During the spring quarter 2018, students in the Digital Media in Journalism (JOUR 370) course profiled some amazing people overcoming a variety of physical and mental challenges in ways that test their own limits and push back against cultural norms and expectations.
In terms of physical challenges, Madeleine Banks shares the story of a Bellingham woman who weaves her body through hoops as an aerialist with the Bellingham Circus Guild, and Eythan Frost interviews a college student who spends his free time balancing on lines strung between mountaintops. Meanwhile, Monique Merrill gets a shy 11-year-old girl named Nina to open up about her love for skateboarding and Hailey Palmer talks with members of the nationally ranked WWU women’s rowing team on their quest to repeat as national champions. Finally, Matthew Tangeman gets a Washington native to share his passion of climbing boulders in the great outdoors.
In terms of mental challenges, Suzanna Leung talks with a WWU student about growing up and living with bipolar disorder, Hannah Hanson interviews her own foster parents about the fears they overcame to become a thriving foster family and Asia Fields spends time with a political science professor on the eve of her retirement as she contemplates her transition to a post-teaching life and her ongoing battle with cancer.
Sarah Edmonds and Dante Koplowitz-Fleming both tackle subjects that address gender stereotypes and cultural bias. Dante focuses on a male dance student who is learning to express himself with his body despite preconceived notions about dancers and dance. Sarah focuses on a local theater production that raised money for the Sean Humphrey House, a nonprofit that provides care and housing for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS.
In addition to these individual projects, students also completed group projects that focused on people working against the grain to succeed and thrive. One group looked at the efforts of Skagit County’s only bilingual community radio station to stay afloat after the station’s federal funding was dramatically cut last year. Another group focused on the efforts of an Iraq War veteran to return to civilian life and earn a degree even though he never considered himself “college material.” Meanwhile, a third group looked at the progress and challenges facing a young father who left the construction business to pursue his dream of running his own music studio and who is passing on his love of death metal to his two children.
In all these unique and compelling stories, students were able to get their subjects to open up about their struggles and to capture something unique and uniquely human about their hopes and challenges. The quality of their work and their compassion shows through in ways that are stunning, beautiful and engaging.
Western student Michael Boyd is a high-line enthusiast who spends his free time balancing on a line between bridges, mountain tops and cliffs. High-lining combines the balance and mental focus required of slack-lining, with the thrill of walking across open space tens or hundreds of feet above the ground.
This video was shot, edited and produced spring quarter 2018 by visual journalism major Eythan Frost for the Digital Media in Journalism class taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
Dream Frohe is an aerial artist, choreographer and instructor at the Bellingham Circus Guild. In this 2.5-minute video, Dream discusses the physical and emotional challenges she experiences as a performer, and the unlikely community that inspires her.
This video was produced by Madeleine Banks, a Fairhaven student studying visual storytelling, Spring Quarter 2018 for Digital Media in Journalism (J370). The class was taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
Nina is 11 years old. She has been skating for three years, placing in competitions around the region and recently landed her first sponsorship from a Bellingham board shop. She pursues her passion despite often being the youngest, and only female, at the skate park.
This video was shot and edited by Monique Merrill, a journalism student at Western Washington University, in spring of 2018 as part of the Digital Media in Journalism course (J370) taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
Coming off a national title in 2017, the Western women’s rowing team brought its same competitive mindset to the 2018 season. The Vikings reached the national championship again placing second overall.
This video was shot and edited by News/Editorial journalism student Hailey Palmer at Western Washington University in spring of 2018.
In a day and age when more and more rock climbers are focusing on the competition and athleticism of indoor climbing gyms, Owen Massey seeks solitude and aesthetic movement among the granite boulders of Washington state.
Western student and Leavenworth, Washington, local, Massey speaks to the philosophy and motivation behind his pursuit of bouldering, an un-roped form of rock climbing emphasizing difficulty of movement close to the ground.
This video was shot and edited by Western visual journalism student Matthew Tangeman for the spring 2018 digital media course.
Western student Kai Bjarke (who uses they/their pronouns) opens up about their life-long relationship with bipolar disorder. From misdiagnoses to facing societal stigmas, Kai details their experience, misconceptions of bipolar and the importance of individuals suffering from mental illnesses to be open about their illness to others.
This video was filmed and edited by journalism major Suzanna Leung at Western Washington University in spring of 2018 as part of the Digital Media in Journalism (J370) class taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
Political Science Professor Sara Weir is retiring after almost 30 years at Western. Weir, who studies health policy and chronic illness, is in a transition period after a recurrence of cancer. Weir said she is beginning to see a positive future for herself and looks forward to focusing on her health and working on projects to improve patients’ experiences with the health-care system.
This video was produced, shot and edited by Western Washington University journalism student Asia Fields spring quarter 2018 for the Digital Media in Journalism course (J370) taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
Western student and dance major James Innes didn’t start dancing until he was 17 years old. As a male dancer in a department and industry that is majority female-identifying, he has a unique perspective on his adopted craft. When he started dancing, everyone told him he was “too old,” but he is pursuing his passion and finding joy in dance.
This video was shot and edited by journalism major Dante Koplowitz-Fleming spring quarter 2018 for the Digital Media in Journalism class (J370) taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
After a difficult adoption of a foster child affected by drugs and alcohol, foster parents Stephanie and John Hanson said they could never do it again. A few years later they got the call for Sam, a foster child who, like their first foster child, suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. After reflection with the family, they decided to take the risk and do it all over again.
