2017 Judges

2017 BPPA contest judges John McDonnell (from left), Mary Calvert, and Cathaleen Curtiss. Photo by Brian Snyder.
2017 BPPA contest judges John McDonnell (from left), Mary Calvert, and Cathaleen Curtiss. Photo by Brian Snyder.

John McDonnell
John McDonnell has been involved in every aspect of coverage that the The Washington Post provides, with the exception of foreign conflict. He has worked exclusively for the Post’s Style section and Sunday Magazine for most of the 1980’s. Since 1989, McDonnell primarily has photographed for the sports section. He has photographed all of the standard events that a large metropolitan daily sports section covers, the major pro sports teams, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, 4 Olympics, plus college and high schools.

John McDonnell was 14 years old when he started working as a professional newspaper photographer for the Loudoun Times-Mirror in Leesburg, Va. He shot all of the sports photographs and developed all of the pictures for the paper, an experience that led him to a freelance job covering Virginia for UPI. In 1978, he joined The Post, where he had the opportunity to work with one of his favorite photographers Dick Darcy. “I used to look for his work every day. A couple of years later, I became a colleague of his,” recalls McDonnell. “Then a couple of years after that he retired and I took his job.” In his years with The Post, McDonnell has covered, among other local, national and international stories, figure skater Tonya Harding’s collapse in the 1994 Olympics, the Reagan White House and D.C. society.

Mary Calvert
Photojournalist Mary F. Calvert is committed to using photography to affect meaningful social change and is known for producing work on gender based, human rights issues. Calvert believes that journalists have a duty to shine a light into the deepest recesses of the human experience and provide a mirror for society to examine itself.

For her work on sexual assault in the US Military, she is the recipient of numerous honors including First Prize, Long-Term Projects in the 2016 World Press Photo Contest, the 2016 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, the 2015 and 2016 National Press Photographers Association Cliff Edom New America Award, the 2015 W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Fellowship and the 2014 Alexia Foundation Women’s Initiative Grant. In 2013 Calvert was awarded the Canon Female Photojournalist Award at Visa Pour L‘Image in Perpignan, France for her project “The Battle Within: Sexual Assault in America’s Military.” The resulting work was featured in a solo exhibition at the 2014 Visa Pour L’Image, International Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan, France.

She has won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award twice and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist in Feature Photography.

In addition to being a guest faculty member of the Eddie Adams Workshop, the Western Kentucky University Mountain Workshops and Momenta Workshops, she has been a member of the faculty for the Department of Defense Worldwide Military Photographers Workshop in Ft. Meade for the last nineteen years.

Cathaleen Curtiss
Photojournalist and National Press Photographers Foundation board member Cathaleen Curtiss is the director of photography for The Buffalo News.

A longtime NPPA volunteer and a member who joined in 1978, Curtiss has been the Coordinator of Experiential and Creative Learning at Daemen College since 2012. In her role at Daemen, Curtiss has been placing students in refugee centers and after-school programs as part of their service and learning engagements.

Curtiss was the White House News Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year in 1990, and as the vice president for global photography at America Online she managed a staff of visual content editors around the world. Her staff at AOL grew from a handful of workers to more than 80 people by 2009, generating more than 12 billion page views in a year. And in 2008 she was presented with the first AOL-Time Warner Heros Award in recognition of driving more than 70 percent of the page views on AOL content sites.