On Wednesday, April 15th, OIE (the Office of International Education) and the Library held our 13th International Photo Contest Awards Celebration. This is one of our favorite events of the year, not only because we enjoy the artistry and vision of the photographers but also because it is tangible evidence of what we help students achieve. These 115 photos were taken in 21 countries. 83 of these photos were taken by students who were studying abroad. About 50% of Champlain students study abroad and these photos represent how our students are broadening their horizons and taking advantage of opportunities to learn through experiencing other cultures and environments. Our students are bringing these learning experiences from foreign cultures, workplaces, cities, and nature back to Champlain College and will carry them and the lessons learned for the rest of their lives.
President’s Choice Award
We want to highlight a couple of the winning photographs and link you to the Flickr collection. We are starting with Interim President Dr. Laurie Quinn and the President’s Choice Award.
Dewdrop Melody (Ecuador) by Shelby Kleinhans, ‘21 // Film
Dr. Quinn told us, “I was inspired to choose this photograph because of its scale. In these times, I find that a close view of just a small part of a vast global landscape reminds us that travel is not only about the wide expanses we can cover, but about the attention we can pay to the details of places. The resiliency and the beauty of this photograph moved me as a viewer. The fragile blossoms and the drops clinging to them and falling to make the melody referred to in the title suggest that the photographer has learned how to notice. Notice the beauty of natural things, notice the sensory power of surroundings, and notice the kinds of experiences that an attentive traveler’s eye and heart can tune into.”
Shelby Kleinhans added, “This photo was taken on the last day of our travel course to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador after we had just finished getting rained on in the cloud forest of Mindo. But the rain didn’t even matter because we were awestruck by the beauty of all of the greenery and plant life around us. This photo in particular captures the fragile nature of life, but also instills a sense of peacefulness and tranquility in the viewer as they gaze upon the water droplets clinging to the unopened buds.”
Natural World & Best Insta-Worthy Photo
The next photo won both first prize in the Natural World category and Best Insta-Worthy Photo.
Tongariro (New Zealand) by Julia Leonard, ‘20 // Broadcast Media Production
Contest Judge Kaylee Sullivan, Digital Community Specialist, commented, “This photo caught my eye because it captivates a sense of adventure. You can tell the photographer traveled on foot to reach this spot and captured a reflective moment in both the landscape and the person they were exploring with. If I were scrolling in my Instagram feed, this photo would definitely make me stop and look more closely. The photo also invokes a desire to get off social media itself and explore, which we all need more of!”
Photo Contest Judge Michael Angel, Senior Circulation Coordinator, commented, “I was awestruck when I first saw this photo. The use of reflections to amplify the natural beauty of the mountains is excellent. It creates a sense of stillness while making the surroundings feel even larger than life. I love how the white tips of the mountains slowly blend into the fog. I love when photographers use natural elements to create something unique and doubly so when they include a subject in their landscape. I almost feel like I was there on this hike myself. Congratulations Julia!”
Julia added, “This photo was taken partway through the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on the North Island of New Zealand. It’s a designated World Heritage Site because of the spiritual and cultural values the land possesses. The hike took eight hours, and it was worth every minute.
New Zealand is a beautiful country and this hike was just one of the many examples of that. Over every peak was something else breathtaking, and this photo was an attempt to capture some of that! I crouched down by a big puddle to get the reflection, and had one of my friends stand on the other side.”
People’s Choice Award
The rest of the winning photos can be seen on Facebook at Champlain Abroad or in the Flickr 2020 Winners’ Album. However, we want to share one more photo here. The following photo won the People’s Choice Award.
Peace Out (Jordan) by Kayla Bailey, ‘22 // Marketing
Emily Crist, Senior Director of Academic Resources and the Library, commented, “The library is very honored to sponsor the People’s Choice award, which is voted on anonymously by community members. This year’s choice was the clear winner, and I’m not at all surprised! Peace Out by Kayla Bailey won the People’s Choice Award. She took the photo while on a Faculty-Led trip to Jordan. I love this photo. The color of the red desert is vibrant against the blue sky and I particularly am struck by the way the sightline of the camels’ sizes – greatest at the right side of the photo and descending to the left – is replicated in the background rocks. A truly stunning image. Congratulations Kayla!
Thank you for taking the time to celebrate a few of our beautiful photos. We hope that you will check out all of them in our Flickr Album.