One Hot Month

I mean, July was a HOT month – like epic hot. Like record breaking hot. But in the middle of all this heat came one amazing image that made me cool down and go, “ahhhh”. To be published in National Geographic is awesome, right? But to be published as a double truck in the Vision section is even more awesome, right? But then to be published within the first year of graduation – awe, come on! Way to go Lance Booth – a most awesome image and it was great seeing your name in the lady with the bright yellow jacket!

Loving Mallory

Adam Dobson was becoming part of growing trend seen in the gay and transgender population. He was trying everything from Xanax to hydrocodone, and even a horse tranquilizer called ketamine to find a high. According to, up to 30% of the gay and transgender community abuse substances, compared to only 9% in the general population.
A couple of years ago Dobson began to perform in drag which, he says, helped him get his life on a more positive track. He now performs drag as Mallory in nightclubs throughout Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana, and his number one fan is his mom, Cathy.
Cathy attends almost every drag performance that she can. “He never disappoints me,” she says, “I’m always amazed by his performance.”
The love and support Cathy gives her son is significant. Not every gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender young adults’ parents are supportive, which experts believe may be a factor that leads many LGBT youth to depression or other risky behavior. A study done by the Official Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2009 found that, “lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.”
“I’m going to live life the way I want to live it, and I refuse to let anyone bring me down,” Dobson said.

Young in Heart

Brenda Smith, 56, used to think that when she reached a certain age, she and her husband Bruce would be celebrating their golden years together, with no one else in the house.
That thought changed about eight years ago, when the Smith household began to take care of Shylar, Bruce’s grandson and Brenda’s step-grandson.
According to AARP, more than 2.5 million grandparents in the United States are taking in their grandchildren and becoming responsible for them.

Brenda takes great pride in raising Shylar as her own son, but Shylar isn’t the only person in the household living under her care.
In Dec. 2011, her father Bill Wilcox was diagnosed with cancer and after being faced with the reality of going to a nursing home, Brenda made the decision to take him into her home and take care of him.
She experiences life’s joys and struggles as she splits her time between raising her 8-year-old grandson, and caring for her 84-year-old dad.

The Herald – Fighting for Free Speech

Twenty-five years ago the students who ran the newspaper at Western Kentucky University fought a battle of David and Goliath to preserve their independence and free speech that helped pave a path of self-governance for student publications across the country. The story is told through archival news footage and current interviews with those who were involved at that time.

Christian Randolph and Brynn Anderson selected for Hearst

Congratulations to Brynn Anderson and Christian Randolph for having the qualifying singles portfolio at WKU PJ to advance to the Hearst judging for Photo 1 competition. Their entries can be seen below.


Onlookers to a one-car crash call 911 and check on the condition of an unconscious Erica Wilson. She was in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by David Menchinger. The car spun out while traveling at a high speed and slammed into a stone wall in Bowling Green, Ky., on May 11, 2011. Menchinger fled the scene after attempting to restart the car but was later arrested by Bowling Green police for driving under the influence. (Photo by Christian Randolph)


As Waverly High School’s James Doran (12) was attempting to find an open teammate in the second quarter at Pius X High School in Lincoln, Neb., on Dec. 2, 2010, a bleacher full of the opposing team’s fans took advantage of their home court to distract the player. Pius X won the game 72-55. (Photo by Christian Randolph)


Blind in one eye, Roger “Pimp Baby” Grant is unable to work aside from his small business of selling discarded trinkets from around town in his front yard in Bowling Green, Ky., on Nov. 4, 2011. Grant uses the few dollars he is able to gather from his sales to buy cigarettes and beer, a habit which has had him splitting time between the apartment his sister pays the rent for and the local jail where he is frequently incarcerated on charges of public intoxication. Shortly after this photograph was made he sold the jacket he was wearing for $5. (Photo by Christian Randolph) Continue Reading →

The Life and Lies of Elizabeth St. John

Sara John is a self proclaimed “bookworm” who uses reading and writing as an outlet to escape the reality of her parents not living together. Because of the difficulties at home, Sara said, she has put up a wall to keep people out, so when she is writing she can truly be herself without any fear of being judged. This is a story of the struggles of a little girl growing up with the absence of a father and how she deals with issues that it involves.


Mark, 48, lives in South Central Kentucky with his wives, Marian, 32, and Heidi, 23. Together they are raising seven children under the principle of Celestial Plural Marriage, also known as polygamy. Their beliefs about plural marriage are rooted in their faith, what they call independent fundamental Mormonism. Mark leads the family in a home church service each Sunday. Marian and Heidi home school the children. The family lives a life of sustainability, growing their own fruits and vegetables, and using solar energy to power their home.

Capturing a dramatic rescue

WKU Freshman Tyler Cacek spent several weeks working with an ambulance crew for a project for Intro class.  One day he documented the dramatic rescue of several people from a car crash.

Margaret Mason, 63, of Marion County, Ky, attempts to remove the victim of a head-on collision on highway 50 outside of Lebanon, Kentucky. The crash resulted in the hospitalization of 5 people, two of which were flown directly to Louisville, KY hospital from the scene.

Sending off toe-to-toe

WKU Senior Cody Duty photographed this couple in a somewhat different way, focusing on a tender touch of toes, using the contrast in footwear to tell the story of a soldier departing for war.

Mary Lewin (left) spends the remaining moments with her husband, Sgt. Mark Lewin of the U.S. Army, before the 36th Sustainment “Rawhide” Brigade Deployment Ceremony in Temple, Texas on July 4, 2009. “I’m proud of him, but it’s hard for us,” Mary said. The soldiers will be deployed for a 13-month tour overseas.