CBS journalist Byron Pitts will share his expertise and insights on life and the state of journalism at Fairfield University's Open VISIONS Forum at 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Quick Center for the Arts.

Pitts will be joined on stage by Philip Eliasoph, the director of the forum; Michael Serazio, assistant professor of communication; and two Fairfield University students of media.

Pitts is a multiple Emmy-award winning journalist.

As chief national correspondent for "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric," Pitts was an embedded reporter covering the Iraq war and was recognized for his work under fire.

He was also CBS' lead correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and won an Emmy for his coverage.

Raised by a single mother in a working class neighborhood in Baltimore, Pitts was illiterate until the age of 12 and had a persistent stutter.

His focus sharpened by a desire to play football and an ultimatum by his mother, Pitts learned to read and went on to attend Ohio Wesleyan University.

With the help of his roommate and a college professor, Pitts found the support and encouragement necessary to pursue a career in broadcast journalism.

His dream to be part of the "60 Minutes" team went back to high school. Inspired by the journalist Ed Bradley, Pitts got into the business because he saw Bradley on TV.

Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at or by calling the box office at 203-254-4010.