Current Professors

Ferris Professors in Residence  

John McPheeJohn McPhee, New Yorker writer and author of 30 books, has been a Ferris Professor since 1974, leading two seminars every three years. Recipient of a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Career Award for his “indelible mark on American journalism during his nearly half-century career,” he is teaching a spring-term seminar on Creative Non-Fiction, specially designed for sophomores. (Photo by Yolanda Whitman)

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Joe Stephens

Joe Stephens, investigative projects reporter for The Washington Post and Ferris Professor in Residence, is a three-time winner of the George Polk Award and three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. One of his best-known investigations focused on pharmaceutical companies testing drugs overseas. His piece about the Nature Conservancy is the prototypical investigation of a major charity.  He teaches Investigative Journalism and The Media in America. (Photo courtesy of The Washington Post)

Read more: Stephens of The Washington Post named Ferris Professor in Residence


Journalism Professors 2014-15

Each year eminent journalists teach at Princeton, thanks to three generous donors whom we gratefully acknowledge: Edwin F. Ferris of the Princeton Class of 1899; Harold W. McGraw, Jr., of the Class of 1940, and the E. Franklin Robbins Trust in honor of the late William G. Michaelson, Class of 1959, and his daughter Robin L. Michaelson, Class of 1989. This year's professors join a roster that includes many of America’s most distinguished writers. Their seminars are listed among the journalism (JRN) courses sponsored by the Humanities Council.

Bruce Auster, NPR's Senior Editor for National Security, directs coverage of international security issues from Washington, including U.S. military action, terrorism, spy agencies and surveillance, and veterans. In his Ferris seminar this fall on the craft of radio storytelling, students will focus on national policymaking and will produce short segments suitable for radio broadcasting.

Pam Belluck, New York Times health and science writer, has also been a national bureau chief. Her book Island Practice is in development for a television series, and she is co-author of an e-book on Alzheimer’s disease. In her fall-term Ferris seminar on The Media and Social Issues: Health and Science Journalism, students will report on complex and controversial developments in science and medicine, with attention to ethics and politics.

Eliza Griswold is an independent journalist whose work on religion and human rights has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic. She has written a New York Times bestseller, The Tenth Parallel; a collection of poems, Wideawake Field; and a book of translated poems from Afghan women, I Am the Beggar of the World.  As a Robbins Professor this fall, she is teaching The Literature of Fact: Unconventional Foreign Correspondence.

Richard Just, Editor of National Journal magazine, was formerly Editor of The New Republic and, subsequently, Newsweek.  His work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Slate, The Washington Monthly, and The American Prospect.  His fall-term McGraw Seminar in Writing will teach students the art of writing for intellectual magazines.

James B. Steele is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and one of the nation’s most honored and widely acclaimed investigative journalists.  Recipient of virtually every national reporting award including two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Magazine Awards, Steele, along with his long-time writing partner Donald L. Bartlett, is also the co-author of eight books, including two New York Times best sellers. As a Ferris Professor in the spring, he will teach Investigative Journalism.

Noy Thrupkaew, an independent journalist, has written about human trafficking, labor exploitation, and forced prostitution for The New York Times, The GuardianNational Geographic, and The Nation. A contributing editor for The American Prospect, Thrupkaew has reported from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iran, Morocco, and Cuba. She will lead a spring-term Ferris seminar on international news, focusing on local stories with global implications.

David Wessel directs the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings. Previously, he spent 30 years at The Wall Street Journal, where he was Economics Editor and wrote the weekly Capital column. Wessel has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and has written two New York Times bestsellers: In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic and Red Ink: Inside the High Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget. As a Ferris Professor, he will teach The Political Economy Beat in the spring.

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