Common Searches

Effective communication and meaningful relationships are the results of careful planning, creativity and hard work. As storytellers and strategists, our news and media relations team connects UMSL with its audiences and stakeholders.

What we do

Content writers within University Marketing and Communications work on behalf of the entire university, assisting campus units and individuals with news media coverage, including press releases and media pitches, and sharing stories through UMSL publications, including UMSL Daily and UMSL Magazine. We’re always happy to hear from any member of the campus community regarding story ideas and public relations projects, but our staff size also means we have to be selective in the stories and PR projects we pursue on behalf of UMSL. It is critical that our work aligns with the university's strategic plan and supports our mission to transform lives.

Public Records System / Sunshine Law Request

Reporters looking for a UMSL expert:
Try our UMSL Experts Guide or contact Steve Walentik, Director of Public Relations and Content, at (314) 516-6690

Have a story idea for UMSL Daily or UMSL Magazine?
Email us at umslnews@umsl.edu or call (314) 516-6690

Subscribe to UMSL Daily

Stories we tell

  1. Student Success: Know a student who has landed a job? Conducted a cool research project? Worked/volunteered/interned for an important cause or organization? Has a scholarship that’s opened up higher education possibilities for them? We want to tell their stories!

  2. Alumni Spotlights: Know an alumnus/a who has gone on to an impressive career? Won an award? Shaped the community?

  3. Faculty Achievements: Are you a faculty member leading research in which the general public takes interest? Have you won an award or big grant ($1 million and up)? Are you teaching a unique course?

  4. Staff Features: Are you making a big impact on campus and particularly on student lives?

  5. Program Stories: Have a new degree track? Has your program received a new ranking or award?

  6. Campus Growth: Is your neck of the woods on campus growing? Have a new building? Establishing a new student or community space?

  7. Events Coverage: Hosting an event with a celebrity or topic with greater public appeal? Does it focus on the community and bettering campus or the region? Invite us to cover it!

How we share UMSL stories

Our team touts UMSL's exceptional people and programs in a number of ways, including:

  • Report, write and distribute information to the news media.
  • Help connect news media with UMSL faculty, staff or students to discuss the news of the day.
  • Create and post news and information to UMSL Daily, which is shared through weekly and monthly email newsletters.
  • Create and post content to UMSL's social media channels.
  • Report and write stories for UMSL Magazine, the university's biannual print publication.
  • Plan and execute communication projects.
  • Survey our audiences and conduct other research.
  • Create stories and content for various other publications and websites.

Who to contact with your story or PR idea

Submit your ideas for news and media coverage to umslnews@umsl.edu or contact Steve Walentik at (314) 516-6690.

Meet the Team

Steve Walentik, Director of Public Relations and Content
Email: walentiks@umsl.edu
Phone: (314) 516-6690

Contact Steve about:
- General inquiries
- Faculty experts
- Crisis communications
- College of Arts and Sciences stories and College of Business Administration stories

Burk Krohe, Editor of UMSL Daily
Email: kroheb@umsl.edu
Phone: (314) 516-5827

Contact Burk about:
- College of Education, School of Social Work and Office of Admissions stories
- UMSL Daily questions and subscription updates

Heather Riske, Senior PR Writer, UMSL Magazine Editor
Email: riskeh@umsl.edu
Phone: (314) 516-5851

Contact Heather about:
- UMSL Magazine
- College of Nursing, College of Optometry and Pierre Laclede Honors College

Ryan Fagan, Senior PR Writer
Email: rfagan@umsl.edu

Contact Ryan about:
- College of Business Administration, the Joint Engineering Program and Campus Life



  1. What types of stories do UMSL Daily and UMSL Magazine tell?

Both publications feature student success, alumni spotlights, faculty achievements, staff stories, program news, campus growth and event coverage. There are more details here and here. Send us your idea, and we’ll determine which venue is the most appropriate.

  1. How much lead time does UMSL Daily need?

Please give us at least two weeks’ notice but up to two months ahead of time is appreciated. We may not be able to cover last-minute requests.

  1. My story idea doesn’t fit into one of the coverage areas listed. Who should I reach out to?

Feel free to reach out to any one of us with your ideas! We work collaboratively and will get it into the right hands. You can also contact us at umslnews@umsl.edu.

  1. Will you write about every story idea? Should I ask the subjects for permission or photographs before I send in my idea?

Due to our small staff size, we are not able to write every story. Because of that, we ask you not to reach out to potential subjects beforehand so that no one is disappointed.