Knight Chair

Rich Beckman

Rich Beckman is the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the School of Communication at the University of Miami and the Chair of the University of Miami Curriculum Committee.

His works focuses on producing documentary multimedia storytelling for social change, digital media tools and curriculum development for both journalism programs and general education.

He works with Special Olympics International as a documentary producer and has trained hundreds of professional journalists in multimedia and the use of digital storytelling tools.

From January 1978 to June 2008 Beckman was the Director of Visual Communication at the University of North Carolina. During that time, he served two terms on the Faculty Council; won the Tanner and David Brinkley Awards, both in recognition of excellence in undergraduate teaching; was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in South Africa, Chile and Spain; a charter member of the UNC-CH Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars and Carolina Speakers and served as the Julian Sheer Term Professor of Journalism and the James L. Knight Distinguished Professor of Journalism, awards given for overall excellence in teaching, research and service. He twice chaired divisions within the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and was the founder and director of the Multimedia Bootcamp Workshops held at UNC-CH for eight years.

As an online producer, he has led teams that have won many of the most prestigious multimedia prizes in the world including the Sigma Delta Chi Medal of Honor and the Pirelli INTERNETional Award for Educational Media, as well as multimedia storytelling awards from the Online News Association (ONA), the National Press Photographers Association, The Broadcast Education Association, Horizon Interactive Awards, The Society for News Design and the Pictures of the Year International competitions. He has judged the photography and multimedia categories of the White House Press Photographers Associations annual competition, the SNDies and Malofiej and the photography categories of the Robert F. Kennedy Awards, which honor outstanding reporting of the lives and strife of disadvantaged people throughout the world.

He has spoken about and taught multimedia storytelling at NPPA national conferences, the News Photographers Association of Canada, the Eddie Adams Workshop and The Poynter Institute, and consulted in newsrooms around the world.

Visiting Knight Chair

Kelly Whalen

Kelly Whalen is Visiting Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami's School of Communication, where she teaches documentary for social change. She is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and multimedia storyteller with more than 15 years of experience producing primarily for national PBS, as well as MSNBC, NPR,, and The San Francisco Chronicle/ She has extensive international reporting experience and most recently worked in five Central and Eastern European countries working with Roma journalists and University of Miami students to produce documentary videos that aim to increase the visibility of discrimination and other problems that Europe’s Roma communities face and promote their social inclusion. For many years, Kelly was a producer at Not In Our Town, a national PBS documentary series and grassroots organizing project designed to help communities better respond to and prevent hate crimes and acts of bigotry. Her other work has explored police abuse of powers and racial injustices in the criminal justice system.

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