Embody – by Srijita Chattopadhyay

She had the life others could only dream of, a career as a musician in the music city – Nashville, Tennessee. She was talented, and she was beautiful. There was nothing that could stop her rise to stardom. Although, at the end of the day in the solitude of her dressing room she would weep because she was born a ‘she.’

Spirit Bomb – by Ida Marie Odgaard

In a world where wheelchairs seem to go as fast as “Sonic” and basketballs that can turn into “Dragonball Z spirit bombs,” 15-year old David Moore from Bowling Green, Kentucky might not see the world exactly as the other teenage boys in the neighborhood but he’s got his own hopes and dreams for the future – and is not letting autism stop him on his way.


Through Our Eyes Week 12

Below are some of our favorite photos from this week’s Through Our Eyes. Each week the selections are chosen by WKUPJ students. Stay tuned for more to come!

First Place

Miles Hoskins, a lifelong resident of Mt. Sterling, KY., runs the Montgomery County Historical Society. Hoskins works to find, preserve, and share a wealth of historical resources regarding Montgomery County. | Nic Huey

Runner Up

Tyron shows his cousins Demarcus and Duke how to do a wheelie on a bike in Kentwood, Louisiana. “Man, I know y’all cant do a wheelie like me,” Tyron said. | Michael Blackshire

Honorable Mentions

Joseph A. Madrid, 11, of Henderson marches in remembrance of his uncle and namesake, Joseph R. Madrid who was lost to suicide in May of 2018. Madrid and his grandmother, Cathy Roy, carried 22 posters with the names of children lost to suicide. Roy is part of a Facebook group for grieving mothers who have lost children to suicide, and she wanted to honor as many lost children as she could said Roy. Bowling Green, Kentucky 2018. | Reed Mattison

WKUPJ to host “PDN Presents: Strategies for Launching and Building a Career in Today’s Market” on November 6

Photo District News will be visiting our campus to present a seminar, Strategies for Launching and Building a Career in Today’s Market, at WKU on Nov. 6 in Gary Ransdell Hall Auditorium at 6:30pm. The panel will feature photographers selected for PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. Topics to be discussed will range from how to increase your exposure to meeting the challenges of starting a photography career in today’s competitive market.  The free event will moderated by Holly Stuart Hughes, editor of Photo District News, and feature Sony Artisan Patrick Murphey-Racey.

The seminar will be followed by a reception at 8pm in the Jody Richards Hall Atrium and Gallery.

For information about the presentation, contact Tim Broekema at tim.broekema@wku.edu.

Contact: School of Journalism & Broadcasting, (270) 745-4144





Through Our Eyes Week 8

Below are some of our favorite photos from this week’s Through Our Eyes. Each week the selections are chosen by WKUPJ students. Stay tuned for more to come!

First Place

Red Jackson, sits on top of his ’72 Monte Carlo outside of his house in Alligator, Mississippi. Alligator, Mississippi has a population of 208 from a 2010 Consensus, and is part of the area considered the Mississippi Delta. “This is what I know. My people from here and it’s always been good with folk. Just life in the Delta is what I know,” Jackson said. | Michael Blackshire

Runner Up

A young activist was among the many who filled Downtown Chicago Saturday October 13. March to the Polls protest organized and marched as a call for voter registration and participation. | Brenna Pepke

Honorable Mentions

Larry Williams, holds his young nephew as family comes over to visit. Growing up, him and the rest of their family lived willingly on a plantation were his father worked for a man near the area they still call home now in Duncan Mississippi. “My dad told me tells, you see those tree’s over there, my dad say man hung from those tree’s. We own this land over here. From this block to the other end. Everyone knows the Coffey family. The population is small, there are no police around, but we protect our own, Coffey said.| Michael Blackshire

Dexter Wilson (Front Right), Jamarion Cockran (Back Right), and Aavion Keller (Middle) look out on a street in Baton Rouge as sun falls. “I want a good picture of me and my dog,” Wilson said, knowing him and his friends would have to go back inside the house soon. | Michael Blackshire

Teodoro Acosta, 52, is originally from Durango City, Mexico, but now is starting a new life in Texas. He was visiting near Austin in Georgetown, TX but is enjoying his life away from home. | Michael Blackshire


Through Our Eyes Week 6

Below are some of our favorite photos from this week’s Through Our Eyes. Each week the selections are chosen by WKUPJ students. Stay tuned for more to come!

