Writing Samples

The following are news stories written in AP Style for a Drake University course titled Reporting and Writing Principles. In the class, students are required to produce one news story per week that includes at least three interviewed sources.

Out of the stories provided, the first, titled “Jethro’s Monster Sandwich Returns To Drake,” was published in The Times Delphic, the campus newspaper.

In addition, the final story, “Lisa Ling Presents At Martin Bucksbaum Lecture Series” was an exception to the above process of writing. Instead, students attended the lecture, using Ling’s presentation as a source, and were required to interview two additional sources. The next day, students were given only the class period (approximately an hour and a half) to synthesize their sources and turn in a news story.


Jethro’s Monster Sandwich Returns To Drake

15 minutes, five pounds, one stomach. That is the description of the famed Adam Emmenecker Sandwich Challenge developed by barbeque joint, Jethro’s BBQ, located in the Drake Neighborhood of Des Moines. 

On April 16, this monster sandwich will make its to Drake University for the Emmenecker Challenge Event hosted by Student Alumni Association.

The sandwich is constructed of pork tenderloin, buffalo chicken tenders, fried cheese balls, bacon, hamburger patty and beef brisket, crowned with a spicy pickle and surrounded by a pound of waffle fries.

While this sandwich is typically only consumed by one stomach, the student event will have 15 groups of three participants eat the sandwich together as a team.

Emmenecker challenge victim and Drake student, Adam Heater, attempted to battle the beast twice by himself, inspired by Adam Richmond from “Man Vs. Food,” who had also taken on the challenge.

“For 24 hours before, I didn’t ingest anything but water and one banana,” Heater said. “It’s a lot bigger than it looks in pictures and also the one thing I didn’t think about going into it was that it actually hurts to eat that much food in 15 minutes.”

Heater will have to live with his defeat for the rest of his life.

For the hesitant, there is the option to come show support by attending the event and enjoying free chicken wings, courtesy of Jethro’s. There will also be activities for spectators that will be announced as the event approaches.

For the brave who are interested in competing for the fastest ingestion, Emmenecker veteran Emily Seuferer, offers up her team’s strategy.

“We ate what we liked eating and got down to what was left,” Seuferer said. “We finished a little before 15 minutes, so I guess it was a successful strategy.” 

In previous years, this Drake tradition has drawn 100 plus students to Jethro’s own restaurant, however due to the crowds, the event will be held in Shiver’s Courtside Club, connected to the Knapp Center, to allow for a less cramped space. 

“It’s a community builder, and we’re going to look this year to try to draw in the community, whether it’s donating to a food pantry or working with the Drake neighborhood, and obviously working with Jethro’s,” said Rebecca Clair, one of the two vice presidents of traditions in Student Alumni Association.

Clair encourages students to attend the Emmenecker Challenge Event, which starts at 6 p.m, as well as other upcoming Drake traditions.

“When you’ve graduated and are looking back, it’s going to be these things, it’s going to be Hubbelling, it’s going to be kissing rock, it’s going to be those iconic Drake things that are going to make you love and appreciate having been here.” Clair said.

Sign up details and more information will be posted to the SAA Facebook page later this month. In the meantime, check out the other traditions Student Alumni Association has to offer this spring:

April 4 & 5: “All In” 24 Hour Fundraising Event– 12 p.m. -12 p.m, Drake University Campus
April 9: Last Lecture– 6:30-8 p.m, Cowles Reading Room
April 16: Emmenecker Challenge– 6 p.m, Shiver’s Courtside Club
May 10: Dead Day Study Event– Time TBA, Alumni House


Drake Broadcasting System To Kick Off Relays Season

On April 2, Drake Broadcasting System held a meeting to discuss the organization’s involvement in the upcoming century old track and field event, Drake Relays, hosted at Drake University. 

The meeting, hosted at 8 p.m. in the Meredith Hall TV Studio, brought together roughly 25 Drake students to help plan and produce three relays pre-shows to hype up the Drake community. These shows will highlight events such as the 40th Annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest, Drake Road Races, the Vault at Capital Square, and many more.

