Nov. 1: Ottaway Visiting Professor Sarah Carr to speak on COVID-19 and the future of American education

Education journalist Sarah Carr, the fall 2022 James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professor of Journalism at SUNY New Paltz, will give a public speech on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m., in Coykendall Science Building Auditorium on the New Paltz campus.

Carr’s talk, open to all members of the community, is titled “Why It Took So Long to Reopen Schools During COVID, and What It Means for the Future of Education.” It will draw on Carr’s deep understanding of American education, honed over two decades as a journalist for publications including The Washington Post, The Hechinger Report, the Atlantic, Slate, ProPublica, The New York Times, and the Boston Globe Magazine.

Carr’s book, “Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children,” will be on sale at the event, and she will stick around to sign copies following her talk.

As the Ottaway Visiting Professor, Carr is teaching “The Kids’ Story,” a course that will scrutinize American inequality—in the education, health care and immigration systems—through the lens of children and teenagers. Students will learn how to incorporate the experiences of young people, and particularly those from historically marginalized groups, in their reporting.


About Sarah Carr

Carr is an award-winning journalist who spent the 2021-22 academic year as an O’Brien Fellow in Public Service Journalism.

Previously, she led The Great Divide, an award-winning investigative education team at the Boston Globe, and The Teacher Project, an education reporting fellowship at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. At Columbia, Carr oversaw partnerships with more than 30 local and national media outlets and created “What My Students Taught Me,” an education podcast distributed in collaboration with the Atlantic, Chicago Public Radio and others.

Carr’s book, “Hope Against Hope” (Bloomsbury, 2013), tells the story of the post-Katrina New Orleans schools through the experiences of a student, a teacher, and a family.


About the James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship

The James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship, SUNY New Paltz’s only endowed professorship, is named for the founder of Ottaway Newspapers Inc., who was a leader of the American Press Institute and a lifelong supporter of high-quality journalism in the Hudson Valley and across the globe.

The Ottaway Visiting Professorship was established in 2000 through the generosity of James H. Ottaway Jr. ’18 HON and Mary Ottaway ’70g (Elementary Education). Numerous well-known journalists have preceded Carr as Ottaway professors, including Pulitzer Prize winners, foreign correspondents, book authors, editors, investigative reporters and experts in finance, science and consumer journalism.

More information about the Ottaway Visiting Professorship, including biographies of previous professors, can be found at