First Place

Tom Walron, 91, sits next to a local gas station in Wilmington, North Carolina, that was demolished after Hurricane Florence. “I’m sad to see this local business be destroyed from the Hurricane. I do business with the owner, doesn’t speak much English, but a great man. I will say that Hurricane Flo is nowhere as close as bad as Hurricane Hazel. I remember early October in 1954, and the city of Wilmington was destroyed in many capacities,” Walton said. | Michael Blackshire

Honorable Mention

Thomas Shaw, 64, wonders why locals are not able to humble themselves during the time of Hurricane Florence. “I don’t understand why people are not accepting this situation for what the situation is. I tell people this is only the beginning. Will only get worse from here, our planet will only get worse, and people are complaining about loosing electricity for a week,” Shaw said. | Michael Blackshire

Sheriff Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines of Warren County has held the office of Sheriff for 40 years. In this year’s election Gaines faces opposition from Brett Hightower, a retired Bowling Green Police captain and Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient. | Silas Walker

Justin Miles, 28, tries to get back to safety after taking a dive in the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, North Carolina. “I feel like the news exaggerated Hurricane Flo, because the area I lived in was not affected besides loosing electricity. I saw the tide of the waves moving in my direction so I decided to take a dive in the river,” Miles said. | Michael Blackshire

Lilly Riherd, 58, plays basketball with her only grandson Dalton Hughes, 13, at Covington Woods Park on Monday, September 24, 2018. Riherd said they shoot hoops for 30 to 45 minutes two to three nights per week. | Ivy Ceballo

Ronnie Oxenbine stops at an empty gas station for an effort to find supplies to leave Wilmington N.C. on Sunday 16, September 2018. “I honestly don’t know why I’m staying in this state,” Oxenbine said, “we were not ready when Hurricane Matthew happened and we are not ready for another hurricane.” | Fahad Alatobi

Wilmington, NC. Darik 65, walks around his neighborhood taking pictures of demolished buildings by Hurricane Florence on Sunday 16th of September 2018. “This is what nature destruction looks like and that’s only category 1.” Darik said. | Fahad Alotaibi

Pastor Chad Collins leads the church Miracle Life Center in Bowling Green, KY. He has in his own words experienced that God’s power was so divine that his son was cured for leukemia, after Jesus appeared in the dreams of his son. On Sundays, Mr. Collins often speaks in tongues or says “shhh, fhhhssss” and “fire!”, when he is in front of his church members. He whips them with a sweaty hand towel and pushes them. On the floor, some members lie there for a quarter of an hour. They look dizzy. Some cry, others pray. Everyone in the hope that they will experience the presence of Jesus. | Rasmus Flugt

Through Our Eyes Week 2

Below are some of our favorite photos from this week’s Through Our Eyes. Each week the selections are chosen by WKUPJ students. Stay tuned for more to come!

First Place

Tennessee Titans defensive back Dane Cruikshank #29 of dives into the crowd after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter vs the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 16. | Silas Walker

Second Place

My mom puts on my little sister’s veil a few minutes before she walks down the aisle. I’ve seen her fix my sisters hair hundreds of times: tight braids in the summer, ponytails with cheerleading bows, updos for dances and prom. In this exchange, I see how my sister will resume the duties with her own daughter, how she’ll brush and pull and spray until she is ready to be married. That is the cycle in these hills, a comfortable rotation of give and take. | Morgan Hornsby

Honorable Mention

Tennessee Titans mascot flexes and encourages the crowd to get on their feet before the kickoff of the opening season home game on Sunday, Sept. 16 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN. | Silas Walker

Tennessee Titans quarterback Blaine Gabbert #7 of the to tight end Jonnu Smith #81 is blocked by linebacker Brennan Scarlett #57 of the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 16. Gabbert recovered the blocked pass after Scarlett blocked it and was able to make a first down. | Silas Walker

WKU Alumna’s work to air on PBS World Channel

A 2018 WKU alumna and photojournalist Brittany Greeson joined a team of four other young journalists during the fall of 2017 in an effort to explore the issues that divide us and the stories that can bring us together for “Crossing the Divide,” an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. The half-hour documentary, which will air on PBS World Channel on September 24th, follows the team as they cross the country documenting the daily lives of average Americans.

