Aaron Phillips (Coordinator): Aaron Phillips is a second year graduate student studying photojournalism at the University of Missouri. Aaron spent the first half of his life in Texas, the second in Mississippi. After a career start in civil engineering, he began to look for something more creatively fulfilling, and turned to photography. The last several years he has attended photo and video workshops, including the Missouri Photo Workshop in 2013. He has also worked part time as a commercial and editorial still photographer and has recently delved into video and film lighting/ production.
Daniel Gin Sian Mung (Coordinator): Daniel Gin Sian Mung is a first year graduate student studying photojournalism at the University of Missouri. Prior to enrolling in grad school, Daniel worked for 3 years as a Communications Associate based out of New Delhi for World Vision India (an NGO working for children.) He aspires to produce stories from the under-reported Northeastern region of India, which he calls home.
Rita Reed (Co-Director): Rita Reed has served as Director of the College Photographer of the Year competition for the past 15 years. She is a Professor on the photojournalism faculty at the Missouri School of Journalism. Prior to joining the University of Missouri faculty, Reed worked as a photojournalist for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Gazette in Cedar Rapids, IA. She is 1993 recipient of the NPPA/Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant and holds a MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri.
Jackie Bell (Co-Director): Jackie Bell is an Associate Professor on the photojournalism faculty at the Missouri School of Journalism and a former assistant professor at the University of Montana. She has 15 years of combined experience as a staff photographer at The Tennessean, The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, The Arizona Daily Star and a chain of magazines in Tel Aviv, Israel. She has a master’s degree in photographic communication from Ohio University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan.
Ross Taylor (Moderator): Ross Taylor is currently a visiting professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. Previously, he held a similar position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the inaugural fellow in the Multimedia, Photography and Design Department at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University, where for his Master’s project he undertook a series of films made in a local burn unit. He is also the co-director of the documentary short film, "55 days." In 2012, he was named the NPPA Photojournalist of the Year in the association’s national Best of Photojournalism competition.
Brett Slaughter (Web Producer): Brett Slaughter is a 2005 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism photojournalism program. He is a self-taught web programmer, learning Internet technologies and programming during his time at the University of Missouri. Since graduating, he has recognized that his talents with technology outweigh his talents as a photojournalist, and as a result has given up photojournalism in favor of pursuing a career in information technology. He continues to devote a portion of his time to the continuing mission of the College Photographer of the Year program and is always seeking ways to use the web to enhance the contest experience for students worldwide.