Winners 2011 - 2012



2012 Grand Prize Winner

‘WE DID IT!’ Denis Gostev (Baruch 2012) won an iPad for this image in the 2012 Student Photo Challenge. It shows the victory of the Staten Island Dolphins over the Baruch Bearcats in the 2011 CUNY Athletic Conference Baseball Championship. He won the September 2011 competition with this image and captured the January 2012 competition with another. Gostev hopes to make a career in sports photography. 


May '12 - Winner #9

May 2012 winner portrait 2 May 2012 winner

“It's Finals Week,” set in John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s new building, depicts a quiet moment between exams. A student's angular sprawl and orange blouse serve as counterpoint to the gray and black geometry of floor and bench. "Who said studying cannot be relaxing? No need to pull out your hair and panic," says photographer Hassan Mokaddam. In the new building, "There is more room available for students to study. The addition of couches and sofas provides students with a higher level of comfort when it comes to studying or socializing."

Hassan Mokaddam, a graduating senior, earned a B.A. in English with a minor in philosophy this spring. "While photography started as a hobby for me, I'd like to continue taking photos and see where it may lead me to. I also plan to pursue a career in the legal field. I will be to applying to attend law school in 2013," he says. He adds that he made this image with the CUNY Photo Challenge in mind. "I walked around John Jay and looked around, trying to find what I thought would be a good representation of the lifestyle of CUNY students."

April '12 - Winner #8

April winner portrait April winner

“A Minute of Silence to Study” captures a much-sought time “in the regular life of students, when they find the perfect moment to read notes for the next class,” according to photographer Natali Cabrera of Queensborough Community College. “Every little detail of a student’s life is interesting, but finding a quiet place to relax after class or to read a good book is often complicated, but it’s not impossible. That was the main reason for taking the photo.”

Natali Cabrera, a liberal arts and science major at Queensborough, expects to graduate in 2014. She anticipates pursuing a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing communication, perhaps at Fashion Institute of Technology-SUNY. She says that she brought her camera to campus looking to make a photo to enter into this contest. “My camera is always with me to catch the better moments of life, but the activity that I most enjoy is a good movie. Paying attention to every single detail and enjoying how a group of people created such a thing is amazing.”

March '12 - Winner #7

Alina Melnikova March 12 winner

"Help Us Feed the Homeless" shows the teamwork behind a successful fundraising event by Hospitality Management students at New York City College of Technology. To benefit CHIPS (Christian Help in Park Slope), they served up a healthy lunch to students and staff for $5. "This picture visually and emotionally communicates with a viewer," says photographer Alina Melnikova. "There are a lot of things going on in the foreground, but the idea is that we can change things. That makes this photograph strong."

Alina Melnikova, a communications design/advertising major at City Tech, made this image for New Tech Times, the student-run newspaper. She expects to graduate in 2014 or 2015. In her spare time, she says she likes "taking pictures, exploring things online, reading books, visiting galleries and museums. I try to get as much visual experience as I can."

February '12 - Winner #6

Bayla Bryski feb 2012 winner Feb 2012 winner

"Paso Doble" captures a moment in the Brooklyn College dance studio as Emily Lin and Abraham Bloom rehearse a paso doble, a two-step Spanish dance inspired by the music and movements of bullfighting. "You can tell how in tune these dance partners are with each other," explains photographer Bayla Bryski. "Emily seems safe and well balanced in Abe's firm hold as she takes a brief moment to pose for the camera. The Brooklyn College library tower stands impressively in the background."

Bayla Bryski, who expects to receive a bachelor's degree in nutrition this year, intends to become a registered dietician specializing in sports. She says she made this photo "because this was my second semester taking a Ballroom Dance class and I wanted to capture some of the more experienced dancers. The lighting in the dance studio, coupled with the graceful movements of the dancers, made for some great shots." In her spare time Bayla enjoys biking, dancing "and, of course, photography."

