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Wang Center Photo & Video Contest Winners 2022

Posted by:
March 30, 2022

During the 2021-2022 academic year, 149 PLU students participated in global and local study away programs to acquire new perspectives on critical global issues, advance their language and intercultural skills, form valuable new contacts and lasting connections, and advance their academic and career trajectory. Due to the worldwide pandemic, 46 students returned home early in spring of 2020 and PLU study away was put on hold for 2020-2021. We were so excited to send students into the world again this year!

The Annual Wang Center Photo Contest is an opportunity for #LutesAway students to reflect upon their study away experience and provides a way for students to share the world’s images, from their perspective, with the PLU community.

If you’re ready to begin planning for your own study away experience and want to join the 40-50% of PLU students who study away at least once during their undergraduate education, please contact the Wang Center for Global Education.

Wang Center | | | 253-535-7577

Lutes Away Category

Your Lute spirit doesn’t stop once you leave campus. Qualifying photos for this category must include PLU students, faculty, and/or staff. Ideally, your photo should include Lutes in a learning environment – even better if they are wearing Lute gear!

photo: Noah Dunham “Friluftsliv”1st Place
Noah Dunham
This photo shows the beauty of the outdoors in Norway, and the best way to enjoy it in the winter – with skies. Friluftsliv is a common cultural practice in Norway, and is basically meaning to be active in the outdoors.
Bø, Norway
January 20, 2022

photo: Derek Gibson “Good Lookin' Lindos”2nd Place
Derek Gibson
“Good Lookin’ Lindos”
Although there is no visible PLU gear, this picture encapsulates Lutes Away perfectly, as nothing can sum up the Greek trip like the word “views”. This photo was taken while we were on a day tour around the entire island of Rhodes on January 26. Taken at the Acropolis of Lindos, a small city on the southeastern edge of Rhodes, our tour guide was showing us the east Mediterranean where ancient trade routes once made their stops due to Lindos being a port city. The students featured, from left to right, are John Meija, Charlie LeWarne, and Logan Grabill.
Rhodes, Greece
January 26, 2022

photo: Casandra Hebert “Lutes at the Parthenon”3rd Place
Casandra Hebert
“Lutes at the Parthenon”
This picture was taken at the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. This was one of the last site visits and was at the end of our trip. Our class had bonded so much. My friend, Frankie, helped me hold up my bent-up Lutes pennet (on the right) and my other friend, Madeline popped up below the flag to make this picture a special, fun memory. The Parthenon itself is an iconic figure of Greece and one with history, paying tribute to the goddess Athena.
Athens, Greece
January 30, 2022

Global Classroom Category

While studying away students engage in learning both in and outside of classrooms. Qualifying photos for this category may depict student interaction with their host communities and their natural environment. Examples may include students in internship and service projects, field study, culturally relevant activities, group study tours, etc.

photo: Noah Dunham “Snow Day”1st Place
Noah Dunham
“Snow Day”
College comes in many forms. This picture proves just that. This is from a 5 day trip in the winter forests of Norway. Hard to believe, but having this much fun can really get you college credit.
Bø, Norway
February 1, 2022

photo: Mallory Drye “An Outdoor Classroom in Meteora”2nd Place
Mallory Drye
“An Outdoor Classroom in Meteora”
To me this photo is significant due to all the individuals in the photo looking in a different direction, exploring and examining everything in sight differently while also experiencing it together. Learning about such a beautiful place and the religious significance in our religion class and then actually getting to step into it together was an experience I will never forget. This picture is what studying away is all about and the beauty of it. It perfectly encapsulates what a global classroom looks like and the importance of experiencing it with others who you are able to learn and explore it with.
Kalabaka, Greece
January 20, 2022

photo: Jerdil Castillo “Kenzie Hard at Work!”3rd Place
Jerdil Castillo
“Kenzie Hard at Work!”
This photo was taken on January 29th. In this photo you see a picture of Kenzie Knapp learning how to clean Sheep wool. I took this photo while in the intensive Spanish study class of Oaxaca 2022. Our group on this day was taking a tour with Fundación En Vía. Fundación En Vía is a non-profit organization that works to empower women to better support themselves and their families. We use funds generated through responsible tourism to provide interest-free loans and educational programs to entrepreneurial women in 5 communities in the Tlacolula Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Oaxaca, Mexico
January 29, 2022

People and Culture Category

Study away offers a unique opportunity to experience new cultures. Qualifying photos for this category may reflect the diversity of the people, cultures and artifacts of your host communities.

