Biography, Hank Nuwer

New: Hank Nuwer’s travel blog in Alaska

Hank Nuwer began keeping a database about hazing deaths in 1975 and maintains the Hazing Deaths database. The first shorter database appeared in his article for Human Behavior magazine in 1978.  His first hard-hitting, book-length investigation of hazing deaths appeared in 1990. The title was Broken Pledges: the Deadly Rite of Hazing.

Today, Hank Nuwer is an author and winner of Ohio’s SPJ Best Columnist award (under 60,000 circulation newspapers) for his 2021 Daily Advocate column.

Hank Nuwer is employed as managing editor, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 200 Cushman St., Fairbanks, AK 99701.

For recreation, he enjoys acting and in July 2023 is playing the Prince in Romeo and Juliet for the Fairbanks Summer Shakespeare Festival. He is a former Shakespeare Fellow at the University of Bridgeport Shakespeare Institute. His roles in various places have included both Bottom and Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lovborg in Hedda Gabler, Adam in Adam and Eve and Other Things, and the German inventor in Peter Ustinov’s The Unknown Soldier and His Wife.

Hank has taught at a number of universities. At Ball State, where he worked in 2022 as an adjunct, he advised the Inform Muncie publication in 2022. In the Eighties, as assistant and associate professor, he advised the BSU Pacemaker student magazine rated one of the best in the nation. He was named a best magazine adviser by the College Media Advisers. He also was Ball State’s nominee for CASE professor of the year, 1988. 

A member of the Ball State University journalism hall of fame , he  also was a visiting professor at the University of Richmond for two years and advised one of the first collegiate online magazines in the nation.

He holds a master’s degree with honors in English from New Mexico Highlands University with election to Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. He also has taken creative writing classes in literary nonfiction and fiction at Hamline University. His undergraduate degree is from Buffalo State University. He is a 1999 Outstanding BSC alumnus (1999) and a 2006 honorary doctorate recipient from BSC.  He is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and Order of Omega Honor Society,

Hank Nuwer and Malgorzata Nuwer

He has written additional books on the topic of hazing in society including Hazing: Destroying Young LivesWrongs of Passage, High School Hazing, and The Hazing Reader.

His book, Rendezvousing with Contemporary Authors, has interviews with David Mamet, William Least Heat Moon, Kurt Vonnegut, Rosemary Rogers, James Dickey, John Jakes, Maurice Sendak and many other writers. Many of the interviews were reprinted in collections dedicated to a single author.

He is a contributor to The Quill magazine, Limberlost Review and The Conversation. Other bylines of his over the years appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Santa Fe New Mexican, Orlando Sentinel, Buffalo Courier-Express and other newspapers.

He has written books suitable for teens including his novel Sons of the Dawn, plus the nonfiction books High School Hazing, The Legend of Jesse Owens, Steroids and To the Young Writer.

Hank Nuwer graduation picture, 1968 (left); right, Hank Nuwer receives SUNY honorary doctorate from BSC President Dr. Muriel Howard, 2006.

Hank has an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York (Buffalo State, 2006) and taken additional graduate coursework at the University of Nevada and Hamline University.

Ball State University elected him in 2010 to the BSU Journalism Hall of Fame.

He is married to Malgorzata (Gosia) Wroblewska-Nuwer. He has two grown sons and two grandchildren. Gosia has one grown daughter, a Ph.D. in biology from Cambridge.

The couple lives in Alaska and Warsaw, Poland–with visits to their house in Union City, Indiana.

Charitable work: He contributes regularly to HazingPrevention and the Buffalo State College Hank Nuwer Collection and BSC Hazing Collection managed by BSC archivist Daniel DiLandro.

Link to the Buffalo State Hank Nuwer Hazing Collection.

Hank’s crusading journalism to eradicate hazing was honored by the NGLA and