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The Cronkite School established the Hearst Visiting Professional Program in 1992 with the help of a generous grant from the William R. Hearst Foundation. Since then, the Cronkite School has brought dozens of leading journalists — Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, top newspaper editors, digital media innovators and TV news anchors — to campus. While at the school, these established professionals speak to classes, meet with faculty, and deliver a major address in First Amendment Forum to students and faculty about their areas of expertise.
Hearst Visiting Professionals include:
Raney Aronson-Rath, the executive producer of “FRONTLINE,” has been recognized for her work to expand the show’s reporting capacity. Under Aronson-Rath’s leadership, “FRONTLINE” has won every major award in broadcast journalism. She has developed and managed nearly 30 in-depth, cross-platform journalism partnerships with some of the nation’s premiere news outlets, including ProPublica, American Public Media’s Marketplace, PBS NewsHour, The New York Times, CBC Television and Univision. Previously, Aronson-Rath worked at ABC News and The Wall Street Journal. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.
Alison Overholt, editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine and espnW, is a veteran multimedia journalist and executive for major media organizations. Overholt is responsible for developing comprehensive, multiplatform content strategies for espnW and for driving collaborative, innovative approaches to storytelling in ESPN The Magazine, with oversight of producing ESPN’s multiplatform enterprise content. Overholt is the first female editor-in-chief of a national, general-interest sports magazine. She is a graduate of Harvard University.
Tanzina Vega, host of WNYC’s “The Takeaway,” is a journalist and speaker on issues of race, media and inequality in the U.S. Vega has contributed to CNN, CNNMoney, WNYC Radio, Reuters television, Billboard magazine and The New York Times, where she won an Emmy award for outstanding new approaches in documentary media. As host of “The Takeaway,” she provides context and perspective on the day’s news. She is a graduate of the City University of New York.
Ramon Escobar, vice president of talent recruitment and development at CNN, oversees the recruitment and development of on-air talent at CNN. Based in New York, he also reports to CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker as the organization’s vice president of diversity and inclusion. A media veteran with 25 years of experience in news and entertainment in network television as well as digital/new media, Escobar has worked in both English- and Spanish-language media. He came to CNN from Telemundo, where he was the head of the news division.
Melissa Lyttle is an award-winning storyteller based in Los Angeles. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Florida and began her career in newspapers, where she worked for nearly 15 years. Now, Lyttle is an independent visual journalist whose primary focus has been on social issues, including poverty, immigration, and how people are affected by the criminal justice system. As a two-time International Women's Media Foundation fellow, Lyttle has worked on the U.S.-Mexico border in both Ciudad Juárez and Nogales, Sonora. In February 2017, she was appointed to serve a second term as president of the National Press Photographers Association.
Bernardo Ruiz is a documentary director and producer. His directorial feature debut, Reportero, (POV, 2013) about attacks on the press in Mexico, was nominated for a 2014 News and Documentary Emmy Award. It premiered at Full Frame (U.S.), IDFA (Europe) and Ambulante (Mexico). His second feature documentary, Kingdom of Shadows (POV, 2016) premiered at SXSW in the U.S. and IDFA in Europe. In fall 2015, Ruiz was a filmmaker in residence at the Investigative Reporting Program at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He serves on the advisory board of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
Maycie Thornton is the director of Social Media at BuzzFeed in Los Angeles, where she leads a team of people who manage BuzzFeed’s video content publishing strategy across all platforms — YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat. Before she started at BuzzFeed, Thornton lived in Arizona, where she was a web producer at a television show called “Right This Minute” after graduating from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Mark Trahant, a journalist and a faculty member at the University of North Dakota as the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism, reports at TrahantReports.Com. He also does audio commentary for Native Voice One. Previously, he has been editor-in-residence at the University of Idaho and a visiting professor at the University of Colorado, a Kaiser Media Fellow writing about health care reform focused on the Indian Health Service, and the Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Trahant has also worked at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Times, The Arizona Republic, The Salt Lake Tribune, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the Navajo Times, Navajo Nation Today and the Sho-Ban News.
