Best Photos and Best Posters Announced at Showcase Event

Somaliland’s First Female Surgeon

“Somaliland’s First Female Surgeon,” taken by MSc-GH student Tessa Concepcion in Hargeisa, Somaliland, won first place in the photo contest.

Published November 6, 2017, last updated on November 9, 2017 under Education News

Each year, the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) sponsors a student fieldwork photo contest and student poster competition in conjunction with the Global Health Showcase event. Contest winners were announced at the Showcase event last Wednesday.


This year, 16 Duke undergraduate and graduate students submitted dozens of photos to the eighth annual student fieldwork contest. Taken in all corners of the globe, the images reflect students’ work in areas such as mobile technology for mental health, global surgery and treatment seeking for HPV infection. (View all of the entries here.)

The photos were judged by a five-member panel, including an undergraduate global health student, a graduate global health student, a DGHI faculty member, a DGHI staff member, and a member of the Duke Photography team. In addition to the judged competition, DGHI also held a People’s Choice Award contest on Facebook. Sumi Ariely, assistant professor of global health, announced the winners. “Pictures can teach us about the world, show us different ways to see the world and provide another source of data,” she reflected. “We are all picture makers, and using a camera lens as a microscope, global health researchers can display truth in really powerful ways.”

Prints of the winning images will hang in the hallways of Trent Hall as part of the Institute’s permanent photo collection.

The winners are as follows:

First Place

Tessa Concepcion - Somaliland's First Female Surgeon

“Somaliland’s First Female Surgeon,” taken by Master of Science in Global Health student Tessa Concepcion, in Hargeisa, Somaliland. 

Caption: Somaliland’s first and only female surgeon and her surgical assistant operate on a pediatric patient at Edna Adan University Hospital. Surgical workforce shortage is a major barrier to safe surgical care worldwide, especially for children, who often require specialized surgical care.

Second Place

Window to the Future

“The Future is Mobile and the Future is Female!” taken by Chaya Bhat, a global health and economics co-major, in Sindhuli, Nepal. 

Caption: Female health community volunteers from Sindhuli learn how to use mobile phones and SMS messaging to register patients with mental illnesses.

Third Place

Carrying Rice

“Huito,” taken by junior Delaney Dryfoos, a biology major and global health minor, in Diamante, Madre de Dios, Peru.

Caption: A woman receives a finger prick anemia test on a hand that is stained blue from applying Huito, a native fruit whose juice is thought to have medicinal properties, to her child.

People’s Choice

Jesus and Ernesto

Simama Imara,” taken by senior Madeline Thornton, a global health and French co-major, in Muhuru Bay, Nyanza Province, Kenya. 

Caption: Class 8 students stand confidently in the doorway of their primary school classroom in Muhuru Bay, Kenya following an empowering session on sexual and reproductive health. Important health knowledge has translated into power for these girls who have historically been oppressed by harmful gender norms of the community. Today, they stand firm: simama imara.


Three DGHI post-doctoral scholars—Bonnie Kaiser, Brandon Knettel and Wenhui Mao—served as poster judges. Awards were based on several criteria:

  • Clear presentation/articulation of project
  • Accessibility to a broad audience
  • Visual appeal/organization 

The winning undergraduate poster was “Risk Factors for Eye Health in Roatán, Honduras,” by a Student Research Training team that included Lauren Hale, Rachel Katz, Sujata Kishnani and Jesse Mangold.

The winning graduate poster was “Predictors of Successful Treatment Acquisition among HPV Positive Women in Western Kenya,” by second-year Master of Science in Global Health student Carissa Novak.

The winning Bass Connections poster was “Improving Hand Hygiene through Accessibility in an LMIC Neurosurgical Ward,” by the team studying “Interventions Improving Neurosurgery Patient Outcomes in Uganda.”

Congratulations to our contest winners!


Pictures can teach us about the world, show us different ways to see the world and provide another source of data.

Sumi Ariely, assistant professor of global health