This video was shot and edited by Western Washington University student Hannah Hanson for Digital Media in Journalism during spring quarter 2018.
Vocal Performance major Jacob Bernado combined his love of music and his passion to give back to the community in this collaborative performance, "Patchwork", that weaves together different mediums of art including contemporary classical art song, spoken monologues, and visual art inspired by or related to the AIDS epidemic. Donations received at the performance went directly to Sean Humphrey House, a charity organization in Bellingham that provides care and housing to low income individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
Produced, shot, and edited by WWU Fairhaven student Sarah Edmonds in Spring 2018.
KSVR is a community radio station run largely by volunteers from the campus of Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington. It’s the only radio station in Skagit County that offers Spanish programming, despite a growing Hispanic population. The station’s federal funding was recently cut, forcing layoffs and threatening the continuation of local bilingual programming in Skagit County.
This video was shot, produced and edited by Madeleine Banks, Suzanna Leung and Dante Koplowitz-Fleming during Spring Quarter 2018 for Journalism 370 (Digital Media in Journalism), a course at Western Washington University taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
David Aguilar is a lifelong bowler who did three tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq. Upon his return, he enrolled in college through the GI Bill, even though he never considered himself “college material.” He gave the commencement address upon his graduation from Whatcom Community College and graduated in 2017 with a degree in accounting from Western Washington University.
This video was shot, produced and edited by Sarah Edmonds, Matthew Tangeman, Monique Merrill and Hailey Palmer as part of the Digital Media in Journalism class (Jour 370) taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Steven Kinsley, who leads worship at a Bellingham church with his wife, quit his day job as a construction worker to mix and master music at his own studio, Virgil’s Sound Den. Steven spends his free time passing on his love for heavy music to his two children.
This video was produced, shot and edited Spring Quarter 2018 by Western Washington University journalism students Eythan Frost, Asia Fields and Hannah Hanson for the Digital Media in Journalism course (Jour 370) taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
During Winter Quarter 2018, WWU Visual Journalism students shot, produced and edited five group projects.
Viking 59 – Have a look into the dedicated crew of students of WWU's ever-expanding Formula SAE racing team.
Riding the Night - See how the shorter days of winter inspires this mountain biker to embrace the challenges and dangers of riding the darkened trails of Bellingham.
The Lummi Ferry - Meet the ferry master and crew of Whatcom Chief as they ferry cars and passengers to and from Lummi Island.
These Moments Won't Last Long - Meet the members of Switch Addiction and learn what they have gained from being in punk band.
Captain Carter - This WWU student discovered his love of sailing after he enrolled in college and eventually earned earned the skills and respect to be voted by his teammates to be a co-captain of WWU's sailing team.
In addition to the group video projects, each student produced individual videos, which will be added to this gallery soon. Check back for updates.
This course was taught by Joe Gosen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism.
After many years of working with nothing more than a skeleton crew, Western Washington University’s Formula SAE racing team has seen rapid growth over the past two years. Managing Director Michael Koenig and Technical Director Curtis Maile speak about the team’s recent growth and their push to try and build this year’s car, Viking 59, under a strict deadline. The increased manpower has garnered optimism for the team to finish Viking 59 in time to compete in the Formula SAE International competition in Lincoln, Nebraska this June.
This video was produced by Harrison Ameland, Mathew Roland, Tyler Morris, and Nic Ulmer for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University in Winter 2018.
Mountain biker, Kristian Duft, rides the trails of Bellingham at the most dangerous time of day… after dark. Mountain biking at night can be dangerous and unpredictable, but limited daylight hours in the winter force odd practice times.
This video was produced by Trevor Dickie, Caleb Galbreath, Lincoln Humphry, and Dan Thomas for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University during winter 2018.
A look into the life of a local ferry master and crew: Richard Granger Hudson and the Whatcom Chief.
Video produced by Rose Carr, Jade Thurston, and Katie Webber for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University in winter 2018.
“These Moments Won’t Last Long” is about Switch Addictions, a punk band based out of Bellingham, Washington. This video is both a profile of the band and what the band means to each member.
Thanks to Swith Addiction band members Mickey Wells, Henry Peterson, Hannah Brockman and Corey Pargeter. This project was created by Cali Goertz, Kit Hipple, Joely Johnson, and Rachel Sandal for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University in winter 2018.
Carter Erickson, a Western Washington University student and co-captain of the sailing team at Western, discovered his love for sailing at the beginning of college. Having no experience on a sailboat, Carter conquered his fears and gained the respect of his team, who eventually voted him in as a captain. Becoming co captain has helped him grow as not only a sailor but also into the person he is today.
This video was produced by Jacob Land, Kirstyn Nyswonger, and Rachel Postlewait for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University in winter 2018.
During Winter Quarter 2017, WWU Visual Journalism students shot, produced and edited group projects about
Jeffrey Parker, who became WWU's all-time top-scoring basketball player while grieving the loss of his mother.
A WWU student who works part-time as the Zamboni driver at the local ice rink.
The owner of a Peruvian restaurant dealing with the death of his business partner, and celebrating life through the music, dance and food of his homeland.
A music producer, venue manager and high school dropout, who is transforming the Wild Buffalo, a popular concert venue in Bellingham, Wash.
