Vern Williams, 64, was an assistant professor of Journalism at Southern Connecticut State University, teaching photo journalism, design and drone journalism.
At the time of his death in 2018, he was among only a handful of professional photographers who successfully obtained their drone flying license in the state from the Federal Aviation Administration. He pioneered drone photojournalism courses at Southern, and helped develop and teach courses in the new drone minor at the university.
He is also credited with creating a Drone Academy for the public where professionals, using drones for their businesses, can learn better photographic techniques.
A longtime member of the Connecticut photography and drone journalism community, he served as photo director of the New Haven Register for 15 years, where he supervised the photographic and video coverage of the news. His previous experience included serving as photography and design editor for The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss.; design editor and photographer for the Island Packet, of Hilton Head Island, S.C.; and an independent documentary photographer. His teaching experience includes work at Southeastern Associated Press Managing Editors Association, University of South Carolina, and Cornell University.
He earned a BFA Rochester Institute of Technology, Photographic Illustration and M.P.S., Cornell University, Communication.
At Southern, Williams was a member of the Undergraduate Curriculum Forum and the Remembrance Garden Committee and design adviser for Crescent magazine, as well as photo consultant and design adviser to the Southern News.