Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting | Kent State University

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

The School of Communication Studies will host the Spring 2018 Global Issues Forum with Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting panel discussion titled, “Advancing Understanding of Climate Change: The Role of Science and Global Communication.”


The lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 19  in the ballroom balcony in the Kent Student Center. 

School of Communication Studies professor Paul Haridakis, Ph.D., will be the moderator for the discussion with three panelists. The panelists include:

  • Daniel Grossman, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting print journalist and radio and web producer
  • Elizabeth Herndon, Ph.D., Kent State University environmental geochemist and assistant professor in Geology in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Lauren Kinsman-Costello, Kent State assistant professor, Biological Sciences

The discussion is free and open to the public. No formal reservations are required.  


The forum is supported by the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education.


Elizabeth Graham, Ph.D., director of the School of Communication Studies, said the School of Communication Studies’ ongoing Global Issues Forum brings Pulitzer Center reporters to campus who offer personal and professional perspectives on how a topic is covered in the media. “The ongoing forum is an integral part of the school’s curriculum which includes a global communication major that prepares students to think critically and communicate globally,” Graham said. “Previous forums have focused on the topics of fracking, women and children’s issues and the refugee crisis.”


About the Speakers

Haridakis is a professor in the Kent State University School of Communication Studies, conducts research on media uses and effects, law, public policy, new communication technologies, sports communication, freedom of speech and the history of communication studies. His recent work has focused on the role of YouTube and other social media in political campaigns and interpersonal communication, user-generated content, mediated interactivity and First Amendment issues related to the regulation of content in various media such as the internet and television. He teaches courses in Freedom of Speech; Media Use and Effects; Political Communication; Communication in an Information Society; Sports Communication; Media, War & Propaganda; Research Methods; and Communication Theory. He also is a lawyer.


Grossman has made a career as a print journalist and radio and web producer for 30 years. With a Ph.D. in political science and a B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he contributes frequently to the Yale Climate Connections and Yale Environment 360. He has reported from all seven continents around the world, including both near the south and north poles. He has produced radio stories and documentaries on science and the environment for National Public Radio’s shows Here and Now and Weekend Edition; Public Radio International’s show on the environment Living on Earth and news magazine, The World; the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Germany’s Deutsche Welle radio; the BBC; and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, among other broadcast outlets. He has written for the New York TimesThe Boston GlobeDiscoverAudubonScientific American, among other national publications.

Grossman has received many awards for his work. He wrote and produced the app book “Deep Water: As Polar Ice Melts, Scientists Debate How High Our Oceans Will Rise” (TED Books, 2012). He is coauthor of “A Scientist’s Guide to Talking with the Media: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists.”

Elizabeth Herndon, Ph.D., is an environmental geochemist and assistant professor in the Kent State University College of Arts and Sciences who is interested in the interactions between minerals, water and biota that shape the Critical Zone – the thin surface of the Earth’s crust from groundwater to canopy that supports life. Her research focuses on human perturbation of the environment through changes in land use, contamination and climate change. In order to examine biogeochemical processes across multiple scales, her research incorporates a variety of methods such as field sampling, laboratory experiments, analytical techniques (both in-house and at national laboratories), and theoretical modeling. Recent projects include: 1) understanding the influence of warming on iron, carbon and nutrient cycling in tundra soils, and 2) investigating metal biogeochemistry in coal mine waste and acid mine drainage.


Mud matters to ecosystem ecologist Lauren Kinsman-Costello, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Kent State University College of Arts and Sciences, who is interested in the effects of hydrology on aquatic nutrient biogeochemistry and ecosystem function. Her research aims to inform larger questions about the resilience of ecosystems faced with environmental change and the ability of humans to manage, restore and create ecosystems. A recurring theme in her research is the role that sediments play in freshwater ecosystem function. Hence, mud matters.


The National Science Foundation granted $100,000 to Herndon and Kinsman-Costello to study climate change in Alaska and how it affects the availability of plant nutrients in arctic and sub-arctic ecosystems. This research plays an important role to understand how high-latitutde peatlands will respond to climate change.


The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an innovative award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to supporting in-depth engagement with underreported global affairs across all media platforms and a unique program of outreach and education to schools and universities. Kent State is part of the Center’s Campus Consortium network of partnerships between the Pulitzer Center and 27 universities and colleges to engage with students and faculty on the critical global issues of our time. At its core, the initiative aims to connect international reporting supported by the Pulitzer Center directly with communities across the U.S., expanding knowledge of the world, sparking conversations across disciplines and inspiring individuals to expand their horizons. These goals are accomplished through campus visits by journalists and international reporting fellowship opportunities for students. 


The forum is co-sponsored by the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education. The discussion is free and open to the public.


Each year, the Kent State University School of Communication Studies partners with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to offer a $3,000 fellowship, providing students the opportunity to travel internationally to report on overlooked stories.


The application is completed online at http://pulitzercenter.org/grants/student-fellows. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 23, and students must also submit:

  • Three references
  • A 250-word description of their proposed project
  • Travel plans, including cost and duration of stay