Judges

Alysia Burton Steele / University of Mississippi

Before Alysia became an associate professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi, she worked as an award-winning newspaper visual journalist, picture editor, and deputy director of photography. Steele teaches photojournalism, multimedia production, beginning writing, podcasting, and oral history. She also teaches gender studies and African American History classes, focusing on marginalized communities. She worked as a picture editor for The Dallas Morning News photo department that won the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News for their Hurricane Katrina coverage. Steele then became a deputy director of photography at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before earning her master’s degree from Ohio University’s Visual Communication program.

Currently a Ph.D. Candidate in U.S. History Since the Civil War, Steele is writing her dissertation centered on Elaine Tomlin, the only black female staff photographer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the 1960s. She hopes to defend her dissertation in early 2023, with that research being published as a photo history book. Activist Gloria Steinem endorsed Steele’s 2015 groundbreaking book, Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom - comprised of her formal portraits and oral histories of 54 elder African American church women in the Mississippi Delta who shared life experiences about the Jim Crow era. Steele’s work has been published in the New York Times, NBC.com, Chicago Sun-Times, NPR, USA Today, and Southern Living magazine, to name a few. In 2016, she won the esteemed Mississippi Humanities Council’s “Preserver of Mississippi Culture” award. She has previously served as a judge for Best of Photojournalism (BOP) and Pictures of the Year (POY) and enjoys this service to the industry.

Erin Hooley / Associated Press

Erin Hooley is a new staff photojournalist for the Associated Press based in Chicago. She covers a wide range of news, crime, sports and features, though her biggest passion is the sensitive and detailed work of documentary projects.
She recently left the Chicago Tribune where she enjoyed working with a wonderful photo staff since 2015.

She spent five years making photos at the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, including a long-term, personal project on mixed martial arts culture and people in Utah.

After moving to Alaska, she worked as a photographer for the University of Alaska Anchorage. Erin also covered the 2013 Iditarod 1000+ mile sled dog race, editing for another photographer while making her own pictures along the trail.
She studied at the University of Colorado in her hometown of Boulder and found a love for photojournalism in Dan Eldon's "The Journey is the Destination.”

Through a fellowship from the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, Erin founded Covering Your Community, a project bringing community members together with Chicago journalists for meaningful conversations.

Erin also paints, draws and combines photographs with mixed media in personal journals.

Kevin Martin / Minneapolis Star Tribune

Kevin Martin is a photo editor at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. Martin Initially led visual coverage for the Star Tribune magazine and features sections. During the pandemic he shifted to picture editing the front page and news sections. In 2021 Martin was part of the Star Tribune newsroom staff which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting after the murder of George Floyd. Martin is currently the sports photo editor.

Martin was named Visual Editor of the Year by Pictures of the Year International in 2022. He has served as still photography chair for the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism and is a former director of The Kalish visual editing workshop.

Prior to arriving in Minnesota in 2018, Martin worked for the San Antonio Express-News, The Associated Press, Knoxville News Sentinel, The Advocate in Baton Rouge and The State in Columbia, S.C. He holds a master’s degree in photography from the School of Visual Communication
at Ohio University and bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Kentucky University.