SUNY New Paltz names 2014 James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professor of Journalism

Sonia Shah

NEW PALTZ – Sonia Shah, an award-winning journalist who covers science and international human rights issues, has been named the 2014 James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professor of Journalism at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Shah will join the New Paltz faculty in the spring of 2014 to teach the journalism seminar “Science, Environment, and Disease: New Approaches to Science Journalism.”

Shah will be introduced to the campus community and answer questions about her life and career on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. in the New Paltz Honors Center in College Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Shah is the author of several critically acclaimed and prize-winning books, including “The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years,” (Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux, July 2010) based on five years of original reportage in Cameroon, Malawi, Panama and elsewhere, “The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World’s Poorest Patients” (New Press, 2006), and “Crude: The Story of Oil” (Seven Stories Press, 2004). She is also the editor of the anthology “Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire” (South End Press, 1997).

A former writing fellow of the Nation Institute and the Puffin Foundation, Shah is a frequent keynote speaker, and has lectured at universities and colleges across the country. Her writings on science, global health, and politics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Scientific American, and Foreign Affairs, among other publications. Her work has been supported by The Nation Investigative Fund and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.

Shah holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism, philosophy, and neuroscience from Oberlin College.

About the Professorship

The James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship, SUNY New Paltz’s only endowed professorship, is named for the founder of Ottaway Newspapers Inc., now the Dow Jones Local Media Group, which operates print and online community media franchises in seven states. The flagship newspaper of the chain is the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y. For more information, visit