HIGH POINT, N.C., July 3, 2012 - Work that High Point University students produced in a digital photography course, taught by Benita VanWinkle, instructor of art, has been selected to be featured on ThisIBelieve.org, a National Public Radio website created to share dialogue about public belief.
Approximately 24 photographs taken by eight HPU students are featured in the Community section of the website. VanWinkle encouraged the students to create photo collections that best finished the phrase, "I believe in..." After the class voted on the top entries, they were submitted collectively to the editors of the site. They also wrote essays to accompany their photos.
The website is based on a segment of NPR's The Bob Edwards Show called "This I Believe." The show airs on Sunday mornings, and the segment encourages people to submit essays that describe what they believe in. VanWinkle's class was the first to have a photography project featured on the site.
"Photography, at its best, is a tool for looking, analyzing, sharing, changing, and involving those that would be viewers, and ultimately, making positive changes in the world through the messages we send out," VanWinkle says. "What if the messages we sent were our deepest, most heartfelt convictions? This is where I started with this assignment. I wanted my students to think seriously about what they felt was truly important in their lives, and to voice it and visualize it."
VanWinkle adds that having work published on a website of this notoriety so early in their careers shows students that they have the ability to impact the world around them.
"They now know that what they have to say matters - really matters - and that they can affect the world one word and one image at a time," she says. "Photographs can stop us in our tracks, bring us to tears and move us to act outside of our comfort zone, just as words can. Now these students know the power of both of them together."
The photos can be found by going to http://thisibelieve.org/ and clicking the green "Community" tab on the right.
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of "Colleges of Distinction," as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 44 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at highpoint.edu.
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