pichette and gibson state ncda awards

Michael Mercier / UAH


Four students from the UAH Department of Art, Art History and Design received state recognition for their submissions in the National Career Development Association Poster Competition.

Marina Gibson (pictured at right), Emma Kratt, Allissa Allen, and Jacqueline Pichette (pictured at left), all placed among the top submissions in the state of Alabama. Marina, Emma, and Allissa won first, second, and third place, respectively, in the mixed media category (use of photos, clipart, graphic art software, collage, cut and pasted paper, and mixed media), while Jacqueline won first place in the hand-illustration category (Standard use of ink, pencil, poster paints, magic marker, acrylics, and oils).  All four submissions have moved on to the National Contest where they will be judged in their categories against the top three submissions from each state.

The NCDA poster competition is held as a part of National Career Development Week each November.  The contest is coordinated by the Office of Career Services in conjunction with Professor Keith Jones’ Graphic Design class, though students from across campus are encouraged to participate.  The theme of this year’s contest was “Using Careers to Break Barriers, Empower Lives & Achieve Equity.”  Students were challenged to create artwork that embodies what the theme means to them.

Approximately 20 students participated in the competition at UAH last November.  Judges for the UAH competition included representatives from the UAH Office of Marketing & Communications, Zellus Marketing and the Madison County School District, all with graphic design experience. The UAH winners were sent on to judging at the state level.

Marina Gibson, a second Bachelor’s student pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, found her passion for art as a young child.  She is originally from St. Petersburg, Russia and traveled the world before calling Huntsville her new home. “I learned a lot on my own through reading books, drawing, painting and studying art objects around me. Reading books and making my own narrative illustrations for them has always been a passion of mine,” she says. Currently, Marina is focused on learning more about art and creating illustrations.

marina gibson artwork


Jacqueline Pichette, a junior Graphic Design major from Madison, Alabama, has also always enjoyed drawing and painting, but when she was 14 years old, she decided to pursue design and illustration as a career. “It seemed to be the best way for me to spread ideas and create something meaningful and helpful to others,” she says.

jacqueline pichette artwork

While the students are awaiting the results of the National Competition later this Spring, they are enjoying the excitement of placing first in Alabama in their respective categories.

I feel so grateful and very proud to be a first place state winner,” says Marina. “To know that people like my art and appreciate all the hard work I did for the project is truly a wonderful feeling.” 

Jaqueline agrees. “It's super exciting! I wasn't going into the contest expecting much, so it was a huge surprise to have won first place!”

Congratulations to all these talented students.  We are excited to see what they create next in their careers.