Western alumni photographs honored

Alison McGaughey

McGaughey’s photo of the “rainbow barn” just outside the village of Viola (IL), which was used as an advertisement piece for Midwestern Gothic.

Two WIU alumni are making headlines with their photography skills. Alison McGaughey, who earned a master’s degree in English in 2010, and Adam Sacasa, who received his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2009, both recently won awards for their photographs.

Midwestern Gothic, a literary journal, chose McGaughey’s photo of a barn located near Viola (IL) for use on a promotional postcard, in addition to posting it on their website and Facebook page.

Adam Sacasa

Sacasa’s photo of Abby Roberts, 13, of Bentonville (AK), devouring a watermelon during the championship round of the watermelon eating contest at the Hope Watermelon Festival in Hope (AK) was published in the Aug. 11, 2012 issue of the Texarkana Gazette and was chosen as the Arkansas Associated Press division photo of the month winner for August.

McGaughey writes a blog, welcometoforgotonia.com, that revolves around some of the quirks associated with life in west central Illinois, which often features pictures taken in the area.

Sacasa had three photos he took as part of his photographer position with the Texarkana Gazette in Texarkana (AK) chosen by the Arkansas Associated Press division as photo of the month winners in August, September and November 2012.

Sacasa previously worked for the Western Courier, Macomb Eagle and McDonough County Voice, and he recently just accepted a new position with the South Florida Sun Sentinel in Ft. Lauderdale (FL).

Adam Sacasa

Sacasa’s photo of a Texarkana (AK) fire fighter carrying a dog found in the front yard of a house fire and published in the Oct. 30, 2012 issue of the Texarkana Gazette, was chosen as the Arkansas Associated Press division photo of the month winner for October.

Adam Sacasa

Sacasa’s photo, taken during Arkansas 68th Annual Four States Fair and published in the Sept. 19, 2012 issue of the Texarkana Gazette, was chosen as the Arkansas Associated Press division photo of the month winner for September.

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Former WIU Student Up for Cosmo’s Bachelor of the Year 2012

Eric Anerino – Illinois Bachelor of the Year 2012 as selected by Cosmopolitan magazine

Former Leatherneck track and field athlete Eric Anerino, of Naperville, IL, is participating in Cosmopolitan magazine’s annual hunt for the country’s most eligible bachelor to be crowned Bachelor of the Year 2012.

A man from each state is chosen and eligible to win the title and $10,000. A picture and brief biography is provided for online voters.

Anerino, currently a high school English teacher, graduated from Western Illinois University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in English. While at Western, Anerino was involved in WIU academically as well as athletically. He was named the 2010 Department Scholar in English, and he was also active in Western’s track and field team, serving as captain and helping to host the Shaymus Relays, a fundraiser for WIU women’s soccer coach Tony Guinn’s son, who is battling Ewing’s Sarcoma. He was also a conference champion and regional qualifier on the team.

To find out more information about Anerino’s run for Bachelor of the Year, or to vote for Anerino, visit http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/bachelors-2012/bachelors-2012-illinois.

WIU Student Wins Texaco Country Showdown Illinois Final

Alyssa Page, of Macomb, IL and a WIU alumna, is gearing up for the Midwest Regional Final at the Northern Lights Casino in Walker, MN after winning the Illinois State Final Texaco Country Showdown.

Page, representing Macomb radio station WLMD, was awarded the state title and $1,000 at the 31st annual Texaco Country Showdown Illinois State Final, held at the Cowden Pioneer Days in Cowden, IL.

“Music has always been a big part of my family, and I started singing with my mom and four aunts when I was 5 years old,” Page said. “My aunt would hold the microphone in front of me while I sang ‘Bye Bye Love’ and ‘Jose Cuervo.’”

In the annual competition, more than 450 radio stations across the country sponsor local contestants in a competition open to vocal and/or instrumental performers. Page is now off to the regional finals, and she will have a chance to compete in the national final in Nashville, TN. The national winner is awarded the coveted title, “Best New Act in Country Music,” $100,000 and will be listed among previous winning artists such as, Martina McBride, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Neal McCoy, Sara Evans, Brad Paisley and Billy Ray Cyrus.

You can listen to Page’s song and learn more about her and America’s largest country music talent search at texacocountryshowdown.com.