Students cover Election Day as part of Democracy in Action project

Newhouse students will spend Election Day reporting live from polling places as part of the Democracy in Action (DIA) project, now in its 11th year.

Students in the broadcast and digital journalism; magazine, news and digital journalism; and photography programs will file stories on the DIA website and provide voter-focused election news, reporting on the human element of the election—from polling place workers to first-time voters.

Students will cover Election Day activities in Onondaga County as well as counties across the U.S., with contributions from students who are studying remotely this semester. The website will include a section titled “Beyond CNY,” featuring stories from locations such as Florida and California.

Reporters will head out early Tuesday morning and provide live election reporting throughout the day.

What makes Election Day stories different from the typical reporting work Newhouse students do is that when the students go out into the field, they have no idea what their stories are going to be about, says broadcast and digital journalism chair Chris Tuohey.

“Usually, we stress the importance of preparation,” says Tuohey. “In DIA, the students only know what polling place they are going to and what time they are going there. In many cases they are scared to death they may not come up with a story. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time, they do.”

Follow the students’ Election Day reporting by visiting Nov. 3, and follow on Twitter at @DemocracyAction and #nhdia.

Adrianne Morales is a senior in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.

Alexia Grant recipients included on ‘Best Photojournalism of the Decade’ list

Kaushal and Rajni at their marriage ceremony. Three sisters—Radha, 15; Gora, 13; and Rajni, 5—were married to their young grooms Aleen, Giniaj and Kaushal on the Hindu holy day of Akshaya Tritiya. Photo by Stephanie Sinclair.

Among the 10 photographers included on National Geographic’s list of the best photojournalism of the decade are three Alexia Grant recipients. Two of the featured projects were funded in part by Alexia Grants.

Stephanie Sinclair was honored for her work documenting child marriage. Noted National Geographic, “The project spurred a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women and ending child marriage.”

Sinclair received the Alexia Grant in 2008 to document child marriage in India, where she captured girls as young as five being married off, as well as a brave young girl who stood up against the practice.

Mary F. Calvert was commended for her work on sexual assault in the U.S. military and its lingering effects.

Calvert received the Alexia Women’s Initiative Grant in 2014 to document homelessness among female veterans, for whom sexual assault had derailed careers and caused long-lasting emotional impact. Calvert’s Alexia-supported project was the third chapter in her four-volume examination of the issue.

A black and white image of a woman crying.
Melissa Ramon endured military sexual trauma at the hands of her training instructor and fellow airmen during her nine years in the US Air Force. Ramon suffers from post-traumatic stress and has been homeless off and on since her discharge. Photo by Mary F. Calvert.

Matt Black’s “Geographic of Poverty” was also included on the list. Black traveled through 46 states and Puerto Rico, challenging the “mainstream representation of America’s poor,” discovering “who gets their needs met and who doesn’t; who’s valued and who isn’t.”

Black was awarded the Alexia Professional Grant in 2003 for “The Forgotten Black Okies: A Lost Journey into a Land of Broken Promises,” and the Alexia Student Grant in 1994 for “The Transbay Terminal: San Francisco’s Destitute Gateway.”

Black and white photo of a man standing in the doorway of a small shack, surrounded by detritus.
Louisiana migrant at home. Photo by Matt Black.

In addition, Maggie Steber, a judge for the 2012 Alexia Grant competition, was honored for her work documenting the world’s first face transplant.

“The Alexia: 30 Years,” recently published by the Alexia Foundation, features the photographic work supported by the Alexia Grants over the last three decades, including projects by Sinclair, Calvert and Black. Books are available for purchase through the Syracuse University Bookstore. All proceeds will directly support future grant recipients.

Fall Workshop

Founded by the Visual Communications faculty in 1999, the Fall Workshop gives photography students the opportunity to tell visual stories about the world around them.

The Fall Workshop brings top professionals from around the world to join our professors as we push students to identify, observe and artfully communicate the core of who we are and the issues we face in everyday life.In the process, students learn to better use still photography, audio, video, motion graphics, design and words to become exceptional storytellers who engage the community.


You’ll learn classic visual storytelling principles while becoming proficient with the latest technology and developing your critical thinking skills with a rigorous liberal arts core.

Choose your focus between commercial and advertising photography or photojournalism and editorial photography; whatever you want to do, we’ve got a program tailored for you.

Some courses you’ll take as part of your photography degree:

VIS 301

Video and Photography

This course advances students use of creative principles in lighting, composition and storytelling, and expands on technical skills in both video and photography.

VIS 324

Light and Concept

Course assumes foundational skills in camera controls. This course focuses on developing technical and conceptual lighting and postproduction skills used in still and video productions to create compelling editorial and commercial content in studio and on location.

VIS 405

Photographic Storytelling

Teaches principles and practices of photojournalistic/documentary/editorial storytelling for print, multimedia and video contexts. Topics include news, features, portraits and sports photography; picture story and essay production.


From print to multimedia, still to video, artistic to commercial, this program will prepare you to work in visual media in every capacity.

Here are what some recent photography graduates are doing now:

Chase Gaewski ’15

Photo Editor
New York Daily News

Chris Janjic ’14

Director of Photography
Blue Chalk Media

Alexandra Moreo ’19

Associate Photo Editor
National Geographic

Emma Fierberg ’15


Featured Alumni

Photography majors who graduated from the Newhouse School are now shooting for some of the biggest names in the business. Their work can be seen in print and digital publications around the globe. 


Our impressive faculty of renowned professionals and industry-tested experts will help you become the visual creative you want to be.


In the Newhouse School’s photography program, you’ll learn how to build your skills as a multimedia producer, a critical thinker and a professional visual artist while graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science degree.

We’ll teach you the latest technology, but we’ll also teach you the principles of good work, which will allow you to adapt when your tools change… and they will.


Housed in our distinguished visual communications department, the Newhouse School’s photography program is where you gain the skills to take your creative vision to the next level.

Photo by Cassie Zhang ’18

As a photography major, you’ll be prepared for a creative career in photography and video production, learning the principles of light, concept and storytelling, using the latest technology and methods, and finding your unique visual voice.