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  • Human Culture and Creativity
  • Human Rights and Geopolitical Challenges
  • Population
  • Health
  • Food and Water
  • Climate Change and Environment
  • Energy
  • New Technologies
  • Infrastructure and Economy
  • Global Perspectives on Tufts’ Campus

Students were asked to write a brief reflection paragraph to explain their rationale for choosing their photograph and theme. These themes were drawn from the research themes identified through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research’s strategic plan. The contest was judged by Award-Winning Gary Knight, Director of the Program for Narrative & Documentary Practice at the Institute for Global Leadership, and a panel of faculty, staff and students. Photographs were judged on their aesthetic value and on how well they respond to the global theme. Attention was  paid to ensure that photos were well representative of the University as a whole.


The 30 winning photos (first, second and third place in each thematic category) are showcased in a rotating exhibition in the following locations:

  • Arts, Sciences and Engineering: Tisch Library Tower Café (November 2017 – January 2018)
  • Cummings Veterinary School: Location TBD (January 2018 – March 2018)
  • Tufts University School of Medicine/Tufts University School of Dental Medicine: Location TBD (March 2018 – May 2018)
  • Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy: Institute for Human Security (May 2018 - August 2018)

Population, 1st place. Jeeyon Janet Kim, Friedman

Purpose of Travel: Research
Location: Maulali, Nepal

Due to mass male out-migration, families live apart for years and sometimes even decades. I am in awe of these families’ capacity to continue, to live, and to persevere. The seated woman, who had recently lost her husband, asked that I take a photo of her now smaller family. I caught a rare moment of roaring laughter.

Exploring and Expressing Human Culture and Creativity, 1st place. Mariya Ilyas, Fletcher

Purpose of Travel: Internship
Location: Cappadocia, Turkey
Title: "Hope"

I stumbled upon this site on my trip to Cappadocia, Turkey. I was captivated by the tree because something about it felt familiar, as if I had seen it before. As I stood still staring at the abandoned scene, my thoughts wandered down memory lane to the small village in Pakistan where I grew up. I realized what I was looking at was a Wish Tree wrapped in fabric pieces that symbolized people's dreams, wishes, and hopes.

Infrastructure and Economy, 1st place. Liam Brady, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Study
Location: Segovia, Spain

We could learn a thing or two from the Romans. Maybe not how to run a republic, but how to build lasting infrastructure. Completed almost 2000 years ago, the aqueduct of Segovia is still standing and would still be fully operational today if not for the gaps that were created by generations of war and neglect. In an era where our national infrastructure is crumbling from years of neglect, we need to focus our energy not only on fixing what we have already, but also designing structures that stand the test of time, looking to good examples from the past for inspiration on making sustainable infrastructure that will serve us well for generations to come.

Infrastructure and Economy, 2nd place. Ian James, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Study
Location: Ramallah, Palestine

What makes a state a state? A founding mythos, a state sanctioned history, and monuments to great leaders? These are traditional state trappings and all three are on display in the Yasser Arafat museum. Located in his old West Bank headquarters the museum is a powerful structure that serves as a centerpiece for the tourist economy, but also functions as part of Palestine's political infrastructure. Arguments about statehood are widespread in Palestine, but rarely are they displayed as prominently as they are in the Yasser Arafat museum.

Infrastructure and Economy, 3rd place. Kenneth Siu, Cummings

Purpose of Travel: Research
Location: Kotido District, Karamoja, Uganda

The concept of market is much less structured than livestock auctions in the US.  There is no organizing entity, there is only a time and place of gathering.    In some markets, some people would set up stalls to sell food and other items, others simply hung out on the fences with their merchandise and waved passerbys over.  There were no tags on the animals identifying a buyer or seller, yet they somehow all knew which animals were theirs.  I chose this picture because I thought that the market structures of Uganda were so fascinatingly different from livestock auctions and farmers markets in the States.  It is really interesting to see how the structure of these markets are also what help contribute to propagation of certain diseases. 

