A Look at New Faculty Members Joining Newhouse

Meet four new faculty members arriving at the Newhouse School this year. They join the seven other new faculty announced in May.

Visual Communications

AJ Chavar

Teaching Fellow in Immersive Journalism

Headshot of AJ Chavar

An award-winning visual journalist, Chavar joined Newhouse over the summer. He will teach classes in photojournalism, documentary photography and immersive and spatial storytelling, as well as expand his creative research in journalism in a mixed reality space. He would like to use the fellowship to bolster his technical software skills in design and 3D creation and gain knowledge about design systems and theory.

Chavar has more than a decade of experience in major U.S. and international newsrooms. Beyond his extensive history reporting from the field, he has run teams as a producer at The New York Times, The Washington Post and Vox.com and helped craft global news visual strategies at Apple.

In his current role as a production technologist and creative strategist with The New York Times Research and Development lab, Chavar helped create new workflows for 3D storytelling capture. He also oversees the public presentation of their research and output and contributes real-world insight into how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision could be used in the service of journalism.

His work has been noted with recognitions such as the Carnegie-Knight News21 fellowship, documenting the lasting effects of war on veterans and families at home in rural America. He received an Edward R. Murrow Award for his work reporting on the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords while working as a field video journalist for The Washington Post. Chavar has also received several Emmy Awards for local journalism projects and earned several White House News Photographer “Eyes of History” awards. Chavar studied photography as an undergraduate at the Newhouse School.

Michael O. Snyder

Assistant Professor

Headshot of Michael O. Snyder

Snyder will teach classes in photojournalism, documentary photography, filmmaking and visual storytelling. His extensive professional experience includes running his own production company, Interdependent Pictures, for which he has directed films in the Arctic, the Amazon, the Himalayas and East Africa. His films have been selected to show at over 60 festivals, have taken home numerous awards and have been sponsored by companies such as Sony and GoPro. They have been distributed by outlets such as New Day Films and Films for Change. His photojournalism work has been featured by media outlets such as National Geographic, The Guardian and The Washington Post, and has been shown at exhibitions and galleries around the world.

Snyder’s work as a documentary photographer and filmmaker explores the dynamic relationship between environmental and cultural change. As an environmental and climate scientist by training, Snyder uses his combined knowledge of visual storytelling and conservation to create narratives that drive social impact.

His work has been recognized through multiple grants and awards including the Portrait of Humanity Award, as a Pulitzer Grantee, a National Geographic Young Explorer Grant and a Climate Journalism Fellow at the Bertha Foundation. He is an active member of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Snyder received a master of science degree in environmental sustainability from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and bachelor’s degree in geology from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

Broadcast and Digital Journalism

Jamie Hoskins G’13

Professor of Practice

Hoskins will teach classes in broadcast and digital news reporting, management and production. Prior to joining Syracuse University, Hoskins was an executive producer at WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as an executive producer at WIVB-TV in Buffalo and as a producer at WABC-TV in New York City. Hoskins is an Emmy Award-winning executive producer with more than a decade of experience writing, editing and producing content for TV and digital platforms. She is an alumnus of the broadcast and digital journalism master’s program and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University at Albany.

Magazine, News and Digital Journalism

Lauren Bavis

Faculty Fellow

Headshot of Lauren Bavis

Bavis will teach classes in news writing, reporting and multimedia projects. Before coming to Newhouse, Bavis was digital managing editor at WFYI, the public media station of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Side Effects Public Media, a Midwest health reporting collaboration. Bavis was previously an investigative reporter for Side Effects, where she co-created and co-hosted the podcast “Sick,” a nationally distributed investigative series about what goes wrong in the places meant to keep us healthy. She is working on a book based on her reporting. Her work has been recognized by the Public Media Journalists Association, the Hoosier State Press Association and the Indiana Associated Press Media Editors. Bavis and her team at Side Effects were named Indiana’s “Journalists of the Year” in 2019. She started her journalism career as a health reporter for The Bloomington (Indiana) Herald-Times. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Towson University.