Missouri Business Alert, Kauffman Foundation collaborate for inaugural media fellowship

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The world’s first school of journalism and one of the world’s leading names in entrepreneurship are collaborating on a program that will educate students in entrepreneurial brand journalism.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Missouri Business Alert are launching a new media fellowship program for University of Missouri students, who will spend the fellowship living and working in Kansas City, producing multimedia content about entrepreneurship and learning brand journalism.

Directed by Kauffman Foundation associates and guided by Missouri School of Journalism professor and endowed chair Randall Smith, students will gain professional experience and develop relationships that will help them find employment after graduation.

“We are excited about the opportunities this program will bring to our bright, multi-talented students. Our partnership with the Kauffman Foundation will provide students with an interest in brand journalism and entrepreneurship the opportunity to work alongside Kansas City’s best,” Smith said. “It is a living example of the Missouri Method.”

Over the next year, the fellowship program, which will host three MU students selected through a competitive application process. Kim Wallace, director of engagement at the Kauffman Foundation, will oversee the programming in Kansas City.

Valerie Hellinghausen

“Our team is made up of connectors and doers who dream big and solve problems together with their communities,” said Wallace. “We’re thrilled to have a fellow helping us illustrate this through powerful storytelling.”

The first Kauffman media fellow, Valerie Hellinghausen, began in her position on June 25. Hellinghausen, a graduate student from the Houston area who’s studying strategic communication, will work at the Kauffman Foundation through December strategizing and developing content to help entrepreneurs. Hellinghausen will also be involved in Kauffman’s 2018 ESHIP Summit on July 11-13.

“In previous internships working for newspapers, business stories and business sections were usually considered boring. For me, I always found that reading business stories taught me the most about where I was working. What a community is creating and investing in says so much about the people that live there,” said Hellinghausen. “This opportunity with Kauffman gives me a chance to be part of telling those stories and to learn more about what makes Kansas City a center for innovation.”

The fellowship program is part of a larger grant to Missouri Business Alert from the Kauffman Foundation to increase the breadth and depth of MBA’s entrepreneurship-focused news and events in Missouri and improve educational programming for University of Missouri students.


Missouri Business Alert, an online business news publication located at the Missouri School of Journalism, was launched in 2012 by Randall Smith and his students. The outlet covers business and entrepreneurial news across the state of Missouri and has helped students launch careers at Bloomberg, CNBC, the Associated Press and other publications.


Lorah Lackland
Director of Marketing
(309) 337-1143

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