Stan Alost, Associate Professor

Stan Alost has over 20 years of experience in the visual communication field and has held with positions in management, photo editor, photojournalist and designer at various newspapers, including The St. Petersburg Times. He has served as a freelance photojournalist and picture editor for the Associated Press and United Press International. Beyond newspapers, his work has been published in Life, Ohio 24/7 and Newsphotographer magazine.

Alost is the Contest Coordinator for the international NPPA Best of Photojournalism Picture Editing Contest. He volunteers to help promote the Festival of the Photograph event held in Charlottesville, Va., annually. And he served as co-chair of the National Press Photographers Association Flying Short Course for three years and served on the Visual Edge Workshop staff.

Alost holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication degree from Louisiana State University, a Master of Science degree from Ohio University, where he was a Knight Fellow, and he is currently working on a Doctoral degree in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha and Gama Beta Phi honors societies and the Associated Press Photo Managers group.

Alost teaches courses in Visual Communication, Picture Editing, Photojournalism, Advanced Photographic Reportage and Visual Communication Management. He was selected University Professor in 2010-2011.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 262

Josh Birnbaum, Associate Lecturer

Josh Birnbaum is a photographer and rocket scientist currently living on the southeastern edge of Ohio, despite growing up in Los Angeles. He has worked for the Oakland Tribune, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, The Omaha World-Herald, The Peoria Journal Star, and The Dallas Morning News. In addition, for a brief time, he interned at James Nachtwey's studio.

Currently, Josh is a visiting artist with the Athens Photographic Project – a non-profit fine arts program that offers photography classes to community members living with persistent mental illness – where he teaches advanced classes and leads artists in pursuit of their creative and personal recovery goals.


In the past, he produced photography and multimedia for the National Network of Forest Practitioners, a leading forestry nonprofit based in Athens, Ohio. He also worked as a photographer for Project LAUNCH — a federal grant that benefits community organizations to improve childhood wellness — through OU's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Josh holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois, and an M.A. from Ohio University is Visual Communication. He plans to get a Ph.D. sometime soon. He is a visiting professional in VisCom, teaching photography, picture editing, digital imaging, and audio/video storytelling courses.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 256

Terry Eiler, Professor Emeritus

Terry Eiler is a field researcher, magazine photographer, documentary photojournalist and co-founder of Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and the school’s current director. As a publication photographer, he produced material for the National Geographic Society’s books and magazines over a 20-year period. His work has been featured in GEO, Sunset, Paris Match and National Geographic. As a documentary photographer, he has been involved in Project Documerica, the 1970 project funded by the EPA to record the state of the environment prior to major air and water legislation. He has been a field researcher on four Library of Congress American Folklife Center projects, the Calvert Marine Museum project on the Patuxent River Watermen and a project documenting the people of West Virginia’s Coal River Valley for the American Folklife Center.  His work has been the visual anchor of five books.

In 1994, Eiler was named the Kodak Professor to Australia. He is the chair of the academic advisory board of the Salt Center for documentary studies in Portland, Maine. He serves on the National Press Photographers Association's contest governing board for the Best in Photojournalism annual competition. He is the director of the annual Scotland Field School in Documentary Photojournalism. As a professor at Ohio University he has twice been named University Professor for his teaching excellence and in 1993 was presented Ohio University’s Alumni Teaching Excellence award.

Eiler teaches courses in Documentary Photography, Interactive Media, Newspaper Picture Story, Advanced Publication Photography, Graduate Seminar and the Scotland Field School in Documentary Photojournalism.

He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from Ohio University. After completing post-graduate studies at the University of Missouri, he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from Ohio University.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 258

Julie M. Elman, Professor

Julie M. Elman has more than 15 years of experience in the newspaper industry, including designing and picture editing at various newspapers, including The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. She has won numerous awards of excellence for news pages from the Society for News Design. Elman has taught photojournalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and Tennessee Wesleyan College, and design at Virginia Wesleyan College.

Elman designed Pete Souza’s book The Rise of Barack Obama. She also designed the book Stories from the Anne Grimes Collection of American Folk Music. Elman is the co-author of The Newspaper Designer’s Handbook, 7th edition. Her book, Fear, Illustrated: Transforming What Scares Us, was published in 2017.

She has participated as a faculty member in many workshops, including Society for News Design Quick Course, Stan Kalish Picture Editing Workshop, Truth With a Camera and the Missouri Photo Workshop. Elman earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in commercial art from the University of Dayton and an Master of Fine Arts degree in fine art photography from Ohio University.

