Will Okun Wins NYT/Kristof Africa Trip

will okun in union pier, miBig-time congrats to Will for penning a winning essay for the chance to join New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof (and one other winner) on an all-expenses-paid trip to Africa. Will is one of my Chi-town homies and also happens to be the best photographer you may have never heard of, unless you’ve seen his killer Players’ Ball spread for Vibe, which undoubtedly won over Kristof for good.

It wouldn’t be shocking to see Will’s photography show up, well, anywhere — but to catch his name while scrolling through my Google Reader (scanning the Times’ newsfeed) came as a total surprise.

Will’s professional qualification for winning is his status as a teacher at Chicago’s Westside Alternative High. Congrats, Willy! (Will Okun’s photos are here, his winning essay is here).

Kristof’s Win a Trip contest spawned out of a 2005 editorial in which he called out to Bill O’Reilly to accompany him on a trip to Darfur, and later asked readers to contribute and sponsor it. To nobody’s surprise, O’Reilly declined. The NYT later launched a Win a Trip With Nick Kristof contest which was won by Mizzou Journalism Master’s student Casey Parks (See her NYT blog).

Another thing I just realized is that TimesSelect is being offered free to .edu e-mails — one more thing I can take advantage of before my graduation in a couple weeks. I can finally re-subscribe to the Op-Ed podcasts! Any other tip-offs on good ol’ student discount action so I can get ’em while I can?

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