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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

02-20-09

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Michele Norris, co-host of NPR's "All Things Considered," will speak at Iowa State University on Friday, March 6.

Contacts:

Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center for Women and Politics, (515) 294-4185, (515) 451-5084 (c), dbystrom@iastate.edu

Todd Holcomb, Student Affairs/ISCORE, (515) 294-4420, tholcomb@iastate.edu

Pat Miller, Lectures Program, (515) 294-9935, pamiller@iastate.edu

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986, ferlazzo@iastate.edu

NPR's Michele Norris to present ISCORE, Mary Louise Smith Chair lecture March 6

AMES, Iowa -- Michele Norris, an award-winning journalist and co-host of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," will speak at Iowa State University on Friday, March 6, serving as both the keynote speaker at the 10th annual Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) and the Carrie Chapman Catt Center's Spring 2009 Mary Louise Smith Chair.

Norris will deliver a free, public talk that day titled "Race, Gender and the Future of Leadership in America," at 4 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

"Discussions have been underway for several months with ISCORE committee members to bring in a joint speaker who addresses both of our interests, looking at issues of race and gender in America following the historic presidential election," said Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, which hosts the Mary Louise Smith Chair. "We believe we have a great speaker in Michele Norris, who can address both issues.

"Certainly during the campaign, she not only provided political commentary on NPR, but she also was interviewed herself by other media outlets on issues of race and gender," she said. "We have asked her to take a more forward-looking approach, using the election as a springboard to discuss race and gender in the United States."

Norris began co-hosting "All Things Considered" -- public radio's longest-running national program -- with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block on December 9, 2002.

Prior to NPR, Norris was a correspondent for ABC News from 1993-2002. As a contributing correspondent for the "Closer Look" segments on "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings," she reported extensively on education, inner city issues, the nation's drug problem, and poverty.

She has also reported for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. Her Washington Post series about a six-year-old who lived in a crack house was reprinted in the book "Ourselves Among Others," along with essays by Vclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Annie Dillard, and Gabriel Garca Mrquez.

A four-time Pulitzer Prize entrant, Norris has received several awards for her work, including the National Association of Black Journalists' 2006 Salute to Excellence Award, for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina; the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award; and the 1990 Livingston Award. In 2007, she was honored with Ebony Magazine's eighth Annual Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications Award. She also earned both an Emmy Award and aPeabody Award for her contribution to ABC News' coverage of 9/11. She serves on the judging committee for both the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the Livingston Awards.

Norris is the 19th prominent woman leader to visit Iowa State under sponsorship of the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics, which was established in 1995 to honor the Iowa native and longtime political leader. Smith was the only woman to chair the Republican National Party (1974-1977).

Additional information on the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women in Politics, including a complete list of the past speakers, is available at: http://www.las.iastate.edu/CattCenter/smithchair.shtml.

ISCORE (http://www.iscore.iastate.edu/) is an annual forum at Iowa State that's modeled after the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE) -- the leading national forum on the topic. The NCORE-ISCORE project consists of a delegation of Iowa State students, faculty and staff who attend the NCORE conference annually and then share information gathered at the Iowa State conference the following spring. ISU students present their research at the conference.

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Quick look

Michele Norris, an award-winning journalist and co-host of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," will speak at Iowa State on Friday, March 6, serving as both the keynote speaker at the 10th annual Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) and the Carrie Chapman Catt Center's Spring 2009 Mary Louise Smith Chair. Norris will deliver a free, public talk that day titled "Race, Gender and the Future of Leadership in America," at 4 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.