Elman teaches courses in Design. She was selected for the Teaching Excellence Award in 2012.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 257

Sam Girton, Associate Professor

Sam Girton has more than 15 years of professional experience as a photographer, web and print designer. He has worked for numerous clients, including The American Bar Association, PBS, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Electronic Data Systems, Clear Channel Communications, Foam Magazine,, David Hostetler, Marietta Memorial Hospital, Lineberger Cancer Center, Rocky Boots and World Book Marketing.

He has led in many workshops, including The Ohio Arts Council Summer Media Institute, and has experience in conducting study programs: Design in Asia, Design at the University of Guyana (a USAID-funded workshop), and Documentary Filmmaking in Letterkenny, Ireland.

He has collaborated on special projects with The School of Interior Architecture and The School of Media Arts and Studies, which resulted in student work that was displayed in The Chicago Art Institute and recognized internationally by the media. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Girton is the faculty advisor for The Ohio University Multimedia Society and serves as a liaison between the faculty and Ohio University Information Technology department.

Girton teaches courses in Desktop Publishing, Web Design, Web Animation, Motion Graphics, Audio/Video Production and 3D Modeling. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography from Ohio University. Girton was selected for the University Professor award for the 2012-2013 academic year.

A complete list of Girton's creative activity can be found at

Contact Info: (740)
Office: 327D Seigfred Hall

Tim Goheen, Director, Undergrad Director and Associate Professor

Associate Professor Tim Goheen is an illustrator, designer and infographics specialist with nearly 30 years of professional experience. He began his career as a newsroom artist at The State (newspaper) in Columbia, S.C. In 1995, he joined the news wire service Knight-Ridder Tribune Information Services (KRT) in Washington, D.C., as senior illustrator for the company’s European graphics startup.

In 1997, he was promoted to art director of KRT Graphics and supervised artists and freelancers in the U.S. and Europe. He has won Society for News Design (SND) awards for infographics and South Carolina Press Association Awards for news graphics, illustration and feature page design.

Goheen earned a master's degree from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University and a bachelor’s degree from James Madison College, a residential school for social sciences at Michigan State University in 1986.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 265

John Grimwade, Assistant Professor

John Grimwade teaches informational graphics to undergraduates and graduates. He has his own infographics business ( Before moving to the U.S., he worked for 14 years in newspapers (including six years as Head of Graphics at The Times, London). In the U.S., John has produced infographics for over 40 magazines, several books, and many corporate clients. He was graphics director of both Condé Nast Traveler and Condé Nast Portfolio magazines, and graphics consultant to Popular Science magazine. He is currently consulting infographics director for Eight by Eight, a soccer magazine that is the Society of Publication Design’s 2015 Magazine of the Year. He’s an instructor at the annual Malofiej workshop for professionals in Pamplona, Spain, and has made presentations, and run workshops, in many countries.

John has won 80 major international infographics awards, including gold medals at the Malofiej World Infographic Awards, and the Society of Publication Design Awards.

Contact Info:
Office: Schoonover 253

Larry Hamel-Lambert, Associate Professor

Larry Hamel-Lambert has 25 years experience working in the industry as a photographer and picture editor. Past employers include The Cleveland Press, The Cincinnati Post, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, The Washington (D.C.) Times, The Providence (R.I.) Journal, USA Today, and The Associated Press Washington, D.C., bureau.

His photographs have received recognition from The Ohio News Photographers Association, the Society of News Design, The Associated Press and the Atlanta Seminar. His photographs have appeared in magazines, books, and exhibitions. Currently, he is a frequent photographic contributor to Woodcraft Magazine.

Hamel-Lambert holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from Bowling Green State University and a Masters of Arts in Photography degree from Ohio University.

His main areas of interest involve creating an architectural series of large-format, black-and-white images of country churches in Ohio; making large-format portraits using vintage lenses; and documenting community projects.

Hamel-Lambert teaches courses in Visual Communication Skills, Still Life and Architectural Photography, and Business and Studio Practices.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 260

Gary Kirksey, Associate Professor

Gary Kirksey has more than 25 years of experience in the field of commercial photography and has had numerous clients over the years, including Proctor & Gamble, Longaberger Corporation, The Washington Post, The Atlanta Constitution, Miami University, Real Simple and The Cincinnati Reds. In New York City, he worked as a studio associate for Hashi Studio, a studio manager for Kan Photography. He also worked as a photographer for Lighthouse Productions in Cincinnati.

