Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz is joining Denison’s faculty as the newest member of the college’s growing journalism program.
Schultz, a USA Today columnist and author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Daughters of Erietown, will begin her two-year appointment as Professor of Practice in Journalism in August 2023.
“Today’s journalism students are our future storytellers, and we have never needed them more,” said Schultz, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2005. “Journalism is public service. I want to help students at Denison grow their talents as fact-based chroniclers of our world and fuel their commitment to the mission of the work.”
The new appointment deepens Denison’s relationship with Schultz, who served as the 2020-21 Dr. Nan Nowik Writer-in-Residence, a program established through the generosity of Denison Alumni Council Trustee Kathryn Correia ’79 and Stephen Correia.
Schultz also served as the college’s Andrew W. Mellon Storyteller-in-Residence — funded through a combination of a grant from the Mellon Foundation and a gift from Denison alumna Sue Douthit O’Donnell ’67 — and in 2021 helped kick off Denison’s new journalism major as part of The New Storytellers speaker series.
In 2022, she delivered the keynote address at Denison’s Commencement and received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Connie Schultz to our faculty at Denison,” said University President Adam Weinberg. “Throughout her career, Connie has embodied the liberal arts attributes of critical thinking, intellectual humility, and strong communication skills. I look forward to seeing the many ways she will challenge and encourage our students to ask tough questions, seek truths, and tell impactful stories with empathy and integrity.”
Schultz was a reporter and columnist at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland for nearly 20 years and a nationally syndicated columnist from 2007 until 2021, when she joined USA Today. She has served twice as a Pulitzer Prize juror.
Recently, she taught as a Professional in Residence at her alma mater, Kent State University, focusing on opinion and feature writing and ethics at the university’s School of Media and Journalism.
“My seven years of teaching at the journalism school that launched my career has been a dream come true,” Schultz said. “The time spent with our students and dedicated faculty at my beloved Kent State has changed me forever, in all the best ways. The human heart is always capable of making room for more. I am no stranger to this campus, and I welcome the chance to contribute to a community I have come to love.”
Denison’s journalism program was established in 2021, building on the success of the Narrative Journalism concentration that launched in 2016. Designed in collaboration between the Communication and English departments, the journalism major offers a liberal arts approach across various disciplines, producing skilled writers to tell stories and explain complicated issues from STEM fields to the humanities.
“Based on the way Connie quickly built connections with our students, we knew that she would be an invaluable instructor and mentor at Denison, and her talent and enthusiasm would fuel the momentum of our burgeoning program,” said Jack Shuler, director of the journalism program at Denison. “I’ve long been an admirer of Connie’s work. In a divisive world, we need more journalists like her, and our students will benefit from understanding her inclusive approach to reporting and writing.”