A WWU student who overcame an eating disorder and is now helping others overcome challenges as a yoga instructor majoring in Holistic Healing.
A young woman who is raising and supporting her younger sister while going to school and working.
In addition, 15 students created individual projects about everything from the Japanese coordination toy/game known as Kendama to student reaction to the election of Donald Trump.
Jeffrey Parker’s senior year at Western Washington University came with unexpected tragedy when his mother suddenly passed away of a heart attack. But he’s made a huge comeback by breaking the men’s basketball all-time scoring record.
This video was shot and edited by visual journalism students Kjell Redal, Evan Elliot and Kaylin Stiefer during winter 2017 quarter for the Journalism Department's Digital Media class.
Western Washington University Senior Peter Bueller performs many tasks as part of his job at the Bellingham Sportsplex, but none is more interesting than cutting the ice. Bueller's official title is Zamboni maintenance. He is in charge of the most important role in any ice rink, driving the Zamboni. If the competition weren't so tough, he's probably move to Canada.
Shot, edited, and produced by Morgan Stilp-Allen, Ed Clem, and Monea Kerr for Stephen Howie's digital media class at Western Washington University.
Since his business partner's sudden death in March 2016, Bellingham restaurant owner Antonio Diaz has been forced to go it alone. Balancing his Peruvian restaurant, Café Rumba, with salsa dancing, music, and a growing family, Diaz does whatever it takes to make it all work.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Alex Powell, Jillian Greco and Honey Dubes as part of the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University, Winter Quarter 2017.
Lee Huffman, a high school dropout, found his place in Bellingham’s nightlife as co-owner of the Wild Buffalo House of Music. He has helped to revitalize one of the city's hottest music venues.
Shot and edited by Connor Jalbert, Jesse Allred and Sophie Miller for the Journalism 370 class at Western Washington University.
Bianca Calagiu had a rough time growing up. She developed an eating disorder when she was 7. As a teenager, she nearly died. Medication and treatment helped save Calagiu’s life, but it wasn’t until she discovered the healing and meditative practice of yoga that she realized her calling in life. Now she’s working to complete a self-designed degree in yoga and holistic therapy with the ultimate goal of opening her own clinic to help anyone who needs physical or emotional healing.
This video was shot and edited by Robert Dudzik, Leah Adair and Nick Jenner as part of the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University, Winter Quarter 2017.
Jessy Allen is a 20-year-old math major at Western Washington University. She works over 30 hours a week and is a leader in her church’s middle school ministry. She is also raising her 12-year-old sister. Jessy has learned the definition of selfless love through raising her sister.
Video by Caleb Albright, Christina Becker and Jon Pendleton for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
During Spring Quarter 2016, students in the Digital Media in Journalism class (J370) produced 15 individual projects and five group projects that explored everything from a Bellingham trans-rapper named Worshiprr to a group of performers who "Mob Roll" on their bicycles across the Northwest.
Students discovered, shaped and edited these profiles into compelling narratives that investigate drive, passion and purpose.
This class was taught by WWU Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
At the end of Spring Quarter 2016, the digital media class surprised Howie by showing up on the last day of class wearing t-shirts that bore his likeness, further cementing his legacy.
After growing up in a polluted neighborhood of Los Angeles, Michelle Piñon now works with the Seattle-based Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, a group that patrols the Duwamish River, one of the state's most polluted rivers.
This video was shot and edited by Kyra Bruce, Daisey James and Jesse Nichols, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during spring quarter 2016.
Western Washington University pole-vaulter Jacob Hino has faced his share of disappointments, tearing one hamstring his first year in college and the other hamstring during his sophomore year. Driven by his passion for the sport, Jacob has fought to overcome his injuries and vault to heights he once thought unreachable.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Western Washington University journalism students Mark Hartley, Kenna Kloes and Lauren Prater during spring quarter 2016 as part of the Digital Media in Journalism class.
Kadence Mercy is a Bellingham-based rapper who goes by the name “Worshiprr.” Kadence has struggled with her gender-identity since she was a child. Having recently come out as transgender and pursuing a life as women she speaks about her experiences and what she has learned over the years about self love and acceptance.
This video was shot and edited by Elizabeth Kayser, Dominic Gonzalez Yoxtheimer and Randee Matthews for the Digital Media in Journalism class during spring quarter 2016 at Western Washington University.
At 86 years old, George F. Drake still lives next to the Big Rock Garden Sculpture Park
near Lake Whatcom in Bellingham, Washington. Drake helped start the park years ago as a plant nursery that turned into an internationally renowned sculpture garden. Drake’s son, who has Down’s Syndrome, is now 55 and continues to tend the plants in the park as do other local residents with disabilities.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Bailey Jose, Amy Page, Jared Rusk and Jacob Tull during spring quarter 2016 for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University.
Sean Beanblossom is the owner and chef of a new food truck in Whatcom
County called “Cubano Cubano.” The vision for the venture came to Sean while
living in Portland and working as a chef. He had a love for Cuban food and realized
that Whatcom County, where he grew up, does not have any Cuban restaurants. He
bought a small school bus and transformed it into a bright blue and orange kitchen
on wheels. He travels between breweries around Whatcom County. He celebrated his grand opening in Lynden, Washington, spring 2016.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Brie Cleveland and October Yates for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University.
Girls and women everywhere struggle with the same narrative – they are not good enough or don’t measure up. This piece introduces the idea that beauty has many definitions, but its most important meaning is within our power to claim.
