2022 GPS Photo Contest

The following are the winning images in the 2022 GPS Photo Contest, A Global Lens: Changing Perspectives. Photos were judged in the three categories below and winners selected by a panel of judges. 

Congratulations to the winners and our thanks to all who participated!


Relationships, communities, or interactions that were formative during a student's international experience


Enter in | Karen Cruz | Human Needs and Global Resources (Philippines)

This photo was taken while on a home visitation in Palanyag, a neighborhood built on top of an old dumpsite. Despite the conditions and their limited space, families are always open and welcoming to visitors. Throughout my internship, I spent a lot of time building connections with and learning from the people who live here.

Winner | Recipient of $100 Giftcard, courtesy of the Contemporary Music Center (CMC)


Chameleons Love Coffee Trees | Alyssa Milligan | Uganda Studies Program @ UCU

We sighted a chameleon while picking coffee with my host family on their coffee plantation.
Host Brother: "Have you ever seen this before?"
Me: "No"
Host Brother: “Then you should be taking pictures...”
We picked for several hours and had fun along the way.

Runner-up | Recipient of $50 Giftcard, courtesy of the Uganda Studies Program @ UCU


Lest we Forget| Ruth Wu | Human Needs and Global Resources (Canada)

The Saskatchewan River is the most popular place in the city, but also painful because it roughly separates the more affluent neighborhood from the urban poor. These rocks are a form of community dialogue as anyone can paint on a rock and leave it for others to see. Many of the painted rocks hold political meaning. The orange rocks represent the Every Child Matters movement and the First Nations who have suffered from residential schools. The red handprints raise awareness of the disproportionate number of murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada. I, and others, bear witness to the conversations happening in the city through these rocks.

Runner-up | Recipient of $50 Giftcard, courtesy of the Gordon in Orvieto program 


Spaces abroad that shaped a student's perspective...where they lived, learned, worked, volunteered, or frequented


A Home of Praise | Abigail Rood | Human Needs and Global Resources (India)

This is our small church in Bihar, India. Despite the danger of being Christians in this country, this small home covered by a tarp to keep out the rain, holds about 30 Indian men and women who gather each week to praise the God who has not given up on them. It has been an honor to call this place my church, sing Hindi worship songs, wear a saree, and learn from these people in this incredible room.

Winner | Recipient of $100 Giftcard, courtesy of Jerusalem University College


Church in the East | Anna Catherine McGraw | Semester in Jerusalem

This sanctuary of an Eastern Orthodox Church, with its artful icons that grace the inside, is a sight that has become quite familiar to me these past few months and I have grown to love. This exquisitely crafted art and architecture also makes up much of the interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the very place where Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again. 

Runner-up | Recipient of $50 Giftcard, courtesy of Jerusalem University College


Karen in the Sunlight at Misol-ha | Erika Filer Everest | Human Needs and Global Resources (Mexico)

This is my friend and host sister, Karen, at Misol-ha, a waterfall in Chiapas, Mexico. As we walked there, Karen told me how playing in the river at the waterfall shaped her childhood. So much of my learning during my internship was shaped by my host family's connection to the place they lived and loved. Spending the day with Karen at Misol-ha was a beautiful time to reflect on the cultural and ecological learning she and her family had shared with me over the previous six months.

Runner-up | Recipient of $50 Giftcard, courtesy of the Trinity Christian College Semester in Spain program


Activities, experiences, learning opportunities, or practices that were impactful


Reflection | Emily Birks | Asbury Paris Semester

By exploring the city of Auvers-sur-Oise, I was able to understand the places which influenced Van Gogh in his paintings and artwork. It was impactful to learn about the history of the town while observing present-day culture. This image demonstrates the blending of both past and present in one cohesive moment.

Winner | Recipient of $100 Giftcard, courtesy of DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia


Loy Krathong at Kok River | Valerie Halim | Human Needs and Global Resources (Thailand)

Loy Krathong is an annual Thai festival where people would float Krathongs (floating vessel) down the river to thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha (Thai: พระแมคงคา) or to worship the Buddha's hair pagoda in the heaven. My host family is Karen (Sgaw) and Christian, but they still float the krathongs every year in the river right by their village as a cultural practice and as a way to thank their own God.

Runner-up | Recipient of $50 Giftcard, courtesy of the Uganda Studies Program @ UCU


Una Danza para el Señor (A Dance for the Lord) | Isaiah Loya | Wheaton in México

Walking out of class, I heard the sound of beating drums and shouting coming from el Templo de la Santa Cruz, a Catholic church close by. Approaching the church, I saw indigenous men and women, young and old, dancing in the church's quarters. At first, I thought this was a dance for the ancient indigenous gods, but after talking to some of the dancers realized that they were worshipping the Lord. The scene took on new meaning, as though witnessing heaven's courts.

Runner-up | Recipient of $50 Giftcard, courtesy of International SOS

President’s Pick


Contemplation | Cailin Elliott | Wheaton in England

On the other side of the fence from our youth hostel was a beautiful meadow. One night, some friends and I leaned against the fence and recited our favorite poetry to each other. It became a spot I revisited—it reminded me of God's gifts of creation and creativity.

Winner | Recipient of $200 Giftcard, courtesy of International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (ISDSI)

Dean of GPS Selection


Amigos | Josiah Havens | Wheaton in México

So many deep conversations, tacos, and laughs. These relationships really exemplified the beauty that comes from friendship. 

Winner | Recipient of $150 Giftcard, courtesy of Dr. Laura Montgomery, Dean of Global Programs and Studies

Judges’ Selection


Toto Frances | Sarah Max | Uganda Studies Program @ UCU

Toto Frances was my host mom during my rural homestay in Uganda. She is a retired Head Matron nurse at the local hospital and is a pillar in her community known for her strength, kindness, and care. She still goes to the hospital and helps when staffing is short. Her hospitality and strength of character will forever impact and inspire me.

Winner | Recipient of $100 Giftcard, courtesy of IAU (Institute for American Universities)


Doorway in Jerusalem | Michael Harvey Read | Semester in Jerusalem

When I was in Jerusalem, I was told the best way to get to know the city was to walk through any and every doorway that was left open. 

Runner-up | Recipient of $50 Giftcard, courtesy of CIEE


Small Town, Great Beauty | Embeba Benson | Wheaton in Spain

This photo shows the beauty of Mogarraz, a town in the Sierras, and the life there. You can see a painting of a person on the wall which signifies that the person painted lives in that building. The unique thing about the town is that they paint pictures of the people that live in the buildings and display them outside by the doors and windows. It is a small town, so most people know who lives where and with whom. Because of how beautiful and welcoming everything was I wanted to be part of this community—a community more like a big family. 

Runner-up | Recipient of $50 Giftcard, courtesy of International SOS