Professor (Teaching), Emeritus
Director Emeritus, John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships
Risser had a long-running journalism career with The Des Moines Register and Tribune, most of it in its Washington Bureau, where he won Pulitzer Prizes for National Reporting in 1976 and 1979. He was a Professor in the Department of Communication and Director of the John S. Knight (JSK) Fellowships Program from 1985-2000. When he retired from the JSK Fellowships, alumni created the Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism.