Jeff Benedict, bestselling author, award-winning features writer for Sports Illustrated and Eastern Connecticut State University alumnus, will join Eastern’s faculty this summer to teach an upper-level communication course. The prolific writer, teacher and public speaker—and 1991 Eastern graduate—will lead COM 460, “Non-Fiction Writing from Idea to Publication,” a three-credit course being held on Saturdays from June 28 to Aug. 9.
“We are proud of Jeff and his distinguished career in journalism, and happy to have him back on campus,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “His work is value-centered and focuses on critical issues of society. Jeff is a role model for young people aspiring to be writers.”
COM 460 will cover the stages of non-fiction writing from idea conception to publication. Using Sports Illustrated stories and his own books, Benedict will teach students how to develop story ideas, conduct interviews, structure a story, develop sound writing habits and promote a story. Benedict will use his own story drafts and interview transcripts in his lesson plans; students will also engage in role playing and question-and-answer sessions.
“We are delighted that Jeff will be teaching on our campus this summer,” said Eastern Provost Rhona Free. “The students in his course are in for a real treat. They will be learning from a seasoned pro, one whose straight-forward, engaging writing style has gained critical acclaim and an expanding national readership.”
Benedict will use one of his latest projects, a Sports Illustrated cover story about the relationship between Duke’s head basketball coach Mike Kryzyewski and freshman Jabari Parker. The story has been featured on CBS News, Fox News Channel and ESPN radio.
“Sound writing is a key that has unlocked doors to a rich life of experiences and priceless relationships,” Benedict said. “As a student at Eastern I never imagined I’d make a career out of telling stories. I am eager to share what I’ve learned with the students at my alma mater.”
Students interested in signing up for Benedict’s course should visit www1.easternct.edu/ce/jeffbenedict.
Benedict has authored 12 books, including his most recent book, the New York Times bestseller “The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football.” His writings have also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and SI.com, and have been the basis of programming on 60 Minutes, 20/20, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Dateline and the Discovery Channel.
Benedict is a nationally recognized authority on athletes and crime, Indian gaming, eminent domain, and leadership and ethics in business. He is also a distinguished professor of English at Southern Virginia University.