Snedden Chairs & Lecturers
Through a generous donation to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Helen Snedden endowed a chair of journalism in her husband's name. Charles Willis "Bill" Snedden knew a good story when he saw one and built his life and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner around telling them. He came to Fairbanks in 1948 to evaluate the News-Miner for then-owner Cap Lathrop. Snedden liked what he saw about the potential of the newspaper and this community. Two years later, he bought the Interior daily.
Bill Snedden died in 1989, but his legacy continues six decades and thousands of editions of the News-Miner later.
Several years ago, the late publisher's wife, Helen Snedden, reflected on how her husband would take young reporters and editors and show them the value of a well-told story, or take them to task for a poorly written one. She resolved to continue Bill's legacy as an educator and set up the Snedden Endowed Chair of Journalism at UAF.
The roster of past Snedden Chairs includes some of the most accomplished reporters in the country including 11 Pulitzer Prize winning journalists. It is the greatest gift given to this department and an even better opportunity for students.
Interested in adding your name to the list of Snedden Chairs? The 2014-2015 Snedden Chair job posting is now online!
See UA's Marketing Campaign featuring our endowed chair (wmv link)
Snedden Chair for Academic Year 2014-2015: Julia Duin
She earned her BA in English from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., in 1978, the same year her father became the Coast Guard admiral over all of Alaska.
Duin spent more than 14 years with the Times and published several books, including Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to Do About It and Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community.
Duin has won numerous awards for her work, which spans everything from a five-part series on America’s clergy to "female feticide" (gender-selective abortions) in India.
Other notable assignments include reporting on Kurds in northern Iraq and the 2005 election of Pope Benedict.
as well as the Economist, CNN.com and the Wall Street Journal. Her latest book project involves 20-something Pentecostal serpent handlers in Appalachia who use Facebook to spread their beliefs. In December, she expects to receive a second MA (in journalism) with the University of Memphis.
The 2014-15 Snedden Chair relocated to Alaska from Tennessee with her 9-year-old daughter, Olivia Veronika.
The Chair and associated Snedden Lecture series brings distinguished journalists to campus for visits as short as three days on up to Duin’s year-long faculty appointment within UAF’s College of Liberal Arts.
The program was funded through a generous $2.6 million endowment established by the late Helen Snedden. That gift, honoring the legacy of her husband, longtime News-Miner Publisher C.W. Snedden, has enlivened classrooms and community forums with perspectives of more than a dozen Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, photographers and editors since 2005.
Prior Snedden Chairs
Snedden Chair: Richard Murphy
Richard Murphy began chasing ambulances as a newspaper photographer at the age of 18, and continued to work in that capacity during his college summers. In 1974 he joined the Jackson Hole News, a small weekly in Jackson, Wyoming, where he served as a darkroom technician, press assistant, chief photographer and beat reporter. In 1985 he became photo editor of the Anchorage Daily News, and was on the team of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, and team leader for the 1990 Pulitzer nomination in news photography for coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He has served as a judge for the Pulitzer Prizes, and in 2011 the National Press Photographer’s Association named him Editor of the Year.
Missed Richard's public talk in April 2014? See the Full Video - or some selected clips - on UAF Journalism's Youtube Page.
Missed Richard's recent Snedden Show at Well Street Art Company? See his series of work digitally at www.uafjournalism.com/murphy/ .
Snedden Chair Lew Simons
Lewis M. Simons has been a foreign correspondent since 1967, reporting from Vietnam and throughout Southeast Asia; India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran; China, Japan, North and South Korea, and the former Soviet Union. He wrote for the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and Knight-Ridder Newspapers and won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing the Marcos family's hidden billions. Author of Worth Dying For, he is a regular contributor to National Geographic and his op-ed articles have appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Snedden Chair Bradley Martin
Bradley K. Martin has spent most of his career as an Asia correspondent and bureau chief for news organizations that include Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, The Baltimore Sun and Asia Times. After spending his formative years in Marietta, Georgia, he majored in history at Princeton University and attended Emory University Law School. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his daily reporting, he received the Asia Pacific Special Book Prize for Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty. He has been a visiting professor of journalism at Ohio University and Louisiana State University, a Fulbright fellow in Japan and Korea, a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford and journalist in residence at the East-West Center in Honolulu and Dartmouth College. Currently based in Nagano, Japan, and Bangkok, Thailand, he analyzes developments in North Korea for Global Post.