During the 2018 relays, students like Carson Reichardt got first hand experience out in the field as a host and a camera operator for one of the DBS productions.

“I had a lot of fun doing it,” Reichardt said. “It was surreal that there was actual, world-renown talent around us in our little college production. I got to text home and be like “Oh my gosh, I met an olympian!’ In fact, I met two of them. It’s a super cool experience that you don’t really get at many other schools.” 

DBS’s goal for this relays in particular is to rebrand to cover content in a more humorous way. In order to achieve that, DBS is encouraging more collaboration on video packages and looking for new members of any major or background to help contribute a new perspective.

Having been a Drake organization since 1984, DBS emphasizes the objective of getting hands on experience in the field of broadcast to create meaningful content and connect the gap between campus and community.

“Broadcast is unique in that it’s a collaborative effort that encompasses all forms of communication: the written word, sound, visuals, and performance,” said Ray Fredregill, DBS advisor and multimedia engineer at Drake. “A student who masters broadcast is a student who is a true communicator, one who can adapt to whatever communication challenge comes their way and one who can work with diverse teams effectively.”

At the meeting, DBS emphasizes that broadcast experience is not needed to join and that time commitment ranges depending on a member’s willingness and availability. 

In addition to relays, DBS offers experiences with photography, video production, audio production (podcasts, radio), sports announcing, social media and hosting. As a result, new ideas for productions are always welcome no matter the medium.

“DBS was the first organization that really made me feel at home,” said Tess Julien, video producer of DBS. “I was pretty homesick my first year and I ended up in DBS, especially working on relays, and I really felt connected to campus and to what I was doing as a digital media production major.”

If interested in helping with a DBS relays production or joining the organization, contact DBS President Noah Manderfeld at noah.manderfeld@drake.edu.


Lisa Ling Presents At Martin Bucksbaum Lecture Series

On April 11, award-winning journalist Lisa Ling spoke about experiences that allowed her to change her worldview at the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series put on by Drake University.

The event, held at 7 p.m. at the Knapp Center, hosted more than 2,000 students, staff and community members.

Ling captured many of her global encounters, sharing stories about times she’s exposed herself to other cultures and developed new perspectives, such as her introduction to the Muslim way of life.

“70 percent of Muslims in the middle east and in Northern Africa are under the age of 30, half of them are under the age of 15,” Ling said. “Seems to me that it could be an incredible opportunity to engage this young population rather than incite violence and vitriol. What if we had a way to extend goodness over fear, wouldn’t that be nice?” This was followed by applause.

In addition, Ling worked to emphasize her message of going outside one’s comfort zone to see things without “Americanized glasses.”

“I always go into every story with a very defined preconceived idea about what the story is going to be like, what the people are going to be like, what the food is going to taste like and as soon as I hit the ground and start engaging with people, I realize those stories, there are always so many shades of gray,” Ling said.

Historically, the lecture series began in 1997 after CEO of General Growth Properties and philanthropist Martin Bucksbaum’s passing. The event to follow was a gift to Drake to promote global citizenship.

“Not only are we inviting the top people of their field to this campus to talk with students and the internal campus, but also extending that to the outside community for no price,” said Erica Hartschen, Bucksbaum coordinator and assistant to the Vice President for University Advancement. 

Ling’s speech was also an opportunity for journalism students such as Katie O’Keefe to listen to an acclaimed journalist talk about her work in the field. 

“It was really fascinating to hear about her experiences, the different places she has been, the different topics that she’s covered and how they’ve impacted her personally, but also professionally,” O’Keefe said. “We don’t step out of our comfort zones to engage in conversations, or exchange cultures and experiences with others as often as we probably should.”

While the next Bucksbaum lecturer is still unknown, the Bucksbaum committee is working to bring someone who is diverse, willing to speak to a large audience and who can touch on a relevant topic by emphasizing the idea of global citizenship.