Medill announced last week that Debbie Cenziper, a longtime, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, will join the Medill faculty in the fall as associate professor and director of investigative journalism.
Cenziper, a current contributing member of The Washington Post’s investigative team and assistant professor of journalism at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, where she has served as an undergraduate adviser, media fellow with the Graduate School of Education, board member and faculty adviser to the student newspaper.
Prior to joining The Post, Cenziper spent almost 15 years at The Miami Herald and The Charlotte Observer.
Over the course of more than two decades, Cenziper’s investigative stories have exposed wrongdoing, prompted Congressional hearings and led to legal changes, both at the local and federal level.
Cenziper’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her year-long investigation into housing corruption in Miami resulted in convictions of multiple developers and a “federal takeover of the county housing agency,” In 2014, she was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Human Rights for “Left With Nothing,” a story on predatory tax lien investors, according to her page from The Post.
In addition to her reporting, Cenziper is also an author. Cenziper is the co-author of Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality, in which she and Jim Obergefell wrote about the landmark Supreme Court case. During an interview with NJTV in 2016, Cenziper described the writing process as “a labor of love” that she “loved every minute of.” Cenziper went on to say, “It was a beautiful story to write. It was a beautiful story to tell...It moved me profoundly.”
Cenziper described herself as “thrilled” in the release, adding, “Medill has already shown that student-led investigations can help change lives and shape public policies. I can’t wait to jump in and team up with this talented group of students and faculty.”
Interim Dean Charles Whitaker described Cenziper as “an incredible asset to Medill and our students,” adding, “We are honored to have her join the faculty and continue Medill’s long tradition of producing impactful investigative reporting.”
Students, colleagues and members of the members of the Northwestern community alike have been reacting to the announcement, reflecting on their time with Cenziper.
Justine Coleman, a student that Cenziper taught and co-wrote a piece with for The Washington Post, described working with her in an article from the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs.
“Professor Cenziper taught me countless lessons to advance both my reporting and writing skills. Through her teaching, I learned how to approach stories with an inquisitive and determined attitude, how to ask the right questions and how to pursue any available avenues to get in touch with sources,” Coleman said.