Who we are
Urban Plains is a student magazine publication at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The magazine is created and published by the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication multimedia capstone.
Concierge to the Midwest
Urban Plains reflects the spirit of the Midwest in the stories we produce, bursting with ingenuity and charisma in every sentence, sound bite and broadcast. We showcase stories that focus on the region’s innovation and creativity with accessibility at the forefront of our values. We present stories sprouting from the region while staying true to our roots.
Claire FranksenExecutive Content Director | Lake Forest, IL
Auditioned for The Voice at age 16 with Britney Spears' "Oops!... I Did It Again." There is no video evidence.
Haley GuerdetVideo Content Director | La Motte, IA
If you’re driving through my hometown, don’t blink. You’ll miss it.
Hannah ThomasCo-Articles Editor/Copy Editor | Tipton, Mo
I'm a proud cat mom and always have pictures ready to share.
Landon HodgesCo-Articles Editor/Copy Editor | Portland, OR
No, I haven’t seen Portlandia. Yes, Portland is that weird.
Morgan NollPodcast Editor | Lawrence, KS
Lawrence is the Kansas family member who always brings up politics at the dinner table.
Mia TiradoCo-Web Director | Chicago, IL
The only ‘L’ I take is Chicago’s transit system.
Alexis CruzCo-Web Director | Lincoln, NE
We used to be the home of the "Good Life" but now Nebraska is "Honestly not for Everyone."
Ellie HilscherCo-Social Media Editor | Des Moines, IA
If I’m not at the horse barn, then I’m most likely petting dogs.
Sydney KavaCo-Social Media Editor | Sioux City, IA
From the city once dubbed as “Little Chicago.” Now it’s just known as Sioux City.
Executive Team Assistants
Kalle SorboAssignment Editor | Castle Rock, CO
Yes, there is an actual castle like rock.
Maric SalockerSupervising Director | Fort Dodge, IA
My name is a combination of my parents names.
Cathryn CheekLine Producer | Dallas, TX
Things to remember: 1. Dez caught it, 2. The Alamo.”
Ayana AndersonPodcast Engineer | St Paul, MN
Proudly from the 651.
Nick McGlynnContent Producer | Stoughton, WI
Happily Perpetuating the Wisconsin/Minnesota Rivalry.
Jacob ReynoldsContent Producer | Sterling, IL
My town is surrounded by the Rock River on one side and corn and soybeans on the other sides, which, as it turns out, happens to be all you need to survive.
Abby WallnerContent Producer | La Junta, CO
I'm a Colorado native, and an Iowa captive.
Erin MorganContent Producer | Aurora, IL
Just a typical millennial which means I have a YouTube channel and don't want to work an 8 to 5 job!
Zach DuffContent Producer | Des Moines, IA
The house words of the Midwest. Growing strong.
Daniel HelmeeContent Producer | Malaysia
Am I a smart feller or a fart smeller?
Josiah MielkeContent Producer | Johnston, IA
I am a huge lover of movies and TV. I am able to memorize different facts about different movies and TV shows within a couple of days for each movie or TV show I like to talk about.
Hema RengasamyContent Producer | Malacca, Malaysia
I came on an adventure of a lifetime and somehow found myself in cornfields.
Josh CookContent Producer | Oregon, IL
I adore the Midwest and have been shaped by it my whole life. Also, I’d like to leave the Midwest for a while and see how the coasts live. But I’m grateful; no sour grapes.
Jordin WilsonContent Producer | Moline, IL
Home to John Deere, and that’s about it.
Katie O'KeefeContent Producer | Chaska, MN
Do I think Target and Caribou Coffee are superior to all other stores? You betcha.