March 06, 2018

Six words and an image: UAB students tell their stories

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say 6 sallyanneThe first-place winner is Sally Anne Perz for her entry, “Damaged Devastated Discouraged Detoured Determined Delighted,” in the Resilience category.If you had six words and an original image to tell your story, what would you choose?

That’s the premise of “Say It in 6,” a competition for University of Alabama at Birmingham students presented by the UAB Graduate School and the College of Arts and Sciences’  Department of Art and Art History. “Say It in 6” challenges students to tell their story in a creative and succinct way. Participants submitted an image and six words depicting any story they wanted to tell, about their lives, their experiences, things they love or have learned. 

This year, 122 creative, moving entries from UAB students and postdoctoral fellows were submitted, with images ranging from photographs to drawings and paintings that complemented their six-word stories. Judges were recruited from within and outside of UAB, and picked a winner and honorable mention in each of 10 categories: Knowledge, UAB, America, Identity, Talents, Humor, Resilience, Family, Health and Love.

First- and second-place winners were chosen from the finalists. The UAB community voted online to pick a People’s Choice winner. These top three winners received cash prizes: $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for People’s Choice. Winners and all entries can be viewed online.

The submissions and winners will be celebrated at a free reception, open to the public, from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at UAB’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

say 6 streamThe second-place winner is Elora Robbani for her entry, “Can We Make America See Again?” in the America category.The first-place winner is Sally Anne Perz for her entry, “Damaged Devastated Discouraged Detoured Determined Delighted,” in the Resilience category, about her journey back to wellness after a traumatic injury in a car accident with her family. Perz, of Moody, is a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in English from the College of Arts and Sciences. Perz was raised in Tampa, Florida, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in 1991. She has returned to school for a graduate degree while homeschooling her children.

The second-place winner is Elora Robbani for her entry, “Can We Make America See Again?” in the America category, about social unrest, protest and pursuit of social justice happening in the United States. Robbani, of Madison, is in her second year in the UAB School of Optometry, working on a doctorate in optometry.

The People’s Choice winner is Katie Cassidy for her entry, “UAB Always • Pediatric Nurse • Painting • Traveling,” in the Identity category. Cassidy is a registered nurse in UAB’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, pursuing her pediatric primary care nurse practitioner degree from the School of Nursing. This will be her second degree from UAB. Cassidy grew up in Atlanta, Georgia.

say 6 katieThe People’s Choice winner is Katie Cassidy for her entry, “UAB Always • Pediatric Nurse • Painting • Traveling,” in the Identity category. Mastering the ability to communicate research and complex ideas with the general public in a way that all can understand is an extremely important part of the educational experience, says Lori McMahon, Ph.D., dean of UAB Graduate School.

“‘Say It in 6’ is a perfect opportunity for our students to hone this communication skill and at the same time engage in a fun, campuswide competition,” McMahon said. “With only six words and an original visual aid, students are challenged to develop a meaningful, yet creative, message that fits within one of 10 categories. I was simply blown away by the powerful messages shared and the high level of creativity contained in the submissions. The determination, dedication, passion and talents of our many students is truly impressive.”

The entries were judged on several criteria, including: Did the entry capture the viewers’ attention? Did the entry tell a stimulating, moving or memorable story? Did the words and imagery elicit emotion? and Did the words and image support each other? The entries were also judged on originality and creativity, including: How original is the entrant’s work? and Did the entry present the story in a creative way?

The final judges were Roy Clem, executive director at Alabama Public Television; Cindy Formanek Kirk, Ph.D., vice president of Educational Services at Alabama Public Television;

Dan Carsen, science and health reporter for 90.3 WBHM-FM; Bolaji Kukoyi, P.E., president of Dynamic Civil Solutions; and Leigh Garner, CBS 42 morning news co-anchor and noon anchor.

Last year’s “Say It in 6” winners were first place, “Picked a Great Year to Travel” by Nada Al-Assi; second place “Believe There is Good In Bham” by Tyler Furgurson; and People’s Choice, “UAB to MD, Green Bears Fruit” by Ryan Hadden.

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