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The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

Innovation through storytelling

At the 17th annual Capital Classic Luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 5 in Charleston, WVU President Jim Clements introduced three Mountaineers who share a drive to better the lives of all and contribute to a better West Virginia.

 Elaine McMillion

One of those Mountaineers was SOJ alumna Elaine McMillion (BSJ, 2009), a documentary storyteller, who is currently completing graduate studies at Emerson College in Boston.

McMillion’s love for the state is clear through her award-winning, community-based project called “Hollow: An Interactive Documentary,” which chronicles the beauty and struggle that rural residents face in McDowell County. The project was awarded a $65,000 New Media Grant from Tribeca Film Institute, and last week received a $20,000 grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Like much of her work, “Hollow” focuses on contemporary social and cultural issues. She strives to share stories from the people and places often stereotyped by mass media. As part of “Hollow,” McMillion is giving the residents of McDowell County the tools to tell their own stories and find innovative solutions for the community’s concerns.

Watch a video about Elaine and her film Hollow at

Read the official release at WVU Today.