The Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute organized the contest to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

The Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) announced the winners of its poster contest celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, after receiving 123 entries from 90 schools across New Jersey.  

The online pictures represented a variety of media including pen and ink, markers, graphic arts, watercolors and oil, and were judged online by 77 faculty, staff, and community members. First place winners from each category received a $500 cash prize, with $250 for second place and $125 for third Place winners.

"The 50th anniversary of Earth Day marks a milestone in the environmental movement and reminds us that we still have a long way to go," said Helmut Zarbl, Director of EOHSI. "The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the link between our health and the health of the planet, and we greatly appreciate the energy, creativity, and concern all the artists showed for our fragile planet. They inspired us and brought smiles to our faces during these difficult days."

The submitted posters sought to draw attention to environmental problems while inspiring hope. Some were dark and reflected an unhealthy earth and a sense of urgency with hourglass or thermometer imagery. Others illustrated the promise of science or the Earth being embraced and protected. 

"We're thankful for the participants, parents and teachers," said Maria Crecenzio, coordinator of the contest at EOHSI. "The artists had fun, and many shared that expressing their feelings through art helped them cope with their anxiety during this health crisis."

When it is possible to do so, the Institute intends to hold a reception to honor all contributors, and to display the winning posters. 

The winning entries can be viewed at

All qualified entries can be viewed at

Winners in the following four categories are: 

Grades 3-7 

1st Place: Rutuja Kelkar, 7th Grade, Edison, NJ, Woodrow Wilson Middle School

Submitted Poster by Rutuja Kelkar


2nd Place: Kaylee Yue, 6th Grade, Green Brook, NJ, Green Brook Middle School

Poster by Kaylee Yue


3rd Place: Jeff Jiju, 4th Grade, Red Bank, NJ, Fairview Elementary School

Poster by Jeff Jiju

Grades 8-12 

1st Place: Anna Lin12th Grade, Cranbury, NJ, Princeton High School

Poster by Anna Lin

2nd Place: Zachary Martire, 10th Grade, Piscataway, NJ, Rutgers Day School

Poster by Zachary Martire

3rd Place: Ansh Gupta, 12th Grade, Piscataway, NJ, John P. Stevens High School

Poster by Ansh Gupta



1st Place: Vivian Peralta, Junior, Newark, NJ, Rutgers University-Newark

Poster by Vivian Peralta


2nd Place: Veronique Giza, Senior, East Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers-Mason Gross

Poster by Vivian Peralta

3rd Place: Yuri Han, Sophomore Highland Park, NJ, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Poster by Yuri Han


Graduate and Other Adults

1st Place: Mackenzie Henderson, Somerville, NJ, Rutgers University

Poster by Mackenzie Henderson

2nd Place: Jacklynn Andres, Hawthorne, NJ, Rutgers University

Poster by Jacklynn Andres

3rd Place: Megan McParland, Keansburg, NJ   

Poster by Megan McParland