Foundation News

Winners of 2012 College Seen photo competition announced

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—January 15, 2013—Nine California Community College students have been awarded first place in the 2012 College Seen photography competition, with City College of San Francisco student Mike Nero taking the grand prize for his photo of a City College softball player. 

Now in its sixth year, College Seen draws hundreds of entries from community college students throughout the state each year. This year's winners were selected from a pool of 445—among the largest-ever in the contest’s history. Entries were judged by a panel that included several community college photography instructors.  

Nero’s photo of a softball player warming up for a game provides an image of one aspect of community college life. Together with the other competition entries, the photos paint a portrait of the California Community Colleges that is as diverse as the 112 colleges themselves. This year, the winning photos capture everything from students commuting to classes on their bicycles to perfecting the trade or craft for which they are preparing.  

“Year after year, the College Seen photo competition provides a venue that allows community college students to tell a story of their college experience while earning recognition for their artistic capabilities. At the same time, it allows our organization to make a meaningful connection with and impact on the very students we strive to support through our work," said Keetha Mills, President and CEO of the Foundation for California Community Colleges, which co-sponsors the contest along with the CollegeBuys purchasing program. 

Eight California Community College students in addition to Nero received first place in separate categories, all selected based on their visual impact, technical execution, style, and category relevancy. Category winners include:

Campus Elements: Michael Clark, Santa Barbara City College

Campus Life: Jonathan Choi, Mt. San Antonio

Career Prep/Work Experience: Karen Zuniga, San Joaquin Delta College

Portrait and Personality: Maren McCallister, American River College

Sustainability in Action: Dana McDevitt, Mt. San Jacinto

Technology and Learning: Irving Ramirez, San Bernardino Valley College

College in an Instant with Instagram:

        - First Place: Elizabeth Henry, Shasta College

        - People’s Choice: Claudia Maria, Foothill College 

In addition to various categories that have traditionally been a part of College Seen, this year’s competition also included a special category called “College in an Instant with Instagram,” which allowed students to capture and submit photos using the Instagram app on their smartphones. The photos submitted via Instagram were shared and voted on by students, and the entry with the most “likes” received the People’s Choice award.  

College Seen winners each receive a number of prizes especially relevant to photography students, including Adobe® Creative Suite® 6 Design and Web Premium and a selection of software and sponsored prizes. As the grand prize winner, Nero also receives a $500 cash prize and a Wacom Intuos pen tablet. 

For a full gallery of winning photos, visit


About CollegeBuys

CollegeBuys, powered by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, offers discounts of up to 85 percent on a wide-range of educational products—from industry-leading software and technology to high quality office and classroom furniture. These offers are made available to eligible buyers, including California Community College students, faculty, staff, educational institutions, and public agencies. By tapping into the enormous aggregate buying power of the largest higher educational system in the nation, CollegeBuys saves millions of dollars each year for colleges and students. 

About the Foundation for California Community Colleges

The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the official foundation to the California Community Colleges’ Board of Governors and Chancellor’s Office. The Foundation’s mission is to benefit, support, and enhance the missions of the California Community College system, the largest higher education system in the nation. Incorporated in 1998, the Foundation works with Community Colleges and partner organizations to manage donations, grants, programs, and services that drive excellence in education while saving millions of dollars for colleges each year. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit corporation and receives no direct state or public support. 

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