BestSemester Photo Contest Winners Named

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The BestSemester photo contest winning image, "Making a Living," by Christopher Lund, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn., taken while participating in BestSemester's Middle East Studies Program.
The BestSemester photo contest winning image, "Making a Living," by Christopher Lund, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn., taken while participating in BestSemester's Middle East Studies Program.

WASHINGTON--For the second consecutive year, BestSemester invited recent alumni to participate in the 2013 BestSemester Photo Contest. The contest attracted over 75 participants who submitted 325 total photographs.

Contestants were invited to submit photos that reflect their BestSemester experience and fit into one of three categories: Program, Place, or Purpose. The online photo contest allowed the public to almost immediately view entries and eventually vote for their favorite photos.

The grand prize for “Best Overall” photo was awarded to fall 2011 Middle East Studies Program alumnus Christopher Lund, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn., for his photo, “Making a Living,” depicting a Palestinian man mending an old shoe.

When asked what the photo meant to him, Lund responded,

“I like this photo because it is so up close and personal,” he said. “I asked the man if I could take his picture and he didn't mind at all. Up close and personal seems to be a way of life in the Middle East. Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, and Turkish people regularly invited us into their homes, into their shops, and into their lives in a moment's notice. One moment you are on the street corner negotiating a price with a storeowner, the next moment you are sitting in the back of his shop, drinking tea with his family and laughing about his son's reluctance to find a spouse.”

Additional category winners include:

Program Winner: “Student and Teacher,” by Hannah Burgess, Eastern University, St. Davids, Penn., India Studies Program, Spring 2012.

Place Winner: “Hollywood’s Calling Your Name,” by Joe Miller, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Wash., LA Film Studies Center, Fall 2012.

Purpose Winner: “Forgotten Song,” by Tamara Barrett, Taylor University, Upland, Ind., Australia Studies Centre, Spring 2012.

People's Choice Winner: “Live. Laugh. Love. China,” set of photos by Ann Katagiri, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, China Studies Program, Spring 2013.

To view all of the winning photos and further descriptions, visit www.bestsemester.com/photocontest or www.facebook.com/bestsemester.

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About BestSemester: The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities offers 12 off-campus study programs, collectively branded BestSemester®, which expand learning opportunities for students from CCCU campuses and are designated as culture-shaping or culture-crossing programs. Culture-shaping BestSemester programs are: American Studies Program (Washington, D.C.); Contemporary Music Center (Nashville); Los Angeles Film Studies Center (Los Angeles); and Washington Journalism Center (Washington, D.C.). Culture-crossing BestSemester programs are: Australia Studies Centre; China Studies Program; India Studies Program; Latin American Studies Program; Middle East Studies Program; Programmes in Oxford; and Uganda Studies Program. Visit www.bestsemester.com for program details.

About the CCCU:  The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of 172 intentionally Christ-centered institutions around the world. The 118 member campuses in North America are all fully-accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. In addition, 54 affiliate campuses from 20 countries are part of the CCCU. The Council’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. Visit www.cccu.org.