Human Rights and Geopolitical Challenges, 1st place. Caitlin Thompson, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Study
Location: Moscow, Russia

This is the memorial for Boris Nemtsov on the bridge where he was killed in Moscow, taken two years after his murder. I heard it rumored that the Russian police come every few days to clear off the flowers, but people bring them back every time. Boris Nemtsov was the symbol of change and democracy in Russia, but was murdered -presumably by the government for his role in the opposition - just about 100 yards from the Kremlin walls. The day he died, I was moderating a panel for the 2015 EPIIC symposium on the state of the media in Russia, and I remember an oppositionist journalist telling us how grave the situation really was for people protesting the Kremlin. I understood the gravity of that murder, the danger the opposition faces, more than ever standing at this memorial. My favorite part: his picture is staggered between flower bouquets. And the caption is often "Борись" - Boris but with the added letter at the end, it becomes "Fight!"

Human Rights and Geopolitical Challenges, 2nd place. Ari Gizzi, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Study
Location: Viareggio, Italy

A small girl picks Donald Trump's nose at Carnival in Viareggio in February 2017. Trump is a pervasive symbol of American ridiculousness across the world, showing the power of the media and the internet. His choices as leader of the United States are dangerous and go against the traditional liberal world order. However, while in Italy I found that Italians were more likely to laugh about Trump, likely influenced by their experience with Berlusconi as their prime minister. 

Health, 1st place. Jessaca York, School of Dental Medicine (DMD) and School of Medicine (MPH)

Purpose of Travel: Service Learning
Location: Leogane, Haiti

This photo was taken in April 2017 during the Tufts Student National Dental Association (SNDA)’s first global service learning trip to Haiti. With a mere ~300 dentists for the country’s population of over 11 million people, most Haitians do not have access to professional dental care and typically only seek oral healthcare in cases of dental-related pain. Presently, most dental care in Haiti is provided by foreign dentists during short-term medical volunteer trips.  After the series of natural disasters that have devastated the country’s infrastructure over the past decade, Haiti is no stranger to the lack of sustainability that often results from having foreigners constantly in and out of the country on their missions to “serve” through international aid efforts. I feel it is necessary and critical to think about how this impacts the local people of developing nations like Haiti, especially the children who are still growing and learning how to navigate the world around them amidst an ever-changing social and political landscape. The notion of these children growing up learning to primarily equate the image of success, money, education, health, aid and protection with faces that do not look like their own is dangerous to me, as it presents a threat to their true understanding of the power that lies within their own identities. As activist Marian Wright Edelman has said, “children can’t be what they can’t see.”  I chose this photo because it sheds light on the fact that for one of the few times (and perhaps the only time) in these young children’s lives, the face of foreign aid was not foreign for them. For this pediatric patient in this moment, the face of health, healthcare, and medical expertise looked just like her. As I looked into her and other young patients’ faces to treat them, it was like looking in the mirror and seeing myself within them and in me, them seeing who they can become. We spoke different languages and came from seemingly different worlds, yet it was clear that we all knew we were one in the same. The rich color of our matching complexions tells the story of who we are, where we come from, and the strength and power that exists when we band together as a collected community to care for one another.  In providing care to the children of Leogane, Haiti during my time of service there, I ultimately found that the promise of who these children will become provided care to me as well in return. 

Health, 2nd place. Kenneth Siu, Cummings

Purpose of Travel: Research
Location: kotido district, Karamoja, Uganda

A Karamojong farmer holds one of his sick sheep for us to examine.   This image is a representation of how involved farmers are with the health of their animals while sometimes disregarding their own health. There was no concept of PPE other than what the government workers brought with them.  Many people had lesions on their hands from 'orf' which is a disease that infects both small ruminants and people.  It was just something they lived with.  I chose this picture because you can see many similarities between our farm animal health care and theirs particularly in terms of attitudes towards PPE.  