This video was shot and edited by McKenna Kloes as part of the Digital Media in Journalism course at Western Washington University during Spring Quarter 2016. It features a diverse community of young women attempting to re-define beauty.
Micah and Savannah, both 18, explain how they met, the story behind Savannah’s prom dress and their plans for the future. Theirs is a story of young love, joy and innocence.
This video was filmed by Elizabeth Kayser for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University Spring Quarter 2016.
Brian Simpson is a local artist who believes in chasing dreams and spreading art. He has faced
rejection and health issues but has refused to give up on his passions.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Randee Matthews, a visual journalism major, at Western Washington University in Bellingham during spring quarter 2016.
Six years ago, bicycle builder Thomas Kolb wanted to spend more time with his musician friend. His solution: create a two-week music and art tour around Puget Sound on bikes. Every spring, Kolb and his crew of bicyclists ride a 400-mile circumnavigation of the Sound, stopping every night to showcase their music, art, film and poetry.
This video was shot and edited by Jesse Nichols for Western's Digital Media in Journalism class during spring quarter 2016.
This video explores the role played by the Alternative Humane Society as an opportunity for animals that are not typically adopted and the limbo they face waiting for their "forever home."
Shot, edited and produced by Bailey Jose for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Spring Quarter 2016.
Western Washington University’s racing team is not just a club that meets once a week. Members like Matt Rhodes, the manufacturing director, may spend 50-60 hours a week building cars. With a passion for the team, Rhodes has found camaraderie with other members, but as a senior he looks forward to the new challenges he faces after graduation.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Jacob Tull for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University, Spring Quarter 2016.
Western Washington University senior Caleb Fleming introduces us to the intermural softball team, the Benchwarmers, for whom he plays third base. Softball is more than a game for the Benchwarmers; it’s an outlet to be something more, if they can only make it to the top.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Western Washington University Journalism student Mark Hartley during Spring Quarter 2016 for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class.
Erin Boyd, the owner and creator of Red Boots Design, tells the story of her journey to her current workshop called The Fort. Red Boots Design is a Bellingham-based screen-printing and design business.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Daisey James Spring Quarter 2016 for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University.
Jennifer Sanders was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the age of 19, and has continued to battle with illness, hospitalizations, and other side effects of her disease and medications, ever since. After multiple failures with prescription drugs, Sanders began seeking alternative ways to treat the symptoms of her disease, a search that eventually led her to pursue a career in Nutritional Therapy. Sanders has since opened her own Nutritional Therapy practice called Wake Up Wellness and hopes to help others fight disease with alternative remedies.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Lauren Prater for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University, Spring Quarter 2016.
Alex Galgano transferred to the University of Washington in 2015 from Bellevue College, where he was a standout catcher for the BC Bulldogs baseball team. Faced with the competitiveness of a PAC 10 Division I team, Galgano found himself playing a backup role for the Huskies. He continues to work hard and recalls his mother’s struggle to overcome disease and have children as a way to put his own challenges in perspective.
This video profile was shot and edited by Brie Cleveland during Spring Quarter 2016 for the Digital Media in Journalism course at Western Washington University.
Jazz has always confounded the average listener. With its almost unpredictable cadence and character and its frighteningly passionate players, Jazz is a musical form unto itself. In this video Western Washington University Jazz Director Kevin Woods takes us through what improvisation means, and student jazz musician Rebecca Way gives us a taste of what its like to play from your heart in front of a live audience.
This video was filmed by Jared Rusk live at the Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center and in rehearsal with the WWU Student Jazz Combo during Spring Quarter 2016 for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University.
This video documents a May 7 rally in Lynden, Washington, by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and features interviews with supporters, opponents, and those unexpectedly caught in the midst of the rally/protest.
This video was shot, edited and produced by October Yates for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University, Spring Quarter 2016.
As attitudes toward law enforcement change, one Western Washington University police
officer works to provide a safe, trustworthy environment. Officer Todd Osborn is an upbeat
cop who sometimes passes out donut holes to students in Western’s campus square. At the same time, he takes his job extremely seriously. This is a story of what it’s like to be a university police officer and how Osborn is working to help make a difference in people’s lives.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Amy Page for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University, Spring Quarter 2016.
This video shows the complicated and creative process of blowing glass.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Dominic Yoxtheimer during Spring Quarter 2016 for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University.
To Hallie Ervin, Hapkido is more than just a hobby. For two years, the Korean martial art has been a way for Ervin to focus on training and healing her body alongside formal physical therapy.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Kyra Bruce for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University, Spring Quarter 2016.
Winter Quarter 2016
This quarter we look into the worlds of a horse trainer in Whatcom County, a cyber defense team at Western Washington University and a fishmonger at the famous Pikes Place Fish Market in Seattle. We also received some timeless relationship advice from residents at a retirement community in Bellingham.
Montana-grown cowboy, Chase Hill, and his wife, Beth, give us insight into the “magic” of the equine language. As Chase develops his relationship with a new horse, we see how his special techniques create a whole new language of learning. Between the raindrops and hoof beats, we watch a story of perseverance, beauty, and communication develop, unmasking the magic between a patient cowboy and his equine partner.
This video was shot and edited by Kristin Foster, Keely Killebrew and Lexi Ortiz, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during winter quarter 2016.
