New Magazine Department Head Named

Columbia, Mo. (Oct. 4, 2004) Associate Professor Jan Colbert has been named head of the magazine sequence at the Missouri School of Journalism. She succeeds Don Ranly, who has stepped down after more than two decades as head.

Jan Colbert
Jan Colbert

As chair, Colbert will oversee administrative activities of the department and serve as the liaison between other faculty, students and the dean. Her colleagues nominated her for the position.

“Don Ranly has made the magazine sequence the best in the nation,” said Colbert. “I have big shoes to fill.”

Colbert has been the managing editor and art director of several magazines including The IRE Journal and the National Book Critics Circle Journal. She teaches seniors and graduate students in magazine design, magazine writing and media/women’s studies. She researches and writes about visual studies and in-depth journalism. She was an editor, along with John Ullmann, of the second edition of The Reporter’s Handbook, a 504-page book on techniques and documents in investigative reporting.

Colbert was the art director of the Columbia Missourian Sunday magazine, Vibrations, in 1976 when Ranly became head of the publication.

“She has just done everything,” Ranly said of Colbert. “She is terribly competent and a marvelous design teacher. She will do wonderfully.”

The magazine department offers a curriculum that teaches the entire spectrum of magazine publishing including writing, editing and design. The curriculum is available to graduate students, undergraduates and through the school’s online master’s program.

Updated: December 13, 2019