White House Editor Jenn Poggi Joins RIT As Visiting Professor

Jennifer Poggi (right, in scarf) with Ohio University students during NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism judging in 2009. Photograph by Jennifer Cecil
Jennifer Poggi (right, in scarf) with Ohio University students during NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism judging in 2009. Photograph by Jennifer Cecil

ROCHESTER, NY (August 1, 2013) – Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (SPAS) is pleased to announce Jennifer Poggi, a highly respected photography editor, will be joining its Photojournalism Program as a three-year Visiting Professor beginning this fall semester. 

Poggi comes to SPAS after a four-year stint at the White House, working for Pete Souza, the Chief Photographer and Director of the Photo Office. She spent the last two and a half years serving as Deputy Director and White House Photo Editor. 

Prior to joining the White House in 2009, Ms. Poggi was a Knight Fellow at Ohio University where she studied multimedia production while on a leave of absence from her position as Deputy Director of Photography at U.S. News & World Report magazine. She has also worked for the Associated Press in New York City and is a graduate of Syracuse University.

She will be teaching two Photojournalism Core courses - Foundation of Photojournalism and Multimedia I  - in the fall semester and working with PJ Program Chair William Snyder on the Senior Trip to Washington, DC. In the Foundations of PJ course, she will teach PJ history, research skills and proposal writing as well as helping the Third Year Students prepare their their Senior Project Proposals. In the future she will concentrate on courses in the Photo Editing and Multimedia tracks.

Students focused on editing will have the opportunity to learn from one of the best editors in the business: “Jenn is one of the most dedicated, intelligent and hard working photo editors of her generation,” says photographer Ken Jarecke, who worked with Poggi for nine years at US News and World Report. “Any photographer (me included) lucky enough to work with her will find themselves, because of her influence, producing better images than they rightly deserve.” Jarecke is a founding member of Contact Press Images, one of the most respected photo agencies in the world.


Multimedia students will benefit from Poggi’s technical know-how but, most importantly, her emphasis on narrative will help them become great storytellers. “As a multimedia storyteller, Jenn emphatically understands terms like "hi-def", "48k", or "shallow depth of field" are worthless adjectives if they do nothing to serve a compelling narrative,” says Lou Spirito, who jointly worked with Poggi as Senior Producers for Ohio University’s Soul of Athens Project. “She would respectfully question every shot and every edit made by content creators… For Jenn, the concept of 'b-roll' is taboo — every shot must have meaning.” Spirito is a freelance interactive designer and multimedia specialist who has worked for publications such as National Geographic and The Washington Post.

“Jenn is a great addition to our highly respected School and Photojournalism faculty. She brings real world experience with a strong educational background and a tireless work ethic,” said Snyder. “She will help strengthen our new areas of concentration – Image Editing and Multimedia Storytelling – that will help us remain competitive during these difficult economic times. We are looking forward to working with her and developing new curriculum around her expertise.”

Interested in learning more about SPAS’ renowned Photojournalism Program? Please contact William Snyder at [email protected] or visit the School’s web site at http://cias.rit.edu/schools/photographic-arts-sciences/undergraduate-photo-journalism.