Congratulations to the winners of the 11th annual Off-Campus Studies Photography Competition. Based on criteria such as technical merit and representation of chosen subject matter, the judges selected first place photos for each category, as well as a number of second and third place entries. Winners receive gift certificates to the college bookstore, and the top photos will be displayed near the off-campus studies office and posted online.
Below are the three first place images with comments from the students who took them. Second and third place winners included Carol Pengshung '14, Marika Lou '14, Jenny Gonyer '14, Jenna Carr '14, and Alyssa Goard '14. To view a slideshow of all of the 2013 image contest entries, click here.
Whitties in Action: “Village Dance” by Annie Watters ’14
Hometown: Victor, Idaho
Study Abroad Program: SIT Ghana: Social Transformation & Cultural Expression
Location: Tamale, Ghana
“When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” This quote goes beyond all of the literal dancing I did while in Ghana and sums up one of the biggest things I learned, to take every opportunity you get and to not be afraid to put yourself out there. I quickly understood that I was always going to stand out, so I learned to laugh, and embrace the experiences in which I completely made a fool of myself, like this moment in the picture when I was dragged out of a crowd to dance in front of an entire village.
People and Culture: “Bridging Cultures with Music and Love” by Signe Burke ’14
Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
Study Abroad Program: CIEE Alicante Liberal Arts Program
Location: Alicante, Spain
This is an image of two of the most timeless and universal things: love and music. The accordion player is sharing his talents in exchange for money as lovers lock their love onto this famous bridge with gold and colorful locks inscribed with their names or initials. The famous Pont de Neuf is in the background.
Landscape (Tie): “Castle Sands” by Kerry Streiff '14
Hometown: Lake Oswego, Oregon
Study Abroad Program: University of St Andrews
Location: St Andrews, Scotland
This moment captures a rare and glorious sunny afternoon looking out from the castle in St. Andrews. Walking along the pier, I was able to reflect on new cultural and sensory knowledge experienced through my time abroad, while also appreciating the natural beauty of coastal Scotland.
Landscape (Tie): “Stuttgart City Library” by Ari Ronai Durning '15
Major: Politics-Environmental Studies
Hometown: Salem, Oregon
Study Abroad Program: IES Freiburg Environmental Studies & Sustainability
Location: Freiburg, Germany
This city library is an incredible example of Germany’s commitment to public infrastructure and design that enhances the lives of the public. It was the most incredible library I’ve ever seen (apologies to the Seattle Public Library) and it definitely enhanced my life.
Through the years the image contest has helped the OCS office to share students' off-campus experiences with the wider Whitman community, but, more importantly, it has helped the student participants to process their cultural experiences. The students submit not just pictures, but also brief accompanying narratives. Together the images and the stories help all of us understand how students are transformed by studying abroad.
Congratulations to the winners of this year's contest!