Brought To You By NSU; Written by Leah Jackson
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Northwestern State University alumnus Jim Mustian has returned to his alma mater to hold the Erbon W. and Marie Wise Endowed Chair in Journalism in the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts. Mustian will teach investigative reporting, beat reporting and sports communication for the department as Wise Chair. He has been an adjunct instructor for the past two years teaching feature writing and beat reporting.
Mustian is an investigative reporter for the Associated Press in New York. Before joining the AP in 2018, he worked as an investigative reporter for the New Orleans Advocate, where he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for a series about an unusual Louisiana law that allowed nonunanimous juries to convict people of felonies. A native of St. John the Baptist Parish, Mustian also has written for newspapers in Texas and Georgia. He graduated from NSU in 2008.
“This is an indescribable honor. Teaching at NSU already has been a humbling and rewarding experience, and I’m looking forward to working with even more future newsgatherers at a time when journalism has never mattered more,” Mustian said. “The Wise chair is particularly meaningful to me because of the distinguished professionals who held the role before me, including Raymond D. Strother, a dear friend and mentor of mine whose legacy will guide me on this new journey.”
Mustian is also host of “Smoke Screen: Betrayal on the Bayou,” launched Aug. 1 by Sony Music Entertainment. The latest season of the investigative podcast series delves into the story of DEA Special Agent Chad Scott and the turn of events that led to his imprisonment. Faimon Robert of The Times Picayune/New Orleans Advocate is cohost. “Betrayal on the Bayou” offers a firsthand look at a story of corruption, misconduct and betrayal that Mustian and Roberts spent seven years reporting.
Earlier this year, Mustian was among several individuals named Distinguished Communications Professionals by NSU’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts. The Distinguished Communications Professional award recognizes individuals with successful careers in and/or significant contributions to the fields of journalism, photojournalism, communications, news editorial, public relations, political strategy, media production, web content production and new media as it emerges, as well as individuals who have made significant contributions to the Department.
The Erbon W. and Marie Wise Endowed Chair in Journalism at Northwestern State was established in 2002 through a donation from Maj. Gen. (R) Erbon Wise and Marie Wise, both 1941 graduates of NSU who had long careers as journalists and owned several newspapers around the state. Erbon Wise was Board Member Emeritus of the NSU Foundation, having served that organization for more than 50 years. They were decades-long supporters of the NSU Foundation, NSU ROTC and the Department of Journalism, now the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts. The Wise Chair is a non-tenure position for a scholar or practitioner with an advanced degree and significant professional experience to teach undergraduate courses in the department.
Information on NSU’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts is available at https://www.nsula.edu/newmedia/.