Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University
Mark Dolan is currently a professor teaching photojournalism and new media in the journalism dept of the School of Mass Communications and Media Arts at Southern Illinois University.
After a varied career path that included jobs as a Radar operator in the navy, a truck driver, bartender, oilfield worker, garbageman, watermelon picker, and other occupations, he entered the world of photojournalism at the age of 30 when he received his undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Florida in 1985.
Between 1985 and 1989, he worked as a staff photographer at the Sarasota (Fl.) Herald Tribune and the Gainesville (Fl.) Sun. He then became the Director of Photography at the Anchorage Times in Alaska. In 1994, he attended Syracuse University where he received his Master's Degree in the dept. of Visual and Interactive Communications at the Newhouse School.
In November of 1995, he joined the staff of the Providence (R.I.) Journal as picture editor where he worked until August of 1998. At that time he returned to S.U. as a professor in the dept. of Visual and Interactive Communications for the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication where he taught for eight years.
At the age of 50, he embraced his first midlife crisis when he decided that it was time for a change. He sold his home and left his job to travel the country to visit with family and friends. During those travels, he also began his own personal documentary project using audio and still photography to capture and share the stories of some of the many people in America who have a passion and appreciation for barbecue. Some of that work can be seen on his website www.bbqpilgrim.com
After two years of travel (and a depleted bank account), Mark Dolan returned to teaching at Southern Illinois University.
In 2012, he was elected to the NPPA Board of Directors