The judging schedules are now available. We welcome and encourage visitors to sit in on the judging process.
Kathy Kieliszewski has been with the Detroit Free Press since 2003 and is currently the Deputy Director of Photo and Video. Over the past year and half, her focus at the paper has been on coordinating and editing multimedia stories. In September 2007, she was part of a team that won an Emmy for Outstanding Current News Coverage by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for freep.com’s coverage of the deployment to Iraq of a 900-member Marine Reserve unit from Michigan. She is graduate of Michigan State University and has been honored with numberous picture editing awards including Michigan Picture Editor of the Year. She lives in Grosse Pointe Park, MI with her husband, two boys and a dog named Sherman.
Richard Koci Hernandez has recently become the Deputy Director of Photography/Multimedia at the San Jose Mercury News after spearheading the creation of MercuryNewsPhoto.com. For the past two years the site’s interactive storytelling has been judged among the best in the world in POYi. In 2007, the site was awarded Best Use of The Web in NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism competition.
Koci-Hernandez received a journalism degree from San Francisco State University in 1993 and worked at the Ventura Star in Southern California before joining the San Jose Mercury News as a staff photographer 13 years ago. While at the Mercury News he has been named the North California Press Photographer of the Year three times and was the 2003 recipient of the James K. Batten Knight Ridder Excellence Award. His work has been published in Time, Newsweek, USA Today, The New York Times and Stern.
Susan Smith is Deputy Director of Photography for National Geographic magazine. Her career at the magazine started 36 years ago with a lucky break—an entry-level position in film review, the office where unprocessed assignment film was catalogued, sent for processing, and reviewed for technical quality. It was a great place to learn.
Since then, Smith worked her way up the photographic ladder, eventually becoming assistant director for photography in 1990. In 2005 the photography and photo editing departments merged into one, and Smith was named deputy director. While she works closely with some of the best photojournalists in the business, Smith says the really rewarding part is discovering and nurturing young talent.
Mike Stocker is a staff photographer at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. His work has been recognized by POYi, the World Press, the Atlanta Seminar on Photojournalism and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for outstanding coverage of the problems of the disadvantaged. Stocker has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist numerous times. First for Spot News Photography in 1999 for coverage of Hurricane Mitch; again in 2002 for team coverage on the impact of AIDS in the Caribbean; and finally in 2006 for Feature Photography for his exploration of Holocaust survivors as Judaism faces a new century. In 2007 he and fellow staff photographer Joe Amon won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for International Photography for their work on AIDS Orphans. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and worked for the Hollywood Sun-Tattler and the Miami Herald before joining the Sun-Sentinel Staff since 1998. He lives in Hollywood Florida with his wife Susan, also a photojournalist at the Sun-Sentinel and their two children Mimi, 14, and Ben, 11.
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