Boston Globe Spotlight editor named Reynolds Visiting Professor at Cronkite School

August 3, 2016

Walter V. Robinson, the longtime Boston Globe investigations editor who led the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning report on the Roman Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal recounted in the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight,” is coming to teach at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Robinson, currently an editor-at-large at the Globe, is joining the Cronkite School in January as a Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professor, teaching an investigative journalism class for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. He also will work with reporters in Cronkite News, the student-staffed, professionally led news division of Arizona PBS. Walter Robinson Walter V. Robinson, the longtime Boston Globe investigations editor who led the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning report on the Roman Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, has been named the Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professor at the Cronkite School. Download Full Image

With more than three decades as a journalist at the Globe, Robinson was editor of the newspaper’s Spotlight Team, which won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its comprehensive investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The investigation, which exposed a decades-long cover-up that shielded the crimes of nearly 250 priests, was made into the film “Spotlight,” which won 2015 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

“I am delighted for this opportunity to play a role at one of the best — and certainly the most innovative and exciting — journalism schools in the country,’’ Robinson said. “I’m honored to be a part of the school’s distinguished faculty, and I’m looking forward to working with so many talented students.’’

Before his professorship begins, Robinson will visit the Cronkite School this fall to screen and discuss “Spotlight” as part of the school’s regular movie night. The public screening, sponsored by the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.

“Walter Robinson represents the very best in investigative journalism,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “His reporting and newsroom leadership have brought to light important issues that have uncovered serious corruption and abuse. We are thrilled to welcome Robby to the Cronkite School and look forward to him mentoring our tremendous students.”

Robinson joined the Globe in 1972 and went on to report on politics and government before covering the White House during the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. He has covered four presidential elections and was the lead Globe reporter for the 1988 and 1992 elections.

In 1990 and 1991, Robinson was the newspaper’s Middle East Bureau chief during the first Persian Gulf War. He went on to be the Globe’s city editor in 1992 and then the metro editor for three years.

In the late 1990s, he was the Globe's roving foreign and national correspondent and spent much of that time reporting on artworks looted by the Nazis during World War II that ended up in American museums. For his reporting on the illicit trade in antiquities, Robinson was awarded the Archaeological Institute of America's first-ever outstanding public service award in 1999.

From 2007-2014, Robinson was a distinguished professor of journalism and Northeastern University in Boston. His investigative reporting students produced 26 Page One investigative stories for The Boston Globe. He returned to the Globe in 2014 as an editor-at-large.

Robinson served four years in the U.S. Army, including a year in Vietnam as an intelligence officer with the 1st Cavalry Division.

Robinson is a 1974 graduate of Northeastern University and has been awarded honorary degrees by his alma mater and Emerson College. He was a journalism fellow at Stanford University and is co-author of the 2002 book, “Betrayal: Crisis in the Catholic Church.”

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, it has committed more than $115 million nationwide through its Journalism Program.

Department of English names interim leadership

A film specialist will helm ASU’s Department of English in 2016-2017 while a national search for long-term leadership of the department continues

August 3, 2016

Professor Aaron Baker, whose scholarship focuses on representations of social identity in American cinema and who was the former head of ASU’s film and media studies program, has been named interim chair of the Department of English at ASU for academic year 2016-2017.

Baker assumed the role recently vacated by professor Mark Lussier, who had been chair since 2013. Doris Warriner, an associate professor of English who has previously directed English’s writing, rhetorics and literacies program, will fill the associate chair position formerly held by professor Karen Adams. Aaron Baker / Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now Aaron Baker, a professor in film and media studies at ASU, has been named interim chair of the Department of English for 2016-2017. “My responsibility this year,” he said, “will be to effectively manage the large and productive English department on the ASU Tempe campus so all its many parts are functioning as well as possible when the new chair arrives in 2017.” Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now Download Full Image

“I am very much looking forward to working with the leadership team in the Department of English over the next year,” said George Justice, humanities dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Aaron Baker brings years of experience with film and media studies, and Doris Warriner has great ideas and demonstrated competence. This is interim leadership that will made a strong and positive difference for ASU, and I am grateful to both Aaron and Doris for stepping up to the challenge.”

“My responsibility this year,” said Baker, “will be to effectively manage the large and productive English department on the ASU Tempe campus so all its many parts are functioning as well as possible when the new chair arrives in 2017.”

Baker has been at ASU since 1995. In addition to serving as director of film and media studies, he also oversaw the founding and development of the program’s online Master of Advanced Study (MAS) degree.

He teaches both graduates and undergraduates in courses ranging from introductory film studies to the 500-level courses “Film Analysis” and “Crime and Violence in American Film.”

Baker’s research focuses primarily on portrayals of American sports culture as well as film authorship. His books — which include “Out of Bounds: Sports, Media and the Politics of Identity” (1997), “Contesting Identity: Sports in American Film” (2003) and most recently, career analyses of directors Steven Soderbergh (2011) and Martin Scorsese (2014) — reflect those interests. Baker received his PhD in comparative literature from Indiana University.

Doris Warriner

Associate chair Warriner teaches in the Department of English’s writing, rhetorics and literacies program, where her research focuses on experiences of migration and language learning among refugee and immigrant families living in the U.S. She is collaborating with members of local communities and health-care professionals to increase refugee families’ access to health-care services and health literacy. She is also participating in an ASU Institute for Humanities Research Cluster, called “Listening to Refugees,” to design and implement new ways of listening to, working with and responding to refugees in Arizona. Warriner received her PhD in education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Part of Baker’s and Warriner's responsibilities this year will involve overseeing the department’s move into a new physical space to accommodate its growth. Project planners anticipate that the building currently known as the Ross-Blakley Law Library will be renovated and ready for a Department of English move-in during fall 2017. (The College of Law moved to the Downtown campus this summer.)

The Department of English — the largest humanities unit on ASU’s Tempe campus — is composed of several interrelated graduate and undergraduate programs spanning the art and science of language and media including: creative writing; English education; film and media studies; linguistics, applied linguistics and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages); literature; and writing, rhetorics and literacies. In addition, English is also the home of the largest writing program (composition instruction) in the U.S., shepherding some 10,000 ASU students per semester, in hundreds of majors and disciplines, through college writing courses.

A national search for a chair of English is ongoing, led by Duane Roen, a vice provost and dean at the Polytechnic campus.

Kristen LaRue-Sandler

Manager, marketing + communications, Department of English