Hope in the sky: rainbow image wins top honors in holiday photo contest

Annie Wang impressed the judges with this image of a wide-banded rainbow seeming to float in the sky over Oakes College.
A rainstorm had just soaked the campus. The walkways were muddy. Even the banana slugs ran for cover. But a student photographer named Annie Wang was there at just the right moment.

After the storm broke, she took a snapshot of a rainbow stretching from a cloud above Oakes College and ending up somewhere over the Monterey Bay coastline.

Her eye for a good shot paid off. The photo beat out 201 other submissions to win a photo contest sponsored by the Chancellor's Office and the Arts Division. The competition sent staff, students and faculty stalking across the 2,100-acre property in search of inspiration.

Wang received a $250 gift certificate for the Bay Tree Bookstore on campus. Her prize-winning picture will be used on the campus’s official holiday greeting card this winter.

Chancellor George Blumenthal praised the winning entry's beauty, while calling attention to its meaning as a symbol of optimism, diversity and gay pride. "The rainbow signifies hope for the new year," he said.

The chancellor chose the winner from a list of semifinalists, who have received honorable mentions for their work. But he had some help with this process; a team of reviewers whittled down the list after reviewing all 202 entries.

Photographers given honorable mentions receive a certificate of acknowledgment.

Honorable mentions were given to photos sent in by:

Gabriella Appolonio, student

Scott Campbell, student

Monica Chu, student

Jennifer Fish, staff

Eric Lau, student

Helen Park, graduate student

Samantha Rivera-Alvidrez, student

Emily Sales, student

Jennifer Welling, staff

Alexandro Zamora, student

Han Zhang, student