Poster competition gives students a voice in global climate change

flowers growing in campus gardenView print quality image
Flowers growing at IUPUI Urban Gardens near University Library. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

We are at a defining moment for climate change, according to the United Nations. Efforts to invest in renewable energy and reduce waste have been a start, but we still have a long way to go. The search for solutions is a global conversation that IUPUI students can be a part of.

IU Global is holding its annual U.N. Sustainable Development Goals poster competition to get students around the world thinking about climate change and how they can work together to make an impact on a global scale. This is the third year the competition is being held. Each year, one of the U.N.'s 17 Sustainable Development Goals is selected as the theme; the focus for spring 2022 is Goal 13: Climate Action.

"This poster competition provides an excellent opportunity for students and faculty across IU to get involved in discussing the greatest challenges facing the world today," said Rita Koryan, IU assistant vice president for international affairs. "This year's theme is uniquely important and complex."

The competition encourages students to research and explore a connection between local and global climate change efforts. To enter, students must work together with a faculty member, identify a research question and create a poster.

One undergraduate student and one graduate student will be selected as winners, with each receiving $1,000. They will also be invited to present their poster at this year's Global Partners Research Forum. Prizes of $500 will also be awarded to the people's choice project and runners-up. The faculty mentors will also receive prize money.

"Projects like the U.N. SDG poster competition are intended to educate students about these challenges early in their career, encouraging them to think globally as they develop new skills, values and attitudes -- all of which are part of the college experience," said Hilary Kahn, associate vice chancellor for international affairs at IUPUI.

IUPUI is already a global leader in sustainability. This year's Times Higher Education Impact Rankings place IUPUI as second in the nation and 28th in the world for its commitment to the issue. You can see those efforts all around campus.

"IUPUI has several initiatives in place to practice what we preach, from installing 150-plus solar panels on top of the BS/SPEA buildings to working with community organizations to remove invasive species on campus," Kahn said.

Everyone has a part to play, and that's why the poster competition is looking for students to think about creative solutions and contributions that they can make, no matter their major.

"We invite all students to explore the theme through the lens of their own studies," Koryan said. "It is critical that we start to address the challenges of climate change from multiple disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives, as well as across borders."

The competition has outlined guidelines and provided creative examples of posters on their website. The deadline to submit a poster is Jan. 15.