Simpson’s Koss Bringing Current News Updates to Students

Sylvia Koss is this year’s Director of News Content and Lifestyles for the Simpsonian. She is a senior from Polk City, Iowa majoring in integrated marketing communication.

As the Director of News Content, she is responsible for finding news and creating stories that have an effect on Simpson students and the  Indianola community. Once she finds the stories, she assigns them out to her writers to create articles for the newspaper. She is available for any guidance her writers may need along the way. When the writers finish their articles, she then edits the content and assists the layout editor with page design. One of the goals of this year’s staff is to create a 24 hour news source available to students. They are getting closer to this goal with a focus on online content.

Communication courses at Simpson College have helped Sylvia to succeed in this leadership role. With her editing and design course, she has developed strong AP style skills and further her ability to edit the works of others. In history of media technology, the style of writing in this course helped her to write, edit, and understand the importance of strong writing skills. Finally, her first Simpsonian course allowed her to step up into leadership roles because she was able to familiarize herself with the process. “The professors at Simpson have helped push me the extra step,” says Koss.

Want more information? Contact one of our faculty members!

Photo credit to Heather Smith

Simpson’s Rohlf Takes on Two Internships This Semester

“Experience needed,” some of the most common words on the job application. Junior Ryan Rohlf from Odebolt, Iowa, majoring in integrated marketing communications and marketing, is gaining the experience needed when taking on the job search. Rohlf is currently interning with Simpson College‘s Office of Marketing and Public Relations as well as Your Clear Next Step, a small business located in Indianola, Iowa.

“Networking,” another term commonly used when partaking in the job search. By networking, students are able to meet professionals who want to help them find success and get the opportunity to work with a mentor to learn the ropes of their field. When looking for internships for this semester, Rohlf attended the Fall Futures Fair and was able to connect with Your Clear Next Step to become their Style Guide Implementation Analyst Intern. Rohlf was very interested in Simpson College‘s marketing and his love for Simpson College drove him to dig deeper into looking at opportunities with the Office of Marketing and Public Relations.  He choose this office specifically because he has enjoyed his time at Simpson and wanted to share his ideas of how to spread the news about Simpson College so that others students will be able to have a similar experience. In the summer of 2012, he worked for CVIL as the AmeriCorp VISTA summer intern. During his free time, he contacted Jill Johnson to learn more about marketing and public relations. He talked to her about his own design work and his familiarity of platforms such as PowerPoint and Prezi. He was able to get some freelance work by creating a Prezi for the Admissions office for Iowa Private College Week and a PowerPoint for Humanities Visit Day. This opportunities gave him an in to the Office of Marketing and Public Relations. He took his portfolio up to Jill Johnson and showcased his abilities in design and writing. Through this networking process, he was able to get his internship with the Office of Marketing and Public Relations.

“It’s kind of like being in a mini advertising agency promoting Simpson College,” Rohlf said, “it is a lot of fun.” Through his internship, he is able to apply concepts and connect courses to work. The Office of Marketing and Public Relations has allowed him to focus his internship on what he wants to learn. Right now, he is focusing on design, but will also partake in public relations work, branding, and possibly social media for the office and other campus groups. “The internship is based on what I want to learn which is uncommon,” Rohlf said, “the office asked me what I personally wanted to learn and based my duties upon that.”

His internship with Your Clear Next Step has allowed him to work with a company off campus. Your Clear Next Step is a business to business company that teaches project management courses to other companies. They have trainers who are booked and the trainers then go to the hired company for the course. The company currently uses word of mouth marketing to promote their company. On the first day of his internship, he was sent to an e-mail marketing workshop to work with their provider to create more effective e-mail marketing tactics. E-mail marketing will be one of Rohlf’s primary duties with this internship. Some of his other duties include creating a style guide for the company to rebrand and align the company’s PowerPoints and handouts, as well as creating various newsletters.

The Simpson College Communication and Media Studies department has given Rohlf many projects to fill his portfolio. He has been able to apply concepts from Beginning News Writing, Editing and Design, and Practicum as the Advertising Director for the Simpsonian to his efforts with both his internships, in particular design and writing concepts. Overall, the process of networking and application of course work lead to successful internships.