photo: Jerdil Castillo “The Woman of Pottery!”1st Place
Jerdil Castillo
“The Woman of Pottery!”
You see one of the co-owners of Union De Artesanías De Cerámica. This is the sister of owner Francisca Martinez Aragón. These sisters have spent their whole life’s work on this amazing pottery. I took this photo while in the intensive Spanish study class of Oaxaca 2022. Our group on this day was taking a tour with Fundación En Vía. Fundación En Vía is a non-profit organization that works to empower women to better support themselves and their families. We use funds generated through responsible tourism to provide interest-free loans and educational programs to entrepreneurial women in 5 communities in the Tlacolula Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Oaxaca, México
January 29, 2022

photo: Casandra Hebert “Monasteries, Meteora, and Me”2nd Place
Casandra Hebert
“Monasteries, Meteora, and Me”
This image comes from Meteora, Greece. At this site visit, we had the opportunity to visit monasteries. These monasteries are known for their unique design, as if they are “floating” among the clouds. They are one of the sacred spaces we visited in Greece, and one of my favorites. The beauty of this image is in the silence. Meteora was a quiet place and the monasteries were a sacred ground that our class was able to quietly reflect in. Today, there are 6 monasteries that remain in the area, with nuns and monks who reside in them. I found the diversity of people and religions in Greece to be fascinating. While our class was focused on ancient religions of the Bronze Age, we also explored other religions and ages. Greece is a diverse land with a culture of respect and honor. There are no pictures inside the monastery because of how sacred the space is. But one can quietly reflect inside and outside of the space…
Meteora, Greece
January 20, 2022

photo: Noah Dunham “Home”3rd Place
Noah Dunham
This picture represents the end of a long journey backcountry camping with people from all over the world – using the Norwegian way of outdoor winter travel. Better views are hard to ask for. Waking up to ski into the sunrise became more enjoyable each day.
Bø, Norway
February 2, 2022

Scenes from Around the World Category

Be inspired by your new surroundings. Qualifying photos for this category may include wildlife, plants, natural and urban landscapes and landmarks.

photo: Isaac Madsen-Bibeau “London's Double Decker Bus”1st Place
Isaac Madsen-Bibeau
“London’s Double Decker Bus”
I thought that the older iconic London bus in front of the newer skyline was visually interesting, as well as the composition of the bridge in the foreground with the urban areas below it.
London, UK
September 21, 2022

photo: Noah Dunham “Ice Ice Baby”2nd Place
Noah Dunham
“Ice Ice Baby”
A beautiful sunset coming out on a cold ice day in Norway. Days like this are hard to not be appreciative of. In Norway, views like this can become a common occurrence. But every single time, it’s worth stopping for.
Bø, Norway
January 20, 2022

photo: Jerdil Castillo “Capulálpam de Méndez”3rd Place
Jerdil Castillo
“Capulálpam de Méndez”
I took this photo while in the intensive Spanish study class of Oaxaca 2022. We were on our Group Ecotourism Study Tour in Capulálpam de Méndez (Land of the Capulin Tree). During this tour students got to visit and learn about the Zapotec culture and people of Oaxaca Mexico. Students got to participate on a two-day tour of several Zapotec villages while also camping in the Capulálpam de Méndez mountains.
Capulálpam de Méndez, México
January 23, 2022

Wang Center Staff Pick

photo: Brooke Nelson “Los Papeles Picados”Brooke Nelson
“Los Papeles Picados”
This hung over one of the main pedestrian streets in the Centro district in downtown Oaxaca de Juarez. Our group walked under this our first full day in Oaxaca and were all immediately captured by the bright colors and pure volume of papel picados that were used to make this. This was just one example of many of the brightly colored streets and buildings of Southern Mexico which greatly differ from the United States.
Oaxaca, Mexico
January 6, 2022


1st Place
Casandra Hebert
“The 5 F’s of Studying Away at PLU”

The 5 F’s of Studying Away are Friends, Food, Faculty, Fun, and Furry Friends. I have found from my time abroad in Greece, it is these things that make PLU’s study away programs so special. The friendships made over the span of a few weeks are ones that I will cherish forever. The food that we consumed and connected over was something so unique. Featured in the video is Kekkos Cafe. Kekkos is a small cafe in Athens, Greece run by a man named Demetrius (featured in the video). During my first time visiting Kekkos, I turned around and found a PLU flag sitting on a table. It blew my mind that PLU has made an impact across the world in a small cafe in Greece. Demetrius is a kind man who taught us Greek, gave us so many delicious Greek pastries and cookies, and became a friend to us all. He has seen many PLU students come through his doors and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to connect with him. Demetrius would learn everyone’s names and he also gave our entire class Kekkos t-shirts! In my study away trip I also found Dr. Finitsis to be one of the best professors I have ever had. He has an amazing way of caring about and connecting with students, challenging us, and making us laugh. He is what makes PLU feel like home. I also included “Fun” and “Furry Friends” in my video because I think we need to remember the value in connection and community. Visiting the miniature horses of Rhodes was such a fun, unique experience that I don’t think I would have gained without studying away with PLU. Studying away can sometimes feel complicated and it can be hard to summarize such an adventure, but I found that my experience could be encompassed by five (alliterative) words.

2nd Place
Noah Dunham
“Study Away in Norway”

Why study away is an important question to be answered, one that can hopefully come easier to understand after watching this video. The process is not the easiest, but the best things in life can be hard to get. The work to get to the point of studying away in Norway became more and more worth it with each interaction, city, sunrise, and countless other variables. In this video you will see my process of making it to Norway, why I am here, and how I spend my time as a college student here. Remember, you could be doing this too!