School of Media Faculty and Staff
- Coordinator Photojournalism, Professor
- JRH 124
Syracuse University - Master of Science
California State University - Bachelor of Arts
James Kenney is a professor at Western Kentucky University who has had the privilege of being an educator since 1993. He arrived at WKU that year after earning his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fresno, working in the photojournalism profession for several years, then earning his master’s degree from Syracuse University.
Kenney has been the coordinator of the photojournalism program since 2001. He has taught courses in photojournalism, documentary video storytelling, studio lighting, design and picture editing. Since 2006, he has directed the Mountain Workshops. He taught in the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars program for five years and for the past four summers he has taught in the Governor’s School for the Arts program. In 2001, Kenney received the WKU University Teaching Award.
Kenney was a photographer and photography editor for newspapers in Las Vegas, Nevada, before entering the teaching profession. Since arriving at WKU, he has photographed projects in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, Nigeria, Jamaica and Bosnia. He spent a summer as a photographer for the Lexington Herald-Leader and worked a summer for National Geographic in their faculty fellowship program.
In 2012, Kenney made three trips to Haiti for a documentary project that was part of his sabbatical. He has been photographing the Tennessee Titans NFL home football games for the Associated Press since 2015.
Some of Kenney’s professional credits include still photography and multimedia awards in the Best of Photojournalism contests, a multimedia award in the Pictures of the Year International contest, a Best of Show in the Southern Short Course, AEJMC's First Prize in its Creative Project Competition and multiple awards in the Kentucky Newspaper Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year contest.
Kenney’s greatest reward in life is being blessed with a wonderful wife, Nancy, six incredible kids, James III, Weston, Will, Olivia, Luke and Ian, and a a grandchild, Mara Jane.