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.


Students Gain Work Experience Through Campus PR Office

Marketing and public relations are two popular fields today for students to study. Many students from within the communication and media studies department are gaining the prior work experience needed for jobs right on campus. The Office of Marketing and Public Relations offers three different positions to students. The first position is the Simpson Web Guild. Students work as a team to create, implement, and manage web projects. Students are also able to work as a digital content developer. This position allows students to gain experience reporting and producing stories, as well as producing video, social media tactics, and digital marketing materials. The final position is a social media specialist. Students gain experience developing and monitoring social media campaigns

Jessalyn Holdcraft, a sophomore from Crete, Nebraska, works a photography intern  She takes pictures at big events occurring on campus and rooms and buildings for the website.

Jessalyn has gained valuable experience through this job opportunity. She has been able to learn to work with others, including new bosses. She has been able to utilize her photography skills and gained the skills necessary for her career following Simpson.

Maddie BoswellMadison Boswell, a junior from Humboldt, Iowa, works as a part of the Simpson Web Guild team. The main project for this team is promoting the current opera, Cinderella. This project involves a website made specifically for opera with pictures and articles. The team plans to use the site to boost traffic for the opera by placing it on the Simpson events calendar. They are also using video teasers and social media to promote Cinderella as well. They hope to get a special feature video out featuring the actors and talking about the behind-the-scene work that goes into producing an opera.

Other aspects of the website that the Web Guild works on is updating the facilities page with photos and specific room photos. They are currently focusing on the Kent Campus Center providing photos with room descriptions.

Through the Simpson Web Guild experience, Maddie has had the opportunity to come up with her own strategies and bounce ideas off of other student members and faculty. It has given her real world experiences through writing for the website and taking photographs for the websites. She is learning the WordPress platform which will assist her as she works with future companies who use this for their websites. The ability to have her photos published has been a great asset to Maddie as she searches for future careers.

The Office of Marketing and Public Relations is a great way for students to gain experience while continuing their studies at Simpson College. They are able to apply concepts learned in course work back into the college itself.

Want to know more? Contact one of our professors.

Communications Department Moves to New Location

New year, new opportunities and new location. The Simpson College Communications and Media Studies Department has moved to 112 E. Detroit Ave.

All faculty and staff have moved their offices over to this building and are open for office hours. Also found at the Gaumer Center will be the KSTM radio station. The radio station is open for operation  this week.

Be sure to stop by and check out the new location of your professors.

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.

Station Manager Office

The new station location has an office for the station manager and other staff to use to prepare for shows.

DJs Hanna Russman and Cait Conner

DJs Hanna Russman and Cait Conner open their first show of the season in the new studio as Beauty and the Blonde.

Shelving Units in the Simp Lab

These shelving units provide great storage space for Simpsonian workers and editors.

Simpsonian Office

This is the new office of the Simpsonian. The large table makes for effective meetings and a great amount of workspace.

Gaumer Center

An Introduction by Liz Glodek

For the March Continuing & Graduate Newsletter – From Liz Glodek

At this time of year, we’re busy with many things. Those who are graduating this spring are focused on finishing their degree requirements while others are just starting out. We may be considering which classes we want to take over the summer and still others are planning that summer vacation! As a campus director and academic advisor, it is an honor to be a part of our students’ academic lives, to help them meet their goals, and work with them to help make the path is a little smoother. But it is really you who brings the drive and motivation that will be instrumental in achieving your goals. It is your persistence that is most meaningful.

Ten years ago, I was in my final semester of graduate school and worried about the black hole after graduation, just as many of you may be now. I had applied to two fellowship programs and been denied, and though I had been offered a teaching position, it required a two hour commute on public transportation, not something I wanted to really consider. In much the same way that you are now, I was in the thick of classes, and work, and my thesis, and volunteering, and job applications, and, and, and. While the details of what shapes each of our stories are different, there is also one defining similarity: adult students have moxie – you take on life’s challenges with “spirit and courage” (

A student in my poetry workshop recently reminded me of the powerful voice of Maya Angelou and when thinking about what I wanted to share in this newsletter, I knew I could turn to that voice for inspiration. Dr. Angelou said that courage is “the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

In your academic journey, courage is one of the many tools you have brought with you. No one’s journey is the same. We all have different paths, but one of the things that brings us together is the courage we have to pursue, to persevere, and to succeed.

