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Symposium winners to be recognized at ceremony

Theme of contest was climate change


Published: Friday, February 14, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 13:02

ASU announced the winners of the annual University Symposium Student Contest on Jan. 30.

The theme of the 2013 symposium centered on the topic of “Climate Change and American Values.”

“As long as I have been in school, I’ve always heard about the greenhouse effect, but to actually recognize its effects here in Texas over the past couple of years, it’s hard for it not to resonate,” first place winner Stacey Mata said.

Mata said she was inspired to enter the contest because she recognized the increasing effects of greenhouse gases.

Dr. Michael E. Mann was the keynote speaker of the symposium, which was held last October. Mann is the Director of Earth System Science Center and Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.

“Dr. Mann mentioned that if we continue business as usual, with the warming effect, we would inevitably be talking about and looking at a different planet,” Mata said. “If we were to stop fossil fuel-burning cold turkey, no one is saying we should, but we would see temperatures similar to pre-industrial time.”

According to an ASU press release, Mata won a $300 prize for her digital print “Global Warming.”

“Climate change isn’t based on models, it’s based on basic physics and chemistry due to human activity,” Mata said. “So for my entry, I wanted to eliminate the facts and figures that coincide with a typical infographic poster about the greenhouse effect, and instead create a simple message that everyone could understand.”

Second place winners Joey Hancock and Dianah McGreehan won $100 each; Hancock for his short film, “In Hot Water,” and McGreehan for her poem, “We Tune In to Tune Out.”

“I was heavily motivated to enter by Mrs. Mangrum,” Hancock said. “She is always trying to get me to enter contests, and after I saw the global warming symposium, I was really surprised by how much government officials are against the idea of global warming.”

Hancock said he wanted to show the audience that some people in power are willing to do anything to get rich.

“I took a lot of things from the symposium; I even quoted it at points throughout the film,” Hancock said. “I wanted the audience to be entertained, but I also wanted them to take away the lesson that they should always strive to find their own answers and not just accept things at face value.”

Hancock said he hopes that his short film will shed some light on the idea that politicians are to the point of threatening scientists who try to investigate global warming.

All entries for the symposium will be on display in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building from Feb. 19 through Feb. 28.

An awards ceremony honoring the winners  and participants will be held on Feb. 27 from
4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Gallery Room 193.

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