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Students Make Recycling PSA Videos

May 24, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - It's easy to recycle. Just toss that empty water bottle into a recycling container, and if your fast food lunch bag goes too, all the better, right?


During the Spring 2007 semester, Western Illinois University students in the "Gender, Race and the Environment" class (Anthropology/Women's Studies 395) were challenged to make public service announcement (PSA) videos to increase awareness of the food and garbage contamination of recycling bins around campus, according to class instructor Heather McIlvaine-Newsad, an associate professor of anthropology.

"When bins designated solely for recycled materials – such as plastic bottles, aluminum, papers and cardboard – are mixed with food and other garbage, the entire bin must be treated as garbage, because it has been contaminated and is therefore unsuitable for recycling," McIlvaine-Newsad explained.

The idea for the graded class project came from Mitch Davidson, executive director of Western's University Computer Support Services, who also arranged for technical assistance with video-editing from senior Jeremy Howerter (Canton, IL), a graphic communication major and electronic media minor; and awarded prizes to the top four PSA teams, McIlvaine-Newsad said. Graduating broadcasting student Blake Butkovich (Galesburg, IL) voluntarily assisted the students in the editing process.

Nine PSA videos were made. The top four were determined by members of Western's Campus Sustainability Committee. The PSAs can be viewed at under "WIU Computing Quick Links," select "Sustainability/Recycling Video Clips."

The first place team's PSA is titled "The Landfill," and team members received iPODS, a gift card from iTunes and ink pens. Team members include:
Astoria, IL – Tracey Kimbro, senior, sociology major;
Los Angeles, CA – Cameron Smilie, senior, law enforcement and justice administration major; and
Monmouth, IL – Agatha Stawiarski, junior, a communication major.

"Rocky II" placed second. Team members received iPOD Shuffles, a gift card from iTunes and ink pens. Team members include:
Glenview, IL – Scot Eastman, junior, sociology major;
Oswego, IL – Jake Prisk, sophomore, biological sciences major; and
Ottawa, IL – Phil Reilly, junior, sociology major.

Third place went to the PSA titled "Recycling Bunny." Team members received MiniCruzer memory sticks, environmental T-shirts, hats and ink pens. Team members include:
Crown Points, IN – Erin Christofanelli, senior, Board of Trustees-Bachelor of Arts degree program;
Evergreen Park, IL – Erin O'Connor, freshman, musical theatre major; and
Rossville, KS – Casey Lambotte, sophomore, communication major.

The fourth place team received environmental T-shirts, ink pens and a clean erase board for their PSA "Recycling Begins with You." Teams members include:
Ft. Madison, IA – Christina Leeks, senior, sociology major; and
Taylorville, IL – Tyler Payne, senior, double major in law enforcement and justice administration and Spanish.

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