Pulitzer Prize winners highlight annual Foster-Foreman Conference

October 06, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists will visit Penn State for free public sessions on consecutive days in late October.

Jim Schaefer of the Detroit Free Press and Stephanie Saul of The New York Times highlight the annual Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers with sessions on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, respectively.

Schaefer, the senior news director for business, autos, education and investigations at the Free Press, will kick off the two-day event at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 in Freeman Auditorium of the HUB-Robeson Center.

Schaefer was a lead reporter/investigator of the team at the Free Press that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. That package of stories revealed the text message scandal that led to the downfall and jailing of then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. The investigation also revealed that Kilpatrick had misused $8.4 million in taxpayer money to cover up his secret affairs.

Saul, a national reporter at the Times covering education, will conclude the conference at 10:35 a.m. Oct. 28 in Freeman Auditorium.

She was a member of the paper’s politics team during the 2020 general election and the 2018 mid-term elections. She also has served on the Times’ investigations team. 

Saul came to the Times from Long Island-based Newsday, where over a 20-year stint she had worked in the Washington and New York bureaus. She joined Newsday in in 1984 and was the paper’s national reporter from 1994 to 2000.  She and her colleague, Brian Donovan, were awarded the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting “for their stories that revealed disability pension abuses by local police.”  Their investigation found a number of retired police officers in New York state were receiving millions in disability payments for minor injuries.

The Foster-Foreman Conference was designed to bring students together with standout journalists and is an opportunity for students to acquaint themselves with distinguished role models in the profession.

Last Updated October 11, 2021