ISU Meridian Health Science Center

ISU-Meridian counseling student paints winning ISU holiday greeting card

Nov. 5, 2010

A painting of a white dove symbolizing peace with the Idaho State University logo in the background is the winning entry in Idaho State University’s annual President’s Holiday Greeting Card Contest.

Nancy Byron, a graduate student in Mental Health Counseling at the Meridian campus has won a $1,000 prize for her design that will appear on the front of ISU’s official holiday card.

“When I got the e-mail saying I’d won, I actually screamed.  I was pretty excited,” said Byron. Her design also incorporates vibrant color and abstract images to celebrate religious diversity. "I wanted to focus on the world view of the holiday, peace, togetherness and helping each other,” she said. “To me, the holidays are not a celebration of gifts, but a celebration of the goodness of people,” Byron said.

She graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. For 25 years she ran her own graphic design company—splitting time between a client base in California and her home in Boise.

She intends to use art in her counseling practice—as a tool to help people express feelings of inner turmoil.

“I always wanted to go into counseling, but didn’t want to let go of art.  I think I’ve found a perfect marriage of the two disciplines,” she said.

Asked what prompted her to enter the design contest, she said, “I read about it on the Bengal Web. I had so much homework to do, but I thought I have to do this… so I got out a canvas and started painting. It’s really helped me feel more a part of the school,” she said.

Sophomore, Matthew Henderson, was the contest’s second-place finisher. His striking artwork of a tiger earned him the $500 prize.

The contest, created in 2006, is open to full and part-time students. It is judged by a committee comprised of representatives from the President’s Office, Alumni Relations, Marketing and Communications, Associated Students of ISU, and the Art department.

Submissions were judged on how well they were able to capture the spirit and beauty of the holiday season while thematically incorporating the University.

Nancy Byron



Media contact: Chris Gabettas, Office of Marketing and Communications, (208) 373-1806

About Idaho State University
Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution founded in 1901, educates more than 15,000 students per year in more than 280 programs. It is Idaho’s lead institution in health professions and medical education.

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