Kent State University’s College of Communication and Information and its School of Journalism and Mass Communication will welcome alumna and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz to its faculty this spring.
Schultz, who graduated from Kent State with her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1979, is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate.
“It’s such a fantastic opportunity to bring Connie, one of the best feature and opinion writers in the country, to the College of Communication and Information,” said the college’s dean, Amy Reynolds, Ph.D. “I have followed her work for many years and am always inspired by the quality and depth of her writing and analysis. She is a remarkable person, and our students will benefit tremendously from her guidance.”
Schultz said she is looking forward to her new position as the College of Communication and Information Professional in Residence.
“Kent State launched me, as a journalist and as a citizen of the world,” Schultz said. “In recent visits to the campus, I was blown away by the energy of the place and moved by the university’s commitment to put students first. This is a rare opportunity to be part of the school community I cherish while still working in this profession I love. As Kent State taught me so many years ago, we must carry as we climb in this life. I can think of nowhere I’d rather be than working with the future journalists at my alma mater. I am coming home.”
According to Thor Wasbotten, the director of Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Schultz will teach classes and help the college and school with conferences and seminars.
“We are fortunate to have Connie as a colleague,” Wasbotten said. “Our students will benefit from her tremendous writing and reporting skills. We couldn’t be happier to have another Pulitzer Prize winner join our faculty.”
Schultz served as a reporter and columnist at The Plain Dealer for nearly 20 years, from 1993 to 2011. While there, she was a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, earning the award in 2005 for Commentary. Schultz also earned such prestigious awards as the National Headliner Award for Commentary, the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award for Commentary, the Batten Medal, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Social Justice Reporting and more.
Schultz was the editor of Kent State’s own Daily Kent Stater student newspaper her senior year of college. Upon graduation, she served as a freelance writer for several news organizations, including theChicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan and The New York Times.
Schultz has authored two books, “Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths” and “… and His Lovely Wife,” and is currently working on a third. After her years at The Plain Dealer, she has worked as an essayist for Parade Magazine, and she has been a public speaker, talking about topics like journalism, women’s rights and politics. Additionally, in the past three years, some of her freelance essays have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Politico, ESPN The Magazine, Chicago Tribune and Democracy Journal.
Schultz also uses social media as an outlet to share her opinions on a variety of topics, and she is very successful in guiding conversations in her online communities. She has nearly 139,500 followers on Facebook and more than 14,400 followers on Twitter.
“Many journalists have struggled to figure out how to translate their work for social media,” Reynolds said. “Connie is a role model for anyone who wants to build civil discourse and community using social media. Her Facebook page is an exemplar of this. Connie’s knowledge of social media and how to effectively use it to inform and engage citizens is something I know she will share with our student media organizations and in her classes.”
About Kent State University’s College of Communication and Information
Four academic programs united in July 2002 to establish the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University. The schools of Communication Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication, Library and Information Science and Visual Communication Design joined in one college to create a unique learning community and to begin a pioneering effort in integrative research and professional practice. The College of Communication and Information continues to build its reputation for collaborative, applied and theoretical research while providing a first-class education for the next generations of communicators and leaders. For more information, visit www.kent.edu/cci.
About Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Now in its 78th year, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University offers majors that prepare students for careers in the rapidly changing media and communication industries. The school emphasizes relevant training at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that balances both conceptual and practical courses, professional opportunities and multiple internships. Kent State’s core curriculum gives students a strong background in the liberal arts to complement the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s professional training. For more information, visit www.kent.edu/jmc.