Through Our Eyes-04/18/17

Ibtisam at the International Center of Kentucky in Bowling Green in April 2017. She is a refugee from Somali, and her family is preparing to move to Ohio on the weekend. The International Center helps hundreds of refugees to resettle and transition to life in America. With one of his first executive orders, Donald Trump cut refugee intake from 110,000 to 50,000. The International Center and many of its programs now face cuts.|Gabriel Scarlett.

Nature meets industry outside of Detroit, MI in March 2017. For decades the Environment Protection Agency has regulated this delicate dance between the two. Under the Trump administration, the EPA’s budget is set to be cut by nearly 30 percent–$2.6 billion–in an attempt at boosting the manufacturing and energy sectors.|Gabriel Scarlett.


Through Our Eyes-04/11/17

Michelle Calnan, 52 of Knoxville, Tennessee sits in her bed after getting little sleep the night before due to symptoms of Benzo withdrawal. “I don’t want to be in this body. I’m tired of seeing the same trees out of the same window feeling the same way,” said Calnan while she wept in her bed. Calnan was prescribed Klonopin ,an anti-anxiety drug for over 20 years that is designed to be used for a maximum of four weeks. She is currently attempting to taper off the medication which is a lengthy process taking anywhere from three to six years.|Michael Noble Jr.

Rosalino Santiago Garcia and his wife, Sabina Garcia Pacheco, wait to have a lasso placed on their shoulders by their sponsors during the couple’s wedding ceremony in Santa Ana, Oaxaca, Mexico on March 25, 2017. The lasso is a staple of Hispanic weddings and symbolizes the couple’s everlasting union. The two were officially married five years prior in a civil union, but it wasn’t until March that they could afford to throw a proper celebration after they saved enough of the money that Rosalino earned as a migrant worker in the tobacco fields of Kentucky.|Nick Wagner

Siena Heights University Asia Gardner sprints to the finish line as she anchors in the second heat of the 4×100 meter race during the Hilltopper Relays on Saturday April 8, 2017 at Charles M Reuters Track and Field Complex.|Shaban Athuman

Indiana Tech’s Jordan Partee falls into the sand pit after jumping 6.64 meters during the Hilltopper Relays on Saturday April 8, 2017 at Charles M Reuters Track and Field Complex. Partee would finish in 8th overall with a 6.74 meters.|Shaban Athuman

**This past Tuesday, WKU students skyped with members of RIT’s NPPA student chapter and exchanged photos for a joint critique session. WKU students discussed and selected the best photos from RIT. They did the same with us. Check out what RIT selected as their top photos from this past week! A big thanks to RIT for making the collaboration happen!


America Divided

America Divided

A look into the opinions leading up to the 2016 Presidential Race, documented by WKUPJ students Mie Hee Christensen and Michael Noble Jr.

Using Verse’s, interactive video platform you are able to self navigate the video and dive deeper into a variety of subjects concerning voters in the final days before the election.

To experience the interactive site visit:


Through Our Eyes-03/28/17

Rafey Wahlah of Lahore Bunjab, Pakistan has been in the United States for four years. Wahlah is currently the President of the Pakistani Student Association at Western Kentucky. This association was founded three years ago by students of this nationality. Wahlah stated, “When I first came here there were only four Pakistani students, a year later there were about 30; as I graduate this year, I fear we won’t have many Pakistani students attending this University to continue the PSA organization.”|Ebony Cox

Mariam Athuman, 5, is bathed in the afternoon light at her home in Roanoke, Virginia. Her family moved to the United States from a refugee camp in Tanzania in 2008. She is now a citizen.|Shaban Athuman

Much hangs in the balance for Rafey Wahlah, a senior at Western Kentucky University. Wahlah, the current president of the Pakistani Student Association at WKU, will graduate this spring with a degree in Political Science and hopes to return home to Lahore, Pakistan where his family resides but has also begun to seek out work in the United States while he is still eligible under the OTP student visa work program that allows foreign college students enrolled in US schools to begin their careers in the US for a short time in hopes of being selected for an H1-B visa, the first step in the green card process.|Alyse Young


WKUPJ Wins 23rd Overall Photojournalism in the Hearst Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition

WKUPJ Wins Overall in Hearst Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition.

Hearst Journalism Awards program recognized Western Kentucky University as the overall winner in their Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition.  This marks the 23rd year that Western as won First Place overall in the prestigious competition.
To win overall in Photojournalism students competed in two competitions, News and Features, and in Picture Story/Series.

