Award-winning sports writer William Rhoden joins ASU’s Cronkite School

Newsmakers | 20 Dec, 2019 |

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Global Sport Institute will soon add award-winning national sports writer William Rhoden to their respective rosters.

The longtime New York Times columnist will become a visiting professor at the Cronkite School and will join the Global Sport Institute as a visiting senior practitioner.

Rhoden, who will continue to serve as a columnist for The Undefeated and direct its Rhoden Fellows initiative, will teach “Opinion in the Digital Age,” a new course being offered as part of the Cronkite School’s robust sports journalism program. The class will introduce students to the art of crafting and forming thoughtful opinion pieces for a variety of platforms, including digital, video and audio.

The first class will be offered in January. 

Rhoden will also work directly with Kenneth L. Shropshire, CEO of the Global Sport Institute, to provide feedback on the institute’s strategic direction and develop concepts for the Global Sport Matters content hub. He is the institute’s first visiting senior practitioner.

“I have known and respected Bill and his work for many, many years,” Shropshire said. “When he came in the spring of 2019 as a keynote speaker at our Global Sport Summit, we immediately began to see natural crossovers between his work and the mission of the Global Sport Institute. By formally adding him to our team, we have a wonderful opportunity to amplify our efforts to make a positive impact on the global community through sport.”

In addition to serving as a longtime columnist, Rhoden was recognized with a Peabody Award for writing HBO’s documentary “Journey of the African American Athlete.” He earned an Emmy for writing “Breaking the Huddle,” and he authored “Forty Million Dollar Slaves” and “Third and a Mile,” books that spotlight the successes and trials of black athletes. 

“The Cronkite School prides itself on its ability to attract top industry professionals to guide students, and William Rhoden is no exception to that practice,” Brett Kurland, Cronkite’s director of sports programs, said. “His influence and ability to thoughtfully examine sports through a cultural lens will greatly benefit our students.”

Rhoden, who will remain based in New York City, will teach the classes both on campus at the Cronkite School in Phoenix and online.

“I’m honored  to be affiliated with one of the nation’s  most innovative schools of journalism. Like Ken and Brett, I have a passion for helping to produce the next generation of young journalists. What better place than Cronkite and the Global Sport Institute to achieve that goal.”

In addition to teaching, Rhoden will moderate panel discussions that will take deep dives into headline-grabbing, sports-related issues, and he plans to participate in and contribute to locally-generated podcast episodes.

“Cronkite students were able to sample Bill Rhoden’s gifts as a lecturer and a journalist when he visited campus as a guest speaker about a year ago,” Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan said. “As a visiting practitioner, Rhoden will have an extended opportunity to impact future journalists who may have a taste for the opinion desk. Our students are fortunate to learn from such a polished and accomplished professional.”

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