UMaine, Bangor Public Library to host three Pulitzer Prize winners

Centennial Mark withPulitzer Prize MedalTo celebrate 100 years of the Pulitzer Prizes, the University of Maine’s Department of Communication and Journalism along with the Bangor Public Library will host three winners of journalism’s top award.

Amy Ellis Nutt of The Washington Post, Kathleen Kingsbury of The Boston Globe, and Jim Sheeler of Case Western Reserve University will visit UMaine journalism classes throughout March 24–31, as well as lead public presentations on campus and at the Bangor Public Library.

Organizers say the event offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to the Bangor-Orono area to participate in public forums, educate students and engage residents on topics of public interest while impressing upon the community the essential civic role of quality journalism.

The public events from 3–4 p.m. at Wells Conference Center on campus and 6:30–7:30 p.m. at the Bangor Public Library will be tailored to the specific theme of each journalist’s award-winning or chosen work. The talks offer opportunities to consider how journalism interacts with the public on important social issues.

The library presentations will be introduced by journalists from The Bangor Daily News, including Erin Rhoda, editor of Maine Focus; and Anthony Ronzio, director of news and audience.

Nutt, a health and science reporter at The Washington Post and author of “Becoming Nicole” will speak on campus and at the library Thursday, March 24. The 2011 award winner will discuss her book about a Maine family that triumphed in a landmark discrimination case for transgender rights.

Kingsbury, a 2015 award winner for editorial writing and deputy managing editor of The Boston Globe, will speak Tuesday, March 29. The author of the award-winning series “Service Not Included” will discuss labor and exploitation in the restaurant industry.

Sheeler, the Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, will give a presentation Wednesday, March 30 on casualty notification, the topic of his 2006 award-winning feature for the Rocky Mountain News titled, “Final Salute.”

In addition to visiting journalism classes, the guests will have lunch with the Department of Communication and Journalism’s Honor Society and participating faculty.

The experience of learning directly from veteran practitioners awarded journalism’s highest honor represents an invaluable opportunity for UMaine undergraduates, organizers say.

Pulitzer Week is made possible by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council with support from the University of Maine Humanities Center and the UMaine Department of Communication and Journalism’s Alan Miller Fund for Excellence in Communication and Journalism. Community partners include the Bangor Public Library, Bangor Daily News and Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine.

Since 2007, the Department of Communication and Journalism has brought respected journalists to campus through the Alan Miller Fund for Excellence in Communication and Journalism. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists who have previously visited campus courtesy of the fund include Bettina Boxall of Los Angeles Times and Mark Feeney of The Boston Globe.

Pulitzer Week allows the department to expand upon the success of the Alan Miller Fund program by increasing the number of visiting journalists and adding more public outreach and community engagement.

More information about Pulitzer Week is on the UMaine Department of Communication and Journalism website, as well as The Pulitzer Prizes website.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747