Journalism professor wins top honor for soon-to-be published book

Alex Tizon, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and assistant professor at the UO has received a top honor and he enthusiastically admits to be excited about it.

Tizon teaches at the UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), and received an award from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard for his soon-to-be-published book, “Big Little Man: The Asian Male at the Dawn of the Asian Century.”

“I got the news on my cell phone as I was driving on I-5. I almost ran off the road,” Tizon said. “I pulled over, re-read it and then did a primal scream. For about two hours in my car, I became insane with gratitude. It was not a dignified scene in there.”

A former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Tizon has contributed to Newsweek and 60 Minutes and lectured at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley. In 1997 he and his colleagues at The Seattle Times, Deborah Nelson and Eric Nalder, won the Pulitzer for their investigation of widespread corruption and inequities in a federally sponsored housing program for Native Americans.

The winner of more than a dozen national journalism awards, Tizon holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Oregon and a graduate degree in communication from Stanford University.

The J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award is given to help close the gap between time and financial resources the author has and needs to complete a significant work. Tizon’s book, which explores what it means to be a man of Asian descent in the Western world, is to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

“‘Big Little Man’ will become a book that clearly transcends its deep investigative character in both the complexity of its analysis and the lyricism of its storytelling,” judges for the award observed.

Tizon will be presented with the 2011 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award at an evening ceremony on Tuesday, May 3, at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. The award includes a $30,000 prize for the completion of a work in progress.