Sarah Cohen, editor of The New York Times’ computer-assisted reporting team, previously taught journalism at Duke University. Prior to Duke, Cohen spent a decade at The Washington Post, where she was part of a Pulitzer-winning team that exposed the failures of the District of Columbia’s child protective systems. Before that she taught reporters computer-assisted techniques and reported on economics and health care. She has even been an economist, at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Mark Hass is a senior adviser to Teneo Digital and founding partner of Peconic First, a New York-based venture capital and advisory firm working with early-stage, technology-driven marketing and media companies. Previously, he was president and CEO of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm. Early in his career, Hass worked as a reporter and editor in Washington, Miami and Detroit. He was part of a team that created one of the nation’s first comprehensive newspaper websites in 1993.
Andrew Heyward, former president of CBS News and current principal of Heyward Advisory LLC, is an expert on the changing media landscape. For the past decade, he has helped media companies develop innovative online ventures and profitable digital strategies, create new content and services, and transform their businesses to drive growth and revenue. Heyward was president of CBS News from 1996-2005 and was previously executive producer of The CBS Evening News. Over his career, Heyward has won 12 national Emmy Awards.
Kevin Merida is senior vice president at ESPN and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, a digital site that explores the intersection of sports, race and culture. He was previously managing editor at the Washington Post. A lifelong newspaperman and the co-author of a book about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Merida was at the Post in various roles for over 20 years. He began his career in journalism as a reporter and editor at The Dallas Morning News.
Rem Rieder is a media columnist for USA Today. Previously, he was editor and senior vice president of the American Journalism Review, where he wrote columns on media issues. In his career, Rieder has held editing positions at news organizations including The Washington Post, The Miami Herald and Milwaukee Journal. He has taught media industry reporting, journalism ethics, magazine editing and production, and advanced public affairs reporting at the University of Maryland.
Heather Vogell is a reporter at ProPublica, where her investigation into how schools discipline students with intellectual disabilities won the 2015 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability. Previously, she was a reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where her work on test cheating in the public school system resulted in the indictments of the superintendent and 34 others. A series she co-authored, “Cheating Our Children,” became a 2013 finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Benoit Wirz is director of venture investments for the Knight Foundation. There, he manages the Knight Enterprise Fund, which invests directly in early-stage startups that improve access to information. He also advises Knight’s program staff and nonprofits in Knight’s portfolio on business issues. Wirz is a founder of U.S. Global, where he guided businesses from startup to profitability. He also served as vice president of strategic planning for U.S. Global Glass, and as vice president of business development for U.S. Global Synfuel.
Bill Dedman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author of the bestselling book “Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune.” He currently is a reporter for Newsday in New York. From 2006-2014, Dedman was an investigative reporter for NBC News. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1989 for a series of articles in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on racial discrimination by banks and other mortgage lenders.
Kate O'Brian is the president of Al Jazeera America, where she is responsible for the editorial strategy and operations across the network. Previously, O’Brian was senior vice president of newsgathering operations at ABC, where she led the network’s worldwide news bureaus and investigative units. She began her career as a television desk assistant in New York and joined the staff of “This Week with David Brinkley” in 1981. O’Brian has numerous awards, including an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award for her reporting.
Bill Putnam is a veteran photojournalist, whose work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Newsweek, among other publications. Putnam served as a combat photographer during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, capturing powerful images of humanity on both sides of the front lines. In Afghanistan, Putnam shot images in the country’s volatile Helmand Province. His work has concentrated on the mental, physical and political cost of war.
Rem Rieder is a media columnist for USA Today, where he writes on the role media plays in the lives of Americans. Previously, Rieder was editor and senior vice president of the American Journalism Review where he wrote columns on media issues. In his career, Rieder has held editing positions at news organizations, including The Washington Post, The Miami Herald and Milwaukee Journal. He has taught media industry reporting, journalism ethics, magazine editing and production, and advanced public affairs reporting at the University of Maryland.
Mike Riley is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Higher Education, a leading publication on university and college news for faculty and administrators. As editor-in-chief, Riley oversees business and editorial operations of the publication. In addition, he manages The Chronicle of Philanthropy, as well as a number of specialized websites. Previously, he served as the editorial director for Bloomberg Government. Early in his career, Riley was a correspondent for Time magazine in Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and Atlanta. He also held editorial positions with Congressional Quarterly and The Roanoke Times.
Margaret Talev is the White House correspondent for Bloomberg News. In her role, she covers the White House and the role of foreign policy in presidential elections. Previously, she worked for McClatchy, whose newspapers include The Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Raleigh News & Observer. Her work has appeared in dozens of other outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and American Journalism Review. She is a board member of the White House Correspondents' Association and the Washington Press Club Foundation.
