Pulitzer Prize Winning Alumni

Graduates or former students of the School of Journalism who have received, shared or contributed to a Pulitzer Prize as part of a newspaper's staff:

If you are a UA grad and had a part in winning a Pulitzer (or know an alum who did), please send your info to journal@arizona.edu or call 520-621-7556.


Rob Alcaraz ('12, 13 M.A.)
Wall Street Journal

The lead videographer at the Wall Street Journal contributed to the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting as the staff uncovered President Trump’s secret payoffs to two women during the 2016 campaign. Alcaraz helped produce the video, “What Trump Did to Silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.” part of the Journal’s 10 entries. 


Multimedia and video journalist Hannah Gaber (2016 dual master's in journalism, Middle Eastern and North Africa Studies), copyeditor Becca Dyer ('85) and Page 1 editor John D'Anna ('83), The Arizona Republic.

•Gaber was the primary producer of the podcasts and contributed video and audio, and organized footage and images for “The Wall: Unknown stories, Unintended consequences,” a 2017 special border report produced by a team of journalists from the Republic and the USA Today Network. Dyer was one of two copy editors on the project, while D'Anna shoehorned the project into the print product and wrote headlines. Former UA journalism adjunct instructor Rob O'Dell also was a reporter on the project.


Leon Drouin-Keith (1991), The Associated Press

As the AP's Asia-Pacific enterprise editor in 2015, he worked on the "Seafood From Slaves" investigative report, which won The Associated Press its first Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He helped develop and edit the stories from their earliest phases. Drouin-Keith later was named deputy director for news gathering in the Asia-Pacific hub before returning to New York as AP weekend global news manager in fall 2017. He was assistant city editor at The Arizona Daily Star from 1997 to 2000, before joining the AP's Los Angeles bureau as a reporter.


Reporters Brittny Mejia (2014), Stephen Ceasar (2009) and Marisa Gerber (2011), and copy editor Kristina Bui (2013),
Los Angeles Times

Shared the Breaking News Reporting award with L.A. Times staff "for exceptional reporting, including both local and global perspectives, on the shooting in San Bernardino and the terror investigation that followed."                                             


Editor Gilbert Bailon (1981),
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Oversaw the newspaper's coverage of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, that resulted in the Breaking News Photography award for the Post-Dispatch photography staff "for powerful images of the despair and anger — stunning photojournalism that served the community while informing the country." Bailon has been the top editor in St. Louis since 2012.  


Reporter Brian Ballou (1992),
The Boston Globe

Shared the Breaking News Reporting award with Globe staff "for exhaustive and empathetic coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt that enveloped the city, using photography and a range of digital tools to capture the full impact of the tragedy.” Ballou is now at the Sun-Sentinel in Florida.


Copy editor Bill Walsh (1984),
The Washington Post

Edited part of a series on the National Security Agency that won the Public Service award for the Post staff "for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the NSA, marked by authoritative and insightful reports to help the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security."


Reporters Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin (1988),
East Valley Tribune

Shared the Local Reporting award "for their adroit use of limited resources to reveal, in print and online, how a popular sheriff's focus on immigration enforcement endangered investigation of violent crime and other aspects of public safety.” Gabrielson is now at ProPublica; Giblin is at the Arizona Republic. UANews story on award


Reporter Nancy Cleeland (1977),
Los Angeles Times

Co-authored a series and shared the National Reporting award with the Times staff "for an engrossing examination of the tactics that have made Wal-Mart the largest company in the world with cascading effects across American towns and developing countries." Cleeland is now deputy director of communications for the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


Publisher Richard Gilman (1972),
Boston Globe

Shared the Public Service award with the Globe staff "for courageous, comprehensive coverage of sexual
abuse by priests, an effort that pierced secrecy, stirred local, national and international reaction and produced changes in the Roman Catholic Church.” Gilman, now retired, has endowed a scholarship for UA journalism students.


Staff editor Ford Burkhart (1963),
The New York Times

Shared the Public Service award with the Times staff "for 'A Nation Challenged,' a special section published regularly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America, which coherently and comprehensively covered the tragic events, profiled the victims, and tracked the developing story, locally and globally." Burkhart, a retired UA journalism professor, helped write "Portraits of Grief" and other parts of the 9/11 package. He also helped edit other Pulitzer-winning projects while at the Times from 1996 to 2007. He is a freelance writer now.


Copy editor Elena Stauffer (1989),
Akron Beacon Journal

Shared the Public Service award with the Beacon Journal staff "for a broad examination of local racial attitudes and a subsequent effort to promote improved communication in the community." Stauffer, who helped edit the series, is a senior program coordinator for the UA Department of History after holding a similar job at the School of Journalism.  


Reporter Elinor Brecher (1977),
Miami Herald

Shared the Public Service award with the Herald staff "for coverage that not only helped readers cope with Hurricane Andrew's devastation but also showed how lax zoning, inspection and building codes had contributed to the destruction.” Brecher, retired from the Herald, is a freelance writer.


Staff editor Frank Sotomayor (1966), photographer José Galvez (1972) and reporter Virginia EscalanteLos Angeles Times

Shared the Public Service award with the Times staff "for an in-depth examination of L.A.'s Latino community." Sotomayor, now retired, chairs the school's Journalism Advisory Council; Galvez gives lectures on his photos; Escalante teaches writing at San Diego City College.