Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to seven excellent visual journalists…
Mike Beckom is a freelance editorial cartoonist based in Greenwood, S.C. A 2010 graduate of Piedmont Tec, Mike worked in a food production plant before becoming a quality assurance technician for FujiFilm Graphic Systems. He earned a degree earlier this year from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He freelances cartoons to the Greenwood Index-Journal and to four or five weeklies around the state. Find his Facebook fan page here. Mike turns 48 today.
Zack McDermott is a sales rep with Paycom. A 2012 graduate of Gannon University in Erie, Pa., Zack spent a year-and-a-half as a copy editor for the Erie Times-News and then six months as a reporter for the Oswego, N.Y., Palladium-Times. Find his Twitter feed here. Zack turns 26 today.
Christine McNeal is pastor for member care and connections at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Ill. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Missouri, Christine was assistant managing editor of the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star before becoming deputy managing editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 1997 and serving as president of the Society for News Design in 2006. She left Milwaukee after ten years to start a new career in the clergy. Christine graduated in 2011 from Chicago’s Lutheran School of Theology, and interned at Milwaukee’s Capitol Drive Lutheran Church. After a year of residency there, Christine became the hospice chaplain for Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Bloomington, Ill. She moved to St. John’s in 2012.
Chris Olds is an editor, writer, blogger and designer based in Dallas, Texas. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Chris spent five years as a designer, copy editor and columnist for the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News before moving to the San Antonio Express-News in 2004 to become a designer and “page-two” columnist. He spent three years as a designer, copy editor and sports memorabilia blogger for the Orlando Sentinel before moving to Dallas in 2008 to work for Beckett Media, publishers of popular sports collecting magazines. Chris edited the company’s flagship baseball monthly, Beckett Baseball, and also Beckett Sports Card Monthly and Beckett Basketball magazines. Chris was laid off last month. Find his design portfolio here, his Nick Swisher collecting blog here and his Twitter feed here.
Morgan Phillips is a design researcher for for Lextant, a design and user experience firm in Columbus, Ohio. A 2005 graduate of Kent State University, Morgan spent three-and-a-half years as a news designer for the Detroit Free Press. While working on a master’s degree at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, she interned with Chrysler and BASF. She earned her degree in 2011, worked briefly with Cross Country Automotive Services in Boston, Mass., and went to work for Lextant in 2011. Find her web site here. Morgan turns 33 today.
Laura Ruel is an assistant professor of visual communication and multimedia at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Many of you know her, however, as the founder and then director of the Best of Multimedia Design awards for the Society for News Design, known for several years a the SND.ies. A 1985 graduate of Colgate University, Laura obtained a master’s degree from the University of Missouri and worked as a reporter, editor, designer and manager at the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Omaha World-Herald and the Rocky Mountain News of Denver. She taught journalism at Creighton University and the University of Maine before moving to North Carolina in 2004. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.
Poh Si Teng is a video journalist for the New York Times. A 2007 honors graduate of San Francisco State University, Poh Si interned with the New Straits Times of Malaysia, the Oakland Tribune, the Columbus Dispatch, the Virginian-Pilot and the Miami Herald. As a freelancer based in New Delhi, she worked with a number of clients including the Times, CBS, the Wall Street Journal, Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press and UNICEF. She joined the Times full-time in 2012. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here. Poh Si turns 31 today.
Tracey Trumbull is manager of digital content for WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tenn. A 1981 graduate of the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, Tracey spent six years as director of photography at the Boca Raton News. He became deputy director of the KRT photo service in 1990 and then moved again to the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale in 1994 as assistant director of photography. Two years later, the Sun Sentinel made him a multimedia producer and then put him in charge of its Mac publishing systems in 2000. He moved to the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel in 2005 as director of photography and then moved to the Times Free Press of Chattanooga in 2009 to become visuals editor. He slid over to the world of television in 2012. Find Tracy’s personal web site here and his Twitter feed here.
Zack, Poh Si, Morgan, Chris, Tracey Laura and Christine share a birthday with actors Scott Stewart Bakula, Anthony Marcos “Tony” Shalhoub, Brandon James Routh, Erin Cohen (better known as Erin Daniels), Zachery Ty Bryan, Brian Blessed, and Steven Michael Burns (the original host of Blue’s Clues); musicians John Winston Lennon, Clyde Jackson Browne, Scott “Scotty” McCreery and John Alec Entwistle (of the Who); musical relatives Sharon Rachel Levy Osbourne (wife of Ozzy) and Sean Ono Lennon (son of John); director Guillermo del Toro; TV host Gok Wan; sports greats Annika Sörenstam (golf), Lauren Davis (tennis), Kenneth “Kenny” Anderson (basketball), Michael “Mike” Singletary (football), Joseph “Joe” Anthony Pepitone, Brian Jay Downing (both baseball) and Walter Francis O’Malley (baseball owner); C-SPAN founder Brian Patrick Lamb, U.K. prime minister David William Cameron; politicians Chester Trent Lott Sr. and Everett Howard Hunt Jr.; cartoonist Michael Bartley “Mike” Peters and historian Charles Bruce Catton.
In addition, today is National Chess Day, National Pro-Life Cupcake Day, World Egg Day, World Post Day and Leif Erikson Day. Seriously.
Best wishes, all! Have a wonderful birthday today!