As our lives become more intertwined with the Internet, the threat of cybercrime increases, necessitating a force of highly-prepared security professionals. Students at Western Washington University are training to defend our data and networks. Each spring, members of Western’s Cyber Defense Team test their skills against the sharpest minds in the industry during a three-day competition. Will they outsmart their opponents?
This video was shot and edited by Jacqueline Allison, Racquel Arceo, James Hearne and Ashley Hiruko, all Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during winter 2016.
Since high school, 42-year-old Justin Hall has been making a living by throwing fish around in downtown Seattle. Hall works at the Pike Place Fish Market, in Seattle, Washington, where he has been a fishmonger for over 25 years. The Pike Place Fish Market is known for its energy and eccentricity, and Hall explains what goes into creating the team of mongers who he calls a family.
This video was shot and edited by Shannon Finn, Lindy Holmberg, Kesia Lee and Courtney O’Keefe, all journalism majors at Western Washington University, as part of the Digital Media in Journalism course during the winter quarter of 2016.
With the rise of online dating and cultural shifts towards relationships, a handful of residents from the Willows Retirement Community in Bellingham, Washington, lend some advice to college age students. The senior citizens share their views on dating and healthy relationships as well as heartfelt advice. While some of their loved ones have passed away, they look back fondly on the memories of their relationships.
This video was shot and edited by Hannah Amundson, Dylan Nelson, Maddie Takata and Evan Yamada, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during winter quarter 2016.
Winter Quarter 2015
Fifty-one-year-old Robert Ables has led a life filled with highs and lows just like anyone else. However, he’s a part of a different experience than that of the average American. Ables has been homeless in Bellingham, Wash., since 2012. In 2013 alone around 610,042 people were homeless, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Homelessness is not a new concept to Ables, who has struggled with it on and off for a large portion of his life. When he returned to Bellingham he said the conditions he saw caused him to join the Rainbow Recovery Center to help others dealing with homelessness. On Tuesdays he also helps pass out food to the homeless. He’s actively involved in City Council decisions making sure the voice of the homeless are heard.
However, helping other homeless individuals while he himself is homeless is far from easy.
This video was shot and edited by Carina Linder Jimenez, Sayaka Iida and Daniella Beccaria, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during winter 2015.
John Keppelman — a painter, sculptor and retired Western Washington University instructor — has spent his life creating art. Keppelman’s artwork examines themes such as mortality, anomie and the dual nature of the creative mind. Since he retired in 2013, he has struggled with splitting his time between making art and enjoying the craft. He believes that every artist is the sum of two parts: the creator and the judge.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Allie Holzman, Josiah Ubben and Stephanie Villiers as part of the Digital Media in Journalism course during the winter quarter 2015 at Western Washington University.
Moving forward with life after tragedy can be one of the hardest aspects of being a human. While everyone heals after the loss of a loved one, we all heal in different ways. After her 20-year-old daughter committed suicide, Sue Burke of Bellingham, Wash., took up an old passion to self-heal. She began doing art again as part of her healing journey. Sewing, dying wool, painting and making paper maché has helped Sue not only heal, but grow as a person. She uses art to inspire and change her audience’s perceptions of death.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Western Washington University Journalism students Marina Bankowski, Bailey Barnard and Katelyn Doggett during winter quarter 2015 as part of Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class.
Ralph Akers estimates that he has worked on more than 100,000 animal skin drums in his Everson, Wash., workshop. The son of a taxidermist, Akers learned many of the skills necessary in working with animal skins from his father. Today he continues to make drums, specializing in Northwest Coast hand-drum culture. Naturally skilled at working with his hands, he provides the public with an opportunity to make deep personal connections through both playing and learning to make drums.
This video was shot, edited, and produced by Western Washington University Visual Journalism students Alex Bartick, Beatrice Harper, Brooklynn Johnson, and Mariko Osterberg as part of the Digital Media in Journalism course at WWU.
George Dyson has a way of breaking down stereotypes and artificial divisions that we come to think of as inherent and primal – the division between mind and body, technology and nature, past and future. His work questions these divisions just as his path in life challenges our assumptions. He is a high-school dropout who has established himself as a leading authority on the history of technology and who gives TED Talks about the origins of the digital universe and atomic spaceships. He is the son of a mathematician and a world-famous physicist, who, as a young man, rejected the academic world of his parents, moved to the Northwest and lived for three years in a treehouse, 95 feet above Burrard Inlet in British Columbia. These days, Dyson has a shop filled with kayaks in various stages of completion, piles of navigational maps and a computer where he can work on his next book while staring out across the calm waters of Bellingham Bay.
This video was shot as part of the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University during Winter Quarter 2015.
For Jim Pearson, running is a way of life. Pearson, 70, has run at least one mile every day since 1970, and has won numerous long distance running championships throughout his career. Even though his daily run is a part of a national record streak, he also uses it to be closer to his son, Hopper. After receiving a severe wrestling injury in high school, Hopper was prescribed pain medications and became addicted to them. This ultimately snowballed to a heroin addiction that lasted over three years. Now five years sober, Hopper runs daily with his father as part of his sobriety.
This video was shot and edited by Danny Miller, Jake Parrish, and Drew Castellaw, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during winter 2015.
The Bellingham do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) music scene experiences a constant uphill battle as its participants and principal caretakers number among Western’s incoming and outgoing student body. Not only does the ebb and flow of the university’s population affect the area’s music, but issues with gender inclusion and respect for house venues make for recurring hurdles. In this video piece, members of bands and tenants of house show venues alike comment on what they believe is the worthwhile struggle to maintain a lasting musical culture in Bellingham. Amidst differences and obstacles, a resounding note hangs in the air: working together sounds sweeter than doing it yourself.
