Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications is welcoming Penelope “Penny” Muse Abernathy as a visiting professor this month, the school said in a release.

Abernathy recently retired from the University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media, where she served as the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics.

“Penny is the nation’s foremost authority on the worsening crisis of local news deserts across the U.S.,” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker.

“Penny’s arrival will help make Medill the nation’s epicenter for local news research and thought leadership at this critical time for the industry,” says Tim Franklin, Medill senior associate dean, professor and the inaugural John M. Mutz Chair in Local News, a first of its kind chair in the nation.