Distinguished Visiting Journalist Program

About the Program

The College of Arts & Sciences' Distinguished Visiting Journalist Program brings accomplished journalists to Cornell for extended visits. The program aims to recognize excellence in journalism and to provide opportunities for select journalists and the university community to engage with each other. 

While on the Ithaca campus, for periods of two to 12 weeks, the visiting fellows will interact with faculty, researchers and students in a variety of organized and informal settings, such as moderating and/or participating in panel discussions, making guest presentations in classes, exploring research laboratories and special collections, and joining tea or dinner at a residential college. The fellows will inspire and engage with students interested in journalism and the media while learning about the latest research, scholarship and creative works emerging from Cornell.

“This program is an acknowledgement that journalism plays an essential role in our society, in all the disciplines that Cornell explores, and that understanding journalism is part of understanding the world.”

~Marc Lacey, Managing Editor of the New York Times and Inaugural Distinguished Visiting Journalist

Distinguished Visiting Journalists may have interests in any disciplinary area in the College including the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Candidates for these prestigious appointments will be selected by an internal committee of faculty and staff. Selected fellows will have demonstrated an interest in fundamental research, scholarship and creative works that impact humanity, as well as in mentoring graduate and undergraduate students interested in the field of journalism and the broader media landscape.

The program is funded through a significant endowment from Jan Rock Zubrow ’77 and Barry Zubrow that established the The Jan and Barry Zubrow Distinguished Visiting Journalism Fellows Fund. The program has received additional philanthropic support from Jay Branegan ’72, Rose Gutfeld Edwards ’78 and the Dr. Guinevere Griest ’44 Fund for Public Engagement in A&S.

Advisory Committee

  • Kaushik Basu, Carl Marks Professor of International Studies, Economics
  • Itai Cohen, Professor of Physics
  • Rachel Bean, Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Astronomy
  • Joel Malina, Vice President for University Relations
  • Riché Richardson, Professor, Africana Studies & Research Center
  • Tricia Ritterbusch, Assistant Dean of Communications, Arts & Sciences

Selection Process

Currently, the Advisory Committee selects fellowship recipients by invitation only on a rolling basis for up to two fellows per year. 

If you are a working journalist and would like to be considered for a fellowship, please contact Tricia Ritterbusch, Assistant Dean of Communications for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Expectations of Fellows

Selected fellows are asked to spend between two to eight weeks during either the fall or spring semester. We will work with the fellows to shape the visits to suit their interests and maximize opportunities for engagement. A stipend will be provided during the fellow's time on campus.

Fellows can engage in a range of activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Sitting in or guest lecturing in relevant classes
  • Meeting with researchers and groups of researchers, including time for extended meetings and “shadowing”
  • Teaching an informal masterclass on journalism to undergraduates
  • Engaging in mentorship of graduate and undergraduate students
  • Exploring library collections and research labs
  • Participating on a public panel with faculty on a topic of broad interest
  • A tea or dinner on West Campus with students and faculty
  • Meetings with Cornell Sun student reporters and editors
  • Meetings with campus communicators

Distinguished Visiting Journalist Fellows

Fall 2023-Spring 2024

David Folkenflik, Zubrow Distinguished Visiting Journalist Fellow

Media Correspondent, National Public Radio

A headshot of David Folkenflik, with black short hair and a salt and pepper beard and mustache, wearing a suite jacket.

Folkenflik’s stories and analyses are broadcast on multiple NPR programs, including All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, and are featured on NPR’s website and mobile platforms. His wide-ranging coverage focuses on the intersection of media and politics, evolving ethical standards of journalism, influence of the press on popular culture, and broader structural, technical and economic shifts within the news industry.

Folkenflik’s writing has appeared in publications including the Washington Post, Politico Magazine and Newsweek International. He is also the author of “Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires” and editor of “Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism.” He was named one of the 50 most influential people in American media by Business Insider.

At Cornell, Folkenflik served as editor-in-chief at the Cornell Daily Sun. After graduating with a B.A. in history as a College Scholar, he worked at the Durham Herald-Sun in North Carolina. He then spent more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun covering higher education, national politics and the media before joining NPR in 2004, where among his roles he served as host of On Point.

