University News

WIU Graduate Student Wins NAMM Award

January 6, 2016

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MACOMB, IL - Western Illinois University graduate student Jeremy McCool, of Imperial Beach (CA), has been named one of 59 winners of a President's Innovation Award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.

The award provides $600 to 59 graduate and undergraduate music students from across the country. The award helps cover travel expenses for the annual NAMM Show in California later this month.

During the 2016 show, the winning students will participate in the foundation's Generation Next Program, which offers professional development and networking opportunities.

"This award is provided to students who will likely impact the music products industry in the years ahead," said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. "The NAMM Foundation is honored to support their career development and welcome their contributions – now and in the future."

McCool's entry for the award consisted of essays and submitting a resume of his past work within the music industry and at Western. He created his graduate assistant position in music business, with the help of Assistant Professor Courtney Blankenship.

As part of his graduate assistant position, McCool has helped bring cultural entertainment to campus through the BCA organization. He also helps advise the WIU chapter of the Music Business Association (MBA) and was the music director for the campus radio station, 88.3 The Dog, for three years.

As an artist, McCool released his recording "Initiation EP" on iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music in October.

The NAMM show will be held Jan. 21-24 in Anaheim (CA). For more information about the organization, visit

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