This video was shot and edited by Taylor Sanders, Hannah Johnson, Chanel Retasket, and Kyra Betteridge, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during winter 2015.
Collin Ness, a local Bellingham DJ, separates himself from others in his field in that he still spins vinyl. A love for record collecting lead to his passion for DJing and now Ness collaborates with other artists in addition to performing his own shows.
This video was shot and edited by Tommy Calderon, Rebecca Friemuth, and David Klimke, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during winter 2015.
Alex Turner is a 25-year-old Bellingham native who has founded a grassroots ski company, called Sky Pilot Custom Skis. Turner originally started to press skis while going to school in Squamish, British Columbia. He eventually moved the business down a two-car garage space in Bellingham. Turner took inspiration for his business from the surf industry, where coastal towns have shapers, people who make custom boards for local surfers. The idea behind this is that these shapers know the conditions better than anyone else, and can fine-tune a board to ride a certain way on a certain wave. This is what Turner strives for with his skis, a completely unique skiing experience, based off the local terrain and snow conditions of the nearby Mt. Baker.
This video was shot and edited by Paul Bikis, Jann Eberharter, and Connor Griesemer, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during winter 2015.
Science, art and 100 percent organic brew. Located in downtown Bellingham, Aslan Brewing Company is the only microbrewery in the state of Washington to use all organic ingredients in its product. Becoming what it is today hasn't been easy; the owners of the brewery ran into several obstacles along the way. Aslan had its beginnings as an underground brewery and has grown into a Bellingham beer staple.
This video was shot and edited by Margaret Degman, Amanda Raschkow and Alyssa Pitcher, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western’s Digital Media in Journalism class during winter 2015.
Winter Quarter 2014
During the Winter Quarter 2014, the Digital Storytelling in Media class was charged with the difficult task of finding stories that captured the essence of sports without resorting to cliché. Students took that admonition to heart, discovering stories that stretched the boundaries of sport, while demonstrating that fitness, fun and passion are often part of the same package.
Working in video groups, students found a 29-year-old man who built his own house on the back of his truck so that he can spend as much time as possible skiing the awe-inspiring slopes of Mt. Baker. Another group chronicled the life of a skateboard enthusiast, who has managed to combine his passion for boarding with his love of local art. A third group charted the course of a Western junior who serves as president of the WWU Equestrian Club as she explains the unique connection between horse and rider. Finally, a group of students follow a woman who has lived and thrived without a car for a decade. Last year, she joined a growing group of athletes, who take part in Bellingham’s popular Ski to Sea race without the use of cars – carting all their equipment, including a canoe and kayak, with the power of their legs.
As a class, we covered the story of Western Head Men's Basketball Coach Tony Dominguez, who as a teenager was given 24 hours to live after he was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease. Dominguez took on that challenge just as he now takes on the challenge of living up to expectations of a Vikings team that two years ago won the Division II National Championship.
Each of these videos was shot, edited and produced within a 10-week quarter at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Together, they demonstrate a commitment to story and an ability to see beyond a mainstream portrayal of “sport” to a deeper connection Bellingham residents have to their passions, their community, animals, nature and the planet.
Twenty-nine-year-old Adam Roberts can't imagine spending hours in stop-and-go traffic. It would kill him to sit behind a desk from nine to five. Roberts has carved out a space for himself beyond the humdrum world of making money and paying rent. He has built a custom home on the truck bed of his Toyota Tacoma so he can live where he truly feels alive - on the mountain. Roberts lives out of his truck, which you can often find on in the parking lot of the Mount Baker Ski Area 50 miles east of Bellingham, Wash. He hikes up the mountain on skins and skis down through massive powder. He cooks and sleeps in his self-made gypsy wagon. Living off the grid has its challenges, but Roberts willingly sacrifices convenience to be amongst the trees, deep in the snow.
This video profile was shot, edited and produced by Western Washington University students Jasper Gibson, Hannah Leone, Elliot Reid and Annika Wolters. They shot video of Roberts performing day-to-day activities, skiing on Mount Baker and interviewed him in his natural environment.
When skateboarding gets in your blood, it never quite lets you go. Take Blake Owens. His first skateboard company, Spectrum, failed almost 10 years ago. Now, Owens is at it again with Blue Collar Skateboards, a company based in Bellingham, Wash., that prints and sews its own stickers, boards, clothing and tags. Owens collaborates with local artists, incorporates their designs on his boards and envisions someday holding art shows in his warehouse. He still skates, although not as much as he used to, now that he’s a dad and running three businesses. (In addition to his board company, he has a successful screen-printing business and also sells killer moustache wax.) His no-bullshit attitude and frank observations are fueled by his lifetime love of skateboarding and punctuated by a few PBRs.
This mini-documentary was shot and edited by Isaac Martin, Ryan Hasert and Meaghan Flesch as part of the Digital Media in Journalism course at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Western Junior Whitney Fleming knows horses. As president of the WWU Equestrian Team, Fleming has learned to look for nuances in the way riders signal horses and the way horses respond. Tiny movements in the muscles of a riders' legs or hips are often all that's needed to communicate with animals that can reach 1,200 pounds and have personalities as unique and individual as their riders. But Fleming did not realize how close she was to the animals she rides and works with until a traumatic trailer crash toppled her horse into a highway ditch.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Western Washington University journalism students Brooke Warren, Jordan Whitford and Mindon Win as part of WWU's Digital Media in Journalism class. Special thanks to Whitney Fleming and the WWU Equestrian Team.
