Photo Contest — April 2014

The response to Global Programs’ photo contest last year was so fantastic, we wanted to find out: Could we replicate the results? So in April, the call went out again to the talented global BU community for photos highlighting the ways our community thoughtfully engages with the world. And for the second time, it was indisputably a success.

Over 500 photos were submitted by more than 200 faculty, staff, and students in 16 schools/colleges and a handful of administrative offices, with 74 countries represented. Of the more than 500 photos, we have selected winners following the criteria of global engagement, composition, and diversity. Collectively they embodied the full breadth of “BU in the World” and “The World at BU” – and even surprised us by compelling us to reconsider how we define the two.

To select the winning photos, we were joined again this year by Peter Southwick, associate professor of journalism and director of the photojournalism program, who lent his 30 years of experience as a photojournalist to our judging committee.

After much discussion and debate, we whittled down the field to the top 18 entries. Choosing just two winners, however, proved too daunting a task for even our seasoned judges. Therefore we are incredibly pleased to announce a tie for both 1st and 2nd place, resulting in a total of four prize-winning photos. For larger views, click each photo. Enjoy!

First Place: Sean Hacker Teper (CAS ’15) – Ama la Vida


Baños, Ecuador

Judges’ Commentary: Global engagement at a personal level means reaching new heights, reaping the power of chance to learn lessons that only happen when you leave your comfort zone. CAS student Sean Hacker Teper experienced this firsthand while studying abroad with BU in Ecuador. As he described to us, the moment captured in this shot could not have happened much sooner–before Mt. Tungurahua began to erupt in the distance–nor an hour later, when the group moved on from the swing at “the end of the world” in Baños. Through its sharp lighting and stunning perspective, it reminds us to embrace serendipity.

First Place: Kirk Dearden (Associate Professor, Global Health)—Girl at Doorway


Sankhuwasabha, Nepal

Judges’ Commentary: Global engagement means making meaningful connections. Sometimes these connections offer tangible benefits by way of demonstrable learning or career growth; others serve to remind us simply of our humanity. SPH professor Kirk Dearden captured one such moment with grace and empathy while working in Nepal to improve the nutrition of children younger than two years of age. Shy and yet imploring the viewer to notice her, the eponymous Girl at Doorway in this softly-lit photograph stole our judges’ hearts.

Second Place: Nahid Bhadelia (Assistant Professor, Medicine, Infectious Diseases)—Ephemeral Landscape


Patagonia, Argentina

Judges’ Commentary: Global engagement reminds us to embrace both stability and change. Many northern hemisphere glaciers are shrinking, but in BUSM professor Nahid Bhadelia’s photo, we are witness to Argentina’s Perito Moreno, one of the most stable glaciers in the world. Nahid observed it best: “Being on this body of ice makes you realize how ephemeral and ever changing even the most solid appearing elements of our surroundings are.” The stark beauty and unique texture of this shot left our judges speechless.

Second Place: Rodrigo Bonilla (CAS ’15)—Colorblind


Cummington Mall, Boston University

Judges’ Commentary: Global engagement happens not just overseas, but also in Boston on the Charles River and Medical Campuses. In this close perspective shot from CAS student Rodrigo Bonilla, non-toxic colored powder seeps into a student’s contact lens during the annual Holi celebrations that occur on campus at BU. Known as “the festival of colors,” Holi is an ancient Hindu tradition that is practiced across the world by both Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Our judges were amused by this literal example of global immersion, by physically immersing oneself in color.

Runners-Up (in no particular order)

Elmar LangFellhorn Berglar Kirbe

Katharine HobartUganda

Kewei DuTrue Relationship

Kirk DeardenMonk at Swayambhunath

Marco CuestaUntitled

Mary GianottiUntitled

Mary GianottiUntitled

Matt NolanCotopaxi

Matt NolanGirl with Lollipop

Nam Chu hoaiUntitled

Nicole PondDay Dreams

Renee PaquierDavid Waiting for Surgery

Ty SweeneyUntitled

Valentina Lagomarsino - Mirror Lakes

View last year’s Photo Contest Winners