supported by distinguished faculty mentors and sustained by a close-knit culture of artistic curiosity and academic rigor

fazilat soukhakian, ph.d

associate professor

Fazilat Soukhakian, Lexi and Max, from the series Queer in Utah

Fazilat Soukhakian is an Iranian artist, photographer, and scholar who is an Associate Professor of Photography at Utah State University. She started her career as a photojournalist in Iran and became one of the very few female photojournalists in a highly patriarchal society. She moved to the United States in 2011 and received her Master of Fine Arts degree and her Ph.D. in Architectural History from the University of Cincinnati. She is a visual storyteller who reflects on the social and political issues of her surroundings as a means for social change and justice. Her work revolves around depicting the stories of bravery and strength of those marginalized by society, highlighting the act of overcoming struggle and inspiring others. Fazilat has exhibited internationally in over 50 venues, including museums, galleries, and photographic festivals.  She has been recognized with numerous awards and recognitions. 

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jared ragland, mfa

assistant professor + area coordinator

Jared Ragland, from the series Hellbender

Jared Ragland (MFA, Tulane University) is a fine art and documentary photographer and former White House photo editor. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Photography and photography area coordinator at USU. His collaborative, socially conscious visual practice combines a range of photographic tactics with social science, historical, and literary research methodologies to critically confront issues of identity, marginalization, and the history of place.

Jared is the photo editor of National Geographic Books’ The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, and he has worked on assignment for NGOs in the Balkans, the former Soviet Bloc, East Africa, and Haiti. In 2015, Jared was named one of TIME Magazine’s “Instagram Photographers to Follow in All 50 States.” He is a 2020 Magnum Foundation grantee, 2020-21 Do Good Fund Artist-in-Residence, 2021 Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 artist, and 2022 Aftermath Project Finalist. He is the 2023 Utah State University Caine College of the Arts Faculty Researcher of the Year and was named USU CCA’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor in 2024. Before joining the faculty at USU, Jared served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of South Florida’s Judy Genshaft Honors College and taught at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Corcoran College of Art + Design.

Jared’s work has been exhibited around the world in more than 100 solo and group exhibitions, including recent shows at The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (Montgomery, Ala.), The Do Good Fund (Columbus, Ga.), Kimball Art Center (Park City, Utah), University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture (Oxford, Miss.), Center for Photography at Woodstock (Kingston, N.Y.), Filter Photo (Chicago, Ill.), Candela Books + Gallery (Richmond, Va.), The National Geographic Society (Washington, D.C.), and the Royal Geographic Society (London, UK). He has produced three artist books under his collaborative publishing platform, One Day Projects, which can be found in collections including the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University, Birmingham Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Center New Orleans, and the Phoenix Art Museum. Jared’s photographs have been featured by The New Yorker, New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair Italia, Southern Cultures, and The Oxford American, and his visual ethnographic research has been published in more than a dozen social science journals and textbooks, including the first photographs to ever be published in the flagship social sciences journal, Criminology. His first film, Some Million Miles, (co-directed with Adam Forrester) has screened in festivals across the US, won several awards including the Reel South Short Award at the 2019 Sidewalk Film Festival, and was distributed nationally by PBS.

During his tenure at the White House with the Bush (43) and Obama Administrations, Jared edited and designed photo books for the President, curated photographic exhibitions in the West Wing of the White House, Leica Gallery New York, Leica Gallery Berlin, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, and he was part of the editing team responsible for the release of the iconic photographs of President Obama in the Situation Room during the raid on Osama bin Laden.

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graduate student instructors

  • Cooper Lott (BFA, BYU-I)

adjunct faculty

  • Maria Ellen Huebner (MFA, University of Wisconsin–Madison)
  • Katie McGowan (MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art)


  • Ralph T. Clark, Emeritus Professor of Photography
  • Craig Law, Emeritus Professor of Photography

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