Award-winning journalists highlight Foster Conference

Two award-winning journalists will lecture at this fall's Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers at Penn State.

The lectures, which bring distinguished writers to the University Park campus to share their experiences with students, faculty and the public, are scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 13, and Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Sonia Nazario will speak at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13, in the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium. As a projects reporter for The Los Angeles Times, her stories have focused on difficult issues including hunger, drug addiction and immigration. In 2003, her story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the United States, titled “Enrique’s Journey,” won more than a dozen awards including the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing and the George Polk Award for International Reporting.

Mark Feeney will speak at 10:10 a.m. on Oct. 14, in the HUB-Robeson Auditorium. An arts critic for The Boston Globe, Feeney has worked at the paper as a researcher, writer and editor since graduating from Harvard in 1979. Feeney is the author of “Nixon at the Movies.” He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his “penetrating and versatile command of the visual arts, from film and photography to painting.” Currently, Feeney is an American studies lecturer at Brandeis University.

In 1997, Larry Foster, a 1948 Penn State graduate, and his wife, Ellen Miller Foster, a 1949 graduate, gave $500,000 to endow the Foster Professorship in Writing and Editing. The program was designed to support new strategies for improving students’ writing skills and enables the University to host the annual Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers.

In addition to the series, the couple endowed the Larry and Ellen Foster Communications Librarian and funded the Foster Auditorium, a tiered 134-seat facility in the Pattee Library designed to support library instruction and programming. They also provided the lead gift for renovations to the Carnegie Building, home of Penn State’s College of Communications.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010