Academics & the Arts


Each of our Communications majors involves common introductory courses and then branches out to more hands-on, technology-specific courses in each area. Specific department classes include: Mass Communication, Digital Video and Audio, Voice Delivery and Performance, Basic Digital Photography, Multimedia Storytelling,  Journalism Lab, Communication for the Web, Advanced Broadcast Production or Advanced Journalism Lab, Communication Law, Internship, Multimedia Career Seminar. 

 Click the icon to watch a video about our communication department.


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!

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.
Faculty Website

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 Radio Station of the Year at the Iowa College Media Awards four years in a row.
Faculty Website

Dayne Logan, assistant professor for communication


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! (Link not mobile friendly.)

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.

Radio Facilities
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:

Television Facilities
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

Current Students
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.