Photo Contest Winners!

November 21, 2011

Hey Everyone!! The results of the Fall 2011 Photo Contest are in! The 2 categories were “Beauty” & “Challenges and  Solutions”. We had a total of 36 entries, and the quality and thoughtfulness of the submissions made judging both wonderful and difficult! Judging was done singly and then in consultation by the faculty and students who were asked to be involved in the contest. Judging was blind. Please note that photos that were from outside Northeast Ohio were included in the exhibit but not in the final judging.

Now without further ado:


First Place: Melissa Hershberger for her photo of Water Falling from Rock Ledge in Monument Park, Canton, OH!

Second Place: Debbie Herrington for Snowy/Icy Woods and Cavern, Monroe Township, Carroll County, OH!

Third Place: Jenny Nichols for Sunlight through Trees on Rippling Water at the Norma Johnson Center, Tuscarawas County!

Fourth Place: Paul Cowan for Dog Reflection, Reservoir Park, Massillon, OH!

Challenges & Solutions

First Place: Zach T. Baer for Trash in Storm Drain, Kent State at Stark!

Second Place: Lilia Fuquen for 10th LEAP Cleanup, McKinley Memorial Park, Canton, OH!

Coordinator’s Choice: Tyler Joy, Water Under the Bridge, Guilford Ave!

Each year, as Coordinator for the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation Initiative in Environmental Media, the sponsor of the contest, I select a photo I feel best represents the purpose of the initiative – to increase awareness of the local environment, especially water, through communication – making water issues visible. For me, this year, it was the photo by Tyler Joy, Water Under the Bridge, Guilford Ave., that best represented the issues water faces every day. In this case, the black and white photo was rather sad. It showed water, looking almost neglected, flowing through a large concrete overpass, with graffiti painted on it, old broken pieces of cement along the shores, with rebar metal rods sticking out, on an overcast dreary day, heightened by the black and white media. It was a simple, every day scene. Yet it brought home how much we overlook water and take it for granted, throw debris in it and near it, and generally treat it with a lack of respect. It struck me as sad but true. ~ Dr. Penny Bernstein

Please go HERE to see all of the great submissions received for this years contest! Thanks again to all who participated! Can’t wait till next semesters contest!


Hey everyone! By popular demand, this semesters Photo Contest deadline has been extended until October 7th at 11:59 PM. Be sure to get those photos in to Remember, we have 2 categories: ‘Beauty’ and ‘Challenges & Solutions”. Black and white, or color, in the best quality possible. Any picture of water taken in NE Ohio within the past year qualifies.

See for more details.


Reminder: Photo Contest

September 26, 2011

Hey everyone! I wanted to remind everyone that the deadline for the Photo Contest is coming up quick! (Sept. 30th) So get those submissions in to and be sure to review the rules at 


LEAP Update

September 19, 2011

Wow, a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped out at the 10th Annual LEAP! We made this years turnout the best ever! Soon I will post pictures, and a personal blog about my experience, but for now you can check out one of the other students experience at

If you weren’t able to make it to LEAP, we have other volunteer opportunities and projects happening, including the Photo Contest for Kent State at Stark students.

Thanks again, and look for my LEAP experience in the next few days!

~ Tonya

Fall 2011 Photo Contest!

September 5, 2011

It’s time for the Fall 2011 Photo Contest! Whether you are a seasoned photographer, or a beginner, this is a great opportunity to show the world your artistic interpretation of WATER!

Contest sponsored by the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation Initiative in Environmental Media and
the Department of Fine Arts at Kent State University at Stark.

Complete rules

Who: You must be a currently enrolled Kent State University at Stark student to enter this

What: Send photos relating to the contest of theme of water, in one of these categories:

* Beauty (images of water that please the eye)
* Challenges and Solutions (identifiable threats to Stark County’s watersheds, and examples
of efforts to improve them)

When taken: Photos must be from within Northeast Ohio, taken anytime during the 12 months up
to September 30, 2011.

When submitted: The deadline for submitting photos is 11:59 p.m., September 30, 2011. Late
entries cannot be considered.

How many? We are permitting up to two entries per student, but only one per category. If you’re
submitting two entries, send them in separate e-mails.

How big? Send the photo in a jpg format of at least 1MB and in the best quality possible (use a
camera of 5 MP or better) as photos must be able to print on 8½x11 paper to qualify. Send an
uncompressed version of the file – that is, the largest version you have. This will produce the
highest quality possible and give you the best chance to win.

Color or Black and White? Your choice. If the image is better as a monochrome, use that.

What details to include? Name the file using your first initial and last name. In the body of your
e-mail, tell us your category, where the photo was taken and when the photo was taken. We
recommend you also include a phone number in case there is a technical problem or if we have
follow-up questions.

Where to submit: Attach your photo to an e-mail to, with the subject
line WATER PHOTO CONTEST and your COMPLETE NAME. Every entrant should receive
an e-mail confirmation within a couple of days.

Prizes: The top photos in each category will receive a prize, most likely a gift card to the
bookstore. Judges reserve the right to award additional prizes, or to honor work even if it was
entered in a different category. We expect to notify winners via e-mail by Oct. 15. Results will
be posted first on the homepage.

