Southwest Tennessee Community College

December 13, 2005

For more information, contact: Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023

Southwest “Poster Kids” Sweep National Graphics Design Contest
Written by Pat O’Brien

It’s a point of great pride to a teacher when a student brings home first prize in a national contest showcasing the talents the teacher has cultivated. Southwest Graphic Arts instructor Patsy Fanche, can definitely be proud of the six students who won, placed or showed in the National Graphic Design Contest.

The contest was sponsored by Engineering Education Service Center (EESC). EESC is a support organization that promotes interest in engineering for kindergarten through college, through consulting, publications and presentations. Posters are one of the tools they use, and their annual poster contest is a means of generating fresh, creative ideas to use in their mission. In this year’s contest, Southwest students won first place, plus eight more of the 26 total awards.

The poster contest was a class assignment, with 12 students submitting 16 entries – “and nine of them were winners,” said Fancher. “I’m very proud of them. It says a lot about the caliber of our students’ work when more than a third of the winners were from Southwest.”

Top winner Pamela McFarland’s entries (she also won a third place) barely made it to the contest – “I had to overnight the disk the night before Thanksgiving to beat the deadline.” McFarland’s winning entry was in the Women in Engineering category, and she also won a third place, in the Engineering Technology category.

Nelda Peterson won a third place for the Women in Technology category and an honorable mention for her entry in Engineering Technology. Honorable mentions were captured by Marion Mercado, Kristine Cech and Justin Shaw, and Brian Ganute placed as a finalist.

Most of the students already have practical workplace experience, and all are planning careers in the graphic arts field. Their class, Print Production II, is an advanced course and an elective in both associate of applied science degree programs in graphic arts. “Successful completion of either program requires highly honed skills and gives students a wide choice of careers, plus a big boost along a graphic design career path,” said Fancher.

Fancher is well qualified to prepare students for graphic arts careers. She has three undergraduate degrees in the areas of fine arts, advertising, commercial art and photography, and a master’s in computer graphics from Memphis College of Art, where she was an adjunct instructor for nine years. She was a partner in the first print graphics service bureau in Memphis in the early days of computer-based graphic design and print production, and did consultant work for promotional campaigns with a cross section of Memphis businesses and organizations, including FedEx, Smith & Nephew, and the Pink Palace and Ornamental Metal museums.

Southwest poster winners check out their winning entries on the EESC web site. From left, Brian Ganote, finalist; Justin Shaw, honorable mention in the Engineering Technology category; Nelda Peterson, third place in the Women in Engineering category and honorable mention in the Engineering Technology category Pam McFarland, first place in the Women in Engineering category and third place in the Engineering Technology category; Marion Mercado, honorable mention in the Engineering Technology category; Kris Cech, honorable mention in the Engineering Technology category. Winning posters can be viewed on the Engineering Education Service Center web site at