Alum wins State Dept. photo contest

Posted January 17, 2013

Monica Smith ('06) has been named one of 12 “Best in Show” awardees in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Arts in Embassies and the U.S. Department of Defense’s “Serving Abroad … Through Their Eyes” photography contest.

Her photograph, titled “Compassion without Borders,” was displayed on Verizon Center’s 7th Street video marquee in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 28-30. The images themselves were on display at the U.S. Department of State on Nov. 30 and were installed as part of the new U.S. Embassy’s permanent art collection in Kabul, Afghanistan.

For this contest, military, civil service and Foreign Service personnel were invited to submit photographs illustrating their lives while serving abroad. More than 3,200 images were submitted, from which 161 finalists were chosen and 12 “Best in Show” were identified. The photographs depict themes of friendship, places, faces, loss or triumph, providing a window into the complex and courageous work performed by America’s heroes throughout the world. The “Best in Show” images were juried by a panel including two former Secretaries of State, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell; three former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, General Peter Pace and Admiral Mike Mullen; and NBC News’ David Gregory.

As part of her honor, Smith flew to Washington, D.C. for a dinner at the Smithsonian Institution with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Smith earned her B.S. in journalism and a minor in public service from ACU in 2006. She went on to serve as a U.S. Army sergeant and fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. She is currently the community editor for the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville, Ky.

See finalists on the U.S. Department of State's website


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