Pulitzer Prize winning journalist comes to UConn
Published: Friday, August 30, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013 00:08
This article is part of a series highlighting this year’s new professors who have outstanding achievements in their career and major plans to bring to UConn.
New professor Steven Smith will bring his Pulitzer Prize winning visual journalism background to UConn’s journalism department this semester.
Smith has worked as a photographer and cinematographer for Time, National Geographic, Associated Press and over 70 additional international clients. In 2003, he won the Pulitzer as part of a group award for breaking news photography on the Colorado wildfires. His work has also been on view at the Smithsonian Museum, Sydney Opera House, Salt Lake City Olympics and other exhibitions around the world.
“My biggest rewards have not been rewards, they have been working with the people. All those experiences outweigh the accolades,” Smith said.
Now he has joined UConn to bring the visual side of journalism to the department, which he says they are very excited to expand in.
This semester Smith is teaching visual journalism and multimedia interviewing. In the first course students will be using still photography, video and multimedia, working in the Oak Hall labs with Adobe Photoshop and Premier, he said. Each student will eventually work on a project to tell a story that they choose. The interviewing class is to improve students interview skills while using the latest technology including iPads.
After his first week of classes Smith said, “The students seem top notch.”
While talking about his goals for UConn he said, “I would love to be able to help students understand their goals.”
Smith started his college career as an engineering student. But he recognized his artistic side, recalling an internship where he was drawing escalator parts. After taking one photography course he was fascinated by the opportunity to meet people and changed to a photography major.
He graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in photography and graphic design. His masters is in visual communication from Ohio University.
After graduating, Smith worked for E.W. Scripps, a national chain that owns a variety of newspaper and broadcast organizations as a visual journalist.
Smith said it was a great opportunity to explore and meet people. He remembered walking into work one day not knowing what he would be doing, and being told to go to Central America to photograph the pope.
For the past four years he was an associate professor at the Isaacson School of New Media at Colorado Mountain College. His new UConn title is assistant professor of visual journalism.