January '12 - Winner #5

Gostev_bigger Jan 2012 winner

”Relay for Life,” an impressionistic image in which a slow shutter speed turns walking students into blurs, adds motion to this shot of Baruch College’s nonstop fundraising walkathon around the gym last April 1. Students walked from 5 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday, raising $80,000 to combat cancer, as well as to boost awareness and support survivors and people battling the disease.

Notching his second win in CUNY’s Student Photo Contest – in which judges are unaware of the photographer’s identity – is Baruch senior Denis Gostev. He shot the image for the student newspaper, The Ticker, explaining: “The image described the essence of the event, with a ‘Hope’ sign in the center and walking people in the foreground.” After graduation this year, he intends to work as a photographer.

December '11 - Winner #4

Monica Li Dec 2011

"Spirals" captures the stairs at the William and Anita Newman Library at Baruch College. The stairs face the glass canopy overhanging Bernard Baruch Way, or East 25th Street, in Manhattan.

Monica Li is a junior working on a B.A. in psychology. “Maybe it was the light passing through the glass that caught my attention as I was making my way down the stairs. I just thought I should capture that moment,” she says. “We students, who simply walk up and down these stairs every day, never notice how beautiful something can be until we actually take a moment to look at it.” After graduation, Li intends to look for a satisfying job. In her spare time, she says, “I love playing with my pet parakeets.”

November '11 - Winner #3

C Chan October 11

"Brooklyn College's Lily Pond" shows students taking a break outside the campus library during unseasonably warm weather this fall.

Catherine Chan is a senior who expects to enter SUNY Downstate College of Medicine next summer as part of a B.A./M.D. program after graduating from Brooklyn College and Macaulay Honors College; she also will earn a B.S. in biology. "In light of my graduation from Brooklyn College, I took this photo in order to provide myself a visual means of remembering my undergraduate education," she says. "What I found most interesting is the way it captures how the rays of the sun penetrate the foliage and lift the morning fog." In her spare time, she swims for the Brooklyn College Bulldogs, rides horses and volunteers with GallopNYC, a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding to children with disabilities.

October '11 - Winner #2

October 11

“Reflection of wait…” On the City College campus, the century-old Shepard Hall reflects in 1984 North Academic Center (NAC).

Michael Hardy is majoring in economics and hopes for “a career affording ample time for family – my wife and daughters -- and artistic endeavors.” He says that what interested him in making this photo was “the juxtaposition of the old and new campus, the rich detail of Shepard Hall and the strong, clean, lines of the NAC window mullions, flag poles and quad pavers."


September '11 - Winner #1

September 11 "We did it"
Denis Gostev Photographer/Student: Denis Gostev

"We Did It!" After a 10th inning knockout, the College of Staten Island Dolphins celebrate their 1-0 victory over the Baruch College Bearcats, claiming their second consecutive CUNY Athletic Conference Baseball Championship title on May 3 at Coney Island’s MCU Park.

Denis Gostev, a philosophy and math major, hopes to go into sports photography after graduating from Baruch College in 2012. Besides covering sports, he enjoys making photographs of wildlife, particularly birds. He shot the winning image for CUNY Athletics and says in an e-mail that what he likes about this picture is that it captures an "exhilarating moment [with a] single clear point which grabs an eye and depicts the moment [of victory] (player with open arms)." He also likes the "completeness of the image (nothing to be added to be understood and no unnecessary distracting elements)." That completeness, he adds, includes "identifiable CUNY outfits."

Use your camera to capture a compelling moment at CUNY and win an iPad! Enter our monthly student photo competition by the 25th of every month and, if you’re a winner, you and your photo will be featured during the following month on the homepage billboard, the contest winners page and CUNY Facebook, which also will show two runners-up. In June 2013, the winning photos will compete for best student photo of the year, with the top photographer being awarded an iPad. So enter now >>

What judges look for: 

Our panel of professional photographers, editors and graphic artists looks for images that say something about our students, faculty, staff, a CUNY college or a campus activity. Images that tell stories are especially favored, including human interest topics and depictions. For the winning photos of 2012-2013, click here.


For information, enter now >>