access to a tabloid-sized black and white laser printer and a color laser printer, as well as large-format color printer.
Photography education at Grand View looks to the future of photography by using the latest in computer imaging and printing. The facilities include Macintosh computers, equipped with Adobe Photoshop, inkjet photo printers and a superbly equipped professional photo studio.
The radio area includes three audio studios equipped with state-of-the-art digital equipment. The control room has a digital "Instant Replay" machine, two digital Shortcut Editors, CD players, and a 12-channel audio board.
Production room one has a 128-track Adobe Audition digital editor, a digital Shortcut Editor, CD player, cart machine, cassette deck and reel-to-reel machine. Production room two is a small dubbing room used to transfer material from CD or cart to cassette.
KDPS 88.1 FM
KDPS, 88.1 FM, broadcasts live from the Grand View studios five nights a week. The signal is sent via ISDN digital phone line to the transmitter at Des Moines Public School's Central Campus. Grand View programming airs from 6 p.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, when school is in session. Students work as announcers, PSA spot producers and paid directors of programming and music. Kids Radio Mania music for elementary and middle school children airs all day Saturday and Sundays until 6 p.m. and on major holidays.
Visit the 88.1 KDPS Web site at: http://www.kdpsradio.com/
The television area features a state-of-the-art studio and control room with a green screen, utilizing three cameras with full teleprompter, lighting, character generation, audio and tape systems. The Grass Valley switcher allows for chromakey or “blue-screen” special effects. Five Final Cut Studio non-linear digital editing systems, and full sets of remote camera gear offer opportunities in live or taped broadcasts beginning in the first semester at Grand View.
Awards and Accomplishments
Alex Murphy ‘11, a senior majoring in broadcast and journalism, was part of a team that received a Regional Emmy Awards presented to KCCI-TV, Channel 8 in Des Moines, by the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science. KCCI was recognized for it’s coverage of the “Blizzard of ’09” that hit in December and Murphy, who works there part-time, was part of the team coverage.
Jeff Fett '05 received his second Emmy Award for his work at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis.
Travis Justice has just been named the co-host of the morning sports talk show on KXNO-AM in Des Moines. He competed against about 20 people who auditioned on-air for the job. He will do the show from Omaha and use a digital phone line to make it sound like he's in Des Moines each morning.
Broadcast and mass comm grad Ami (Solinger) Anderson earned her master's in public administration and Certified Public Manager certificate from Drake. She was also promoted to I.T. Business Analyst for the Polk County Board of Supervisors and is going to co-teach the Communication Career Seminar class in the spring.
Steve Winzenburg, professor of communication, published two books, TV Programming Perspectives, Second Edition, and the Communication Job Search Handbook. The former will be used in his TV in Society class and the latter will be used in the Communication Career Seminar course.