Jessica McCoy was taking part in an academic service learning semester in India when she took a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges River, which runs through Varanasi, a holy city in the Hindu faith. As the sun rose, the senior liberal arts major looked over at the shore.
There she saw dozens of women, dressed in their finest attire, lining the banks, taking part in the Chhath festival, where they stand on the banks of the river all night and then worship the sun the next morning to ask for health and prosperity for their husbands, children and future ones.
McCoy picked up her camera in an effort to capture the color of the clothing, and in doing so also captured first place in the University’s second annual international photo contest. “India lends itself nicely to taking amazing pictures,” says McCoy, who won a Canon G-7 camera. “The colors in my photo are an everyday occurrence. Color is very much a part of their entire wardrobe.” Alumni also took part in the contest, with Rebecca Collins, Class of 2000, winning for a photo of a boy taken in Kenya.