I am the Chair of the Journalism Department at UMass.

My focus is visual storytelling, and I'm lucky to work with talented and enthusiastic students. Since joining the faculty of the Journalism Department in 2009, I've developed and taught courses in data journalism and visualization, web design and development, advanced photojournalism and narrative video journalism. I've also taught sections of Introduction to Journalism, Introduction to Multimedia Reporting and Introduction to Digital Photojournalism.

In 2014, I received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass.

Other teaching forays include working as a faculty member of ieiMedia's Perpignan Project in 2011, where I also built the study abroad program's website. In late 2010 I helped the National Press Photographers Association restart their Student Quarterly Clip Contest, which I chaired until the summer of 2014.

In 2014 I received a $10,000 grant to produce a series of blended learning video lessons on visual storytelling. During the summer of 2013, I produced and taught the first MOOC at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to regional acclaim.

I developed blended learning lessons on web design and visual storytelling.

mooc illustration

In 2015, I published a series of six video-based lessons covering the basic principles and practices of visual storytelling. The project was supported by a grant from the Five Colleges via the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Paired with self-guided Moodle exercises, these lessons help us offer a more creative and comprehensive visual curriculum.

During the summer of 2013, I developed and taught Building a Basic Website, the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at UMass Amherst. You can read more about the class in the Boston Globe's list of the "most interesting" regional MOOCs and in the Hampshire Gazette's front page story.

I summed up my philosophy on blended learning in a 2014 piece for Quartz called Here's Why I Never Have To Teach Anything Boring Again. The illustration above is by Kim Rosen.

I worked as a photojournalist in New York City, Montana, Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

  • farmers

    Images from a documentary project on farmers under 30 shown at the Northampton Center for the Arts. At left is a lunch break at Many Hands Farm in Amherst, and at right is the head of a cardinal killed by a cat at Brookfield Farm.

  • nesmith

    Images from a larger photo story for The Beaver County Times about a soldier returning from duty in the Iraq war while his brother was still serving. At left is his first moment home, at right a hug from a friend.

  • samten

    A portrait of Samten, a Tibetan refugee in New York City, taken for the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture.

  • farmers

    Image from an ongoing documentary project on the memory of Native Americans in New England. This photo is from a contentious town meeting in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, regarding a building permit on land that may contain native graves.

  • restaurant

    Photos from an assignment for Bon Appétit Magazine on The Prairie Whale, a Great Barrington restaurant opened by well-known Brooklyn propreitor Mark Firth.

  • borris

    This image is from a larger photo story about the Borris family in Ronan, Montana, in the wake of multiple suicides in their family. These images, along with a three part story I wrote, were published in New West.

  • montana love

    Montana Love was my master's degree project at the University of Montana, and remains my favorite project I've ever done. It featured eighteen stories about love, relationships and sexuality in the Montana. The project won a national NPPA clip award for a multimedia project.

  • mt love 2

    Another photograph from Montana Love, this one from a story about a single rancher living alone on 40,000 acres.

  • sports

    At left is Ambridge's Brian Blum during a playoff loss, and at right is Jerome Bettis. Both sports pictures were shot for The Beaver County (Pa.) Times.

  • economy

    A picture shot for and published in the New York Daily News just after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

  • window

    Workers install a stained glass window in the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. Shot for the New York Daily News.

I'm a journalist and I write about journalism.

As a journalist, my focus has been predominantly visual, but I have written for many publications as well. Those outlets include Quartz Magazine, where I published a piece making the practical case for better media design. I've also written and produced multimedia packages for the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Since 2007, I have written extensively about photojournalism. I've reported and written a piece for the NPPA on the Top Five Photojournalism Stories of 2012, and written pieces for News Photographer on subjects from 2008 election photojournalism to new approaches to photography online to the ethics and law of using visuals taken from social media.

Over the past few years I've written on other journalism subjects, too. They include Face Recognition Software, Visual Journalism and a Wary Public, An Ad Buyer's S.E.O. Advice for Online News Publishers, What the 'Ground Zero Mosque' Flap Says About the State of Journalism, and Can Bottled Water Save Journalism Online?

Since 2006 I have been photographing Saturday Nights.

In January 2013, Flying Object hosted a solo gallery show of the project, curated by Soft Spot. You can hear a New England Public Radio story about it, and see a series of portraits I took opening night. The project is casually ongoing.

Stop by if you're ever in Northampton, Massachusetts. Otherwise, you can reach me by email.