Two Professionals Join the Columbia Missourian as Visiting Knight Fellows

Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 9, 2004) — The Missouri School of Journalism welcomes Tricia Schwennesen and Alan Scher Zagier as Knight Professional-in-Residence Fellows for the 2004-2005 academic year.

Jacqui Banaszynski
Jacqui Banaszynski

“Front-line editors are some of the most crucial people in American newspapers, and hold some of the toughest jobs,” said Jacqui Banaszynski, Knight Chair Professor. “The Missouri School of Journalism is committed to supporting and encouraging those editors as they face the challenges and pressures of a new century.”

Schwennesen is a night metro editor at the San Antonio Express-News. She will lead a team of education reporters at the Columbia Missourian. Schwennesen has been an active participant for the past five years in the Unity: Journalists of Color mentor program, and is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She hopes to develop a diversity-based journalism project while at Missouri.

Schwennesen took the long way through college getting her start in journalism at San Antonio College in the early 90s. After moving to Oregon she earned her associate degree from Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Ore. She is a 2000 graduate of the University of Oregon, and while there, she won a second place award from the Collegiate Newspaper Association for a story about faculty departing for higher pay published in the Oregon Daily Emerald.

Previous to the San Antonio Express-News, Schwennesen worked as a general assignment reporter, police reporter, staff reporter and night metro editor for a variety of newspapers including the Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon and the community bureau of Los Angeles Times.

Zagier will lead a team of science and health reporters at the Columbia Missourian and will teach beginning reporting. He has worked as a journalist for 12 years at news organizations in Boston, Washington, North Carolina and Florida. His beats have included Washington correspondent, copy editor, general assignment, city and county government, police, higher education, investigative projects, bureau chief, assistant city editor and national desk correspondent.

At the Naples (Fla.) Daily News, Zagier helped lead a team of reporters and editors who produced a 15-day series on the declining health of the Gulf of Mexico, an effort that earned the paper several national journalism awards.

Zagier, a Baltimore native, graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in government and politics and a master’s degree in journalism.

The Knight Professional-in-Residence Fellowships are designed to give mid-career reporters or editors a chance to expand their skills and creativity by taking on special projects during a “working sabbatical” at the Missouri School of Journalism. The goal is to return professionals to the newsroom as editors with new enthusiasm, skills and vision, and to help lead journalism in the 21st Century.

In 1996, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with matching funds from the State of Missouri, endowed the Knight Chair in Editing and a Knight Center for Editing Excellence at the Missouri School of Journalism. Jacqui Banaszynski, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and editor with several major metropolitan newspapers, was named the Missouri Knight chair. She facilitates outreach initiatives for editors at all levels from copy editors to editorial directors. Banaszynski works with faculty and industry professionals to develop editing curricular models, coordinates an applied research program on the changing roles of editors and develops methods to attract talented students to editing careers.

Updated: December 13, 2019