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.
See UA's Marketing Campaign featuring our endowed chair (wmv link)
Snedden Chair Alberto Arce - Fall 2018 - Spring 2019
Alberto studied Political Science in Spain and after a decade as a freelance journalist, he joined the AP in February 2012 as a correspondent for Honduras and Central America.
For several years, Alberto was the only foreign correspondent to report from Tegucigalpa. He later joined AP's Mexico City bureau and The New York Times as a senior staff editor. He was also a 2018 Knight Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan.
He has won the Rory Peck award for his TV coverage of the battle for Misrata during the Libyan civil war, a Fipresci award for To shoot an elephant, his documentary about the Cast Lead Operation in the Gaza Strip, and the Overseas Press Club Award for his coverage in Latin America.
He has also reported from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Venezuela. He has published two books: Misrata Calling (2012) and Blood Barrios (2015).
Snedden Chair Katie Orlinsky - Spring 2018
Katie Orlinsky is an award-winning photojournalist from New York City. She received a Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University, and began her career as a photographer in Mexico twelve years ago. Since then she has photographed all over the world exploring everything from conflict and social issues to unique subcultures, wildlife and sports. Katie regularly works with major publications such as National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Smithsonian as well as universities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations. Since 2014 Katie has been working on a long-term photographic project about climate change in Alaska.
Prior Snedden Chairs
Adam Tanner - AY 2016/2017
Fresh from a fellowship at Harvard University Institute for Quantitative Social Science, non-fiction author and veteran journalist Adam Tanner joins UAF Communications and Journalism Department as a visiting professor.Tanner is the author of the 2014 book “What Stays in Vegas: The World of Personal Data – Lifeblood of Big Business – and the End of Privacy as We Know It.”The Washington Post named the book one of 50 books notable works of non-fiction in 2014.
Tanner has lectured in the Canada, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Mauritius and he has appeared on media including CNN, Bloomberg TV, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, the BBC, VOA, WNYC, Al Jazeera, and PRI's The World.
From 1996-2011 he worked for Reuters News Agency as Balkans bureau chief based in Belgrade, Serbia, San Francisco bureau chief, and reporter posted in Moscow, Berlin and Washington D.C. He has written for Forbes, Scientific American, Pacific Standard, Slate and other magazines. His next book, “Our Bodies, Our Data: How Companies Make Billions Selling Our Medical Records,” will be published in January 2017.
Richard Murphy - AY 2015/2016
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 the White House Press Photographers Association, and in 2011 the National Press Photographer’s Association named him Editor of the Year.
Julia Duin - AY 2014/2015
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.
Richard Murphy - AY 2013/2014
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/ .
Lew Simmons - AY 2012/2013
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.
Bradley Martin - AY 2011/2012
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.
Cheryl Hatch - AY 2010/2011
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.
David Offer - AY 2009/2010
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.
Video: David Offer Public Lecture - October 2009
Photo Credit: Joshua Cooper
Robert Meyerowitz - AY 2008/2009
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.
Joel Shurkin - AY 2007/2008
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.
Hal Foster and Tatyana Goryachova - Spring 2006
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
Craig Medred - Spring 2018
Craig Medred is an Alaska journalist known for following stories wherever they go. A UAF alum, his career began at KTVA in Fairbanks and went through Washington, D.C., and Juneau on the way to a nearly 30-year run as a reporter and columnist at the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch, and Alaska Dispatch News. Unable to let go of a passion for the stories of Alaska, its people, and its tangled politics, he now writes and edits at craigmedred.news where he remains both loved and hated and happy to make readers think.
Mark Kelley - Spring 2018
Mark Kelley is an award-winning Alaska photojournalist and his books have sold over a quarter million copies. His bestseller “Alaska: A Photographic Excursion” is a Benjamin Franklin Award recipient. Mark graduated from UAF with a degree in journalism in 1978. He worked for 14 years as a daily newspaper photojournalist and became a freelance photographer in 1993.
Micheal Davis - Fall 2017
Digital information evangelist Michael Davis is a backpack journalist with 40-plus years of experience as a reporter, photographer, editor and news executive at outlets ranging from the Chicago Sun Times to TV Guide. He’s the author of Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street, a 2009 NYT bestseller, and co-produced the documentary adaptation. He founded and operates NewsHawk Media, a content creation and consulting business based in Salem, Oregon.
Dorothy Parvaz - Spring 2017
Dorothy Parvaz has worked as a senior producer at Al Jazeera based out of New York and Doha, focusing on human rights and conflict. She was previously the digital special projects editor for the network, where she crafted spotlight coverage on key stories and reported on political issues and democracy in several countries, including Egypt, Libya and Afghanistan.
In the course of reporting on the uprisings in the Middle East, she was “disappeared” in Syria and was among the first to report on the secret prisons and torture centers there. She was transferred to Iran's Evin prison where she spent over two weeks being interrogated before being released.
Carolyn Cole - Spring 2016
LA Times Photojournalist, Cole's work spans the globe - documenting wars, refugees and political upheaval. Among her many honors: the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography, and two Robert Capa Gold Medals, NPPA Newspaper Photographer of the Year and World Press Photo awards.
Matt McGrath - Fall 2015
Originally from Tipperary in Ireland, Matt edited computer magazines for several years before joining BBC Radio 5 live at its launch in 1994. Following stints as producer and reporter, Matt became the station's science specialist in 1997. He joined the BBC World Service in 2006 as environment reporter.
He has covered some of the major issues in science and environment in that period including mad cow disease, cloning, global warming and GM food.
Highlights include reporting from the solar eclipse in the UK in 1999 and travelling to the Arctic in 2007. Matt tested the temperatures in Copenhagen by jumping into the icy harbour waters during the UN summit in 2009. He has reported from many parts of the world and almost every American state, apart from Alaska!
Over the years Matt has also reported extensively on the scientific impacts of doping in sport.
He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010-11.
Susan W. White - Spring 2014
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.
David E. Sanger - Spring 2013
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.
Sandra Dolbee - Fall 2012
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.
Jacqueline Thomas - Fall 2012
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.
Howard Weaver - Spring 2012
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.
Cheryl W. Thompson - Fall 2011
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.
Preston Gannaway - Spring 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.
Ceaser M. Williams - Fall 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.
Joel Sartore - Spring 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.
Mark Schleifstein - Spring 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.
David Handschuh - Spring 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.
Peggy Simpson - Fall 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.
Gary Cohn - Fall 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.
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.’
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.