2022 Speakers

Yunghi Kim photo by Stephanie Keith.

Yunghi Kim is a photojournalist who has covered conflicts and in-depth, issue-driven stories all over the world for 38 years. She has been a member of Contact Press Images since 1995. 

Her professional accolades include World Press Photo Awards, Magazine Photographer of the Year by POYi 1997 (one of two women to receive it at the time), The Olivier Rebbot and The John Faber Awards from the Overseas Press Club, Visa D’Or for News, The White House Press Photographers, 2000 Recipient of Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University, School of Communication. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her harrowing coverage of Somalia in 1992. She has also worked on extensive magazine commissioned assignments. 

Yunghi gives back to photojournalism every year in The Yunghi Grant since 2015.  In 2019, Kim launched educational site TrailblazersOfLight.Com, a site dedicated to the pioneering largely US women of photojournalism from the film era (1889 thru 1990s) – a time when few women had work that was digitized and memorialized on the web. In 2019, CNN produced a web essay honoring the Pioneering Women of Photojournalism by delving into research accumulated and aggregated on the Trailblazers site.  In 2021, she debuted a short documentary film  “Unflinching Grace” which looks back on decades of reporting by three women photojournalists.

Brandon Bell

Brandon Bell, a Getty Images News Photojournalist, has documented dozens of important US news stories including the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and his conviction for the murder of George Floyd, the second impeachment of former US president Donald Trump, immigration at the Texas border, the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, medical staff coping with COVID-19, and numerous natural disasters around the country. 

Jessica Phelps

Jessica Phelps is a photographer for the San Antonio Express-News. Before coming to Texas she worked for The Newark Advocate, her hometown paper in Ohio. Her work focuses on intimate stories from the communities she covers. Jessica has spent time in a county jail covering the poor conditions for inmates. She spent years documenting a young girl on the autism spectrum, a family caring for a father with Alzheimer’s, local little league tournaments and families facing evictions. 

Her work has been recognized by POYi where she was Newspaper Photographer of the Year, and by The National Press Photographer’s Association BOP contest where she was named Small Market Photographer of the Year. Jessica was also Ohio Photographer of the Year seven times in a row. 

Jessica came to her career in photojournalism after living overseas for eight years after receiving her degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Her travels have shaped how she saw her hometown and with a new perspective, she documented her community. Working at a small daily newspaper taught Jessica how important local journalism is and that stories can be found anywhere, if you’re willing to look. 

Chad Nelson

Chad Nelson is a three-time, National Press Photographer’s Association Ernie Crisp Photographer of the Year. He has also been named NPPA Editor of the Year twice.
Nelson grew up in Elk River, Minnesota. He studied Mass Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead and launched his professional career at WDAY in Fargo, ND. With a constant curiosity of the human condition, Nelson continues to work on his craft, highlighting the wonderful people he meets. 

Nelson joined KARE 11, in Minneapolis in 2014 to focus on the art of storytelling while looking for new technologies to bring storytelling to life on all platforms. He is currently the Director of Photography at KARE 11.

Deb Pastner

Deb Pastner is Director of Photo and Multimedia at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. During her tenure as Director, the photo and video team’s work has been recognized by POYi, Best of Photojournalism, SND, the Edward R. Murrow Awards, ONA, the World Press Awards and the Midwest Emmys. Pastner has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, POYi and SND judge. She recently returned from a Nieman fellowship.

Before coming to Minneapolis, Pastner was a photographer at newspapers in Massachusetts, Washington and Michigan. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and attended the Missouri School of Journalism. 

Aaron Lavinsky

Aaron Lavinsky is a staff photographer for the Star Tribune covering news, sports and everything in between. He joined the visuals staff in 2014. 

Lavinsky previously worked at newspapers in Washington State and Arizona. Lavinsky is a licensed drone pilot and is passionate about the outdoors. He lives in the Twin Cities with his loving wife, a fellow journalist, his dog, Bandit, and cat, Pixel. Lavinsky’s work has been recognized by the National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism awards, Pictures of the Year International and the DART Awards for Excellence in Covering Trauma. Lavinsky was part of the Star Tribune team that won a 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for covering the murder of George Floyd and its aftermath.

Mike Davis photo by Mark Osterman

Mike Davis is a visual storytelling consultant, editor, educator and author. His first authored book, about visual storytelling, is due out late 2022. Mike directed The Alexia Grants for eight years while holding a chaired faculty position at Syracuse University.

Before teaching, he was a visual leader at National Geographic, The White House and five visually strong U.S. newspapers. Mike was twice named picture editor of the year, as were several of those who worked for him. He has edited more than 40 photo books and hundreds of projects of note, taught and lectured in various settings. He hails from a small town in Nebraska and now lives in Minneapolis.

Katherine Porterfield

Katherine Porterfield, PhD, is a consulting clinical psychologist at the Bellevue Hospital Program for Survivors of Torture in New York City and senior trainer for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. Dr. Porterfield has provided clinical care to adults, adolescents and children who have experienced war and refugee trauma and torture for over 20 years. She regularly consults on issues pertaining to trauma, including in cases at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, US courts, and the International Criminal Court and with journalists and human rights organizations. Dr. Porterfield is a founding staff member of the Journalist Trauma Support Network, an initiative of the Dart Center at Columbia University. Dr. Porterfield regularly teaches and works with groups around issues of wellbeing, stress management and team communication.

Mark Vancleave photo by Jeff Wheeler.

Mark Vancleave is a video journalist at the Star Tribune with a focus on breaking news and investigative projects. His coverage of the killing of George Floyd and aftermath was part of the paper’s work recognized by the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting, Howard Scripps Award for Breaking News and Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing Coverage. He mostly recently completed filming ‘Police on Trial’ – a feature documentary in collaboration with PBS FRONTLINE examining the culture and practices of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Mike Shum

Mike Shum (b. Denver, CO, 1985) is a filmmaker who explores the ways in which we perceive and define home within contexts of historical and cultural struggle. Growing up a son of Hong Kong immigrants, Shum seeks to relate his own struggle through his body of work. 

Shum started collaborating with PBS Frontline serving as director of photography for the Wall Street Journal and PBS Frontline co-production, Predator on the Reservation — a documentary about a doctor who preyed on children for over twenty years within the Indian Health Services. He was the writer, producer, director of American Voices: A Nation in Turmoil, which follows voters across the country from the beginning of the pandemic to the 2020 election. And most recently, he is making his first-time feature debut, Police on Trial — a documentary about the Minneapolis police department in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.

Nate Ryan

Nate Ryan works at the intersection of commercial and editorial photography – bringing elements of each to his work with regional and national brands, advertising agencies, and editorial clients. Embracing both portrait and documentary lifestyle photography, Nate captures people doing what they love.

Nate has worked with commercial clients including, WeTransfer, Lululemon, Redwing Shoes, Minnesota Orchestra, Merrill Lynch, HAVAS, Olson Advertising, Preston Kelly, and editorial publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSP Magazine, EatingWell, and RollingStone.

Previously, Nate spent 10 years as the staff photographer at 89.3 The Current at Minnesota Public Radio, which gave him the opportunity to photograph and film some of the world’s most renowned musicians. With degrees in Geology and Studio Art from Carleton College, He has always embraced bringing divergent ideas together.

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