Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Saint Mary's University welcomes noted journalist to Minneapolis campus

“Under-Told Stories” project connects Twin Cities to under-reported stories of poverty, global health, and the environment

MINNEAPOLIS – Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota announced today its partnership with the “Under-Told Stories” project, which shares stories from some of the world’s most remote locations through PBS NewsHour and other media organizations. The partnership brings “Under-Told Stories” Director Fred de Sam Lazaro to the university’s Minneapolis campus, provides new learning opportunities to Saint Mary’s students, and is intended to raise awareness for the local ramifications of global issues.

A resident of Saint Paul, de Sam Lazaro is the face of the “Under-Told Stories” project. He has reported from almost 50 countries and has served PBS NewsHour since 1985. He regularly covers global health, poverty and development, environmental issues, and social entrepreneurship. He led the first American news crew that reported on the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region, and he also directed films from India and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the acclaimed PBS documentary series, Wide Angle.

What the partnership means locally

De Sam Lazaro and longtime “Under-Told Stories” producer Nicole See will make their home at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and specifically the university’s Hendrickson Institute on Ethical Leadership, as part of the project’s joint commitment to journalism and teaching. Students in the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs will have access to hands-on experiences in some of the world’s developing regions. “Under-Told Stories” content will also be incorporated into the curricula of numerous Saint Mary’s courses.

“Saint Mary’s and the Hendrickson Institute provide the ideal home for our project at so many levels,” de Sam Lazaro said. “Both foster an engagement with the major global issues of the day, and our journalism is a ‘shoe-leather’ complement to the learning and debate that come from textbooks and seminars, bringing home the relevance of these issues.”

Recent “Under-Told Stories” topics include the election in Southern Sudan, Pakistan’s flood recovery, India’s strained water supply, and Iraqi refugees exiled in neighboring nations. De Sam Lazaro has also covered stories in the United States, including ancient manuscript preservation in Minnesota and technology’s impact on the patient-doctor relationship in American hospitals. “Under-Told Stories” segments are featured regularly on PBS NewsHour nationwide and are available to view anytime at

“Fred’s solutions-oriented stories bring hope out of despair and make issues from half a world away relevant to Americans,” said Lindsay McCabe, executive director of the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership at Saint Mary’s University. “‘Under-Told Stories’ raises awareness of poverty, while shedding light on the opportunities and lessons to be found in impoverished places. This aligns well with Saint Mary’s commitment to diversity, accessibility, social justice, and ethical stewardship.”