Lori Shontz specializes in the teaching of core writing and reporting skills. She is a leader nationally in the teaching of community-centered journalism and trauma-informed journalism, and she is an affiliated faculty member of the Agora Journalism Center. She also co-directs Writing Central, the SOJC’s peer writing support program, and founded the University of Oregon's SOJC Track Bureau, which has provided deadline track and field coverage for 38 national and international publications from events including the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, and the 2022 World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field. In 2018, MediaShift named her one of the 20 top innovators in journalism education.
Shontz came to academia after more than two decades as a writer and editor specializing in sports, women’s issues, and higher education. She has reported from Kenya, Cuba, 10 Final Fours (women’s and men’s), and four Olympic Games. She has also organized coverage of events including the Olympics and the BCS title game. She worked at The Miami Herald; the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; her hometown Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; and the Progress-Index in Petersburg, Virginia. And at The Penn Stater alumni magazine, she was part of a team that received awards for its in-depth and unflinching coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Shontz graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Penn State in 1991 with a BA in English writing and a minor in sport history, and she wrote her senior honors thesis on the development of women’s varsity sport. In 2013, she completed an MEd in adult education at Penn State, where she researched organizational change and professional development in journalism.
She is a board member for Journalism That Matters, a member of the the University of Oregon's Provost's Teaching Academy, and the 2020 recipient of the All-Campus Advising Association's Outstanding Faculty Advisor award.
Learn more on her website.
- MEd, Adult Education, Pennsylvania State University, 2013
- BA, English, Pennsylvania State University, 1991
“Trauma-informed journalism,” in Critical Approaches to Trauma in Adult Learning. With Kevin Becker, Psy.D., Organization Resilience International, March 2022.
“Nut grafs: Seven steps to score a winning story structure,” Nieman Storyboard, October 2021.
“Using reading reflections to emphasize journalism’s public service mission in a skills class,” Case Studies of Innovations in Journalism Curriculum, The Kettering Foundation, Fall 2021.
“From basketball stardom to rosary beads: Twenty-five years after a college athlete keeps a promise to God, ESPN follows up with a rare story from inside a cloistered convent,” Nieman Storyboard, December 2019.
“Behind the story: Journalistic responsibility when reporting a school shooting,” in If I Don’t Make It, I Love You, Loren Klineman and Amye Archer, editors, September 2019.
"Journalists should use caution when reporting on new shooting details,” Poynter, October 2018. With Katherine Reed.
"Practicing what we preach: Teaching engagement in j-schools means listening to our students,” Gather, August 2017.
"How Oregon’s writing center uses peer tutors to engage reluctant writers,” MediaShift, March 2017. With Courtney Munther.
“Remix: How to teach journalism in the pressbox,” MediaShift, January 2017
“Every day a struggle, every day a gift,” profile of football star Curt Warner and his autistic twins, The Penn Stater alumni magazine, November/December 2018.
“New track meet turns pro running into a team sport,” Runner’s World Online, August 2016.
"Olympic rule leaves non-sponsors with few words,” Runner’s World Online, July 2016
Areas of Expertise:
- Trauma-informed journalism
- Community-centered journalism
- Sports journalism
- History of women’s sport/Title IX
- Olympic history
- News writing and reporting
- Journalism education
- Higher education journalism
- Magazine journalism
- Mass shooting coverage
- Reporting I
- Reporting II
- Gateway to Media
- Sports Bureau (deadline track and field coverage)
- Sports Media Workshop
- Legalize It (issue coverage of marijuana legalization)