Glenda Umaña is a leading Spanish language journalist, who served for nearly 18 years as one of the top anchors at CNN en Español. At CNN, Umaña covered a variety of international news stories, including the death of Pope John Paul II and the capture of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Umaña has received numerous awards for her work in broadcast journalism, including "Best Television Reporting" from the Association of Central American Journalists. Prior to CNN en Español, Umaña was a correspondent for CBS TeleNoticias.
Fred Young was the longtime senior vice president of Hearst-Argyle Television, where he oversaw news operations in 26 markets throughout 22 states, as well as the Hearst-Argyle Washington, D.C., News Bureau, which services the company's television news departments. Young joined Hearst Broadcasting in October 1962, serving for 25 years at WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, as vice president and general manager, news director, and in other news management positions. During his years there, WTAE-TV received numerous local and national awards for quality programming and community service.
Steve Capus served as president of NBC News from 2005 to 2013. As president, he managed all NBC News properties, including “NBC Nightly News,” “TODAY,” “Meet the Press” and “Dateline.” During his tenure, he oversaw coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and the election and re-election of Barack Obama. Capus started at NBC in 1993, serving as an executive producer on several top programs. He has received numerous awards, including four Emmy Awards and six Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Lou Ferrara is vice president and managing editor of The Associated Press. He played a key role in the news organization’s transition to content delivery through digital platforms. As vice president and managing editor, Ferrara manages coverage of sports, entertainment and business news as well as social media. Prior to working at the AP, he was at The New York Times, based out of Sarasota, Fla., where he covered police and courts before becoming general manager of the newspaper’s cable news station.
Mark Hass is president and chief executive officer of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm. He leads Edelman’s U.S. operations and has extensive experience helping global brands, such as General Motors, Procter & Gamble and United Airlines, integrate compelling digital media strategies. Early in his career, Hass worked as a reporter and editor in Washington, Miami and Detroit. He was part of a team that created one of the nation’s first comprehensive newspaper websites in 1993.
Karl Ravech is an ESPN journalist and the primary host of “Baseball Tonight,” an Emmy Award-winning program devoted to Major League Baseball. He also is an anchor for ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and provides coverage for the College World Series. In addition to baseball, he has reported on golf and college basketball. Prior to joining ESPN in 1993, Ravech was a sports anchor for WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Penn.
Becky Anderson is one of CNN International's highest-profile anchors. She hosts the network's flagship news and current affairs program, “Connect the World,” which airs weekdays during prime time. She also has extensive business journalism experience including posts with the UK’s ITN, CNBC Europe and Bloomberg. Anderson received her master’s degree from the Cronkite School in 1992 and is the school’s 2012 Hall of Fame inductee.
Peter Byck is the director of “Carbon Nation,” a climate change solutions movie. Byck has over 20 years of experience as a director and editor. His first documentary, “Garbage,” won the South by Southwest Film Festival, screened in scores of festivals and played at the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center. In addition, he has edited documentaries for Peter Jackson's last two films, "Lord of the Rings" and "King Kong" and has worked as an editor or director for documentaries and promotional shorts for Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, MTV, Vh1, BBC, Disney and MGM, for shows and movies that include "The West Wing," "The Matrix," "Scrubs," "ER" and many more.
A longtime investigative reporter for The Washington Post, Leon Dash is currently director of the University of Illinois' Center for Advanced Study. In 1995, with Post photographer Lucian Perkins, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism. He also has been the recipient of numerous industry awards, including a 1996 Emmy in Public Affairs: Hard Issues, the George Polk award from the Overseas Press Club and first prize for Best Book in the Harry Chapin Media Awards, among others.
Laureen Ong is president of the Travel Channel, responsible for brand strategy, development of programming and business opportunity development. Previously, Ong was COO for the Hong Kong-based global television network Star Group Limited, helped to launch SportsVision in Chicago and was founding president of the National Geographic Channel. As president, Ong oversaw National Geographic’s expansion into online, video-on-demand and other new media platforms and spearheaded the launch of the high-definition simulcast of the linear network, now available in more than 50 million homes.
Jennifer Sizemore is vice president/general manager and editor-in-chief of NBC News Digital. In that capacity, she oversees global editorial staffs and drives the business strategy for NBCNews.com (formerly msnbc.com) and TODAY.com, which reach 50 million monthly users. Sizemore also is executive producer for NBC News. She joined msnbc.com in June 2005 as deputy editor for news. She was previously deputy managing editor for news at the Houston Chronicle and assistant managing editor at both the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle. She has been a judge for the Hearst Foundation College Journalism Championships and Best of Gannett and has been a featured speaker at the American Press Institute, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Online News Association, and the Associated Collegiate Press National Convention, among others.
