Pollner Professorship expands to include spring semester opportunity

The University of Montana School of Journalism has created a second visiting professorship that will allow the school to bring a high-profile journalist to campus each spring semester to teach a seminar-style course to upper division students and to work with students at the Montana Kaimin newspaper.

Since 2001 the school has had the T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professorship, named in honor of a young graduate who died earlier that year in an accident. A succession of exceptional journalists have spent fall semester at UM, teaching and mentoring journalism students.

This week, the friends and family of Anthony Pollner announced a second endowment that will expand the program to spring semester. The fall professorship has had writing and reporting as its focus. The new professorship will feature accomplished journalists working in the areas of visual storytelling, online journalism or the business of journalism.

Some of the top names in journalism have held the Pollner professorship, including Pulitzer Prize winners Eli Saslow, Tamara Jones, Maurice Possley and John Woestendiek. Two-time National Magazine Award winner Chris Jones, a writer for Esquire and columnist at ESPN, also was a Pollner professor, as was innovative editor Jonathan Weber. The fall 2014 Pollner professor will be William Glaberson, who for many years covered legal issues at The New York Times.

Interim Dean Denise Dowling says expanding the Pollner professorship to a second semester will bring new voices and vision to the school.

“The fall semester professor will continue to concentrate on writing and reporting, the heart and soul of journalism,” she said. “This new spring professorship will allow students and faculty to learn more about cutting-edge design, multimedia and business models to expand our knowledge of the ever-changing world of journalism.”

“This expansion of the Pollner Professorship is a significant gift that can only enhance the excellent education received by our journalism students,” UM President Royce Engstrom said. “It will be exciting for our students to learn from leaders in such a dynamic and changing field.”

The family also announced the creation of the Carol Van Valkenburg Endowed Scholarship, which will support an editor of the Montana Kaimin by funding full tuition and fees every year for the student. It is named for former journalism faculty member and longtime Kaimin adviser Van Valkenburg, who has spearheaded the Pollner professorship program since its inception. She also was a mentor to Anthony Pollner.

Van Valkenburg, who retired from the J-School at the end of 2011, continues to coordinate the selection of the Pollner professors.

 For more information or to apply, click here.

- posted on 06/16/14 -