In the first competition two students from WKUPJ could enter up to 8 images each. Senior Harrison Hill won 1st place and Sophomore Gabriel Scarlett took 2nd place with their collection of images.

The second competition was Picture Story/Series with Junior Srijita Chattopadhyay taking first place for her story about a mother’s struggle with the loss of her 12-year-old daughter who died from an overdose brought on by bullying at school.  Freshman Lydia Schweickart placed 10th in the competition with her story about a mom starting her career as an exotic dancer to support her family after her fiancee lost his job.

Congratulations to our students who competed, along with the rest of our students who push to make our program a success every year. As the WKUPJ family we inspire and challenge each other to do better and in turn we all are a part of our fellow student’s success.


Stitched Past by Sawyer Smith

Stitched Past

WKUPJ student Sawyer Smith examines the impact of the social enterprise company Krochet Kids who’s mission is to empower women to move out of poverty through education and work.

Sawyer traveled to Lima, Peru to document their program in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods.

View her project here:


On Poisoned Land by Gabriel Scarlett

On Poisoned Land

How the Navajo still suffer from a country’s flirtation with nuclear war.

WKUPJ student Gabriel Scarlett examines the effects from decades of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation’s health, water and environment.   According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Nearly four million tons of uranium ore were extracted from 1944 to 1986; left behind were more than 500 abandoned uranium mines, four inactive uranium milling sites, a former dump site, and the widespread contamination of land and water. Only recently has the government attempted to assess and mitigate this contamination, but full reclamation of the land is unlikely.”

To see more about the in-depth project visit:

Begay with two of her sons, Lewis and Leonard, who died of cancers at 25 and 42, respectively. She counts at least a dozen of her close relatives who she believes died of exposure in or around the mines.
“Do you want me to show you where I dreamt of the water running?” Desaire Gaddy muses. “All through here, just blue water and dolphins.”

The Way We Love by Lauren Nolan

The Way We Love

Love may be the only experience we all share. It makes us human. It’s part of our story. Love brings us to the extreme ends of the spectrum of human emotion, from feelings of overwhelming joy to unparalleled heartbreak. But what does real love look like?

The Way We Love is a documentary and multimedia package by WKUPJ Senior Lauren Nolan, exploring how we love in the modern world.

Experience the entire piece at


Through Our Eyes-02/14/17

Sumner Franklin (on left), from the University of Kentucky, takes a punch to the face from Miguel Brarzey, from WKU, at the Sigma Chi Fraternity Fight Night in the Sloan Convention Center on Friday, Feb 10, 2017. Franklin won the match.|Silas Walker

London Alford, 4, and older sister Quinlann Alford, 6, from Bowling Green react to the cowgirl trick riders performing their stunts at the Lone Star Rodeo. Quinlann enjoys the rodeo for the animals. “When I grow up I want to be a vet,” said Quinlann. | Michelle Hanks

Jill Matthews, a Freshman from Louisville, stands with her clarinet in Minton Hall on February 14, 2017. Matthews is a music major and has played the clarinet for 9 years. “I love playing music,” Matthews said. “It teaches me something new about myself every day.”|Morgan Hornsby

Sigma Chi fighter Justin Williams walks into the ring before his bout during Sigma Chi fight nigh on Thursday Feb. 9, 2017 at the Sloan Convention Center.|Shaban Athuman

Kenowa Hills’ Megan Titus reacts with her teammates after it was announced that Kenowa Hills won the Knight Invite at Kenowa Hills High School on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017.|Mike Clark

A rodeo contestant competes in the steer wrestling competition at the Lone Star Rodeo in Bowling Green, Ky. on February 10, 2017|Kendall Warner


Living On A Dollar A Day – Gallery Show by Renée C. Byer

The School of Journalism & Broadcasting is excited to announce the opening of a photographic and interactive exhibition that promises to change the way you look at the world.

Living On A Dollar A Day: The lives and faces of the world’s poor.
By Renée C Byer 

An interactive photographic exhibit that inspires people to create change with compassion, education and action.

For detailed information:

Thursday, February 16
Opening Reception: 6:00PM MMTH Atrium
Artist Lecture: 7:30PM MMTH Auditorium
(Lecture is a WKU “swipable” event)

MMTH Gallery and Atrium
February 16 – April 28
1666 Normal Drive on the WKU campus

Gallery Hours
Sunday  |  3:00PM – 9:00PM
Monday – Thursday  |  9:00AM – 9:00 PM
Friday  |  9:00AM – 5:00PM