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Thursday, June 2, 2016 - 10:06am

During the 2016 Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival on May 7, Peggy Tirrell was doing what she always does during celebratory events at Rochester Institute of Technology.

She had her Sony Nex-6 camera in hand and was taking pictures.

One of them-a shot of a fountain with children playing on the southwest side of campus-earned her third place in the Facebook WNY PhotoWalkers "Taking it to the Streets" challenge. A judge from the contest made this comment on the entry: "I love the energy of the kids in this photograph; it shows people having fun in their environment."

Tirrell is also well known for taking pictures of students she mentors as senior associate director of graduate business programs and admissions at Saunders College of Business. She posts many of them on her Facebook site for students and alumni to enjoy.

"While my primary interest is landscape and nature photography, I enjoy documenting the RIT campus and community looking for different perspectives and different ways to see the 'every day,'" said Tirrell, who lives in Avon. "I truly enjoy photographing students at orientation and graduation, the two most special times of the year in academia… going from a tentative start to a confident end, a journey in pictures."

Tirrell has joined several Facebook photography groups to hone her skills and get feedback and advice. She said WNY PhotoWalkers offers periodic challenges to encourage photographers to step out of their comfort zone, and "Taking it to the Streets" during the month of May coincided nicely with the Imagine RIT festival.

"I was enchanted by the children playing in the fountain and found the clouds against the bright blue background was the perfect foil," said Tirrell. "Imagine my surprise and delight when I was notified that I placed third. I am always telling my students to challenge themselves and now I can say that I don't ask them to do anything I am not willing to do."

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