Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to speak at USAO symposium

Headshot of journalist Andrea Elliott

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to speak at USAO symposium


The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is thrilled to announce the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Andrea Elliott, as the speaker for the 10th annual Ray, Mary & Nita Giles Symposium for Citizenship and Public Service.

This year’s symposium will be held on Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium on the USAO campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Elliott specializes in long-form, immersive journalism, including her three-part series, “An Imam in America,” which received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The 2013 series, “Invisible Child,” chronicled the life of an 11-year-old homeless girl, winning a George Polk Award among others. 

Her cover stories for the “New York Times Magazine” include profiles of a young jihadist from Alabama, a controversial preacher trained at Yale, and a special report on Moroccan suicide bombers that won an Overseas Press Club Award and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award.

“Bringing in a speaker as important to contemporary journalism as Andrea Elliott is what the Giles Symposium is all about,” said Dr. James Finck, assistant professor of American history and chair of the symposium committee. “Elliott’s powerful work illustrates how important journalism is in making us confront uncomfortable realities about our society. Her immersive style helps us see the various sides of an issue, drawing out the complicated factors that have created the situation.”

Born to a Chilean immigrant mother and an American father, Elliott was raised in Washington and graduated first in her class at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1999. She spent three years at the “Miami Herald” before becoming a staff writer at the “New York Times” in 2003.

USAO’s Ray, Mary & Nita Giles Symposium for Citizenship and Public Service is sponsored annually by the USAO Foundation and was inspired by endowment funds created by Oklahoma College for Women alumni Mary Martin Giles, her husband, Ray, and their daughter, Nita.