Full-Time Faculty

Brian P. McDermott

Visual Journalism

Department Chair and Senior Lecturer

M.A., University of Montana

S417 Integrative Learning Center


Brian McDermott joined the faculty at UMass full-time in September 2009. He began his career as a photojournalist, working at a newspaper in Pennsylvania. From there, he headed west to Missoula, Montana, where he went to graduate school and took a new media path. He has published photography, multimedia and writing in outlets like the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the Associated Press, Quartz, Bon Appétit and many others. 

His writing about journalism has appeared in the Online Journalism Review and News Photographer. He has built websites commercially, produced video pieces, and chaired the National Press Photographers Association's Student Quarterly Clip Contest for three years. He co-directed the online journalism program from 2012–2015.

During the summer of 2013, he produced and taught Building a Basic Website, the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Along with MOOCs from Harvard and M.I.T., it was named one of the eight "most interesting" in the region by the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. Thanks to a grant from the Five Colleges via the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, he also produced a series of blended visual storytelling lessons in 2015 for the department's Introduction to Visual Storytelling class.

He was awarded the 2014 SBS College Outstanding Teaching Award.