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#YorkU 2016 Student Photo Contest Sparks Imagination, Captures Beauty

#YorkU 2016 Student Photo Contest Sparks Imagination, Captures Beauty

TORONTO, January 26, 2017-- If a picture is worth a thousand words, York University’s 2016 Student Photo Contest submissions tell an inspiring story. Students submitted more than 600 photo entries with Instagram posts using the hashtags #OpenYourMind and #YorkU, generating more than 12,000 votes.

Prizes for the top three photos were tuition credits valued at $1,000, $750 or $500. The student photo submissions highlight York’s vibrant and diverse campuses from a unique student perspective.

The overall environment is an important aspect of the learning experience. York is known for new ways of thinking and fostering diverse perspectives. The contest provided an opportunity for current students to express their unique perspectives, through photography, of any of York’s four campuses – from Toronto, Ontario, to the rainforests of Costa Rica, to Hyderabad, India.

And the winners are…

1st: Mitchell Palmer, 3rd year engineering student, Lassonde School of Engineering

2nd: Michelle Nelson, 1st year kinesiology student, Faculty of Health

3rd: Julia Degutis,  3rd year psychology student, Glendon Campus

Bergeron Centre at York University

First place winner, Mitchell Palmer’s stunning photo of a view of the Bergeron Centre surrounded by green space won out as the first place pick


“I took about a hundred photos of just this spot alone,” said Palmer, “I think it’s the most beautiful spot on campus. What I really love about York is that it has a really good mix… So you have the buildings but you also have a lot of areas to just chill and sit outdoors.”

The student photos showcased incredible diversity in what inspired them - from hidden gems and vibrant nature scenes, to stunning modern architecture. Some highlights include:

  • Student-focused and technology-enhanced learning spaces at the Life Sciences Building, with 120,000 square feet of labs.
  • Landscape scenes mixed with architecture, like the bird’s-eye view of the Lassonde School of Engineering's Bergeron Centre of Engineering Excellence from the arboretum.
  • The beauty of York’s bilingual mid-town Glendon Campus athletic facility, seen through a reflection off the indoor pool.
  • The new EcoCampus, located in a stunning rain forest in the heart of Costa Rica.

All of the images were unique, and interesting, but only three could win. To view the whole image collection, visit:


York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.