Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - What a pleasant surprise.

When Lee Banville, Director of the University of Montana School of Journalism first hired new professor Lisa Krantz to teach photography in the fall, little did he know he would be hiring a Pulitzer Prize winner.

A Pulitzer Prize Winning Photography Professor will Start at UM this Fall

“She actually hasn’t even started yet,” began Banville. “We have a professor who taught photography who retired last year, and so we did a search for a replacement. We were lucky enough to hire a woman named Lisa Krantz. So we hired her and she's going to start in August, then we got word about a week ago, that a project she'd been involved with at the Washington Post on the AR-15, the sort of high-velocity rifle that is unfortunately involved in a lot of mass shootings, she had been part of this reporting project that had won the Pulitzer for national reporting.”

Banville offered details about Krantz’s work on that Pulitzer Prize-winning team.

Banville Provided Details about the Prize-Winning Story

“Her reporting focused on the sort of fallout of what happens to a community after a shooting,” he said. “It was this Texas community called Sutherland Springs, where a church had been attacked in 2017. She had spent more than a year documenting the lives of everyone connected to this. She was very aware that she didn't want to be exploitative about it. It's not about like, ‘is a gun good or bad’? It was just like what happens when something horrible happens in your town.”

Banville is understandably proud to have a Pulitzer Prize winner on his small staff.

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Banville said he is Eagerly Anticipating her Arrival this Fall

“We've always had a pretty strong photography program, and so when the job became open, we attracted a lot of candidates who were coming from much bigger markets,” he said. “She applied for the job, and she was our clear favorite, and we were lucky enough to scoop her up. And now on top of that, she's now a Pulitzer winner, which means that I think we made a pretty good call and who we chose to be our next photo professor."

Banville said incoming freshman photography students will have the distinction of being taught by a Pulitzer Prize winner.

A pleasant surprise, indeed.

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