Panel honors Fred Strebeigh ’74 B.A., who launched generations of journalists

Wesley Morris ’97 B.A., Ava Kofman ’14 B.A., Sarah Stillman ’06 B.A., Yuki Noguchi ’97 B.A.
Clockwise from top left: Wesley Morris ’97 B.A., Ava Kofman ’14 B.A., Sarah Stillman ’06 B.A., Yuki Noguchi ’97 B.A.

Among Yale students and alumni, professor Fred Strebeigh ’74 B.A., who has taught at Yale since 1984, is something of a legend.

Nonfiction writing courses by Strebeigh, the senior lecturer emeritus in English and in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, have launched generations of Yale alumni to roles at leading publications.

Fred Strebeigh ’74 B.A.
Fred Strebeigh ’74 B.A. (Photo credit: Michael Marsland)

In the world of American journalism, his alums are everywhere,” says Anne Fadiman, the Francis Writer in Residence and adjunct professor of English, an award-winning essayist and author. Strebeigh’s students have gone on to edit and write for the Atlantic Monthly, the Economist, National Geographic, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and NPR. Strebeigh is also known for his insightful writing, particularly around environmental topics, including a series of stories in 2017 related to the resurgence of environmental organizations in Russia. He’s been published in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Audubon, the Smithsonian, and the BBC, and has won numerous awards for his teaching.

Four alumni authors will discuss their former mentor’s influence on Wednesday, Oct. 23 during “How I Learned to Write: A Panel on the Craft of Nonfiction in Honor of Fred Strebeigh.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 5 p.m. in the Branford College common room, 74 High St. It is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and Department of English, the Paul Block Journalism Program, and the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale.

The featured panelists are Wesley Morris ’97 B.A., critic-at-large for the New York Times; Ava Kofman ’14 B.A., technology reporter for ProPublica; Yuki Noguchi ’97 B.A., national desk correspondent for NPR; and Sarah Stillman ’06 B.A., staff writer for the New Yorker.

Morris is a co-host with Jenna Wortham of the popular New York Times culture podcast “Still Processing,” in which the hosts  dissect everything from J.Lo to “Old Town Road.” Kofman’s work has recently focused on the rise of electronic monitoring technology. Noguchi covers the workplace, including issues around gender identity and the #MeToo movement. And Stillman has won awards for her stories on human rights and drug trafficking and is the director of the Global Migration Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

The four speakers on all started out in Fred’s classes,” says Fadiman, who will give opening remarks at the panel. “He gave them — and many dozens of other writers — tools, guidance, practice, and inspiration.” Strebeigh, says Fadiman, “taught superb classes, developed the approach of reading for craft, and made Yale a place where other nonfiction writers wanted to teach, and helped bring them to our campus.”

How I Learned to Write: A Panel on the Craft of Nonfiction in Honor of Fred Strebeigh” is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and Department of English, the Paul Block Journalism Program, and the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale. Details about the event are at the English department website

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Media Contact

Fred Mamoun: fred.mamoun@yale.edu, 203-436-2643