Polumbaum joined the Iowa faculty in 1989 and became emerita professor as of July 1, 2015. Much of her research focused on journalism and media in mainland China, producing many publications that include the book China Ink: The Changing Face of Chinese Journalism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), based on interviews with 20 young Chinese journalists. She did her undergraduate work in East Asian studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and has a master’s from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a doctorate in communication from Stanford University. She’s worked as a newspaper reporter in Vermont, California and Oregon, and also has worked for English-language news organizations in China. At Iowa, she was affiliated with the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, International Programs, the Honors Program, and numerous other international and interdisciplinary programs. She taught a wide spectrum of subjects, from basic reporting to visual communication, international media, and teaching and research seminars. During her phased retirement, she spent two semesters as a visiting professor at City University of Hong Kong; back at Iowa, she organized a campus conference addressing problems faced by international undergraduate students and curated an exhibition of the work of a major Chinese photographer. She is a founding board member of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism (IowaWatch.org). Judy grew up in a wet darkroom; the archives of her photojournalist father Ted Polumbaum are in the custody of the Newseum in Washington DC. She has two California-born Iowa-bred Chinese-American sons, one a jazz musician, the other an emergency physician. Her immediate retirement attentions revolve around reading, writing, and her two canine comedienne Beagle daughters.