Snedden Chair Cheryl Hatch
As a reporter and photographer, Cheryl Hatch covered conflict in the Middle East and Africa, including the aftermath of the Gulf War in Iraq and the famine and subsequent U.S. intervention in Somalia. She also documented the fragile return to peace in Mozambique and Eritrea.
She is the recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Her photographs have been exhibited worldwide, including at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. , the Sony Gallery in Cairo, Egypt and the Leica Gallery in Solms, Germany. Her work has been published in books and magazines, including Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and Paris Match.
Hatch was a staff photographer for the Associated Press and worked for several daily newspapers including, the Corvallis Gazette-Times (Oregon), The Arizona Republic and the Naples Daily News (Florida).
As the founder and president of Isis Initiative, Inc., Hatch leads a nonprofit that offers scholarships to women overseas who have the desire but not the resources to pursue a college education.
Snedden Chair David Offer
David Offer retired at the end of 2006 as editor of two daily newspapers in central Maine, ending a 42 year career as an editor and reporter. Before moving to Maine he was the executive editor of the military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, but resigned after four months on the job to protest censorship of the newspaper. He was presented the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism by the University of Oregon for that action.
Earlier he was editor of the Newport, Rhode Island Daily News and was a reporter and editor in Wisconsin, Connecticut and Washington state.
Offer served on the board of directors of the Associated Press Managing Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists and is past president of the New England Associated Press Editors Association. He served four times as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize.
Photo Credit: Joshua Cooper
Snedden Chair Robert Meyerowitz
Robert Meyerowitz has been a journalist for 20 years. He began his career as a reporter for a weekly paper and a public radio station in Rochester, New York. From there he went to work for Associated Press Radio and, ultimately, for National Public Radio, reporting on wars and elections in Nicaragua, where he was based, as well as from Cuba, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, and Israel.
In 1994 he went to work as a reporter at the Anchorage Daily News. He subsequently became the editor of the Anchorage Press, where he worked for seven years. He also served time briefly as the editor of the Honolulu Weekly. In 2007-2008, he was the editor of the weekly New Times Broward-Palm Beach. He's been a freelancer and stringer for numerous newspapers, magazines and networks, including The New York Times and the Canadian Broadcast Corp.
Snedden Chair Joel Shurkin
Joel Shurkin is a journalist, science writer and historian. He and his colleagues at the Philadelphia Inquirer received the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for their coverage of Three-Mile Island. He is the author of multiple books and is a science writer emeritus at Stanford University.
Snedden Chair Hal Foster and Snedden Lecturer Tatyana Goryachova - Spring 2006
Hal Foster and Tatyana Goryachova
Hal Foster was a reporter/editor for several newspapers including the LA Times, Seatlle PI, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He Also wrote Tatyana's story - an editor of the weekly newspaper Berdyansk Delovoy in Ukraine. Tatyana wrote about government corruption in her hometown in Ukraine. She paid for it by having acid thrown in her face.
Prior Snedden Lecturers
Snedden Lecturer March 2014: Susan W. White
Executive Editor, InsideClimate News
In May 2013, Susan White’s seven-person newsroom at InsideClimateNews.org received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for “The Dilbit Disaster: The Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never heard Of.” Three years earlier, White’s investigative team at ProPublica.org landed the first-ever Pulitzer awarded to an online news organization. This former San Diego Union-Tribune editor is, arguably, industry’s leading figure today defining serious digital journalism.
Snedden Lecturer March 2013: David E. Sanger
Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power
David E. Sanger is Chief Washington Correspondent of the New York Times, where he has been a member of two teams that won the Pulitzer Prize. He has also won numerous awards for coverage of the presidency and foreign policy. Mr. Sanger is author of two New York Times best-sellers: “The Inheritance’’ (2009), and most recently, “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power’’(2012). As a visiting senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he has taught national security policy.
