Maria Karagianis joined the staff of the Boston Globe in the era when major newspapers still had “Women’s Pages”. She would have been assigned to cover weddings, engagements, flower arrangements and recipes except that a federal court order to de-segregate the Boston public schools was causing three years of near- constant warfare in Boston neighborhoods like Southie (South Boston) and Charlestown. The Boston Globe had a union protecting workers from doing dangerous assignments and the paper couldn’t get enough male reporters to cover the violence, so some “girls” like Maria Karagianis, who had gone to college in Boston during the anti-war violence of the late 1960s, got the journalistic opportunity of a lifetime by offering to cover the bombings, shootings, riots and fires. Three years later, in 1975, she was part of the Globe team of reporters, editors and photographers awarded a Pulitzer Prize gold medal for coverage of the Boston school de-segreation crisis. The following year — 1976 — legendary Globe editor Tom Winship assigned Maria, still in her early twenties, to go to South Africa for a year to write about apartheid for the Globe while also working on the staff of the crusading national South African daily the Rand Daily Mail (later closed down by the apartheid government) While at the Mail, Maria lived in Johannesburg and Capetown South Africa and traveled throughout Africa. She covered the South African police state and was in a mortar attack on Christmas eve in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) at Victoria Falls. When she returned to Boston, she covered politics as a State House reporter and spent five years as a magazine writer working for the legendary Editor Michael Janeway, who had come from the Atlantic Monthly. After 15 year, in the late 1980s, still a young woman but now married and with two small babies, she taught journalism at Boston University, Emerson College, Simmons College, Northeastern University and Clark University, then attended graduate school at Harvard where she received a master’s degree in world religion, won a Pfeiffer fellowships for five weeks of study and travel in ancient religious sites like Delphi in Greece and Turkey. A few years later, she embarked on her later careers as a social entrepreneur and public speaker. But Maria Karagianis, who was invited back to the Globe as guest editor on the editorial page a few years ago, has never stopped writing. She has been published in many magazines and newspapers around the United States since then. Particular loves of hers are travel writing and long-form journalism but she also loves breaking deadlines and is always up for sharing a good story.
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