Announcing the 2023 Greenlee School alumni award recipients

CATEGORIES: Alumni, News

Greenlee Professional Achievement Award

Colleen Bradford Krantz (‘95 journalism and mass communication)
Pink Spear Productions, Owner

Colleen Bradford Krantz is the recipient of the 2023 Greenlee Professional Achievement Award, which recognizes a Greenlee School graduate who has demonstrated leadership, impact and achievement in advertising, journalism and mass communication and/or public relations.

Krantz, owner of Pink Spear Productions, is a television and film producer, screenwriter, author and journalist. She directed and co-produced the independent documentary “West by Orphan Train,” which won a 2015 regional Emmy, a Leadership in History Award and a Clarion Award. It was released via Amazon Prime. Krantz also wrote and co-produced a limited series, called “Unintended; Unlocking a Nation’s Pregnancy Secrets,” as well as another documentary, “Train to Nowhere; Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation,” which was licensed to Netflix. Her book of the same name was the starting point for the film and a finalist in “Best Books 2011” contest by USA Book News.

Before becoming an author and filmmaker, Krantz spent a decade as a newspaper reporter, working at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Des Moines Register. Her newspaper beats over the years included everything from police and courts to education and local government to investigative and general assignment. She also created the app and website, News Tutor, which, although no longer active, was used by hundreds of teachers who wanted their students to be more savvy news consumers. She was invited to speak about the app and media literacy at an annual conference for the National Council for the Social Studies.

Krantz, a native of Guthrie Center, Iowa, who now lives in Adel, Iowa, also works as a producer for a national show about agriculture.

“I have been recognized with some very kind honors in the early stages of my career, but I especially love this mid-career award from Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication because it comes from the place that was so key to reinforcing and building upon the enthusiasm I had when I arrived as a new student there,” Krantz said. “I came in energetically but with unpolished skills. I left fully prepared to conduct solid research, to interview others with sincere curiosity, and to write compelling, fair and accurate stories. I’m grateful for both those past gifts and this generous recognition now.”



Greenlee Young Alumni Award

Natalie Mahoney (‘17 public relations, Spanish)
PolicyWorks, Public Affairs Manager

The recipient of the 2023 Greenlee Young Alumni Award is Natalie Mahoney. This award recognizes a Greenlee School graduate under 40 years of age or with fewer than 15 years of professional experience who has demonstrated excellence within their field.

“I am honored to be this year’s Young Alumni recipient. This award is a direct reflection of the knowledge and hands-on training I received while at the Greenlee School,” Mahoney said. “During my time at Iowa State, Greenlee always felt like home for writers like me. The diversity of course options and insight from several distinguished professors allowed me to have the proper education and tools I needed to succeed in the working world.”

Mahoney is the public affairs manager for PolicyWorks, where she assists clients with social media, event management, public relations and public affairs. She is an avid writer, and she often sifts through her communications toolbox to ensure her clients’ needs are met and have a strong media presence. Prior to joining PolicyWorks, Mahoney worked at a financial institution and assisted the team in various marketing projects.

In 2012, Mahoney was a field staffer for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and Congressman Tom Latham’s final campaign in Iowa. She worked with the communications director to organize voter outreach and executed grassroots, get out the vote efforts targeting a younger demographic.

Mahoney is a 2017 graduate of Iowa State University, where she received her B.A. in public relations and B.A. in Spanish with honors. She is a 2019 Iowa Innovation Group graduate and a 2021 West Des Moines Leadership Academy graduate. In her free time, she can be found enjoying cortados in local coffee shops or teaching Les Mills BODYPUMP™ & BODYCOMBAT classes. She is on the Emerging Leaders Board for Junior Achievement of Central Iowa.

“These alumni are an inspiration for our current students. They used their Greenlee degree to forge their own professional pathway and show what can be achieved through hard work, dedication and a lifelong commitment to learning,” said Michael Dahlstrom, LAS Dean’s Professor and director of the Greenlee School.

These awards, which were established in collaboration with the Greenlee School Advisory Council, provide avenues for mid- and early-career recognition of Greenlee School alumni. They build upon the school’s longstanding James W. Schwartz Award, the highest award conferred by the school that has traditionally served as a lifetime achievement recognition, and mirror university and college awards for similar achievements.

The recipients of the alumni awards were recognized at the spring 2023 Greenlee School Advisory Council meeting.

Nominations will be accepted for the 2024 awards starting in this fall.