Student Spotlight – Kelli Jurey-Reetz

I had thought about going back to school off and on for about 10 years.  When I had gone the first time I had gone into accounting.  It was easy and convenient for me.  It has provided me with a good living and opportunities to be close to my children for after school activities.  When the company I work for downsized and I was moved to another department, it gave me the perfect opportunity to apply to Simpson’s graduate program.  I was still unsure and struggled with the idea.  I have always tried to raise my boys with a good heart and a strong backbone.  Telling them to grow up and make a difference.  When discussing the possibility of returning to school with my eldest son he indirectly referenced the proposal of when I was going to make a difference.  That was my pivotal moment.  I realized I hadn’t been taking my own advice.  My son actually had given me the last momentum I needed to apply.

What prompted you to earn your degree?

Change.  Nothing can ever change without those who are passionate enough to make a difference.  Everyone can look at a situation and not like it, complain about it and want to change it.  It takes someone in action to change it.

What is your major and why did you select it?

Master in Business Education w/ Special Education Endorsement – I have a passion to help everyone see the best in themselves and what they can achieve.  I have two younger brothers that are currently receiving special education benefits.  They don’t always get the understanding they deserve and need advocacy for change. (see above question)

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience?  Would you do it again?  Would you recommend it to other EW&G students?

It is difficult to juggle work, family and school.  You have to find what works for you.  What works for me won’t necessarily work for the next person, but you work at your own pace.  What you believe initially and practicality are two different things.  Your pace can change.  You might think you want one schedule and find out when you get started, in reality, something else works better.  Don’t be scared to adjust.  It is very rewarding.  I have found out more about myself than I could have imagined I would.  You are challenged by relating to material on a personal level; to your past, your present, your future, and relating it back to usefulness.

I would definitely do it again.  I will always recommend education to anyone.  If you are thinking about continuing on in your education or trying something new, do it!  Don’t wait as long as I did.

How has your experience at Simpson impacted your life? 

Enjoy the process, not just the final result.  Try to remember to keep yourself open to any experience and change because you have no idea who or what will influence you at any given moment.  You may become your own inspiration.  You may recall something about yourself you have forgotten, or you may actually start to see something in yourself that someone else does.  Enjoy the journey and those in it with you.

What has stood out to you as a fundamental part of your Simpson Experience?

Support.  The support you receive from the teachers, staff and the others students in the cohort is amazing.  Many times you may question yourself and what you have gotten yourself into.  Your fellow students will be the first to tell you that you are not alone.  Each step of the way, someone is directing or helping you.  This was very important for someone who hasn’t been in a school setting in “awhile”.

What do you plan to do once you graduate?

To be honest, I have a number of ideas, but when the opportunity presents itself, I will know what the best “fit” is for me.  I would love to find a position in an alternative school to focus on helping at-risk students reach full potential.


Teach in a smaller school district where I could help at risk students, but also be involved with business curriculum.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Currently, my favorite vacation spot is Florida.  Due to my school schedule, I don’t get to visit my extended family as often as I would like.

Faculty Spotlight – Shea Mears

How long have you been teaching at Simpson and what do you teach?
That is a good question.  You ask a lot of good questions.   I have been teaching at Simpson College for 9 years now I think….we may need to verify that….I’m not good with numbers.

I teach Accounting and Taxation courses.  Specifically I teach Individual Income Tax, Taxation of Business Entities, Advanced Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Cost Accounting.    I pretty much teach the most exciting topics that you can imagine taking.

Where do you work outside of Simpson?
I teach full-time for Des Moines Area Community College in the Accounting department.   I also do tax consulting for fun.

What makes teaching at Simpson unique?
The atmosphere.  Everyone at Simpson is truly dedicated to making sure that every student who walks through the door is successful.  It is very enjoyable to be a part of a progam that is student centered where everyone is willing to use whatever resources are available to help the students acheive their goals.

What do you enjoy most about working with adult students?
What I enjoy about teaching at Simpson is the quality of the students.   Every student is motivated to either obtain their Accounting degree or earn enough credits to sit for the CPA.  I enjoy the classroom discussions that are created every night due to the fact that the students feel comfortable in the classroom.

