Older generations are in the spotlight due to the “Images of Aging” photo contest being held by the Pruett Gerontology Center taking place Jan. 22 to Feb. 10.
“I expect to see photos that express all varieties of aging, from the mundane daily tasks like washing dishes to the extraordinary like the woman who bow hunts at age 70,” Dr. Suzie Macaluso, director of the Pruett Gerontology Center said. “My hope is that the images convey the variation that exists amongst older adults and that the images are beautiful.”
The Pruett Gerontology Center is also known for the study of aging. This field of study is designed to give the student confidence to enter career fields where they will work with people at all stages of the life course and aims to increase intergenerational activity by bringing our traditional-age students together with older adults in various ways.
The Images of Aging Photo Contest began during the 2011-12 school year under the direction of Dr. C.D. Pruett. The purpose of the contest is to shed light on the realities of older adulthood and to show the positive aspects of aging.
“Many students think of old age as something to be feared or to dread but there are a lot of older adults who are living active, vibrant lives who make vital contributions to our society,” Macaluso said.
Students who are actively enrolled during the 2019-2020 school year are eligible to participate in this contest. That includes graduate and undergraduate students. The only requirement is that at least one of the subjects of the photo must be age 60 or older.
Sarita Aguilar, junior speech pathology major from Fort Worth, is minoring in gerontology. Aguilar is a participant in the contest and submitted her work in the fall.
“I decided to pick an older couple from my church that I have looked up to while growing up,” Aguilar said. “I took multiple photos during the reception of the wedding we were attending in order to have options to look at later for my entry.”
The judges for the contest are still undetermined but the winner gets $100 in cash. The top 10 entries will be displayed at the Undergraduate Research Festival with the winners being awarded at the banquet.
“I hope that students will begin to question their preconceived notions about aging and take the time to actually get to know older adults before making assumptions about them and their abilities,” Macaluso said.