Jan Sonnenmair, graduate student at Ohio University, is the winner of the Bob East Scholarship, which may be awarded to either a graduate or undergraduate student.

I have worked as a professional photographer at newspapers (The Dallas Morning News), magazines (TIME, PEOPLE, and many others) and commercially for many years. I have photographed many things from the Olympics to grass roots NGO’s working in Latin America. My website is www. sonnenmair. com . I spent 4 years documenting a young child living with and dying from AIDS for which I won a World Press Foundation award for picture essay. I spend much time, while not in school, telling stories for magazines and corporations. Currently, I am back at school as the Knight Fellow for visual communications at the prestigious VISCOM program at Ohio University. I am honored to be able to continue expand my skill sets especially in video and audio production. The focus of my work is often on social issues, especially concerning women, children, education and nutrition. I plan on taking my video skills back with me to places I have worked before like the Navajo Nation or Guatemala to work on stories I felt would be more complete with audio and or video.

Career Goals
Even though I have had a solid career as a photojournalist, I plan on expanding my storytelling to video documentaries as well as audio/slideshow podcasting. I would love to take more of a leadership role in producing projects as well and working with a team to create multi-faceted projects. To be able to take this time to hone my audio and video skills is invaluable. I hope to always tell stories and more education was needed for me to have the knowledge of newer technologies in order to compete in the current marketplace.


Click on pictures to see stories.

Farm Girl

A simple story about a young girl growing up on a small goat farm in Albany, Ohio.

Project role: This was my first audio slideshow project I did as a grad student. I did all of the production from taking the still images, capturing the ambient audio and doing the audio interviews.

God Given Talent

This is a story of Harrison Hall, who at age 12 is one of the youngest race car drivers in the US. He currently drives dirt track modified cars that reach speeds up to 150 mph. Dirt Track racing is a religion in much of rural USA. Because of Harrison’s high level of skill at such a young age, his parents believe his talent is God given and they plan on supporting his dream of being a NASCAR driver.

Project role: I did all of the production on this video from shooting the video to gathering audio and audio interviews. Also, did all of the editing in Premiere Pro.