“We reported on the idea of divisions in America” said Greeson. “We tried to find topics within that theme in each region.”  Greeson, who had worked with GroundTruth in the past, led the Kentucky reporting.

“I don’t believe in the term giving a voice to the voiceless” said Greeson. “I think people already have voices, I think it’s just our job to amplify them.” 


Below are a few of Greeson’s photographs from the project: 

Thomas Morgan, 32, steadily lifts swaths of tobacco to be hung to dry at the Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability in Quicksand, Kentucky, on Monday, September 27, 2017.  | Brittany Greeson

Layers of rock are seen towering above a busy highway just outside of Pikeville, Kentucky, on Saturday, September, 29, 2017. | Brittany Greeson

Lizzie Jones, 17, proudly wears her father’s employee of the month jacket from his time working at the coal mines nearby a shelf of her family’s relics of the coal industry at her home in Eastern Kentucky, on Sunday, September 24, 2017. Jones’ father passed away from black lung in 2014. In January of 2017 her mother, who also worked in the coal mining industry, passed away. Jones said she has plans on moving into the home they once shared and has developed a complex relationship with the coal. | Brittany Greeson


Crossing the Divide will air on PBS World Channel on September 24th.

Greeson’s work can be found at https://www.brittanygreeson.com


Through Our Eyes Week 1

Below are some of our favorite photos from this week’s Through Our Eyes. Each week the selections are chosen by WKUPJ students. Stay tuned for more to come!

First Place

Jennifer and Cameron share ice cubes and a few kisses on a hot evening in Tevistion, California. Both their parents emigrated from Oklahoma with the rest of the “Black Okies” in mid-twentieth century to work the fields of the Central Valley. Jennifer moved to the cities briefly but has been forced to return to her family’s crumbling home to raise her two children, Naynay and Jordan. | Gabe Scarlett

Second Place

Aderemi Ogunleye, formerly a resident of Nigeria, West Africa, poses for a portrait after Oath of Allegiance to become a naturalized citizen of the United States at Central Library on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. | Ebony Cox

Honorable Mention

More than a week after the arrest of her father Jose (who is a green card holder), Natalie Garcia tries to console her daughter Marley outside their home in Arleta, California from which Jose was taken. He had been watering his lawn and preparing for a shift driving for Uber, one of his three jobs, when ICE officials detained him for deportation for a charge from two decades ago. Since his arrest, Marley has slept in his bed and lays out his clothes each day to pretend that he is there. “I put his perfume on sometimes,” Marley explains. “I close my eyes. I cry.” | Gabe Scarlett

Isla mujeres. | Fahad Alotaibi

My sister Gabrielle carries our brother on her hip after we swam in our backyard pool. In the 6 months I spent away, she turned 15, started high school. She has long legs and a boyfriend who drives his truck to our house to visit her on the porch. I am grateful, though, when she asks me to braid her hair, to make her macaroni and cheese or drive to the Dollar Store for finger nail polish and candy bars. She tells me this is temporary, she will have a license and her own car soon enough. I wish this away, selfishly clinging to her girlhood, hoping to keep her with me on the porch. | Morgan Hornsby

Jadon came from Texas with his family to swim in the waters off Santa Monica Beach. June, 2018. | Gabe Scarlett

For 16 years, Ally VanHook has been practicing and performing in dance. Her childhood consisted of constant training and showcases while growing up in Somerset, KY. Now a sophomore at WKU, she plans to use her double major in Dance and Marketing. | Bailey Cooke

Jimmy Hurt throws his 15-month-old in the air to get her to smile at the Field of Flags at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens on Monday, July 2, 2018. | Ebony Cox