His photographs have been exhibited widely across the country, including at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Ky., the Ohio State University Urban Arts Space in Columbus, Ohio, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. His images are part of the permanent collection at the Avampato Discovery Museum in Charleston, W. Va., and the Dallas African-American Art Museum in Dallas, Texas. His art work is included in more than 40 public, private and corporate collections in the United States.

Kirksey's photographs have been published in numerous books, including "Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers" and publications, such as Life magazine, two Quilt National books and The Wall Street Journal. His current projects in progress are "Documenting Tuskegee Airmen" and "A Vanishing Generation: 44601 and Beyond."

Kirksey teaches courses in Commercial Photography, Photo Business Practices and Portfolio Development. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Miami University and a Master of Arts degree in Photography from Ohio University.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 259

Marcy Nighswander, Professor

Marcy Nighswander is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who has extensive experience in the industry. She was a staff photographer for the Washington Bureau of The Associated Press, The Cincinnati Post, Akron Beacon Journal and Review Times (Fostoria, Ohio).

While working for The Associated Press, she was one of a group of photographers who won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for their coverage of the 1992 presidential campaign.

Nighswander has been part of many seminars and workshops, including the White House News Photographers Association, Northern Short Course, Southwestern Photojournalism Conference and the National Press Photographers Association. Her work has been published in numerous newspapers, books, and magazines including Life magazine, Newsweek, Time, People and Fortune.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from Bowling Green State University. At Ohio University, she teaches courses in Photojournalism and is the faculty advisor to the student chapter of the National Press Photographers Association. She was selected for the University Professor award for the 1999-2000 academic school year.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 261

Rebecca Sell, Associate Professor / Graduate Director

Becky Sell is a multimedia producer, editor and photojournalist. She has worked as a multimedia editor and staff photographer at The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., and has also interned at The Herald in Jasper, Ind., and The Courier-Press in Evansville, Ind. Her work has been published on,, The Washington Post, National Geographic Short Film Showcase and others.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Photojournalism from Ohio University and a Master of Science degree in New Media from Syracuse University.

Sell teaches courses in Audio/Video, Picture Editing, Information Architecture, User Experience and Interactive Capstone.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 255

Marlene Shostak, Department Administrator

Marlene Shostak joined the School of Visual Communication in September 2011, after working for five years as Assistant to the Dean in the Scripps College of Communication dean’s office. For two years prior to that she was the Administrative Assistant for Fiscal Services in the English Department. As Department Administrator for VisCom she oversees the daily operation of the school and works closely with the school director on the budget, class scheduling, grad appointments, and many other things.

Marlene is currently a senior at Ohio University, taking a class a semester toward her bachelor’s degree. She was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi in 2008.

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 251

Pete Souza, Professor Emeritus of Visual Communication

Pete Souza, former Chief Official White House Photographer, worked as a Photographer for the Chicago Tribune (Washington, D.C., bureau) and has freelanced for National Geographic, Life magazine and other many other publications. From 1983-1989, he was the Official White house Photographer for President Ronald Reagan. In 2001, Souza was part of the team at the Chicago Tribune who won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

Souza is the author/photographer of four books, including the New York Times Bestseller The Rise of Barack Obama.

Souza’s photographs have been exhibited widely. He’s had solo exhibits at Kansas State University, the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of North Carolina, the National Press Club and Fermilab (Chicago). His work has been part of group exhibits at The Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the National Archives, the Newseum and Boston University.

Souza holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Communication from Boston University and a Masters of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Kansas State University. When at Ohio University, Souza taught courses in Visual Communication Skills and Photojournalism.

Contact Info:

Juan Thomassie, Assistant Professor

Juan Thomassie is a visual journalist and interactive storyteller specializing in immersive, interactive information graphics. His work combines data, design and front-end developer skills. He builds interactive apps with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, including data visualization libraries like d3, Mapbox Studio, Leaflet, jQuery and many others.

For more than 30 years, Juan worked in newsrooms producing information graphics for print, animated graphics for television, and interactive graphics for websites. He also worked for tech startups developing data visualization software.

Juan was a senior designer and developer for Gannett and USA Today in Virginia, an animator for Knight-Ridder Tribune in Washington, D.C., an art director and senior artist for the Los Angeles Times, and an artist for the Times-Picayune and the State-Times in Louisiana.

Juan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from Louisiana State University. He was a visiting faculty member at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida teaching newsroom artists and developers how to produce interactive graphics. He also taught as an adjunct professor at the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Juan now teaches courses in Interactive Information Design and has his own interactive data visualization business —

Contact Info: (740)
Office: Schoonover 254