A five-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism from the National Press Club, Folkenflik has received numerous other recognitions, including the inaugural 2002 Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting on the News, the Edward Willis Scripps Award For Distinguished Service to the First Amendment from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Ethics in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism from Penn State University. In 2005-06, Folkenflik served as the inaugural Irik Sevin Fellow at Cornell.

Spring 2023

Andrew Morse, Zubrow Distinguished Visiting Journalist Fellow

President and Publisher, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Andrew Morse

A former senior leader at CNN, Bloomberg and ABC News, Morse was recently appointed president and publisher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, to lead the digital transformation of the South’s largest newspaper.

Morse’s role at CNN began as as executive vice president for editorial for the CNN/U.S. television network and global digital platforms, overseeing all domestic newsgathering teams and bureaus, the digital editorial organization, and the Washington Bureau and television programs.

As executive vice president and chief digital officer at CNN, Morse oversaw a global portfolio of businesses that included CNN.com, CNN Business, CNN Audio, CNN Underscored (the network’s e-commerce product) and CNN’s direct-to-consumer efforts, as well as the CNN en Español cable network and digital platform. As chief digital officer of CNN, Morse had general management oversight, including responsibility for editorial, programming, product development, technology and business operations.

Under Morse's leadership, CNN became the world’s No. 1 source of digital news and information, attracting more than 200 million unique users each month, and was the world’s most used and most profitable digital news service.

Prior to his position at CNN, Morse served as head of Bloomberg Television in the U.S., where he oversaw editorial, programming, operations and development for the 24-hour business news network.

Fall 2022

Ann Simmons, Zubrow Distinguished Visiting Journalist Fellow

Moscow Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal

Ann Simmons smiling, with very short hair, red lipstick, earrings and a black jacket over a black top.

Simmons served in Moscow for Time Magazine in the 1990s, where she reported on the aborted coup against then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and the ascension of Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin. She then moved to Time’s Washington, D.C., bureau, where her first beat was as a diplomatic correspondent, a role that included covering the U.S. State Department and the Middle East peace initiatives of then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher. While based in Washington, Simmons also covered the intervention of U.S. forces into Haiti and was embedded in the U.S. Army when American troops were sent to the Balkans.

Later, Simmons joined the Los Angeles Times as bureau chief in Nairobi and Johannesburg. Her reporting on the continent took her to more than 30 African nations. She was also part of a Los Angeles Times team that won a 2004 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for their coverage of wildfires in Southern California.

In her role as Moscow bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, Ann Simmons covers Russia’s domestic and foreign policy, Moscow’s relationship with Washington, and life in the former Soviet state under the authoritarian leadership of President Vladimir Putin. The bureau she manages also covers events in ex-Soviet republics, including Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Born and raised in London, Simmons holds a double honors bachelor’s degree in Russian and Norwegian from the University of East Anglia and a master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Spring 2022

Natalie Wolchover, Zubrow Distinguished Visiting Journalist Fellow

Science Writer, Quanta Magazine

Natalie Wolchover wearing a blck shirt and earrings

Wolchover has been with Quanta, covering the physical sciences and mathematics, since the magazine’s launch in 2013. Her articles are often syndicated to sites such as Wired, Business Insider, Nautilus, and The Atlantic. Wolchover has also reported for Nature, the New Yorker and Popular Science, among others. As a science writer, she has covered a wide range of topics in the physical sciences, including particle physics, quantum computing, climate change and gravitational waves. Her awards include the Science Communication Award from the American Institute of Physics and the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award from the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

Fall 2021

Molly O’Toole, Zubrow Distinguished Visiting Journalist Fellow

Immigration and security reporter, Los Angeles Times

Molly O'Toole

O’Toole was one of the recipients of the first Pulitzer Prize for audio journalism in 2020, reporting for an episode of “This American Life.” She has also reported for the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the New Republic, Newsweek and the Associated Press from Central America, West Africa, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf and South Asia.


