Alumnus Chris Hawley has joined a select group of journalists that can call themselves Pulitzer Prize-winners. Hawley, who graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1995 with a journalism degree, along with three other reporters at The Associated Press, was awarded the prize for investigative reporting on April 16. The group worked on a months-long series outlining the New York Police Department’s surveillance of minority and Muslim neighborhoods since the 9/11 terror attacks.
According to the AP, the “NYPD stories revealed that the department had become one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies, sending undercover officers into minority neighborhoods, student groups and houses of worship, though there was no indication they harbored criminals or terrorists.
“In documenting the extent of the NYPD’s undercover operations, conducted with the advice and guidance of the CIA, the AP team’s stories ignited ongoing debate in the halls of government, in the ethnic communities, on editorial pages and across the Web,” the AP said.
The stories can be read here.
The series was also awarded the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting earlier this year. The prize is given out by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
“With Chris it’s no surprise at all,” said Dr. Catherine Cassara, journalism. “He was just special. I taught the basic reporting class, but from the very first exercise he was doing exceptional work. He was just a joy.”
Hawley joins a growing list of alumni who have won the prestigious award. Composer Jennifer Higdon won the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2010. In 2005, Mizell Stewart was the acting managing editor of The (Biloxi) Sun-Herald, supervising coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Sun Herald was recognized in 2006 with the Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service. And alumna Marcy Nighswander was part of the team that took home the 1993 Pulitzer for Feature Photography.