2019 Photo Contest: Got Gratitude?

The 2019 Got Gratitude? Photo Contest encouraged graduate students to submit entries responding to the prompt: Who are the people and/or what are the places or experiences you are grateful for during your time here at Cornell? The top 10 finalists are displayed below.

Three students against mural saying, "I love you so much"

First Place: Tibra Wheeler, Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering

“After presenting at my first ORS conference, we stumbled upon this very fitting mural in Austin. This photo represents the love and support I’ve felt at Cornell. I’ve made lifelong friends with women who aren’t only breaking barriers as minorities in STEM, but lifting each other up (literally) toward success.”

Students holding smiley face pumpkins in front of faces

Second Place: Natalia Lopez, Ph.D., Chemical Engineering

“When I came to Cornell, I was afraid of what being lonely added to academic pressure would do to my mental health. Instead, I found a place full of friendly people that motivate me daily to keep going. I’m grateful for my friends and all the wonderful things we’ve done together. In the picture, we are picking pumpkins for a pumpkin carving evening in early October.”

Student in vineyard

Third Place: Breanne Kisselstein, Ph.D., Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology

“You might look at this and think she really loves plants! However, I will tell you that science is my one true love. The reason I chose a career in plant pathology is because of people. To my advisors, thank you for being the reason I do research in these beautiful vineyards.”

Window overlooking Cornell quad

Honorable Mention: Ryan Christopher Sequeira, M.P.S., Real Estate


Beams of brightness cutting through cold dreariness

Silhouettes of trees seeming almost full canopied

Gushes of laughter calling out the inner child

Basking in the glory that is the Winter Sun”

Jacquelyn Chyrell Richards and Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe

Honorable Mention: Jacquelyn Chyrell Richards, M.P.A., Public Affairs

“Here I am pictured with the Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe who is the 11th Bishop of Central New York. I am not only grateful for the work we do as a community of faith on campus by building leaders who sustain hope, health, and creativity, but Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe performed my very first baptism last spring on campus! I am so thankful for the unyielding support and level of inclusiveness this friendship has provided me at Cornell.”

Tomato farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India sorting tomatoes

Honorable Mention: Jocelyn Boiteau, Ph.D., Nutrition

“I am always appreciative of the communities willing to share their perspectives so that we can work towards solving real-world problems, such as food loss of perishable vegetables. Here, tomato farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India joined a discussion about tomato quality where they demonstrated how they grade and sort tomatoes.”

Woods in fall

Honorable Mention: Aakarsha Pandey, Ph.D., Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology

“In a very tumultuous phase of my life, I was able to feel better by staring at the picturesque visuals of Ithaca splattered everywhere around me. I feel grateful for mother nature and the fact that it has been a constant that uplifts me if I just stop and stare.”

Rainbow over Beebe Lake

Honorable Mention: Demi Perry, Ph.D., Food Science and Technology

“To some, this will be a pretty picture of a rainbow arching over the fall foliage reflected in Beebe Lake. To me, it is a beautiful reminder of the friends that bring color into my life during the rainy days. For them, I will always be grateful.”

Statue outside Sage Chapel

Honorable Mention: Paige Jacob, Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering

“I stumbled upon this scene on a path outside of Sage Chapel and was overcome with gratitude and appreciation to be part of an institution where members express their religious beliefs freely. It gave me hope that the global community could become as accepting and inclusive as the Cornell community.”

Frozen Beebe Lake

Honorable Mention: Paula Burgi, Ph.D., Geological Sciences

“During one of the colder weeks in February, my friend and I decided to buy second-hand ice skates and go for a skate on Cayuga Lake. The mid-winter sun bathed us in golden light, making our tracks gleam as we glided around. This type of winter adventure is one of my favorite things about living in Ithaca.”