Students can submit photos for the fifth annual Images of Aging photo contest until March 8.
Hosted by the Pruett Gerontology Center, the contest allows students to submit photos of at least one person who is 60 years old or older. Dr. Charlie Pruett, associate professor of gerontology and director of the Gerontology Center, said contestants must give their photo submission a title and write a sentence or two about the story behind the photo.
Students may submit only one photo and can compete in one of three categories: black and white, color and mobile. In past contests, about 30 to 5o students have submitted photos, Pruett said, but he wants more participation this year.
“All of the students have gotten a big kick out of it,” Pruett said. “We’re trying to improve the students’ attitude toward older adults. Generally, it’s much more negative then it should be. There’s more myths that are believed about older adults.”
Students who win first, second or third place will receive prizes and be invited to a special awards luncheon.
Photos can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pruett said the contest provides a chance for students to be creative, while getting to know a member of a population students don’t usually interact with.
“Most students know by now that with the aging Baby Boomers we’re going to have a huge number of older adults,” Pruett said. “It’s called the Age Wave or the ‘Silver Tsunami,’ or sometimes it’s called ‘The grannies are coming, the grannies are coming.'”
Emily Adams, student associate in the Pruett Gerontology Center, said her perspective on the elderly changed when she took Pruett’s Sociology of Aging course last year.
“Often they’re overlooked, especially in things like speech or when they experience a stroke,” said Adams, junior speech pathology major from Frisco. “How limiting it is to them, when they already feel like they’re being pushed aside.”
The Gerontology Center is working with the Writing Center to host an essay contest later in the spring semester or at the beginning of the fall semester. Called “Memoirs of Lasting Wisdom,” the essay contest would allow students to interview an aging person and tell that person’s story.