Thank you to all students and recent graduates who submitted images to the 2017 Life, Well Run Student Photo Contest!! We received submissions from nearly every region in the U.S. that display the inspiring work of local government, tireless dedication of public servants, value of an engaged community and the impact of professionally managed communities. We are honored and inspired by the next generation of local government leaders who contributed to this contest by not only showing their story of local government in action, but through personal accounts describing why they are excited to continue this work in their academic and professional careers.

This years winners will join local government leaders from around the world at the 103rd Annual ICMA Conference in San Antonio, Texas where their photos will be on display in the Member Pavilion.

First Place

Featuring the City of Wheaton, Illinois

Brandon Kowalke, Northern Illinois University, Masters of Public Administration (MPA), May 2018

City staff from the Communications Department and City Manager’s Office visited Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS) Heartland Recycling Center in September of 2016 to learn about their single stream recycling facility and gather footage to create information videos for our residents. The City’s solid waste program was about to change dramatically with the introduction of a comprehensive organics recycling program and an RFID cart system. Together, City staff and LRS worked diligently to prepare residents for the transition.

Second Place

Featuring Cuyahoga County, Ohio

Hannah Lebovits, MPA, Cleveland State University, PhD Urban Affairs and Public Policy, 2020
Large government institutions are often criticized for their bureaucratic processes and inaccessibility. Rather than argue or defend the large court system and its compliance and equity processes, the Clerk of Courts, decided to do something about the lack of access: he took the court on the road. “Many people are concerned that they will be arrested or lose their vehicle if they go Downtown, so we come to them. No one is going to get arrested and most of the time every service can be provided right here,” says Obie Shelton, the spokesman for the Clerk of Courts. The event is well-organized and well-attended by staff from 12 court systems.

Third Place

Featuring the City of Santa Barbara, California

Shanalee Gallagher, MPP Candidate, Mills College 

Early morning briefing with Navajo Scouts. One thing I really loved about command post was the agency representation and uniforms. Seeing the Navajo Nation was dear to my heart; I get SO excited over intergovernmental relations!

Fourth Place

Featuring the City of Miami, Florida

Yaredly Hernandez, Florida International University, Public Administration

Career Source Center Staff and Job Seekers High-Fiving’ for the #High5Miami Customer Service Champions Week. CareerSource South Florida is a public-private partnership that establishes state and federally funded workforce development and training policies for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Additionally, CareerSource South Florida services and resources are available to everyone at no cost through a network of career centers located throughout the region.

Honorable Mentions

Check out these fantastic images from our runner’s up! (Click image for full-size)

  • UAB's ICMA officials meet with City Manager, Sam Gaston, for a tour of City Hall. This photo demonstrates the importance of collaboration and passing of the torch for future leaders. Submitted by Katie Boyd, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Featuring City of Mountain Brook, AL.