Columbia, Mo. (Dec. 27, 2007) — Patrons and supporters of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis will most likely open their mailboxes next March to find the strategic efforts of a creative group of Missouri School of Journalism magazine publishing students.
As part of the final capstone project in Associate Professor John Fennell‘s magazine publishing class, six students revamped the 40-page glossy magazine distributed by the hospital’s fundraising arm, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation. The team included seniors Megan Ham, Shannon Jewitt, Pamela Mulumby and Ryan Schreiber, with graduate students Laura Dotson and Kristin Kellogg. The magazine features articles on patients, staff and medical technology.
The students redesigned the publication’s layout, reported the stories, compiled the photography and re-conceptualized the magazine to give it a stronger focus on sharing inspiration. As a result, they suggested changing the name from Cornerstones to BJH GIVING. They also devised a media kit and a business plan that includes targeted readers, manner of circulation and projected costs. In early December, the students presented their prototype to Ann Ryan, the Foundation’s senior marketing and communications director who also received her master’s degree from Mizzou.
“I was very impressed,” Ryan said. “For a group of students, they did work equal to the professional agencies I’ve worked with.”
Ryan said she expects the Foundation will adopt most if not all of the changes the students proposed. The students will meet with the hospital president and the chairman of the Foundation board in early 2008.
Ryan conceived the project with Fennell, who took the students to St. Louis in the fall to tour the hospital before starting the project.
“They’ve done some really interesting work,” said Fennell, who holds the Meredith Chair in Service Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism.
Kellogg, a first-semester graduate student in graphic design, served as the project’s art director and worked with Fennell’s class as part of an independent study. Her job was to take the students’ editorial objectives and transform them into a new identity for the magazine. Among other things, this included working with professional photographer Jay Fram of St. Louis.
“We really tried to make it look more like a magazine and less like a newspaper,” Kellogg said. “It targets an upscale audience, and we wanted the magazine to reflect that.”
The hospital provided Kellogg with a budget to pay for photography and other visual elements.
In addition to the hands-on work of conceptualizing and producing a magazine from start to finish, students learned more about themselves and the goals of a philanthropic organization.
“By working on BJH GIVING we not only received firsthand experience on magazine production, but we have given back in a special way,” wrote Schreiber in the magazine. “And along the way we met donors, doctors and patients who have helped us to know that we made the right decision to work on this magazine, and inspired us to give back throughout the rest of our lives.”
Barnes-Jewish Hospital is the largest hospital in Missouri with 1,277 beds. It also serves as the teaching hospital for the medical program at Washington University in St. Louis. U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital as the ninth best in the nation for 2007. It has maintained a place in the top 10 for the past 15 years.
The Barnes-Jewish magazine project was only one of the successful projects in Fennell’s magazine publishing class. Other students chose to build two new magazine concepts from the ground up for their final projects. A team of four created the magazine Groundswell, which showcases the arts and culture of the Midwest, and a graduate student from Russia worked alone to create Worldwide Student, a magazine for students interested in traveling abroad.
Updated: April 22, 2020