Kim Barker recently finished her term as the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where she studied, wrote and lectured on Pakistan and Afghanistan and U.S. policy. She was the South Asia bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune from 2004 to 2009 and was based in New Delhi and Islamabad. She began covering the region after Sept. 11, 2001, and spent two years on a project called “Struggle for the Soul of Islam," a series about Islam that sent her to Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia.
Charles Lewis is a national investigative journalist; a former ABC News and CBS News 60 Minutes producer, best-selling author and founder or co-founder of several nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Public Integrity and its International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Under his leadership, the center published about 300 investigative reports from 1989 through 2004 and won more than 30 national journalism honors. Lewis was named “one of the 30 most notable investigative reporters in the U.S. since World War I” by the Encyclopedia of Journalism. He has been a Ferris Professor at Princeton University and a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University.
Eric Newton is senior adviser to the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Since joining the foundation in 2001 as journalism program director, he has developed some $300 million in grants to advance quality journalism, freedom of expression and media innovation worldwide. Before coming to the Knight Foundation, he was founding managing editor of the Newseum, an interactive journalism museum in Washington, D.C. Newton began his journalism career as a newspaper editor in Northern California. During his tenure as managing editor of the Oakland Tribune, the newspaper won 150 journalism awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.
Steve Rubel is executive vice president of global strategy and insights for Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm. In this role, he studies the future of media and helps clients unify their communications strategies across traditional, emerging, owned and social channels. In addition, Rubel acts as a highly visible Edelman thought leader and writer on media, technology and digital culture. He has been named to several prestigious lists, including PR Week’s 40 Under 40 and Forbes.com’s Web Celeb 25.
Michel Du Cille
Michel Du Cille joined The Washington Post in 1988 as picture editor and has been assistant managing editor for photography since 2007. He has won three Pulitzer Prizes, including one Pulitzer Prize for Public Service that he shared with writers Anne Hull and Dana Priest for an investigative series that exposed the mistreatment of wounded Iraq war veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Kenny Irby is senior faculty for visual journalism and director of diversity programs for the Poynter Institute. He founded the photojournalism program at Poynter in 1995 and has been the organization’s visual journalism group leader for over a decade. Irby chaired the photography categories for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and is a founding member of the Best of Photojournalism Committee. Irby counts the National Press Photographers’ highest recognition, the Sprague Award, in 2007, among his many honors.
Marcia Parker is the West Coast editorial director for Patch.com, a hyperlocal journalism network owned by AOL. Previously, she was assistant dean at University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School. She managed the launch of California Watch, a reporting effort of the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting, served as director of programming for a new AOL channel, and has consulted for Yahoo! and AllVoices.com.
Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding LLC and the author of best-selling book, “Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success.” He has more than 85,000 followers on Twitter and was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top 20 entrepreneurs to follow. He has spoken for universities including Harvard and MIT and for corporations including Time Warner and CitiGroup.
Hilary Schneider is EVP, Americas Region for Yahoo!, where she is responsible for advertising sales, partnerships and programming across Yahoo!'s North, Central and South American operations. Previously, she was CEO of Knight Ridder Digital, where she later co-managed the company’s newspaper and online business.
Paul Steiger is the editor-in-chief, president and chief executive of ProPublica. He also is chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists and a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Previously he was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 2007. From 1998 to 2007, he served on the Pulitzer Prize board. He has won a number of honors for public service in journalism, including the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award.
Kathleen Bade, anchor for Fox 5 in San Diego and an alumna of the Cronkite School, has won multiple Emmy Awards in her 15-year career in broadcast news. Prior to Fox, she worked at the CBS affiliate in San Diego and the Fox and CBS affiliates in Phoenix.
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Cronkite School alumna Julie Cart of the Los Angeles Times won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in the category of Explanatory Reporting for her five-part series on the growth and cost of wildfires. Cart has been a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and a reporter for United Press International.
Vanessa Fox, entrepreneur, SEO expert and creator of Google’s Webmaster Central, has been called a “cyberspace visionary” by Seattle Business Monthly and named one of Seattle’s 2008 top 25 innovators and entrepreneurs.
