January 06, 2012

Dolan, Greer named to NPPA positions

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two photojournalism faculty members in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Journalism will serve in positions with the nation’s leading organization for visual journalists.

Mark. J. Dolan, an assistant professor, recently earned a three-year term on the board of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA).  In addition, Phillip W. Greer, a photojournalist-in-residence at SIU Carbondale, received another two-year term as Region V chair for the not-for-profit organization.

Established in 1946, the NPPA represents the interests of professional photojournalists, videographers, visual editors and multimedia producers and plays an active role in protecting their rights.  Along with advancing the goals of working photojournalists the organization also holds numerous workshops and seminars throughout the year.  The NPPA also provides mentoring opportunities for student journalists and has several student chapters, including one at SIU Carbondale.

“We're very proud of Mark Dolan and Phil Greer and their involvement with NPPA, the nation’s leading organization for professional photojournalists,” said Gary P. Kolb, dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.  “The fact that our two photojournalism faculty are officers in this notable organization brings added credibility and attention to our photojournalism program here at SIU Carbondale.  They both contribute immeasurably to what we believe is the best photojournalism program in the state of Illinois.”

This is the first time for Dolan on the NPPA board. In 2009, Dolan received the organization’s John Durniak Mentor Award “for his work to continually raise the bar for photojournalism education … and for being a champion for his students, setting a tough standard and building their confidence.”

Prior to coming to SIU Carbondale in fall 2008, Dolan was a senior associate professor within the Department of Visual and Interactive Communication in Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Journalism for eight years.  Dolan’s work also included positions as photojournalist, photo director and photo editor at various newspapers, including The Providence Journal, The Anchorage Times, The Gainesville Sun, and Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Dolan teaches photojournalism and new media classes, including how to combine audio with video and still photography for multimedia story telling for websites.  Dolan’s efforts recently included a third workshop for students with mentors from throughout the United States in chronicling Carterville, Crainville, and Cambria.  Prior workshops focused on Murphysboro, and Alto Pass and Cobden.

“I’ve been involved in many of their training events and workshops, so it’s good to give back,” Dolan said.  “I appreciate what the NPPA does for photographers and photojournalists and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to give back to the organization and to the profession.”

Dolan hopes to provide input regarding the organization’s future direction, including how it reaches out to help the media.

“Hopefully I can bring in some ideas and suggestions that will help the NPPA further its mission,” he said.

Greer, meanwhile, represent members in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, in addition to several countries in the West Indies, including Aruba, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Cuba and Jamaica.  He first earned a two-year term in 2009.

Greer came to SIU Carbondale a decade ago at the urging of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, founder of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, and Mike Lawrence, former Institute director.  At the time Greer had spent more than two decades in a variety of photojournalism capacities at the Chicago Tribune, including senior photographer, chief photographer and director of photography.  While at the newspaper Greer assisted in the switchover from film to digital production with what was then the world’s largest electronic darkroom.  Prior to going to the Tribune in 1979, Greer, who began his photojournalism career in 1966 at the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, was a photographer for 12 years with The Morning Courier in Urbana.

In the early 1980s, Greer earned the George Day Service Award from the Illinois Press Photographers Association.  Photojournalists “are extremely tight knit and band together” in a desire to help one another, he said.  The internships and mentoring programs that NPPA provides help to keep the profession strong.

Work from many of Greer’s photojournalism students is part of the “The Cairo Project,” a multi-media effort that documented life in Cairo.