Newmark J-School Names Masha Gessen as First Distinguished Professor

  • By Newmark J-School Staff
Photo: Lena Di

In a landmark appointment, Masha Gessen – named a full professor to the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in March – joined the select few who hold the rank of distinguished professor at the City University of New York. The CUNY Board of Trustees approved Gessen’s distinguished professorship on June 26, 2023.

The title represents the highest academic honor bestowed upon CUNY faculty members, signifying “outstanding merit” and accomplishments in their respective fields as outlined in the Bylaws of the CUNY Board of Trustees.

“Masha Gessen is one of the great journalists and thinkers of our time,” said Dean Graciela Mochkofsky. “This is a title of great distinction, and their appointment speaks volumes about the stature of our school as it approaches its twentieth anniversary in 2026. I have no doubt that Gessen’s work and teaching will have a profound impact on our students and our entire community.”

Gessen is a staff writer for The New Yorker, the author of 11 nonfiction books, and a frequently cited expert on European, Russian, and LGBTQ matters.

“I am honored, humbled, and excited to be part of this great university, a civic project of unparalleled scale and significance. That I have a chance to help prepare the next generation of journalists who are genuinely of and for their communities feels like incredible luck — but also what I’ve been working for my whole life, since I got my first job at a gay and lesbian newspaper in Boston when I was 17, in 1984,” they said.

To learn more about Gessen and their work, read the full announcement regarding their faculty position here.