Gallery display: Photos will be displayed in the art gallery located in the Kent State Stark Fine

Arts Building beginning Oct. 6, 2011.


Q. Can I use my camera phone?
A. Unless it is a high-resolution one, we recommend students NOT use camera
phones or other low-resolution cameras to enter a photo contest. If the student wishes
to persist in entering it, he/she is allowed, but the judges are unlikely to be impressed
when they judge how it looks on an 8×10 print.

Q. Why does the picture have to fit the 8×10 aspect ratio?
A. It doesn’t. If the photographer has a compelling reason to have his or her image print
at 5×7 or some other dimension on the 8×10 photo sheet, that’s fine. Be sure to make a
note of your wishes with your entry. Images may be horizontal or vertical.

Q. Can people be in the photo?
A. We see no reason there can’t be people in there, though if the figure dominates it
could take away from the photographic category intent. Also, if people are clearly
identifiable we may ask you to get signed releases from them.

Q. How much detail do you need about where and when it was shot?
A. For locations, name of the park or waterway, plus the city, village or township, is
enough. Exact date should be easy enough for you to determine, but month and year is
fine. Note that judges may remove photos without date and location information from
prize contention.

What if I have further questions? Please e-mail any questions to
On campus, you can also ask professors Penny Bernstein in Biology, Jack McWhorter in Art or
Mitch McKenney in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Hey everyone! It’s time for the 10th Annual LEAP Cleanup Event. All citizen’s welcome!

Students – this is a GREAT way to get in those volunteer hours logged!

Mark your calendars for September 17th 2011, 9:30 AM and help us make this the best LEAP ever!

This years event will focus on picking up debris and litter along the west branch of Nimishillen Creek. This area is centered near the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum. LEAP welcomes volunteers of all ages, but those under 18 will require a signed release, and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parking is being provided at the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum.

*Lunch and a thank you gift will be provided, followed by free activities and educational fun at the museum.

Contact Brandi to register at:

See the Flyer for more info

Hope to see you all there!!

A Little Tikes pool and seven tires were part of the haul.

By Serenity Cindia

Chuck Kramek of Canton pushes a tire he found embedded in the bottom of the river onto land with the rest of the collected litter. This was his third year helping with the cleanup.

About 45 volunteers gathered the morning of Sept. 18 at Sandy Valley Community Park for the ninth annual cleanup in the Nimishillen Creek watershed.

Both first-time and veteran volunteers wearing boots and get-dirty clothes prepared to clean up litter in and near the Nimishillen Creek. Hosted by the Nimishillen Creek Watershed Partners, the LEAP cleanup — for Litter Elimination Awareness and Prevention — divided volunteers into two crews.  The walking crew picked up debris around the creek, while a canoeing crew paddled the Nimishillen to collect litter from the water.

The cleanup is done every fall to keep the river clear of debris, both naturally occurring, such as fallen trees and branches, and the runoff that comes from the city of Canton.  It helps the river to flow freely, avoiding the back-up of sediment and, of course, “people trash,” as Dr. Penny Bernstein refers to it.

Bernstein is a field biologist and associate professor at Kent State University at Stark, as well as the coordinator for the H.W. Hoover initiative.  The Hoover project was created to educate and empower people inside as well as outside of Stark County about their own and surrounding watersheds.

Several volunteers who gathered trash along the road made their way back to the park with full trash bags in hand, while a dump truck delivered the rest of the walking crew and the litter they had collected throughout the morning.

One volunteer, Kent State at Stark student Courtney Rusnak, compared the LEAP cleanup to other cleanups she’s been involved in.

“I’ve done cleanups before through 4-H, so I kind of knew what we were going to be doing,” Rusnak said. “I’ve never walked down a stream, so it was kind of different. It was definitely an adventure.”

Eric Akin, Upper Tuscarawas River Watershed Coordinator for the Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization, or NEFCO, leads the cleanup every year and wanted to see if adding the canoes helped.

“This is the first year we’ve done the canoe float with it,” Akin said. “We’re trying to add to (the cleanup) and trying to expand it. One reason is, this is the farthest downstream we’ve been, so there’s actually enough flow to float a canoe down through here.”

Akin said each event is evaluated when it’s over to decide what worked, what didn’t, and what organizers would like to change for next year.

“This year we obviously picked too big of a stretch to do, so we should’ve shrunk it down with the river being as big as it is down here,” Akin said. “Normally, we do a mile stretch, but that’s in the smaller streams.”

It’s hard to tell whether the annual amount of litter is increasing or decreasing, he said. The cleanup moves to different parts of the watershed each year. Either way, Akin said there’s always enough to keep volunteers collecting it for three hours.

One goal remains the same each year: to raise awareness about the watershed. Whether it’s through education packets that are handed out at events or word-of-mouth through volunteers and local organizations, the idea is to make more people aware of the watershed, how it affects them, and what they can do to help our local environment.

 “I’m not kidding myself,” Akin said. “Environmental work in general is a very niche area, so you’re never going to reach everyone. If we can get the people that are interested in doing this and make them aware of it, then hopefully we can [continue to make progress].”

Serenity Cindia, a journalism major at Kent State University at Stark, wrote this for Mitch McKenney’s Newswriting class.