Looking through the lens of a Queen’s Student

Looking through the lens of a Queen’s Student

By Nikta Sadati, Division of Student Affairs

February 28, 2022


With many students located all around the world over the past months due to COVID-19, the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC)’s annual photo contest promotes a coming together of our community through photography.

This year’s submissions to the 14th annual QUIC Student Photo Contest transport the viewer to places like China and Australia, as well as reflecting striking moments and scenes in Kingston and Ontario. The photographs capture the diverse experiences and daily lives of Queen’s students who are studying internationally, as well as those who find the moments of beauty on our campus and in our city.

The overall winner of the 2022 contest is Alvin Li (Comm ’25), who submitted his photograph, “Maid in the Mist,” to the “Nature” category. The photo captures a breathtaking moment at Niagara Falls.

“This photo was taken during the 2021 Fall reading week when I was visiting Niagara Falls,” Li says. “Exactly 20 years ago, my father and mother took a trip to Canada and visited Niagara Falls not long after they got married. I wasn’t born yet, and my father and mother would have never imagined that one day their son would be conquering the challenges of living and studying abroad independently. Seeing this scenery, I couldn’t help feeling grateful for my own efforts and my parents for raising me.”

This year’s contest saw 214 submissions. The winners were chosen by a panel of local photographers and arts leaders who judged the photographs on originality, composition, visual impact, and innovative means of delivering a message.

“With passion for the medium of photography, I was honoured to be part of the panel in this popular annual contest,” says Reza Alaeifar (MA’23), and an international student himself. “The 2022 submissions were strong and gave insight into the diversity of student experience. The panel shared appreciation for the knowledge and talent we find in our communities.”

In addition to the overall winner, the contest awards recipients in five categories:

  • People and Culture: Zhihan Hu (CompSci ’23), “The Way to Tomorrow”, Shanghai, China. 
  • Nature: Rogney Piedra Arencibia (PhD Phil ’23), “Sparrow Bokeh”, Kingston, ON.
  • Critical Global Issues: Sixuan Zhang (ArtSci ’24), “Commuter in the Desert”, Dunhuang, China.
  • Instagram People’s Choice Winner: Atefeh Azizitorghabeh (PhD Candidate - Mining Eng), “Women Power”, Kingston, ON.
  • Facebook People’s Choice Winner: Diego Stevenson Chavarria (Comm’25), “Xenia and a Dune”, Moreton, Australia.

Stevenson Chavarria is an international student from Costa Rica whose photograph represents his journey to the Queen’s community.

“About two years ago, my plan was to remain and do my undergrad in Costa Rica. My parents convinced me to do one more year of school and go on a global high school trip organized by a Canadian high school,” he explains. “This trip was very meaningful because I felt so at home with the Canadians that I decided to come and study in Canada. I took this picture during this trip, and I will always cherish these memories. It shaped who I am and landed me at Queen’s.”

The contest is part of QUIC’s ongoing efforts to promote connection and engage our community in this unique period of study.

The complete 2022 QUIC photo contest gallery is available on Flickr.

Visit the QUIC Facebook page and website to learn more about upcoming events and activities.