Catharine Skipp, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with a long career in the national news media, has joined Miami Law as Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs. The law school's dean, Patricia D. White, said Friday she was "delighted" with the appointment.
Skipp, a University of Miami alumna who in 2010 returned to campus as a media relations officer for University Communications, spent more than 20 years working as a national correspondent, first for The New York Times and then for The Washington Post and Newsweek. She was part of a Washington Post team of reporters, writers and editors honored with the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their coverage of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
She also covered Hurricane Katrina, the Virginia Tech massacre, the Elian Gonzalez saga, the murder of Gianni Versace, the Barefoot Bandit's escape to the Bahamas, and LeBron James's move to the Miami Heat. Skipp and a colleague broke the story about toxic water at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, triggering a Congressional investigation. She handled assignments throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean region, including one from the eye of Hurricane Fran aboard a C-120 Hurricane Hunter.
Skipp's first reporting job was at The Miami News. Before that, she was managing editor of Nautilus Publications in New York City and exhibition manager for the Art Directors Club of New York.
At Miami Law, she will manage outreach efforts to local, national and international news media, and will coordinate media requests and interviews with faculty and students. She will also report, write and produce print and electronic content for School of Law publications, its Web site and its social-media pages. Skipp will report to Nick Madigan, the Executive Director of Communications, and will assist him in supervising the marketing, editorial and journalistic output of the Office of Communications, including the work of freelance and work-study writers, video-journalists and photographers. She will help him develop and implement strategies to communicate the goals and priorities of the school, and to support fundraising efforts.
Skipp earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Studies at the University of Miami in 1979, and expects to obtain a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies at UM in December. She was a Casey Fellow at the University of Maryland's Casey Journalism Center in 2006 and, the previous year, a Knight Fellow at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism on the same campus. In 1984, Skipp was a Woolworth Fellow at the Columbia University School of Journalism.
In 2007, she was honored by the New York Association of Black Journalists for her work with a team of Newsweek reporters and writers for the cover story "Battling a Black Epidemic." She was also part of a Newsweek team that won a National Press Club Journalism Award for the "Voices of the Fallen" project in 2008.
Catharine Skipp. (Photo: Miami Law)