In an era when the majority of Americans commute to and from work by car, Melanie Swanson has been living car-free for almost a decade. Seven years ago, she rode her bike 3,000 miles from her home in South Carolina to her current abode in Bellingham, Wash. At the time, she knew very little about bike touring, bike maintenance or even how to fix a flat. Now, Swanson is a bike mechanic who does everything on two wheels – from trips to the grocery store to commuting to and from work. She even competes in the new car-free division of Bellingham’s most famous race – Ski to Sea. She and her team haul all their equipment for the seven-leg race – including a canoe and kayak – with their bikes and ride, paddle and ski without the hassle of parking and with the satisfaction of knowing their efforts before, during and after the race are powered by protein, not fossil fuels.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Western Washington University students Kramer Janders, Rachel Brown and Keegan Strandness as part of the Digital Media in Journalism class taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
All his life, Tony Dominguez wanted to play basketball. As a boy, he practiced four to five hours a day. When he was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease at the age of 14, he wanted nothing more than to get better so he could get back on the court. When he finally realized he would not reach his potential as a player, Dominguez turned to coaching. He worked for 17 years as an assistant coach for the Western Washington University Vikings. After the Vikings won a national championship in 2012, long-time Head Coach Brad Jackson left for the University of Washington, and suddenly Dominguez had his own team. Now, as the new Vikings head coach, he is striving to live up to expectations, and keep the Vikings on their winning course.
This video was shot by students in WWU's Digital Media in Journalism class during the winter quarter 2014. The piece was edited by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
Fall Quarter 2013
During the fall quarter of 2013, students in the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University focused on people driven by passion, from a Western student who thrives despite his disability to a Bellingham filmmaker committed to bringing his fantastic visions to life. The class explored the family behind Hardware Sales, a Bellingham staple that continues to thrive as an independent, family-run hardware store despite the onslaught of big-box stores and the difficulties of keeping the business in the family. Students also looked at the volunteers committed to KUGS 89.3 FM, WWU's college-run radio station, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2014. Finally, a group of students explored the inspired creations of Casey Scalf, who has developed a unique art using projection mapping for his company, Sensebellum.
When people meet Western Washington University student Paul Wright, they are generally impressed that he has gotten this far in life, despite living since birth with arthrogryposis, a non-genetic and non-progressive disability characterized by stiff joints and missing muscle. But Wright still has big plans for his career and life. While many people under-estimate him, his own aspirations are high. In his mind, he's only just begun.
This video profile was shot, edited and produced by Western Washington University Journalism students Kami Dishman, Lauren Foote, Josh Galassi and Lydia Love. They filmed Wright doing day-to-day activities and interviewed him on Western's campus.
In 2014, KUGS 89.3 FM celebrates its 40th year as a student-operated college radio station on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham. While the majority of corporate-run radio stations are now controlled and programmed from afar, KUGS continues to feature shows programmed by volunteer student DJs, which makes for an eclectic mix of diverse music and news.
This piece was shot, edited and produced by Western Washington University students Steven Guntli, Joella Ortega and Cade Schmidt as part of the Digital Media in Journalism course at WWU.
Sensebellum creator Casey Scalf uses a computer and projector to projection map artistic creations onto light boxes, into interactive sandboxes and onto the sides of four-story buildings.
This video profile was shot and edited by Erin Brewer, Paul Grzelak and Billie Weller, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University, as part of the Digital Media in Journalism course during the fall quarter 2013. The piece focuses on Scalf's vision and shows his process as he develops and hones his unique craft.
In 1997, Bellingham filmmaker and producer Wilson Large was inspired by a serial play he saw at a local theater company to produce a fantasy web series where characters are propelled into a world of trolls and wizards. Seven years later, Large is in the process of producing the second episode of "Dark Darkness."
This profile examining Large's ongoing struggle to fund and produce the series was shot and edited by Evan Abell, Kally Bieber and Nick Gonzales, all Visual Journalism majors at Western Washington University. The video was produced for Western's Digital Media in Journalism class during the fall quarter 2013.
Hardware Sales is a family-owned and operated hardware store that has withstood the onslaught of big-box stores and prospered for more than 50 years in downtown Bellingham, Wash. Now, as the third generation of McClellans take charge, the family is looking forward to what comes next and how long the store can remain independent and family-run.
As part of this class project during the fall quarter 2013, WWU Journalism students interviewed LaDonna George and Ty McClellan, the daughter and grandson respectively of Hardware Sales' founders Max and Alta McClellan. They collected B-roll at Hardware Sales and shaped their interview material into a narrative arc. The piece was edited by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie. Footage was shot using Canon Vixias and DSLRs.
Winter Quarter 2013
Devin Champlin makes guitars from scratch in Bellingham, Washington. This profile, filmed and edited by Western Washington University journalism students Laura Going, Sam Heim and Lauren Stelling, explores Champlin's passion for his work as a luthier and the process he goes through in choosing and shaping wood into guitars.
