Marcus Yam, BS ’06, graduated from UB with a degree in
aerospace engineering—and then took a very different career
path, becoming one of the top photographers in journalism
Now he tackles photographing people in crisis situations around
the world, from Sandy Hook to Mosul to flood-ravaged Houston.
Yam was part of The Los Angeles Times breaking news team that
won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the terrorist attacks in
San Bernardino, Calif. He won an additional Pulitzer as part of the
Seattle Times’ coverage of the deadly mudslide in Oso, Wash.
His other honors include an Emmy, a duPont-Columbia journalism
award and being named Newspaper Photographer of the Year. Yam, born
and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is a staff photographer with
The Los Angeles Times.
In a 2015 interview, Yam explained that his
engineering background plays a role in how he approaches his
“It really informs my work,” he said. “I take
a very analytical and technical approach to everything that I
Crediting his experience at UB for introducing him to
photojournalism, Yam took photographs for UB’s student
newspaper, The Spectrum, to fulfill requirements to graduate.
His work led to an internship at The Buffalo News, and after a
few weeks in the newsroom, Yam knew that he had found his
“I had so much fun there. It was one of those rare moments
in life when everything seemed to come together. Things were just
clicking. That’s when I realized that this is what I wanted
to do,” he said.
On Friday, October 6, you can learn more about his process, the
people he has photographed, and see more of his award winning work.
RSVP now to reserve your seat.