Penn State Reads launches photo contest for 2017-18 book, ‘It’s What I Do'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Incoming first-year students are encouraged to further their engagement with the Penn State Reads program by participating in a photo and accompanying essay contest.

Two winners will receive a $100 gift card to the Penn State Bookstore for submitting original photographs that share an important message, story or emotion from their communities.

The contest is built around the 2017-18 common book selection, "It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War" by Lynsey Addario. A New York Times bestseller, the memoir chronicles Addario’s career path as a conflict photojournalist covering major humanitarian crises and war-torn countries.

Featuring multi-faceted themes of humanity, identity, and cross-cultural differences, the text stimulates critical thinking — a hallmark of the Penn State Reads program. Addario, a Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Genius grant recipient, will visit the University Park campus on Oct. 16 and 17 to spur deeper discussions.

“Penn State Reads forges meaningful academic and social connections among first-year students through various programming offered throughout the year,” said Barry Bram, the Penn State Reads Committee co-chair and senior director of student engagement programs in the Office of Student Affairs. “In particular, the photo contest aims to create an interactive experience with Lynsey Addario’s book, allowing students to recognize the powerful processes and values embedded within a single image.”       

The contest deadline is Sept. 6, and students of all photography levels are invited to participate in monthly submissions. Images should be at least 1,000 pixels wide by 700 pixels high, with a minimum resolution of 72 DPI.

Penn State will have the right and license to redistribute the images — royalty free — across University-affiliated websites and social media platforms.

Contest entries must also include a one-page essay describing the photo’s context and significance. The essay should establish a strong connection to the Penn State Values of integrity, respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence and community.

A panel of judges will make final selections, with the winning photo featured on the Penn State Reads website and other University media channels. The photo contest application and additional guidelines can be found here.

Penn State Reads is run jointly by Penn State Student Affairs and Penn State Undergraduate Education.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated June 29, 2017