Spring/Fall 2020

Marc Lacey, Assistant Managing Editor, The New York Times

Marc Lacey

Lacey has spent more than 20 years at The New York Times, in roles including national editor, foreign correspondent, White House correspondent and editor of the weekend news report. Before arriving at The New York Times, he was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He recently served as a moderator for the fourth Democratic presidential debate, held in October 2019 in Ohio.


Past Events

Poster image for "Dissident Writers" DVJ Event

Dissident Writers: A Conversation

Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Meshri Family Auditorium: 200 Baker Lab 

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik ’91 led a panel discussion on the role of dissenting writers in Russia, China, Belarus and elsewhere in a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Visiting Journalist program on April 17.

Dissident Writers: A Conversation" featured Folkenflik in conversation with Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America; and Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort, associate professor of literatures in English (A&S). It was one of Cornell’s Freedom of Expression theme year events, and explored topics including book banning in the U.S., the role of society toward dissident writers and the role of dissenting writers around the world.


Free Press in a Free Society: U.S. Newsrooms on the Front Lines

November 14, 2023
Kiplinger Theater, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts

Free Press in a Free Society: U.S. Newsrooms on the Front Lines

A strong and independent press plays a critical role in a healthy democracy. In Free Press in a Free Society: U.S. Newsrooms on the Front Lines, renowned journalists and faculty discussed this role and how newsrooms are faring today. The event was part of the Freedom of Expression theme year.

Watch the event recording here.

Transcending Echo Chambers: Political Polarization and the Media

April 19, 2023
Rhodes-Rawling Auditorium in Klarman Hall

Dean Ray Jayawardhana (left) moderates “Transcending Echo Chambers: Political Polarization and the Media” with panelists Andrew Morse ’96, S. E. Cupp ’00, Matthew Hiltzik ’94; and Alexandra Cirone, assistant professor of government.

As the polarization in the U.S. grows ever deeper, a hot debate rages over whether the media are helping or worsening the divide. In “Transcending Echo Chambers: Polarization and the Media,” distinguished alumni and Cornell faculty explored the media’s role and what can be done.

Watch the recording here.

Aftershocks: Geopolitics Since the Ukraine Invasion

Sept. 22, 2022
Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts

Arts Unplugged, Aftershocks, geopolitics since the Ukraine invasion, image of world with warplanes and ripples

As the war in Ukraine rages on, how is the ground shifting across Eurasia and beyond? In "Aftershocks: Geopolitics Since the Ukraine Invasion," leading journalists and scholars covering Russia, Europe, China and the global political landscape discussed how international relations, security, trade and economics are shifting in ways not seen since World War II.

Watch the recording here.

Move: An Urgent Conversation with Award-winning Immigration Journalists and Authors

Dec. 1, 2021

people in an auditorium

Three Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters and authors were on campus Dec. 1 for "Move: An Urgent Conversation with Award-winning Immigration Journalists and Authors," an event hosted by the Distinguished Visiting Journalist program in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Watch the recording here.

"Telling Stories about Science": A master class with Natalie Wolchover

March 15, 2022
Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall

Bringing Science to Life Through Storytelling A Masterclass, headshot of Natalie Wolchover

Mutating viruses, nuclear fusion, quantum computing – scientific intricacies seem to make headlines daily, yet successfully communicating scientific complexities to a general audience can be difficult. On March 15, award-winning science journalist Natalie Wolchover, Zubrow Distinguished Visiting Journalist in the College of Arts and Sciences, offered a master class on “Telling Stories about Science.”


Covering COVID: How Journalists Tackled the Biggest Science Story of our Time

April 28, 2021

Covering COVID: How Journalists Tackled the Biggest Science Story of our Time; mask and white house imprint in the background

In the hour-long webinar "Covering COVID: How Journalists Tackled the Biggest Science Story of our Time," four leading science journalists actively covering the pandemic discussed the challenges of writing about the complexities.  

Watch the recording here

Between the Polls: How Voters Decide

Oct. 19, 2020

 The top of the U.S. Capitol building, half in blue and half in red

In “Between the Polls: How Voters Decide,” a webinar held on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m., a panel of experts examined how we learn about voters and their decisions and how those data drive election forecasts. They also explored how polling is covered in the media and methods journalists use to gauge voter interest. 

Watch the recording here.