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OHIO’s Sara Lewkowicz named College Photographer of the Year

Nov 12, 2013

"Shane and Maggie" / Photo by Sara Lewkowicz

OHIO’s Sara Lewkowicz named College Photographer of the Year

Six of last 8 winners hail from Scripps College’s VisCom program

By Erin Roberts

ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 12, 2013)—Sara Lewkowicz, a graduate student in the School of Visual Communication (VisCom) in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, has been named the College Photographer of the Year in the 68th annual College Photographer of the Year competition.

She becomes the sixth VisCom student to win the title in the past eight years. VisCom Interim Director Stan Alost says the competition is the oldest student photography competition and includes entries from all over the world.

Indeed, according to the CPoY website, still images and multimedia projects by 634 student photographers from 115 colleges and universities in 19 countries were judged Nov. 4-10 at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.

Lewkowicz, who won the competition mainly due to her work on domestic violence, has enjoyed a year of accolades including the Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Award, the 2013 Alexia Foundation award and the Award of Excellence in the 2013 White House News Photographer Association ‘The Eyes of History™’ student contest. She said she was “flabbergasted” upon hearing about her CPoY win.

“I still can't believe it’s real,” she said. “There’s so much talent in that competition. It's really a huge honor to be among so many of my talented peers, especially my talented peers from OU.”

OHIO VisCom students won more than 20 percent of the total awards. Lewkowicz garnered Gold in both Documentary and Portfolio. Alumnus Alex Goodlett won Gold in the Sports Feature category and second-year graduate student Lauren Pond won Gold in Solo Journalist Multimedia Story or Essay. A full list of judges and winners can be found at http://www.cpoy.org/index.php?s=WinnersList.

“It is delightful and a recognition of the caliber of students we attract, both in the overall win and the number awards that were won by Ohio University students,” said Alost. “It speaks to the long-running success of the program and the faculty that help students start their careers.”

The College Photographer of the Year Competition was founded by Cliff and Vi Edom in 1945. The University of Missouri administers the contest with support from its co-sponsor, Nikon Inc., whose generosity allows CPOY to offer free entry to college students worldwide. The College Photographer of the Year, Runner-up College Photographer of the Year and winners in the Sports Portfolio, Documentary, Solo Journalist Multimedia Story and Multimedia Project (Individual/Small Team) categories of the contest are awarded equipment and additional educational opportunities provided by Nikon Inc., Media Storm and the Summit and Missouri Photo Workshops.

As part of the win, Lewkowicz will intern at National Geographic. Currently, she is working on two projects in London, thanks to funding from the Alexia Foundation.

While she plans to return to OHIO in the fall to finish her degree, she isn’t sure what will come after that.

“I'm trying to take it a year at a time, things change so quickly…this time last year, I wouldn't have thought I'd end up here,” she said.

As the College Photographer of the Year, Lewkowicz wins a Nikon Digital SLR Camera set, a 14-week internship at National Geographic Magazine, a National Press Photographers Foundation $1,000 scholarship award honoring the memory of Colonel William J. Lookadoo, a plaque and an expense-paid trip to the annual Pictures of the Year International & College Photographer of the Year.

To view Lewkowicz’ work, visit saranaomiphoto.com.