Julie Jacobson, Associated Press staff photographer
A native of Overland Park, Kan., Jacobson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism in 1992 at the University of Kansas. She joined the Kansas City Star after college and worked as a staff photographer at that daily newspaper until June 2001 when she joined the Associated Press in San Francisco. In 2003 she transferred to AP’s headquarters in New York City.
Since joining the AP, Julie has traveled around the United States covering floods in the Midwest, hurricanes in Florida, the Iraq war in 2003 and 2004, as well as premier sporting events such as golf’s majors, the World Series and Super Bowls. Her international assignments include covering the the Haiti earthquake, the last five Olympics in Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin, Beijing and Vancouver as well as the men’s and women’s FIFA World Cups and the Pan Am Games.
In 2009 and 2010 Jacobson twice has been on assignment in Afghanistan embedded with the Army in Kandahar and with the Marines in Helmand Province and also produced videos and photos for a package on opium addiction and eradication.
Kendra Stanley-Mills, The Muskegon Chronicle
I have worked at the Muskegon Chronicle since 1999 just weeks after graduating from Western Kentucky University with a degree in photojournalism. Photographing rural life, small towns and everyday people are the things that inspire me and make me appreciate working at a smaller newspaper where “everybody knows your name.” Although I have covered events like the President coming to town, I would much rather hangout with a farmer tending to his cattle. While at the Chronicle, I was the third place Michigan Photographer of Year for 2001 and 2009 and was the Michigan Sports Photographer of the Year for 2009. I have been fortunate to receive numerous awards from the Associated Press, Michigan Press Association, the National Press Photographers monthly clip contest and the Michigan Press Photographers annual POY contest. My biggest success, I believe, is having a healthy balance between working full-time and raising a 3-year-old son, Yuri, and a 2-year-old daughter, Harper. I couldn’t do that without the support of my amazing husband, Jon Mills, who is a television videographer and reporter
Scott Strazzante, The Chicago Tribune
Scott Strazzante, 46, was born and raised in the shadows of the steel mills on the far southeast corner of Chicago. The son of a tire dealer, Strazzante first became interested in photography when he started taking his dad’s Canon AE-1 to Chicago White Sox games.
After college, Strazzante began what has now been a 24-year career at Chicago-area newspapers, including The Daily Calumet, the Daily Southtown, and the Joliet Herald-News. In 2000, Strazzante was named National Newspaper Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association and the Missouri School of Journalism.
In 2001, Strazzante, a 7-time Illinois Photographer of the Year, started work at the Chicago Tribune where he spends his time as a general assignment photographer.
In 2008, MediaStorm published Common Ground, a multimedia piece on Strazzante’s personal project on the transformation of a piece of land in suburban Chicago from rural to suburban. The project, entering its 17th year, has also been published in the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Mother Jones and National Geographic.
In his free time, Strazzante likes going to movies by himself, fishing for compliments and playing BrickBreaker on his BlackBerry.
Strazzante, the 1978 Bethlehem Lutheran School 8th Grade Spelling Bee champion, lives in Yorkville, Illinois with his wife Anna and their 4 children.