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Traveling photo exhibit, activities to call attention to dementia


PITTSBURG, Kan. — A traveling photo exhibit, public reception, and photo walk fundraiser being planned for June by a graduate of Pittsburg State University will highlight perspectives and insights of individuals and families impacted by dementia. 

Elizabeth Spencer, who graduated with a master of arts in Communication in 2015, is now an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky where she is leading a project focused on the disease. 

“These photographs offer a unique perspective of how individuals visually represent and communicate their thoughts and feelings about the experience of dementia,” Spencer said.  

The exhibit will be on display at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer, from June 20-26. 

As part of the Alzheimer’s Association global call to action, “The Longest Day,” held each year on the summer solstice, a fundraising photo walk is planned from 3 to 5 p.m. on June 21 at Pitt State and in Downtown Pittsburg with the help of the Heart of America Chapter.  

Mike Gullet, award-winning Associated Press photojournalist and member of the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame, will lead the photo walk. Individuals who donate to the fundraiser may participate.  

That evening, a public reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bicknell Center, sponsored by the Department of Communication. In addition to the traveling photo exhibit, photos taken during the walk will be showcased. 

Prisca Asaro, program director for the Alzheimer's Association Heart of America Chapter, will be in attendance and will provide information on resources for families and individuals facing the experience of dementia.  

Spencer will share information about the project and the goals of her research. 

“It’s so rewarding to see our graduates go out into the world and use their degrees for something impactful, and what Elizabeth is doing certainly is impactful,” said Professor of Communication Alicia Mason, who directs the department’s graduate program at Pitt State. “What makes it doubly special is to see her come full circle by coming back to Pitt State to share her project with the campus and the community.”