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Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow at Averett for a Week

September 24, 2012

Averett University has invited Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Toby Smith, an internationally renowned sports journalist, for an intensive week-long visit September 30-October 5. Smith will conduct classes, seminars, workshops and lectures and will meet with students and faculty members informally throughout the week to share his practical knowledge of journalism and sports writing.

In addition, he will give two free presentations that are open to the public. The first presentation will be at 11:15 a.m. Oct. 2 and Smith's topic is "Larger than Life: The 'Write' Stuff." He will also speak Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. on "Roswell: Why won't that goofy UFO business go away?" Both presentations will be in Blount Chapel.

"We are very excited about Toby Smith's upcoming visit to Averett and look forward to having him interact with our students," said Dr. Janet Laughlin, vice president for academic affairs. "His knowledge of the inner workings of journalism, and writing in particular, will allow him to reach students in a variety of majors. We're delighted that he will also have time to get to know our campus and to explore, in-depth, how the classroom and campus relate to the greater community."

Smith is a journalist whose work has concentrated primarily on sports, particularly its attendant controversies. He has been a sports editor and freelance contributor to major publications including Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He has covered events such as the World Series, the World Cup, the Olympics and the Super Bowl. He has written nine books of nonfiction, some of which have focused on sports. He is working on a book about the iconic prizefighter Jack Johnson. Smith was twice named a Fulbright scholar to Romania where he created the first course in sports-writing.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, D.C., brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and others professionals to campuses across the United States for a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures and informal discussions. For 35 years, the Visiting Fellows have been introducing students and faculty members at liberal arts colleges to a wide range of perspectives on life, society, community and achievement. For more information, visit CIC's website at