MUM alumna Donna Cleveland


With members of the iPhone Life editorial team (from left to right: Sarah Kingsbury, Jaime Thatcher, Donna Cleveland, and Rheanne Taylor)


At the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where the iPhone Life team gives awards to the most innovative iPhone-related products (from left to right: Rheanne Taylor, David Averbach, and Donna Cleveland)


Marching with 26,000 fellow Iowans at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines to stand up for women’s reproductive rights, equality for the LGBTQ community, equal pay for equal work, and the Black Lives Matter movement

MUM graduate Donna Cleveland divides her time between creating multimedia content for Fairfield-based iPhone Lifemagazine and producing a feminist podcast for women.

Donna grew up in Fairfield, attended Maharishi School, and graduated from MUM in 2008 with a BA in Media and Communications. She went on to earn a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. After working as a correspondent for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and a staff writer at the Fairfield Ledger, she joined iPhone Life magazine, where she is now editor in chief.

She is in charge of coordinating the print magazine content and contributes to creating video guides, live online classes, and a podcast for the publications’s expanding audience. Donna enjoys helping the company grow and finding creative and fun ways to help people get more out of their iPhones. She is also excited about being part of the Fairfield community and creating jobs for MUM graduates.

While holding a full-time job for the past six years, Donna has also also written about women’s issues, health, and the environment for various magazines. Her latest project is Thread the Needle, a podcast that uses personal stories and expert interviews to explore where feminist ideals meet the realities of women’s lives. She will be releasing the first season in late 2019.

“A few years ago I fell in love with podcasts,” she said. “They offer an enjoyable way to learn things, experiment with creative storytelling, and improve my interviewing and editing skills.”

Donna discovered her passion for journalism at MUM during a travel writing class with professor Nynke Passi. She was also inspired by Stuart Tanner’s class on narrative, which influenced her career decision to become a writer. She appreciated the support and freedom to create her own projects at MUM and learning the multimedia storytelling skills she uses today in her job.

Donna grew up practicing the Transcendental Meditation®technique and she is grateful for having a tool to manage stress. “Now that I have more to juggle in my life, meditation is really helpful, along with yoga asanas,” she said.