KSU grad wins Pulitzer for commentary

Eddie Dilworth


Credit: Beth Rankin

A Kent State graduate won the Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s greatest honor, the Pulitzer Board in New York announced.

Connie Shultz, a columnist for The Plain Dealer, won the award for commentary, with a series of 10 articles dealing with topics ranging from tips while waitressing to Issue 1 and how it affects the gay community.

“I think it puts The Plain Dealer on the map,” Shultz said.

Shultz is the first member of The Plain Dealer in more than 50 years to win a Pulitzer. The last member of the newspaper to win the award was editorial cartoonist Edward D. Kuekes, who won for a cartoon about a fallen Korean War soldier who died before he was old enough to vote.

Shultz, who graduated from the university in 1979, was chosen as winner from a group of finalists that included New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Upon receiving the news of her victory, Shultz said her experiences working as an editor at the Daily Kent Stater and other experiences in the university’s journalism department helped make her into the columnist she is today.

“Working at the Stater really prepared me for this business,” Shultz said. “This means that you can go to a state school and have a real chance at journalistic success.”

Journalism and Mass Communication Director Jeff Fruit said the journalism school is extremely proud of Shultz.

“We’re delighted to be basking in her reflected glory,” Fruit said. “Winning the Pulitzer is as big as it gets.”

Shultz is not the first graduate of Kent State to win a Pulitzer, Fruit said. Past winners include J. Ross Baughman, who won the award in journalism for feature photography, and John Paul Filo for news photography for his photo of the May 4 incident.

Shultz’s 10 prize-winning columns are all posted on the home page of Cleveland.com.

Contact off-campus entertainment reporter Eddie Dilworth at [email protected].