Former Thresher editor honored as Pulitzer prize finalist
Courtesy Houston Chronicle
Former Thresher executive editor, columnist and Backpage editor Evan Mintz (Hanszen ’08) was chosen as one of two finalists for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing for his work at the Houston Chronicle. The series of 10 editorials that earned him his spot as a finalist, which are chosen in addition to one prize winner, were co-written with Joe Holley and covered gun laws and gun culture in Texas.
Mintz is a member of the Houston Chronicle editorial board. During his time at Rice, he wrote a series of opinion pieces for the Thresher on campus life, several under the recurring title ‘self-proclaimed gadfly.’ He also wrote the Backpage as the section’s editor and served as ‘executive editor,’ a nonregular position in which he assisted the editor-in-chief of the time. He received a bachelor’s degree in history at Rice and later a law degree from Yeshiva University.
The Pulitzer Prize board commended Mintz’s and Holley’s work “on gun laws, gun culture and gun tragedies that combined wit, eloquence and moral power in a fine brew of commonsense argumentation.” The editorials touched on a number of gun issues such as the Texas-Legislature-mandated open carry on state university campuses.
Mintz said he had written two of the 10 award-winning editorials. Asked about his time at the Thresher, he said there was overlap between writing the Backpage and his current work.
“What won the [Pulitzer] was a wit and moral certitude about things, and when you’re on Backpage, it’s an opportunity to be witty and right about things with a sense of moral certainty,” he said. “Doing those Backpages helped me hone those skills that I use in a more professional setting now.”
Mintz had a few words of advice for aspiring journalists.
“Keep writing, write all the time and wake up angry,” he said.
More from The Rice Thresher
Amy Dittmar, the senior vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, has been selected as Rice’s new provost, incoming president Reginald DesRoches announced Thursday. DesRoches, the current provost, will become Rice’s president on July 1, and Dittmar will start August 1.
The 109th Convocation ceremony was held in person this past Friday night, with no restrictions on attendance. Hundreds of class of 2022 Rice undergraduates passed under the Sallyport before meeting at Rice football stadium for the ceremony.
The Student Association executive board drafted a formal complaint against the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship to present to University Court for violation of the SA Constitution nondiscrimination policy that every Rice organization is required to adhere to. This complaint comes in light of the recently published Thresher article, where several students shared their experience with discrimation within the club on the basis of sexual orientation.