Anthony, would not give his last name, 45, grew up as a Eight Tray Crip but now lives life with a drug addiction. “I am to old to be throwing up my gang set, but my life now is great, I’m a crackhead and I love every moment of it, until I get the next one,” Anthony said. | Michael Blackshire

A Cal Firefighter walks back to a safe zone after the smoke from the Holy Fire causes major him to evacuate the given area in Lake Elsinore, California. The Holy Fire blaze burned 23,136 acres across across Orange and Riverside Counties. | Michael Blackshire

Major Brett Ringger sets up to examine Isaac Dunn, 9, of Morgan County while his sister Mercedes Dunn, 3, watches at the Lee County High School on Monday. The eye examination is one of the health services offered as part of Operation Bobcat, a military training mission to practice medical set up for times of emergency, conflict or disaster. | Silas Walker

Chauncey Adams, 7, takes shelter from the sun under the play structure at Castlewood Park on Thursday, July 11. According to the National Weather Service, on Thursday, the heat index reached 103º F. Near by in Louisville the heat index on Thursday reached 107º F. | Silas Walker

Molly Richardson, 5, of New Jersey jumps onto CJ Visser, 10, of Lexington during the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park on Saturday evening. | Silas Walker

A member of the congregation waits in the entryway of First Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1960, Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in this building, gathering over 1,500 Oklahomans to hear his message. | Morgan Hornsby

A portrait of Mackenzie on a weekend visit with her mother, Alyssa Yarnell, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Alyssa lost custody of Mackenzie while facing drug addiction, but recently graduated from a local rehabilitation program called Women in Recovery. Alyssa is now sober with a job and apartment and is fighting for legal custody of her daughter. | Morgan Hornsby

Alicia Forbit swims in the Arkansas River after visiting her husband Chris in Dick Conner Correctional Center. Since they were married in the visiting room of the facility two years ago, Alicia has spent every Saturday with him. Chris has been incarcerated for 8 years. “The hardest thing about all of this is the things that we miss out on doing together, and always feeling like a piece of me is missing. We continue to live life, go to the river and swim, to the water park, on picnics, all the things that everyone else does, but in the middle of the fun, there is always a flash of “Chris would be doing this if he was here,” Alicia said. | Morgan Hornsby

Morehead 2017 Mountain Workshops Exhibition Opens


Images and short-form narratives from the 2017 Mountain Workshops will be on display at the Morehead Conference Center, 111 E First St, Morehead, KY 40351 September 9 – 14. The Center is open 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. each day.

Morehead, a small town nestled in the shadow of Kentucky’s Appalachian foothills, became the host in October of 2017 to Western Kentucky University’s Mountain Workshops. More than 90 journalism students and young professionals from around the world spent five days expanding their skills under the watchful eyes of experienced teachers and renowned experts in visual storytelling. All the while they were creating intimate documentaries about the people and places of Rowan County.

The region revealed itself to be a surprising mix of minds and cultures, nature and industry, but above all a friendly place where neighbor helps neighbor. The headlines here often revolve around Morehead State University and its nationally recognized Division I men’s basketball team. The university takes great pride in its $15.6 million Ronald G. Eaglin Space Science Center. The future is happening at Morehead State. But most folks here love their history, and they have plenty of it. The area is nearly as old as the United States itself. The first settlers came here from Virginia in 1783, after the end of the American Revolutionary War. In 1854, Morehead became the third community settled in the county and named after James T. Morehead, governor of Kentucky from 1834 to 1836. Mayor Trent said folks here pride themselves on their hospitality, and visitors have been known to find the town so welcoming that they decide to make Morehead their home. “Morehead is really a melting pot for this area,” he said. “From the international students and staff at the hospital to our homegrown population, it all works together. It’s really a testament to the high quality of people we have here.”

The exhibition is made possible by Canon, USA and Western Kentucky University School of Journalism and Broadcasting.

For more information contact Jamie Breeze, Director of the Morehead Conference Center, 606-780-9694 or Miranda Pederson, Mountain Workshops logistics coordinator, 270-745-4206