Mei-Ling Hopgood is a freelance journalist based in South America. She has written for National Geographic Traveler, The Miami Herald and The Boston Globe. An article she wrote about her reunion with her Chinese birth family won a national award from the Asian American Journalists Association and formed the basis of her memoir, “Lucky Girl.”
As editor of The Oregonian, Sandy Rowe led the paper to five Pulitzer Prizes before her retirement in 2010. She won the 2003 Benjamin Bradlee Editor of the Year Award and has served as president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, chair of the Knight Foundation Journalism Advisory Board and chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board.
David Sasaki is the director of Rising Voices, a project of Global Voices Online. As such, he curates an international network of blogs and other citizen media.
Jim VandeHei is the co-founder of Politico and the first representative of a primarily online news organization to be elected to serve on the Pulitzer Prize board. Previously, he covered Capitol Hill for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
Renee C. Byer
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Renee C. Byer is a senior photojournalist with The Sacramento Bee. Her photos have been published in Newsweek Asia, Paris Match, Marie Claire, El Mundo, Days Japan, Rangefinder, Business Week, People and others.
Award-winning reporter and Cronkite alumnus Babak Dehghanpisheh was named the Baghdad bureau chief for Newsweek in late 2006 and has covered Iraq since. Dehghanpisheh was embedded early in the conflict and was one of the few journalists to gain access to Abu Ghraib.
Longtime digital media leader Mark Hinojosa is the director of new media for The Detroit News and has also served as associate managing editor for new media for the Chicago Tribune.
Susan Page, Washington bureau chief, for USA Today, and her husband, Carl Leubsdorf, Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, have covered and directed news coverage of numerous presidential campaigns over the past three decades.
Mara Schiavocampo was the first digital journalist on network television, appearing as the digital correspondent for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Her multimedia reports also appear on MSNBC and the Today Show. Prior to this role, she contributed to ABC News, NPR and Ebony magazine, among others.
Houston Chronicle immigration/border reporter Susan Carroll covered immigration issues in Arizona for the Tucson Citizen and The Arizona Republic prior to joining the Chronicle. She has received two Reporter of the Year awards from the Arizona Press Club and was a Border Justice Fellow at the Annenberg Institute for Justice Journalism from 2003 to 2004.
Jason Manning has held positions including politics editor for washingtonpost.com and local-national editor for PBS’ Online NewsHour. Manning has also worked at usnews.com, where he produced the US News college rankings on the Web and assisted in the magazine’s 9/11 coverage. Following his visit as a Hearst Professional, Manning was hired by ASU to direct Student Media.
Julia Wallace, the first female editor of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, was previously managing editor of The Arizona Republic and has worked at USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Salem (Ore.) Statesman Journal.
Jennie Buckner retired as editor of The Charlotte Observer in 2004. Since then, she has been a visiting professor at Davidson College, where she has taught classes in journalism ethics and critical issues in mass media. During her 11 years at the Observer, the paper won numerous state and national awards, including being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.
Christine Devine is an award-winning weekday anchor for KTTV-TV in Los Angeles. Her work has won eight Emmy awards. The Cronkite alumna was inducted into the Cronkite Alumni Hall of Fame in 2001. The following year she received an ASU Founder’s Day achievement award, one of the most prestigious awards given by the ASU Alumni Association.
Ricardo Sandoval, assistant metro editor at The Sacramento Bee, has spent most of his professional life reporting on immigration issues. In 1997, while reporting for the San Jose Mercury News, he and two coworkers wrote an investigative article that won awards from the Overseas Press Club and the Inter American Press Association for reporting from Latin America. Later, while reporting for The Dallas Morning News, Sandoval and his wife, Susan Ferriss, co-authored the book “The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Movement.”
Keith Woods, a former editor at The New Orleans Times-Picayune, is the dean of the faculty at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and one of the nation’s leaders in journalism diversity issues.
Karen Kasmauski is an award-winning National Geographic photographer who has won top honors in the annual Pictures of the Year competition as well as special recognition in the Magazine Photographer of the Year category. Her book “Impact: From the Frontlines of Global Health” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Dr. Maria Simbra, a health science reporter for KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, also is a practicing physician. She reports on health care issues that affect Pittsburgh-area viewers and maintains a private practice as a board-certified neurologist.
Mark Trahant of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is one of the nation’s leading Native American journalists. He is the first Native American to serve as the top editor of a major metropolitan newspaper (Salt Lake Tribune) and was CEO of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.