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Professor’€™s expertise informs public about Mali invasion

Peter Chilson
Peter Chilson

Months of onsite investigative journalism by Washington State University English professor Peter Chilson into al-Qaeda’s takeover of northern Mali last spring have recently put him in high demand with the national and international media.

The flurry began when France intervened in the Malian crisis last week in an attempt to halt a further incursion by Islamists to gain control of Bamako, Mali’s capital city, and the rest of the country. The French intervention has received support from the international community, including the United States and several European nations.

The incursion coincided with the release of Chilson’s e-book, “We Never Knew Exactly Where: Dispatches from the Lost Country of Mali,” published by Foreign Policy magazine and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a media clearinghouse supporting writers who cover global conflicts for the U.S. media. The e-book, announced in Foreign Policy’s January/February issue, examines the implications of al-Qaeda’s newest base of operation and decries their devastation of ancient cultural icons. Links to selected Chilson radio interviews and to the e-book are available below.

“Peter Chilson’s work in Mali is some of the finest crisis reporting we’ve seen in a long time,” said Tom Hundley, senior editor, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. “Peter’s graceful writing, his deep knowledge of the subject, his gift for storytelling and willingness to go to where the real story was unfolding – all of this has made for a very rewarding piece of journalism…that will inevitably inform policy discussions on the future of Mali.”

Read more about Chilson’s work

Worldwide Attention for e-book on Mali

Chilson book on MaliMonths of onsite investigative journalism by English professor Peter Chilson into al-Qaeda’s takeover of northern Mali last spring have put him in high demand with the national and international media.

“Peter Chilson’s work in Mali is some of the finest crisis reporting we’ve seen in a long time,” said Tom Hundley, senior editor, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. “Peter’s graceful writing, his deep knowledge of the subject, his gift for storytelling and willingness to go to where the real story was unfolding – all of this has made for a very rewarding piece of journalism…that will inevitably inform policy discussions on the future of Mali.”

In his e-book, Chilson recounts how the Tuareg nationalist campaign, mounted with support from al Qaeda-affiliated jihadist groups…

Continue story →

WSU professor in Ireland thrust into election coverage

Matthew Sutton
Matthew Sutton

By Darin Watkins, WSU News

The U.S. presidential race has captured the attention of people around the world, especially in Europe. As millions of Americans head to the polls, foreign media have ramped up their coverage.

Washington State University’s Matthew Sutton has found himself at the center of this interest in American politics. An associate professor of history, Sutton is on a Fulbright scholarship in Ireland lecturing on American cultural, political, and religious history at the University College Dublin.

What has attracted the media to Sutton is his background in writing about American politics.

In an interview on “RTE Morning Ireland,” Sutton was asked why the two presidential candidates seem to be avoiding the big issues rather than facing up to them in their campaigns.  Continue story →

Pulitzer grant funds coup coverage

By Phyllis Shier, College of Arts and Sciences

After navigating a coup and rebellion in West Africa with funding from a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting grant, a Washington State University English professor will share his first-person account in an e-book for a Washington Post publication.

Creative writing professor Peter Chilson’s investigative journalism will be the basis for the e-book, to be released early in December by Foreign Policy magazine. Tentatively titled We Never Knew Exactly Where: Dispatches from a Borderland in Africa, the book addresses the turmoil in Mali over the last year and how those problems relate to the legacy of Africa’s colonial borders.

Peter Chilson with Tuareg nationalists
Peter Chilson with Tuareg nationalists at the Mentao Red Cross refugee camp in northern Burkina Faso.

Chilson received a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting to cover the crises from Mali and neighboring Burkina Faso for six weeks from mid-May to early June. The Pulitzer Center partners with worldwide media agencies to provide coverage on issues of global importance underreported in mainstream American media. Chilson was one of four writers to receive grants to cover borderland disputes around the world. » More …

Apostle retires, Yeomans named Puyallup superintendent

Tony Apostle

After 37 years in public education, Washington State University alumnus Tony Apostle retired as superintendent of the Puyallup School District. Apostle joined the district in 1990 and was appointed superintendent in 2004. During his time at WSU, Apostle earned his master’s degree in educational administration in 1979 and his D.Ed. in elementary and secondary education in 1989.

More on Apostle’s retirement from the Puyallup School District.

Timothy Yeomans
Timothy Yeomans

The new Puyallup superintendent is another WSU alumnus: Timothy Yeomans. At WSU Yeomans earned his bachelor’s in education, health and physical education in 1986 and his master’s in history, ancient and modern Europe. Yeomans served as the superintendent of Meridian School District in Bellingham before moving to the Puyallup School District.

Read the full article on Yeomans in the Tacoma News Tribune.

[Revised 2/22/2013]