Student Photography Contest Winners

Four from Knox win recognition for images taken during off-campus study programs

January 26, 2009


Aotearoa, by Jen Milius
Above: Aotearoa, by Jen Milius, one of five award-winning photos
taken by Knox students in off-campus study programs.

First Communuion, by Po Ling Pauline ChanFour Knox College students have won five awards in a regional collegiate photography competition -- more awards than any other college in the ACM 50th Anniversary Photo Contest. The competition was sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the educational consortium of 14 liberal arts colleges in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado and Minnesota. The competition selected photos taken in 2008 by students from ACM-member colleges in off-campus study programs, including fifteen programs that the ACM sponsors in the United States, Latin America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Po Ling Pauline Chan won both first and third place awards in the "story" category, for photos taken while she was studying at the Organization for Tropical Studies, a program in Costa Rica sponsored by Duke University. Chan received a first place award for her photo "Caught in Mid-Air" (below), and a third place award her photo "First Communion at Lourdes" (right). Chan is a senior environmental studies major from Hong Kong, China.Caught in mid-Air, by Po Ling Pauline Chan

Adventure at the End of the World, Heather KopecHeather Kopec won a second place award in the "story" category for her photo of a truck crossing a muddy draw, "Adventure at the End of the World," (right), taken while studying at the Knox College Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Kopec is a junior Spanish and studio art major from St. Charles, Illinois.

Jen Milius won a second place award in the "places" category for her photo landscape, "Aotearoa," (top of page), taken in New Zealand. Milius was studying at the AustraLearn Program, offered through Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. Milius is a senior from Rockford, Illinois, with a self-designed major in art history.

Also, Ellen Kokontis received a runner-up award for her photo, "Carnivale," (below), taken of a performer in the International Parade during Carnivale in Florence, Italy. A senior from La Grange, Illinois, majoring in English literature and art history, Kokontis studied in the program "England and Italy: Arts in Context," offered in London and Florence by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.

Carnivale, by Ellen Kokontis

Knox students discuss their award-winning photos:

Jen Milius on "Aotearoa"
Between Christchurch and Queenstown, the Canterbury Plains gradually shift into Central Otago, flanked by the graceful Southern Alps of Aotearoa, the "Land of the Long White Cloud," as New Zealand is called in Maori. Each layer of color interacts with the next, holding the landscape in a creative tension.

Po Ling Pauline Chan on "First Communion" and "Caught in Mid-Air"
"First Communion" shows the 'coming of age' ceremony for girls in the Cathedral at Lourdes, Costa Rica. My host mother in San Jose was the Communion teacher for these young girls for the past three years so it was also a special day for her. "Caught in Mid-Air" shows a white bellied mountain-gem. Hummingbirds are intelligent and maneuverable, and often avoid scientists' mist nets. It was rare and exciting that we caught this one.

Heather Kopec on "Adventure at the End of the World"
On an excursion near Ushuaia, Argentina -- the southernmost city in the world, less than 500 miles from Antarctica -- we climbed in the Andes, drove across one lake and canoed across another, explored an abandoned hacienda, and had to pull the 4x4 out of the mud... after our driver boasted that he never got stuck.

Ellen Kokontis on "Carnivale"
We were still fairly new to the city at this point, and didn't have much of an idea of what it was like to be distinctly Florentine, much less how Florentines viewed the rest of the world. The International Parade during the Carnivale was an introduction on how to look at the rest of the world through a different lens than our familiar American one.