There may be nothing that defines Appalachia more than its rolling hills filled with foliage each fall. West Virginia University students have the chance to “Define Appalachia” themselves in the 2011 Mountaineer Week Student Photo Contest.

Students are asked to submit no more than three photos of what they believe to be beautiful in the state of West Virginia. All submissions will be judged, and the winners will receive cash prizes and ribbons as well as a feature in the 2012 Mountaineer Week Literary Magazine.

All submissions will be on display on the main level of the Mountainlair by the elevators during Mountaineer Week from Oct. 28 through Nov. 6. Students may vote for their favorite photograph, and the one with the most votes will be awarded a “People’s Choice” award.

In addition to the “Defining Appalachia” exhibit, photographer Neal Newfield, a professor in the WVU Division of Social Work, will display an exhibit on devastation in West Virginia.

Titled “Making Ends Meet: West Virginia Community Voices,” these photos will be featured in the Downtown Campus Library during Mountaineer Week. Viewing hours are Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“These photographs are intended to help you ‘see’ and assist you in considering what we should do as citizens of West Virginia to help our neighbors,” Newfield said.

This exhibition documents the lives of people trying to make ends meet. It includes a visually rich study of struggling West Virginians and a dialogue from the subjects concerning the meaning of the images and the nature of their lives.

Mountaineer Week is an annual celebration of West Virginia’s rich Appalachian heritage and traditions. The activities serve to remind and educate WVU students about the culture that has made West Virginia what it is today. This fall, the festival commemorates its 64th year. For a complete schedule of events, visit the Mountaineer Week website at

Mountaineer Week is a great time to remember days gone by. Share with us your own WVU memories through the University’s Heritage Project. Do you have a special recollection from Mountaineer Week? Tell us at



CONTACT: Grayson Weaver, Director, Mountaineer Week Photo Contest

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