Snedden Lecturer November 2012: Sandra Dolbee
Sandi Dolbee became a journalist sometime between the birth of Jesus and the death of Elvis. She’s worked at newspapers from Washington state to California, including her hometown newspaper, The San Jose Mercury News. Most recently, she was the religion and ethics editor at The San Diego Union-Tribune, pioneering a beat she broadly defined as what people believe and how they behave. She’s been nominated for the Pulitizer Prize in beat reporting and is the recipient of several national journalism awards, including honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Religion Newswriters Association. She is a former president of the Religion Newswriters Association, which represents journalists who cover religion in secular media in the United States and Canada. Sandi’s won fellowships to attend seminars in specialized journalism at the University of Maryland, New York University and the University of Southern California. In 2008, she was the recipient of a Templeton fellowship to study religion and science at the University of Cambridge, England. Her project was on the science of forgiveness. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from Central Washington University. She is currently a freelance writer and editor, and is completing a novel in which one of the main characters -- surprise, surprise -- is a journalist. She lives in San Diego, Ca.
Snedden Lecturer October 2012: Jacqueline Thomas
Jacqueline Thomas is an award-winning journalist who now teaches and works as a freelance writer and editor. In more than 30 years in journalism, she served as Senior Editor at The Indianapolis Star, Editorial Page Editor of The Baltimore Sun and reporter for The Chicago Sun-Times, among others. Ms. Thomas has also been an Institute of Politics Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a Visiting Fellow on the Editorial Board of The New York Times and is a past chairman of the National Press Foundation.
Snedden Lecturer April 2012: Howard Weaver
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and former McClatchy newspapers executive Howard Weaver will speak on how lessons learned in over 40 years of journalism can be applied in these uncertain times.
Weaver was born in Anchorage in 1950 and lived there with brief interruptions for forty-five years. Weaver helped lead the Anchorage Daily News to two Pulitzer Prizes, cofounded the Alaska Advocate, hosted a public television program, and was named one of the forty most influential Alaskans in the first forty years of statehood by an Alaska Public Radio Network survey.
Snedden Lecturer October 2011: Cheryl Thompson
Emmy award-winning journalist Cheryl W. Thompson is an investigative reporter for The Washington Post who has written extensively about government corruption, immigration, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Washington, D.C. police department’s handling of homicide investigations.
Most recently, she tracked guns used to kill more than 500 police officers—including several in Alaska—since 2000. The groundbreaking series examined how the killers, many of them felons, got their firearms.
A Chicago native, Ms. Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Florida, and Georgetown and Howard universities. She was part of a Washington Post team of reporters awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
Snedden Lecturer Preston Gannaway - March 2011
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Preston Gannaway has worked as a documentary newspaper photographer for the past 10 years.
Gannaway believes the daily newspaper is an inclusive medium that brings visual storytelling to a diverse audience. She currently works for The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk. In 2008, Gannaway's intimate photo story on the St. Pierre family, Remember Me, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.
Her work has been honored in numerous other national and international competitions, including Pictures of the Year International's One Week's Work and an award of excellence in Best Multimedia Project. A native of North Carolina, she began her career at the Coalfield Progress in rural southwest Virginia after earning a BA in fine art photography at Virginia Intermont College.
Snedden Lecturer Ceaser Williams - September 2010
Ceaser M. Williams, an award-winning journalist, is a freelance writer, editor and public relations consultant based in Independence, MO, just outside Kansas City.
The Buffalo native started his journalism career in 1969 as a general assignment reporter with the former Buffalo Evening News. Williams worked for the paper 11 years, covering beats that included minority affairs, city court and economic development. He won Page 1 regional writing awards for columns as a soul music critic and for news not under deadline for a story about a chemical plant's efforts to subvert inspections by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Williams, who holds a cum laude bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Buffalo, was the first African American to work as an editor at the News.