Chipp Allard found his calling and his passion when he joined the Bellingham Circus Guild. In this video, Allard gives a frank account of his journey to performing and his emotional connection with the circus performers he has come to know and love.
This video was shot, edited and produced by Osa Hale, Jules Guay-Binion and Khalics Bryant as part of the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University during the winter quarter 2013. The team overcame substantial audio problems and showed remarkable resilience in completing and publishing a quality mini-doc.
In 2012, full-time college students Bayly Peterson and Adalberto Avelar opened their own crepe restaurant, despite the warnings of family, friends and faculty. Two years later, AB Crepes in downtown Bellingham is thriving and Peterson and Avelar are doing the best they can to balance school with running a successful business.
This video was shot and edited by Western Washington University students Ian Couch, Dylan Koutsky and Grace Moore for the winter 2013 Digital Media in Journalism course.
Jessica Bonin is a prolific artist who works in every imaginable medium to shape her vision into reality. She lives and works in Edison, Washington, where she and her equally talented husband, James Riesen, run The Lucky Dumpster, an eclectic store of artistic creations and cool stuff. Jessica also plays drums in two bands, illustrates books, paints murals, designs logos, paints hand-lettered signs, makes fiber art, paints portraits, curates art exhibits, designs clothes and turns found objects into art.
This video was shot, edited and produced by the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University taught by Senior Instructor Stephen Howie during the winter quarter 2013. Students collected the footage, shot the interview and edited the material into this six-minute profile, all within a 10-week quarter.
Retired plumber Dave Siden says the worst pilots are doctors and lawyers, "because they're always thinking and not paying attention to the flying." Siden and the other members of the Keystone Flyers have been enjoying the skies above Western Washington for decades. Now, their numbers are dwindling, as many of the pilots, some of whom flew in WWII, either stop flying or die. The remaining members are trying to keep the group alive.
This project was shot and edited by Sanae Kato, Kee May and Samantha Wohlfeil during the winter quarter 2013 for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Western Washington University student Morocco Al-Tamimi's car is so low that he has to plot out his course from home to school, avoiding speed bumps, pot holes and any roadwork that could damage his custom ride.
This piece explores the low-car movement through Al-Tamimi's eyes and begs the question, How low can you go? The video was shot and edited by WWU students Richard Grunert, Kelsey Kohl and Austin Towe for the Winter 2013 Digital Media in Journalism course.
When he was five years old, a friend dared Jason Quick to climb a fence into an electrical substation. Quick cleared the fence, but he slipped on the substation roof and grabbed onto a high-voltage line. Seventeen-thousand volts shot through his tiny body. Quick lost his arm, but he lived. Now, he juggles and rides unicycles, often at the same time, and teaches children and adults how to overcome the impossible through the circus arts.
This piece was shot and edited by Western Washington University journalism students Daniel Pickard, Sam Shapiro and Kylie Wade during the winter quarter 2013 for the Digital Media in Journalism class.
Winter Quarter 2012
While most Americans have moved on to smart phones and tablets, one man in Tacoma, Wash., is using his lifelong repair skills to keep CB radios alive for truckers and aficionados alike.
This piece was shot and edited by Dan Crossman and Cody Madison for the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University during the winter quarter 2013.
In 1994, Robert Lee McMurray and his partner Rick opened Bobby Lee's piano bar and restaurant in rural Everson, Wash. Despite the community's misgivings about having an openly gay couple running a downtown tavern, Bobby Lee has won plenty of converts and a world of love and support, thanks in part to his remarkable abilities as a piano virtuoso and world-class entertainer.
The video was shot and edited by students in the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University with the assistance of Senior Instructor Stephen Howie.
A mini-documentary made for our Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University.
Special thanks to Animals as Natural Therapy for taking the time to speak with us and showing us the impact of animals as natural therapy.
Produced by: Carly Vester, Nicole Strep, and Kelly Sullivan
Elena Stecca is a sensitive. She has been dealing with paranormal activity her whole life. As a child it scarred her, but she has sense embraced her ability, which she describes as a sixth sense to what is around us all the time, and joined Bellingham Observers of the Odd and Obscure. BOOO has helped her overcome her fear of the supernatural.
Two Western Washington University journalism students spent the night with Stecca and several other members of BOOO as they performed an investigation at the Sycamore Square building in the Fairhaven district of Bellingham, Wash.
Filmed and edited by Brian Corey and Katy Verwest for the Digital Media in Journalism class at WWU.
Spring Quarter 2011
Jeremiah LeSourd does what his father and his grandfather did before him, restoring dead bodies to lifelike appearance as an embalmer in Mount Vernon, Wash.
This video by Western Washington University journalism students Matt Crowley, Jaynie Hancock and Manuel Hernandez explores LeSourd's craft and shows how he uses his side job as a baseball coach to help balance his life.
Each year at Western Washington University, the Sexual Awareness Center hosts a condom fashion show to promote safe sex in an entertaining way.
This video was created as part of the Online Journalism class at Western Washington University. Students interviewed a designer involved in the condom fashion show, as she created her outfit, talked about the process and took part in the show.
In "Prison Pieces," dancer and director Pam Kuntz teamed up with Maria McLeod to create a dance piece that combines original music with interviews from prisoners, prison workers and the child of imprisoned parents.
During the spring quarter 2011, the Digital Media in Journalism class at Western Washington University documented Kuntz and her dance company as they practiced, prepared for and performed "Prison Pieces" at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center in Bellingham, Wash.