Faculty Profile

Jerald Swope, MA

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts

M.A. Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri
B.A. Brown University

Areas of Expertise:

Photojournalism; media literacy; digital design; photo elicitation; interdisciplinary service learning experiences

Courses I Teach:

  • Advanced Visual Storytelling
  • Digital Media; Media Revolutions
  • Photojournalism in the Digital Age

My photographs have been published in the New York Times, USA Today, the Boston Globe - Globe Magazine, Vermont Life, Sydney Morning Herald-The Age Magazine, Middlebury College Magazine, Burlington Free Press, Rapid City Journal and Vermont Public Radio web site.  In addition my work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., the Helen Day Arts Center in Stowe University of Vermont Center for Cultural Pluralism, and in the juried show of the South End Burlington Art Hop. 


"Bridging the Interdisciplinary Gap: Team-Teaching an Interdisciplinary Service Learning Course," co-authored with Professor Patricia Siplon, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 2011.

Recent Projects

I created a long-term photo essay about contemporary Lakota life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation called "Living in Two Worlds," and preliminary research into the areas of technology and spirituality. Also, I continue to work as a facilitator and an adviser to the Exposures program, a cross-cultural photography and multimedia project that brings students from southern Vermont, and Chicago to Pine Ridge South Dakota to collaborate with Lakota youth.  

In 2007 and 2009, I traveled with students to rural Tanzania conducting advocacy journalism projects for the Ilula Orphan Program as well as researching and documenting problems associated with water scarcity.

I have been awarded four Faculty Development Grants from Saint Michael's College as well as Politi Funds for a collaborative project with students on water scarcity in rural Tanzania

Favorite Subjects:

Photojournalism, and Digital Media.  I love exploring with students the ways in which new digital technologies are impacting us as individuals and our culture.

Other Facts:

- I played lacrosse for four years at Brown

- I enjoy cross country and telemark skiing

- I taught high school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota for five years.

- I have traveled in Nepal, Tibet, Tanzania, Kenya and Europe.

Recent Books Read:

The Snow Leopard, by Peter Mathiessen; The Tao Te Ching; A Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich; Neither Wolf nor Dog by Kent Nerburn;

Favorite Radio Shows:

This American Life, On Being, and The Moth

Jerry Swope, department chair and associate professor of Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts, organized and participated in a March 28 on-campus panel discussion sponsored by The Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice, “Nicholas Black Elk, Lakota Spirituality, and Catholicism on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Panelists along with Jerry were Robert Brave Heart, MA, Arizona State University, executive vice-president of Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota; and Damian Costello, PhD, University of Dayton, Ohio, author of Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism
(posted June 2019)

Jerry Swope, associate professor of media studies, journalism and digital arts, was a key organizer this fall when his department and two others - Fine Arts; and Environmental Studies -- came together to compose a panel of four inspirational individuals, who spoke to Saint Michael’s faculty and students in the McCarthy Arts Center Recital Hall, Thursday, October 18. The talk explored the intersection of art and activism within the anti-nuclear movement and was appropriately titled “When Activism Drives Art, and Art Drives Activism." Also, in October Jerry was inducted into the Brown University Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of an undefeated varsity lacrosse team in 1991.
(posted January 2019)

Jerry Swope, associate professor of Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts, had seven photographs published in the Spring 2018 issue of Vermont Life magazine for a story on Champlain College. In addition to his teaching, Jerry is a widely published professional photographer including assignments for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, the latter of which used his photos to illustrate a piece about the recent Winter Olympics.
(posted June 2018)

Jerry Swope, associate professor of media studies, journalism and digital arts, had 19 images published in the Spring 2015 issue of Vermont Life Magazine for a story about the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes in Burlington.
(posted April 2015)

Jerry Swope, associate professor of media studies, journalism and digital arts, received a scholarship to participate in a photography editing workshop Aug 13-15 with Elizabeth Cheng Krist, a senior photo editor at National Geographic Magazine. The workshop held in Stowe is sponsored by FotoVisura –an international self-publishing community and resource for art and documentary photography. In addition, Jerry had photographs publish in the Spring 2013, Spring 2014 and Summer 2014 issues of Vermont Life Magazine.
(posted August 2014)

Jerry Swope, associate professor of media studies, journalism and digital arts, in early May had some of his photographs of a house in Stowe appear on the New York Times web site in the Real Estate section. See the feature here (Jerry's photos are numbers 22-30 of this series).

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