News & Media Relations | UMSL
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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.

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:

Who to contact with your story or PR idea

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

Meet the Team

Steve Walentik, Director of Public Relations and Content
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
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
Phone: (314) 516-5851

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

Wendy Todd, PR Writer
Phone: (314) 516-6694

Contact Wendy about:
- College of Business Administration and UMSL/WUSTL Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program stories
- Student Life stories


  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

  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.

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