American Public Health Association goes bananas over picture by FIU student

Zoo Miami apes as photographed by Stempel Social Work graduate student, Veronica Godoy

Zoo Miami apes as photographed by Stempel Social Work graduate student, Veronica Godoy

A keen eye and a pair of simian subjects have helped Social Work graduate student Veronica Godoy produce a winning image that will appear in the upcoming APHA Get Ready, Pet, Go! emergency preparedness calendar.

Produced by the American Public Health Association as part of its Get Ready campaign, the calendar has promoted preparedness through humor for the past three years. According to Amanda Yohn, APHA public affairs coordinator, “The APHA has made a concerted effort to choose calendar themes that are cute or funny, in order to appeal to a broad audience.”

But the calendar’s not all monkey business. “The calendar promotes important preparedness messages in a nontraditional way. It helps Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters and other emergencies,” says Yohn.

For these reasons, professor Gladys Ibañez of the FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work encouraged her PHC 6500 Foundations in Public Health Practice students to take part in the Get Ready, Pet, Go! photo contest. A total of 23 of her students participated.

“I thought it would be a good and fun way to get them thinking about public health while becoming more familiar with the APHA. Plus, I think the students learned that promoting public health can take many forms,” says Ibañez.

For her part, Godoy agrees. “We want people to be informed about the importance of emergency preparedness. I believe humor is a good way to go about capturing the audience’s attention.”

Regarding the caption that will be paired with her picture for the calendar, Godoy tells us that she has no idea what it will be. But with the Get Ready, Pet, Go! calendar set for release in September to coincide with National Preparedness Month, she won’t have long to wait.

What makes for a winning Get Ready, Pet, Go! picture? According to Yohn, “This year, judges were looking for high-quality photos that represent a diversity of animals and that have the potential to be paired with a witty caption,” adding, “Veronica’s photo of the monkeys hit these criteria and stood out among the bunch.”


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