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Brian Steffen

Professor of Multimedia Communication
Brian Steffen combines three decades of award-winning teaching with 10 years of professional media work and is one of the nation’s leaders in multimedia education.


Brian Steffen has headed the Department of Multimedia Communication from 2002 - 2022 and has been on the Simpson faculty since 1989. Before joining Simpson, he taught at Iowa State University and worked as a journalist with the Associated Press and the Ames Daily Tribune.

Twice the winner of Simpson’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Steffen was also selected as the Small Program Teacher of the Year by the national Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2009. He’s led groups of Simpson students on international and domestic travel courses more than a dozen times, opening their vista to media around the world.


  • Media Law & Ethics
  • Media History
  • Mobile & Social Media
  • Entrepreneurial Journalism


  • Distinguished Teaching Award, Simpson College, 2002 & 2008.
  • Small Programs Teacher of the Year, Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication, 2009.
  • Dalton-Landon Leadership Award for Small Programs, Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication, 2015.


  • B.A., Iowa State University, 1981.
  • M.S., Iowa State University, 1987.
  • Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1995.


  •  Steffen, B. (2008). Associated Collegiate Press Code of Ethics (4th Edition). Associated Collegiate Press.
  •  Steffen, B. (2003). Peeping Toms of the First Amendment: Freedom of the Private University Student Press. College Media Review. 10:9, 19-22.
  • Steffen, B. (2002). Freedom of the Private University Student Press: A Constitutional Proposal. John Marshall Law Review. 36:1, 139-179.
  • Steffen, B. (1999). The Professor and Spousal Abuse. Journal of Mass Media Ethics. 13:4, 258-64.
  • Steffen. B. (1994). The Falsity Burden of Private Defamation Plaintiffs. Communications and the Law. 16:3, 57-82.
  • Steffen, B. (1988). What Iowa Editors Know About Libel. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. 65:4, 998-1000.