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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 26, 2007

AUDIO SLIDESHOW: To view an audio slideshow of some of the photos that are part of the "Show Us The World Through Your Eyes" exhibit and to hear insights about the importance of study abroad from Janis Perkins, the director of the University of Iowa Office for Study Abroad, and Rachel Bender, a UI student who studied abroad in Ecuador, see

UI Office for Study Abroad announces photo contest winners

The University of Iowa Office for Study Abroad honored the winners of the annual photo contest, "Show us the World Through Your Eyes," at a reception on Thursday, Nov. 15 at the Iowa Memorial Union gallery.

"This year's photo contest is a beautiful visual display of the way in which international education expands our awareness and sensitivity to the world beyond our own culture," said study abroad adviser Lori Eiserman.

Photos were submitted by 56 UI students, from either the perspective of an international student studying in the United States or from the perspective of a U.S. student studying abroad. All of the photos submitted to the contest will be on display in the IMU gallery for the entire month of November.

Award winners were determined by a panel of judges that included Roger Christian of University Camera, Margaret Stratton and John Freyer from the UI Photography Department, and local professional photographer Mark Tade. The International Programs' staff and student workers voted on the Popular Choice awards.

In the "American Views of Abroad" category, Songwei Chen received first place for his photo, "Fermata d'autobus." Chen, a senior art and international studies major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, took the photo while studying abroad in Italy.

Marc Doobay, a graduate student in the College of Medicine who studied abroad in Cuba and China, took the second- and third-place photos. The second-place photo was untitled, while the third-place photo was named "Watery Poetry."

Three photos were selected for the Popular Choice award in the American Views of Abroad category. Kristin Ehrecke, a senior communication studies major in CLAS, won for her photo "Sahara Endless View," taken in Spain. Rachel Bender, a junior international studies major with emphases in global health and Latin American studies in CLAS, won for her photo "Indigenous Life," (left) taken in Ecuador. Brianne Fisher, a junior economics major in the Tippie College of Business, won for her photo "Welcome," taken while studying abroad through the Semester at Sea program.

In the "International Students Views of the U.S." category, first place was awarded to Jerone Hiernard, a graduate student in French from France, for his photo, "Hustle and Bustle."

Yujun Rong, a freshman chemistry and pre-pharmacy major in CLAS from China, received second place for his photo, "BP Gas Station."

Third place was awarded to You-jou Hung, a graduate student in integrative physiology from Taiwan, for his photo "The Lady and Her Dogs."

Two students won the Popular Choice award in the International Students Views of the U.S. category. Maria Abeleda, a graduate student in genetics from the Philippines, won for her photo, "Walking in the Field of Dreams" (right.) Weidong Xu, a graduate student in molecular physiology and biophysics from China, won for his photo, "Kung Fu Fighting Under a Different Sky."

The reception also honored winners of the "Coming to America" essay contest and the Outstanding International Achievement Award.

The Office for Study Abroad is affiliated with the University of Iowa International Programs, which enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lori Eiserman, UI Office for Study Abroad, 319-335-0353,; Kelli Andresen, UI International Programs, 319-335-2026,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Cassandra Lalan