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Award-winning journalist returns to ASU roots

September 26, 2013

When Jacquee Petchel works with ASU journalism students as director of the national News21 Initiative, they realize she knows what she’s talking about. She is an award-winning investigative reporter, editor and producer who most recently served as senior editor for investigations and enterprise at The Houston Chronicle.

In her career at the Miami Herald she was twice part of teams that won a Pulitzer Prize, once for public service and another for breaking news. She has reported or led projects that have won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, among others.

When the opportunity arose to join the faculty at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication this fall, as an alumnus of the school, she felt like she was coming home.

“My education and experience at ASU led me to a remarkable and exhilarating journalism career in newspapers and television,” she says. “I felt like it was time to turn my good fortune toward the future, and ASU is the future.

“I view the position as an opportunity to continue the legacy of investigative reporting by instilling its principles and practices in future journalists. My philosophy is to teach students by example to seek the truth and uncover injustice, and to inspire them to reach their full potential by passionately pursuing that truth. I want to set a standard of excellence that will set them apart from graduates from all other universities.”

The opportunity to tell the stories of exploited and disenfranchised people has been the greatest honor of her life, she says. Often the stories changed the course of people’s lives, in ways big and small.

As a Phoenix native, Petchel was a reporter and editor for the ASU student newspaper, The State Press, before earning her degree in journalism and Latin American studies. She was a reporter at The Arizona Republic for six years, also working at CBS television stations in Miami and Minneapolis before joining the Miami Herald.