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"People & Portrait" Competition Photo by Sarah Ritter of VPC: UHDS 'Rank My Room' Contest, featuring Riley Francis, a freshman musical theatre major
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"Campus Environment" Competition Photo by Sarah Ritter of VPC: Macomb Balloon Rally 2020 Balloon Glow
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VPC Photography Manager Recognized by National Organization

November 18, 2020

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MACOMB, IL – A visual archive is essential to preserving a university's history, and the photographers at the Western Illinois University Visual Production Center (VPC) make it a priority each day to capture the essence of life at WIU. From athletics to academics to student activities and more, Sarah Ritter, George Hartmann and Rachael Keating look through their lenses for the best way to represent WIU through photographs.

Ritter, VPC manager, was recently recognized by University Photographers' Association of America (UPAA) in the organization's monthly image competition. In the October competition, Ritter placed third and fourth for the "People & Portraits" and "Campus Environment" categories for her images of University Housing and Dining Services' "Rank My Room" Contest and the Macomb Balloon Rally Balloon Glow, respectively. Ritter and Rachael Keating, VPC digital imaging specialist, also placed in the UPAA's April and January 2020 monthly competitions. Ritter and Keating also each captured fifth place in the  UPAA Annual Photo Competition in June 2020.

UPAA's Monthly Image Competition began 2004 as a way for members to share photographs in friendly competition. University of Houston photographer Jeff Shaw came up with the idea and the competition has grown from a few images in its early days to over 300 monthly entries. 

"I can't say enough about Sarah, Rachael and George. Their creativity and the knack they have for capturing what WIU represents is beyond comparison," said Darcie Shinberger, executive director of University Communications. "Regardless if they win competitions for their stellar images, I know they're out there, doing what they love and showcasing our outstanding University." 

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Office of University Relations