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Pulitzer Prizes and Pioneers

Isabel Wilkerson and Michelle Johnson join the COM journalism faculty


Michelle Johnson (left) and Isabel Wilkerson. Photos provided by Michelle Johnson and by Patrice Flesch

Isabel Wilkerson, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, and online news pioneer Michelle Johnson have joined the journalism department at Boston University, Thomas Fiedler, dean of the College of Communication, announced last week.

Wilkerson, former senior writer at the New York Times, earned the 1994 Pulitzer for feature writing. She joins the COM faculty after three years as the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University.

Johnson, a Boston Globe reporter and editor from 1983 to 1996, was the editorial manager of the team that launched the paper’s award-winning Boston.com site in 1995. She had been a journalist-in-residence at Emerson College since 2006.

“Isabel’s arrival solidifies BU as a preeminent place for the study of narrative nonfiction, planting the flag of high-quality journalistic storytelling,” says Fiedler (COM’71), himself a two-time Pulitzer winner. “Michelle will move the college in the direction of emerging media, as she did with the Boston Globe.”


4 Comments on Pulitzer Prizes and Pioneers

  • Darcy on 09.16.2009 at 7:36 am

    Having Michelle Johnson for many of my journalism courses at Emerson has been such a privilege. BU is lucky to have her and she will be a great asset in online journalism.

  • Anonymous on 09.16.2009 at 8:59 am

    Excellent story. Love to see diversity at Boston University both with the faculty and staff and in the student population.

  • Rafael Matos on 09.19.2009 at 10:13 pm


    Michelle dearest:
    I am so proud of having worked with in in the many NAHJ and a Unity conventions. BU has acquired a great talent. As a professor myself of journalism I know of the challenges but also know of your extraordinary dedication and discipline in your work. Also, your patience and knowledge in teaching multimedia will breed a new generation of very professional communicators. Yes, we are proud of you.
    Rafael Matos
    San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • Audrey Thorne on 02.01.2010 at 2:39 pm

    Moving on up

    Congratulation Rough Rider! I am so proud of you! But you always had it in you. Once a Rough Rider, always a Rough Rider. I ahave been following you even before you did that piece on Connie Rice. All the best at BU.


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