As a freelance journalist the last seven years, Williams' work has included serving as executive editor of Prudence Magazine: The Voice of Africa, and creating and launching a suburban supplement for The Kansas City Call, an African American niche newspaper.
Video: Ceaser Williams Public Lecture - October 2010
Ceaser Williams' story ended suddenly on Dec 21, 2010 when he died of a pulmonary embolism, just three months after his Snedden Lecture. He is greatly missed.
Snedden Lecturer Joel Sartore - Feb 2008
National Geographic Photographer. Besides National Geographic, Sartore has completed assignments for Time, Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and several numerous book projects. He has received several awards including an Award of Excellence in the category of Magazine Photographer of the year during the 1992 POY Competition.
Snedden Lecturer Mark Schleifstein - March 2008
Environment reporter Mark Schleifstein worked for the New Orleans Times-Picayune for more than 20 years and won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Katrina disaster. Mark has also written a book on the disaster: Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms.
Snedden Lecturer David Handschuh - February 2007
The New York Daily News – Staff Photographer. NY University Professor of Photojournalism. Handschuh suffered serious injuries and narrowly escaped with his life while covering the attack on the World Trade Center. During months of recovery, he helped to develop several programs to document and address long term physical and mental health issues for journalists that may arise from working at Ground Zero and other stressful assignments.
Snedden Lecturer Peggy Simpson - November 2006
Peggy Simpson was the AP reporter covering John Kennedy’s assassination and is a former Contributing Editor for Ms. Magazine and Women’s e-news. She is an award-winning Washington political and economic correspondent who helped chronicle the women’s political movement.
Snedden Lecturer Gary Cohn - November 2006
Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Cohn is a reporter with the Los Angeles Times. Many of Cohn’s stories have exposed wrongdoing, raised important public policy issues and resulted in significant reforms. He won the 1998 investigative reporting Pulitzer for a series of articles in the Baltimore Sun that documented the dangers to workers and the environment when old warships are dismantled.
Snedden Lecturer Frank Bass - Fall 2006
Frank bass shared the 1988 Pulitzer for general news reporting for an investigation into the high infant mortality rate in Alabama. He is now assigned to a Washington-based national investigations team specializing in multimedia stories, and is the author of ‘The Associated Press Guide to Internet Research and Reporting.’
Snedden Lecturer Richard Murphy - Fall 2005
Photo Editor, Anchorage Daily News. His professional honors include being part of the Daily News’s 1989 Pulitzer Prize-winning team, and three-time winner of the Picture of the year, Best Use award. Murphy’s photography is represented in a variety of personal and museum collections, including at the University of Alaska Museum of the North.
Snedden Lecturer Maurice Possley - Fall 2005
Maurice Possley has covered local and national aspects of the legal system, including the trial of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the case against Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, and the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Possley was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 and 2001 for work with other Tribune reporters on prosecutorial misconduct and the death penalty. Their reporting was cited by former Illinois Gov. George Ryan as playing a significant role in his decision to empty Death Row in 2003 by commuting all death sentences in Illinois.
Snedden Lecturer Tom French - Spring 2005
Tom French earned his Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for the series “Angels & Demons”, about the murder of three women visiting Florida. He started his career as a reporter at the St. Petersburg Times and began development of several projects that grew into books. The first was a newspaper series titled “A Cry in the Night,” an account of a dramatic murder investigation and trial that French turned into a book called “Unanswered Cries.” A year reporting in a public high school produced the series and book “South of Heaven.”
Snedden Lecturer Julie Sullivan - Spring 2005
Julie Sullivan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at The Oregonian in Portland, Ore., who started her career at The Frontiersman in Wasilla. She shared the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service with three colleagues at The Oregonian who exposed flaws in the immigration and Naturalization Service.
Snedden Lecturer Eric Nalder - Spring 2005
Eric Nalder has won two Pulitzer Prizes. The first for his coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and his second for an investigative report about a federal Indian housing program. A reporter for 34 years, he has received numerous state, regional and national journalism awards and has taught interviewing and investigative reporting workshops in five countries. Nalder now works for the Seattle Post Intelligencer.