Gillian Ferris

Managing Editor

Gillian came to KNAU in 2001 as a freelance reporter. Her first story won an Arizona Associated Press Award. Since then, Gillian has won more than a dozen Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting, writing and documentary work. She served as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition for 8 years before moving into a full time reporting position in 2012. Gillian covers everything from environmental issues to sports, with a penchant for human interest stories of all kinds. When she’s not working, Gillian revels in the natural world and is an avid hiker, skier, swimmer, river runner and surfer. She also enjoys making fancy cakes and reorganizing her collection of fabulous shoes… 70 pairs and counting.

Ways to Connect

Today in Flagstaff, hundreds of mourners gathered along the funeral procession route of fallen police officer Tyler Jacob Stewart. Stewart was killed in the line of duty last Saturday while following-up on a domestic violence incident. He was a rookie officer, just 24 years old. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, Stewart's family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers remembered him as compassionate and loyal.

If you have readers on your holiday gift giving list, you might consider something written by an Arizona author. In the latest installment of KNAU's Southwest Book Reviews, 3 graduate students in Northern Arizona's creative writing program review the latest works from 3 local authors.

It's been almost 60 years since the U.S. Surgeon General officially announced that smoking tobacco can lead to lung cancer. Even so, an estimated 1 in 5 American adults still smoke, and today The American Cancer Society hopes those people will collectively give up the habit. It's the 37th annual Great American Smokeout, a national awareness campaign encouraging smokers to use the day as their "quit date". But, as Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, giving up nicotine isn't always that easy, especially for long-time smokers.

Life Magazine

This story originally aired on Veteran's Day of 2006. It's a personal story produced by KNAU's Gillian Ferris recounting her grandfather's experience as a prisoner of war during WWII. But, it's also a story of how her grandmother and mother endured the anguish of waiting to know his fate. Gillian has reproduced the original story following the recent death of her grandmother and shares it with us on this day of remembrance.

Democratic incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick will face-off in the November 4th election against Republican House Speaker Andy Tobin to see who will represent Arizona's Congressional District 1. It's the state's largest district and the 10th largest in the nation. A couple of weeks ago, KNAU's news team asked listeners to submit questions for the candidates, who addressed them in this previously recorded, unedited debate.

Federal investigators are at Grand Canyon National Park this week looking into allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation by some Park employees, including Rangers. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, at least 12 people have come forward with claims that Park officials were aware of the harassment, but did little - or nothing - about it.

KNAU/Justin Regan

A federal judge in Phoenix today overturned Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage on grounds that it was unconstitutional. The ruling now clears the way for legal unions between same-sex couples.

Torrey House Press

In KNAU's latest Southwest Book Review, the reviewer - Mary Sojourner - becomes the reviewed. Sojourner's latest novel 29 has just been released. It tells the story of Nell Walker, a woman navigating a cycle of despair after losing her heart - and her job as a high-powered corporate executive - all at once. She flees Los Angeles and ends up in the small desert town of Twenty Nine Palms in a battle against energy developers who are threatening sacred lands. Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris spoke with Mary Sojourner about blending her passions for writing and environmental activism into the pages of 29.

Southern Illinois University

The Arizona Board of Regents today announced the final candidate in its search for the next president of Northern Arizona University. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, Rita Cheng, current Chancellor at Southern Illinois University is poised to take over the post.


One of public radio's most popular shows is coming to Flagstaff. The cast of A Prairie Home Companion will perform a live national broadcast tomorrow from the amphitheater at Fort Tuthill County Park. Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris had a chance to talk  with the show's host, Garrison Keillor. He's on the road, making his way from Minnesota to Flagstaff, and celebrating 40 years with A Prairie Home Companion.