Fall 2015 edition
Dozens of alumni and students marked the fifth anniversary of J-School Generations this year during KU’s Homecoming Oct. 29-31.
Alumni returned to KU from all around the country to participate in classroom lectures, a networking event and a challenge project involving teams of J-School students, faculty members and alumni.
Ashley Backhus, (BSJ 2007), founder and owner of PlanMyTournament.com, enjoyed interacting with J-School alumni and meeting the students.
"I really enjoyed the thoughtful questions from the students during classroom visits," Backhus said. "My career path hasn’t been conventional, but I still use things I learned in school and shared that experience and perspective with the students. I’m looking forward to participating in the event next year."
Junior Ashley Maska, who is majoring in strategic communications, said her favorite part of J-School Generations was the challenge project because she received invaluable advice from the alumni and got the opportunity build relationships with her peers, professors and alumni.
“The challenge project is a great opportunity because it fosters hands-on learning experience and allows journalism students to get to know KU alumni and professors through a full-day simulation exercise,” Maska said. “Through participating, I was able to improve my communication skills through collaborating on a project that we presented live at the end of the day. To sum up the experience in a few words, it was realistic of a job setting, fun, and empowering!”
Friday's events included a ribbon cutting for The Agency, which was founded a year earlier as a student-run advertising, marketing, and strategic communication business. Several founding partners of The Agency attended the event (see photo above). Learn more about The Agency at its website or read a previous Jayhawk Journalist story.
During the evening alumni reception, J-School Generations co-founders Eric Morgenstern and Joel Zeff were honored for their vision for the event and commitment to its continued growth.
Join us in 2016
We are already planning J-School Generations for next year! If you would like to participate as a classroom speaker, network with students during our round-robin networking event and/or participate during our challenge project, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or your company would like to become a sponsor of J-School Generations, please contact Patrick Allen at email@example.com.
J-School Generations alumni guest speakers
Rich Clarkson (1955), founder and president, Clarkson Creative
J.B. Forbes (1973), chief photographer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Teri Sprackland (1976), international reporter, taxanalysts.com
Eric Morgenstern (1978), CEO of Morningstar Communications
Vanessa Gordon (1982), assistant news editor, The New York Times
Mark Mears (1984), Executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Noodles & Company
Bill Ackerly (1987), Strategic communication/PAO, Mission Command Center of Excellence, U.S. Army Command Center of Excellence
Joel Zeff (1990), national speaker, humorist and author
Sherry Scott (1991), chief operating officer, Gagen MacDonald
Chad Lawhorn (1995), managing editor, Lawrence Journal-World
Robert Allen (1996), managing editor and copy chief, WebMD
Seth Jones (2001), editor in chief, Golfdom magazine and AthleticTurf.net
Chris Steppig (2004), vice president of business and education, Clarkson Creative
Katie Briscoe (2005), vice president, MMGY Global
Fritz Heffinger (2005), president, OutCold Marketing
Ashley Backhus (2007), founder and owner, PlanMyTournament.com
Kris Kennedy (2007), writer for The Onion
Kameron Mack (2012), television producer and host for Viacom/AMC Networks