For Say It In 6 challenge, UAB gets creative

Students and staff were challenged to tell a story in just six words and an image, and the entries are touching, motivational and inspiring.

studentwinners 550x413Top left, Teresa Beamon, “Somehow, I’m everything, everywhere, at once.” Top right, Mayci Herbert, “Fully present each morning. Thanks, sobriety.” Bottom, Lulwah Abdulaziz Almulhim, “Ride off into your own sunset."If you had to express yourself in only six words and an image, what would you say?

Students and staff at the University of Alabama at Birmingham were challenged to do just that, and the results are touching, motivational and inspiring.

The UAB Graduate School’s annual Say It In 6 competition asks participants to tell a story creatively and succinctly using just a few words and a visual aid. The contest is based on Smith Magazine’s “Six-Word Memoirs®” concept. The categories were Global Engagement, Leadership, Love, Persistence and Social Justice.

The Academy Award-winning film “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once” inspired Teresa Beamon, a UAB graduate student from Camden, Mississippi. Beamon is pursuing her degree in the cancer biology theme within Graduate Biomedical Sciences. For her first place-winning entry, “Somehow, I’m everything, everywhere, at once,” she wanted to create something lighthearted that would resonate with her peers.

“We do want to be or do a million things at once, and often it’s overwhelming the things you have to get done in a day — at least for me,” Beamon said. “In my life, it’s trying to find time to talk to friends or family, go out, play video games, watch new thrillers (I have a lot to recommend, by the way), while still being a student.”

To realize her vision, Beamon exemplified persistence, the category she chose to represent, by trying multiple methods, experimenting with photo apps, scrolling through hundreds of images and watching video tutorials.

“There were a lot of amazing entries, and I’m really grateful that there was something in my photo that the judges liked, found inspiring or just thought was cool,” Beamon said. 

Other winners in the student division are Mayci Herbert, who won second place with her entry, “Fully present each morning. Thanks, sobriety.” People’s Choice was awarded to Lulwah Abdulaziz Almulhim for “Ride off into your own sunset.” Herbert is earning a Master of Science degree in nutrition sciences/Dietician Education Program, while Almulhim is earning a Ph.D. in rehabilitation science.

facultywinners 550x413From left: Megan Princewill, “The view is worth the climb.” Charlene Paige, “I stand for #justice #change #equality.” Chris Perry, “The Honors College flexes on learning.”Megan Princewill, a tobacco treatment specialist who works in The Kirklin Clinic, won first place in the faculty/staff division for her entry, “The view is worth the climb.” Second place was awarded to financial officer in the School of Dentistry Charlene Paige, for her entry “I stand for #justice #change #equality.” People’s Choice was awarded to Chris Perry, Honors College student counselor, for his entry “The Honors College flexes on learning.”

Judges for the 2023 competition included Lindsay Benson, library clerk at the Albert L. Scott Library in Alabaster; Dan Carsen, teacher at The Altamont School and director of The Altamont Heritage Panel; Stephanie Fisher, owner of Stephanie Fisher Photography in Helena; Reed Lochamy, chair of the English department at Hoover High School; and Will Lochamy, co-host of “The Morning Blend with Reg & Will” and “Oh Brother Radio” on Birmingham Mountain Radio. The UAB community voted online for the People’s Choice award.

The top three student winners received cash prizes: $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for People’s Choice. The top three faculty/staff winners received gift baskets. See the complete list of entries and the winners on the Graduate School website.

Shadi Martin, Ph.D., UAB Graduate School dean and vice provost for Graduate and International Education, was impressed with the ingenuity and thoughtfulness of the 175 entries.

“Our UAB campus community inspires me every day,” Martin said. “I love this competition as it highlights our entire campus community — students, faculty and staff. I love the spirit of innovation and creativity that defines the UAB campus.”