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Students’ Photos Show Depth and Excitement of Off-Campus Study

Students’ Photos Show Depth and Excitement of Off-Campus Study January 30, 2009

From Mongolia to the southernmost inhabitable city in the world to the streets of New York City, students travel the world in their off-campus study programs. The photos they bring back speak volumes about their experiences and provide a glimpse of the depth and excitement of off-campus study.

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), the consortium sponsored the ACM Off-Campus Study Photo Contest, inviting students at ACM colleges to share the images and impressions they gathered from studying in locations around the world.

A traveling exhibit of the ten winning photos and a selection of honorable mention photos is being hosted by ACM campuses through April and will be shown at the ACM 50th Anniversary Student Symposium on Off-Campus Study in Chicago on April 17-18, 2009.  The photos also can be viewed on the ACM website.

The Grand Prize was awarded to Kevin Close of Carleton College for “A Long Car Ride,” a photo taken during his studies in Mongolia and simply described as “One student, one translator, and ten goats.” First, second, and third place prizes were awarded in three categories: people, places, and stories. Ten entries received Honorable Mention recognition.

The contest judges were Will Pittinos, Web Content Coordinator at Lake Forest College, and Dave Amrein, Director of the ACM Chicago Arts Program. The judges specifically looked for photos depicting unique, hands-on experiences that students increasingly view as an important component of their liberal arts education.

Photo Contest winners

The winners in the 2008-09 ACM Off-Campus Study Photo Contest are:

Grand Prize

  • A Long Car Ride by Kevin Close, Carleton College


  • 1st Place: Freedom by Christina Demenshina, Beloit College
  • 2nd Place: Learning to Chew by Christopher Ruder, Beloit College
  • 3rd Place: Drying Persimmons by Ting Ting Yang, St. Olaf College


  • 1st Place: Climbing the Perito Moreno Glacier by Anna Hainze, Lawrence University
  • 2nd Place: Aotearoa by Jen Milius, Knox College
  • 3rd Place: Weißglas by Erin McBurney, Grinnell College


  • 1st Place: Caught in Midair by Po Ling Pauline Chan, Knox College
  • 2nd Place: Aventura en el fin del mundo (Adventure at the End of the World) by Heather Kopec, Knox College
  • 3rd Place: First Communion in Lourdes by Po Ling Pauline Chan, Knox College

Honorable Mention

  • Abandoned by Ben Barclay, Carleton College
  • Dusk by Sarah Diefendorf, Colorado College
  • Incognito by Tabitha Hrynick, Colorado College
  • Carnivale by Ellen Kokontis, Knox College
  • Bula Fiji! by Ashleigh Martinez, Lake Forest College
  • Rural Transportation by Jeannette Osterweil, Colorado College
  • Shipwrecked! by Myka Peterson, Cornell College
  • Stone Town Hopes by Kathleen Quigley, Monmouth College
  • Botas de hule y pies descalzos (Rubber Boots and Bare Feet) by Karen Skadow, Monmouth College
  • The Spice of Life by Amelia Sternitzky, Ripon College

Traveling exhibit of winning photos

Ten ACM colleges are hosting the traveling exhibit of winning and honorable mention photos in January-April 2009:

Lawrence University (Appleton, WI): January 12-16
Knox College (Galesburg, IL): January 19-23
Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA): January 29
Lake Forest College (Lake Forest, IL): February 23-27
St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN): February 23-27
Carleton College (Northfield, MN): March 9-13
Beloit College (Beloit, WI): March 23-27
Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO): March 30-April 3
Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, IA): April 6-10
Monmouth College (Monmouth, IL): April 20-May 1

ACM, a consortium of academically excellent, independent liberal arts colleges, has been a pioneer in off-campus study, operating domestic and international programs since the early 1960s. The current ACM members are Beloit College, Carleton College, Coe College, Colorado College, Cornell College, Grinnell College, Knox College, Lake Forest College, Lawrence University, Macalester College, Monmouth College, Ripon College, and St. Olaf College.


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