Climate Change and the Environment, 1st place. Noah Rose, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Research
Location: Ebeye, Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands

While not focusing on any specific aspect of the island, this photo shows Ebeye's relationship with the surrounding water. Various fishing boats and buoys are visible in this photo. Ebeye is only accessible by boat, and that is therefore how all people, goods, and food is brought to the 15,000+ people on the island. A large church is visible towards the end of the island, representing the very religious population whose first contact with the outside world came from Christian missionaries. This water is gradually rising, and will likely make the Marshall Islands the first country to become entirely uninhabitable in the upcoming decades, posing a grave threat to the local population and a major responsibility for developed nations like the United States.

Exploring and Expressing Human Culture and Creativity, 2nd place. Ari Gizzi, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Study
Location: Bologna, Italy

Street art decorates the brick wall, the word "HOPE" clearly emblazoned on the woman's right cheek, while immediately to her left is the faded "RIFUGIO" (Refuge) sign, a reminder of the Second World War which destroyed much of Bologna. This juxtaposition of modern street art next to a symbol of public service in a time of great fear and suffering calls into attention the purpose of public spaces and what they should be used for.


Food and Water 1st place (tie), Alex Cherry, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Study
Location: Assisi, Italy

In Italy, food is an incredibly important part of the culture. Traditional ingredients, dishes, and food preparation techniques, however, are in the process of undergoing great changes from their vast historical diversity to a more standardized and industrialized system more similar to what we see in America. With these sorts of complex changes come the loss of some traditional knowledge, for example how to make a large and delicious meal using ingredients found foraging in the spring pastures. This photo was taken of my fellow students sorting calendula flowers that we had picked ourselves to make into a risotto. In the background of the photo are some other students sorting various other herbs to be converted into a spring salad. While this image may conjure some sorts of romanticized pastoral ideals of Italian farm life, it does seem increasingly anachronistic in our modernized agricultural systems.


Food and water, 1st place (tie), Ian James, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Study
Location: Umm Qais, Jordan

Olive trees overlook the Yarmouk river valley in the foreground, and the Golan Heights in the background. Jordan, Syria, and Israel all make competing claims to the water from the Yarmouk river, and in Jordan the water from the Yarmouk is vital. As one of the most water scarce countries in the world, Jordan regularly grapples with how to provide water to its growing population.

Food and water, 2nd place. Evan Fantozzi, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Internship
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This photo was taken to document sustainable food initiatives underway in informal communities of Rio de Janeiro as a part of my internship with NGO Catalytic Communities, an opportunity funded in part by Tufts’ Anne E. Borghesani Prize. The displayed dinner table is located in a co-op restaurant run by the residents of Vale Encantado (Enchanted Valley), a community situated in the middle of Rio’s Tijuca Forest. This meal cannot be found anywhere else in the city, and probably the country, as it consists of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that grow naturally throughout the community. In the top left corner of the table is Jacalhau, a jack-fruit rendition of the traditional codfish dish Bacalhau. To its right is a pie made from heart-of-banana, followed by a kale-passion fruit juice blend. On the bottom right is a sauce consisting of a variety of local herbs, rounded out by more traditional dishes of rice and tomato-based salad. Even the restaurant itself is run on these meals; a biodigester located below the kitchen turns food waste into high-quality fertilizer for the garden and methane gas for the stoves. I can say, without a doubt, that this was my favorite and most exciting meal while studying abroad in Brazil! 

Global Perspectives on Campus, 1st place. Liam Brady, A&S Undergraduate

Purpose of Travel: Study
Location: Madrid, Spain

As much as we try to have a global-minded education, we are still living in our American bubble. The best way to get a truly global perspective on a Tufts campus is by bringing the Tufts campus to a global context (literally moving it outside of the US). Taken right next to Tufts’ Madrid campus, this photo shows Tufts student Justine Aquino in the process of becoming a local in Madrileño culture by visiting a cafetería she frequents and getting caught up with the news of the country around her.