Peru State College
font size: - | +
print print
News Release

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sonia Nazario to speak at Peru State Jan. 23

Public invited to attend the free event


(Peru, Neb.) Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Enrique's Journey & America's Immigration Dilemma Sonia Nazario will speak at Peru State College (PSC) at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23 in the College Theatre. The event, part of the college’s Distinguished Speaker Series, is free and open to the public. 


Nazario has spent 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Her stories have tackled some of the country’s most intractable problems: hunger, drug addiction and immigration. In 1994, Nazario won a George Polk Award for Local Reporting for a series about hunger among school children in California. In 1998, she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for a series on children of drug-addicted parents.


In 2003, Nazario’s column Enrique’s Journey, the story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the United States, won more than a dozen awards, among them the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, the George Polk Award for International Reporting, the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Overall Excellence.


Expanded into a book, Enrique’s Journey became a national bestseller, won two awards, and is required reading for all incoming freshmen at 24 universities and dozens of high schools across the country. It has been selected as a “One City, One Book” read by five cities and is being made into a movie by Lifetime


PSC’s Distinguished Speaker Series was established in 2010 as part of the college’s commitment to student engagement and success. The intent is to bring diverse, nationally and internationally recognized speakers to southeast Nebraska to enrich the educational experience of our students while also providing our surrounding communities opportunities to engage in interesting and relevant topics.


Speakers are encouraged to engage with the community in a variety of ways during their visits through classroom discussions, guest lectures, meet and greet receptions, and a keynote address. Previous guests include former skinhead Frank Meeink; Civil Rights Leader and Little Rock Nine Member Minnijean Brown-Trickey; Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi; and Bawa (Cameroon) Health Initiative Co-Founder Dr. Dennis Richardson.


The next speaker, New York Times Beirut Bureau Chief Anthony Shadid, will appear at PSC Monday, March 26. Shadid will discuss his experiences serving as a reporter in the Middle East. His presentation, titled Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War, will begin at 7 p.m. in the College Theatre.


Additional information about the Distinguished Speaker Series is available at or by contacting Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Michaela Willis at 402-872-2221 or