Campus to Cast Votes for ‘PIC pics’ Photo Contest

GVL/ Sara Carte
Work from students who studied abroad will be displayed until October 22nd at Padnos International Center.

GVL/ Sara Carte Work from students who studied abroad will be displayed until October 22nd at Padnos International Center.

Ben Glick

The author GK Chesteron once said that the traveler sees what he sees, and the tourist sees what the traveler has already seen. While many students on Grand Valley’s campus may see what other travelers have already seen in Lake Ontario Hall, they may also be inspired to pave paths of their own.

Beginning Aug. 25 and going until Sept. 12, students will have the chance to choose the winners of the Padnos International Center’s 2014 Photo Contest. The photos have been supplied by the PIC from students cataloguing their experience while studying abroad over the year.

Megan Lendman, Student Peer Advisor for the PIC, helped organize the 2014 photo contest along with Outreach Coordinator Alissa Lane.

“The point of it is to show people what others are doing abroad and give them glimpses of what people, their peers specifically, are doing,” Lendman said. 

Before votes are tallied and winners selected on Sept. 12, students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to meet the photographers at an open house on Sept. 10 in the Red Wall Gallery.

“It’s a great way to get everyone connected,” Lendman said. “All of the photographers are going to come and be able to meet alumni and students.”

The PIC prescreened its entries for photos that best fit into six categories, narrowing down the scores of entries to 50 per category. 

With the finalists picked, it’s up to the GVSU community to decide the winners. Voting will be held in room 130 of Lake Ontario Hall.

“All of our photographs we’ve ever used are student photographs and some of them are simply amazing,” Lendman said.

The PIC is always accepting photos of students’ experiences abroad, which can be submitted through their GVSU webpage. 

“If there is actually a contest later that you haven’t applied to, you can still apply to that contest even if your photos are in this contest,” Lendman said. 

One of the major goals of the photo contest is to encourage more students to look into study abroad opportunities.

According to the PIC, only about 2 percent of students study abroad, amounting to 600-800 students. In addition, many of these students say their experiences abroad are the best things they’ve done at GVSU.

Lendman agreed, adding, “There are so many advantages that really just captivate people into thinking about what it could mean for them.”

By exposing students to the collection of experiences captured on film, the PIC hopes to interest more students in the study abroad program.

The PIC website says, “Study abroad enriches students on a professional, academic and personal level. Students enhance their competitive edge in the career world, as more and more sectors of our economy involve working with international companies.”

For the time being though, Lendman said the contest will let students see through the eyes of those who have studied abroad to consider doing it themselves.

“Seeing is believing,” she said. “The biggest thing that stops people, I think, is there are so few people who study abroad…The photographs are to help people see the experiences that have already happened and that maybe it could be for them.”

More information on the 2014 Photo Contest and other upcoming PIC events can be found on their website at

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