Yale College
Center for International and Professional Experience
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New Haven, CT

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2009 Photo Contest Results

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Category 1: Photos Taken Abroad


First Place
Mari Oye
Timothy Dwight College 2011
Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale University
Photo taken in Rasht Valley, Tajikistan

A man threshes wheat in Tajikistan's Rasht Valley, an area at the center of civil war a dozen years ago and now largely peaceful. Despite being a Yale student and officially an outsider, I was welcomed in to people's homes, served tea and dried apricots, and told many stories. My host and his grandchildren stopped their battered Soviet-era truck after we passed this man, and the kids got out to play in the straw. Despite the August harvest, there are food shortages in winter, and one in three children is stunted from malnutrition.


Second Place
Jakara Mato
Branford College 2010
Bulldogs in Uganda
Photo taken in Uganda

As an intern for Reproductive Health Uganda, Uganda's largest non-profit provider and advocate for reproductive health services and rights, I taught health education in primary schools alongside students from Makerere University. As an active member of Yale's Community Health Educators, which teaches health education in New Haven public schools, it was enlightening to see how sex education is taught in Uganda and the students' genuine thirst for knowledge. Here the girls are laughing at a question about growing "Mabira forests," or pubic hair, during puberty-a clever euphemism referring to a forest outside of Kampala that took the "muzungu," or foreign, educators like me a moment to understand, and greatly amused us once we did.


Honorable Mention
Elizabeth Mata
Pierson College 2010
Richter Fellowship
Photo taken outside Wamba, Kenya

This photo showcases the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide by celebrating the power of education and by demonstrating that inspiration and strength can come from unlikely sources. It was taken at an outdoor primary school started by a woman who had to leave school quite young in order to get married. Years later she still regretted not getting more of an education, so with almost no resources or support, she resolved to start a makeshift school for the impoverished children in her village to give them opportunities she never had. Despite incredibly difficult circumstances, this woman believed in the power of an education, and the power of one person to make a difference in dozens of lives, and now she's proof of that.


Honorable Mention
Sibongile Sithe
Morse College 2011
Bulldogs on the Baltic
Photo taken in Copenhagen, Denmark

The overwhelming majority of Denmark's population is ethnically Danish with only 5% of population being foreign nationals, one of the lowest rates in Europe. Although most of the country's ethnic diversity is concentrated in the capital, Copenhagen, there's still a good amount of hostility toward non-Danes in the city. Mere hours after we first arrived in Copenhagen, wandering jet lagged around the city, we stumbled upon a celebration of Carnival at Kongens Nytorv with ethnic minorities and Danes alike celebrating cultures from around the globe. The celebration really helped to color our view of Danish society; despite the nation-wide concern with preserving the integrity of Danish culture, it was incredibly welcoming to see so many Danes wholeheartedly embrace their country's diversity.


Honorable mention
Peter Lu
Berkeley College 2011
Environmental Studies Summer Fellowship and BK Robin Berlin Fellowship
Photo taken in Coca, Ecuador

The beginning of my international experience with sustainable cacao farming in the Ecuadorian rainforest started with a tour: more specifically, on a boat in the Amazon with a native tribe. During the 8 days I studied with them at their village 100 km downstream from the nearest city, I learned much about their lives, straddling the old and traditional (pig hunts and chants) and the modern and intoxicating (iPods, city life, high school). I taught them about how Americans lived. They, in return, caught an anaconda for me. I was wowed by their prowess wrestling it out of the muddy Amazon water. They were impressed with the digital camera I used to take video of the event, making me play it back multiple times when we reached base camp. The spirit of shared learning, at it's finest.



Category 2: Photos Taken in the United States

First place
Talha Ali
Ezra Stiles College 2013
Photo taken in South Glastonbury, CT, USA

Apple picking, strawberry picking and blueberry picking are common in some parts of the world. But pumpkin picking? I had never imagined going to a pumpkin patch to muster a few of those orange delights that are carved into jack-o-lanterns without which Halloween would be incomplete. My trip to Rose Berry Farm is a testament to the opportunities that international education holds for experiencing cultural diversity and learning about new traditions: Halloween was a new concept for me when I first set foot at Yale. I accompanied a group of nature lovers to the orchards where I learned fruit picking tips and Halloween myths along with the importance of promoting local produce and its impact on the individual farmers and the economy of any region.


Second Place
Uditha Piyumindri Fernando
Jonathan Edwards College 2013
Photo taken in New Haven, CT, USA

"The Beautiful Colors of Autumn" This picture is my view from my room in Farnam. I come from Sri Lanka where there are no seasonal changes. Last month, for the first time in my life, I saw trees change from their usual green to beautiful hues of red, orange and yellow. This introduction to autumn has been stunning, and I can only attest this beautiful experience to coming to the U.S. to study. Having the opportunity to experience a new and glorious phase of nature is, in my opinion, a valued benefit of international education.


Honorable Mention
Lucia Mijares
Pierson College 2011
Photo taken in Washington DC, USA

I took his photograph when I was in Washington DC for the Obama inauguration. We were all locked in the National Hall after the ceremony was over. I never thought I would be spectator of a major point in US history.


Honorable Mention
James Edward Ford
Saybrook College 2011
Photo taken in Eagle Bay, NY, USA

"Natural Simplicity" This beautiful deer is captured in its natural habitat in the forest of the Moose River Plains in Upstate New York. Nothing speaks more than the beauty that nature holds right in our back yard; every country has its own unique habitat and culture, and this photo epitomizes the simple beauty of what can be found in the North-East pocket.