Please tell us about your family and how you like to spend your free time.
My wife and I live in Urbandale with our two boys.  My free time this time of year is spent at basketball tournaments, indoor soccer games or prepping for tournament baseball this summer.

I’m hoping in a few weeks the weather will change so that so that more of my free time can be spent on the golf course.  There, I said it.  I’m addicted to golf.   I’ve heard that the first step is just admitting.

What motto do you live by?
That’s deep.   I’m not sure I have a motto (at least one I can put on paper).   If I had one, it would probably be Hakuna Matada.   Or maybe, drive for show, putt for dough.

How do you maintain such a laidback attitude while drinking all that black Starbuck’s?
Ancient family secret…..

Important Upcoming Dates

MAT and T-to-T Information Session, Wednesday, March 6, Indianola Campus

Please join us for an overview of our Masters of Arts in Teaching and Transition-to-Teaching Programs. General information will be provided, along with more detailed answers to any questions you may have. If you would like to read more about the program prior to this event, please visit this link. We hope to see you there!

Term 4 Classes Start, Monday, March 11, Ankeny, Indianola, and West Des Moines Campuses

Monday, March 11 will be the beginning of Term 4 classes throughout Simpson College!

Simpson Leadership Series, Sunnie Richer, Tuesday, March 26th, West Des Moines Campus

The Tuesday, March 26th edition of the Simpson Leadership Series will feature Sunnie Richer, former CEO and current Chair of Doextra Corporation, as our special guest.

Free Transitions Course, April 9th, 16th, and 23rd, Ankeny, Indianola, and West Des Moines Campuses

Transitions is a free course for adults who are considering a return to college. This three-night orientation session will introduce you to adult students, faculty and staff, provide answers to all of your questions about earning a part-time degree, and includes a tour of each campus. A detailed agenda with dates, locations and topics to be covered is available here.

Commencement Ceremony, Saturday, April 27th, Cowles, Indianola Campus

We wish to congratulate all EW&G students who will take part in our Commencement ceremony Saturday, April 27th in Cowles Gymnasium.  Congratulations on your achievements!

MAT and T-to-T Information Session, Wednesday, May 8th, West Des Moines Campus

Please join us for an overview of our Masters of Arts in Teaching and Transition-to-Teaching Programs. General information will be provided, along with more detailed answers to any questions you may have. If you would like to read more about the program prior to this event, please visit this link. We hope to see you there!

MACJ Information Session, Thursday, May 23, West Des Moines Campus

Please join us for an overview of our Masters of Criminal Justice Program. General information will be provided, along with more detailed answers to any questions you may have. If you would like to read more about the program prior to this event, please visit our link to find more information on the program. We hope to see you there!


Helpful Tips

Helpful answers to questions such as:
Where can I use my student, photo I.D. to receive student discounts?

Student Discounts

Have you had your photo taken for your student ID?  If not, you just might be missing out on discounts like these:

Burger King 10% off
McDonalds 10% off
Dairy Queen 10% off
Dominos Pizza 10% off
Kroger 5% off at select locations
Papa Johns
Pizza Hut 10-20% off
Qdoba $5 student burrito meals
Subway 10% off
Waffle House 10% off
Ann Taylor LOFT 15% off
Ann Taylor 20% off
Banana Republic 15% off
Charlotte Russe 10% off
Club Monaco 20% off regular priced items
J. Crew 15% off regular priced items
The Limited 15% off
Ralph Lauren Rugby 10% off
Urban Outfitters 10% off select dates
Top Shop: 10% off
General Motors: college discount on Chevy, Buick, and GMC cars
Sam’s Club: Collegiate Annual Membership for $40, as well as $15 gift card
Cell Phone companies
The Academic Superstore
Apple Store

Please make sure to ask companies in advance about their student discount offerings!

Students Finish Final Video Game Projects

35 students across two sections of CmSc 150 class finished their final video game projects. Most students had never programmed before taking the class, and in only four months learned enough to create their own video games using Python and Pygame.

Check out videos of their games in action. Click the PlayList button to switch between videos.