2021 Photo Contest Winners

The Global Spartan Photo Contest is an annual event that coincides with our Global Spartan Month festivities. Each year, we ask San Jose State University students to share their unique cultural perspective through photos and short narrative. Photos could be taken anywhere in the world (including the U.S.) and must be accompanied by a brief description that responds to the questions: What aspect of culture does this photo represent? Why is this photo important to me? 

The Global Spartan Month Planning Committee selects the winner of the Most Impactful Narrative prize and also determines our set of finalists. Finalists then have their photographs and narratives posted on our Instagram and Facebook pages, where our first, second, and third place Fan Favorite winners are determined by the public.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a photo entry and to all those who voted. Congratulations to all our finalists and a special congratulations to our winners! 

Winner: Most Impactful Narrative

Thi (Blue) Nguyen, MA Journalism & Mass Communication

Gregory Johnson–A decade doesn’t ease the pain. (San Jose, CA)

“Gregory Johnson’s death is a controversial topic, especially in SJSU community. I took this photo at a protest on October 10, 2020, where Gregory’s mother shared why she believed her son was killed as a result of racism, objecting to the police’s conclusion that he suicided. After 12 years, the pain is still in her eyes. This is how I learn about the real agony of racism, and also, about sympathy.”

Fan Favorite: First Place

Aadesh Sharma, MS Industrial Engineering 

Famous Dagduseth Ganesh Temple Pune (Pune, India) 

“This photo was clicked during the Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the widely celebrated hindu festival in India. This is culturally important for me because it teaches us how we should come together and help each other in need. During the tough Covid times we all are connected to each other through praying Lord Ganesha helping to fight this pandemic. With the blessings of God our life will be normal again.”

Fan Favorite: 2nd Place

Rachael Allen, BS Biochemistry

Queen’s Life Guard Ceremony (London, England) 

“For many centuries horses have been an essential part of England’s majesty in warfare and royal and state occasions. This photo represents how a country can keep the rich history of its past while celebrating its heritage and reminding all of its accomplishments, but also recognizing its injustices. This photo is important to me because I believe that the history of the past should not be lost.”

Fan Favorite: 3rd Place

Juwon (Kelly) Lee, BA Graphic Design

Welcome to Korea (South Korea) 

“Lotte World Tower is the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest in the world with 123 floors. People can find the aspects of Korean food and fashion, as well as the beautiful nightlife of Korea inside of the tower. This tower has gained a reputation as one of Korea’s most frequently visited tourist places and it also became a symbol of the country’s economic advancement.”