2017 Wylde Q. Chicken Award Winner:
"Fake News" Assignment
The Wylde Q. Chicken Award was presented for the first time in 1998. So 2017 marks 20 years of coloring outside the lines.
To celebrate this milestone, the class of '72 has decided to color outside of their own lines for once.
The award has always gone to students who exhibited spontaneous creativity. But a big part of what makes Uni so special is
that the creative spirit is very much alive among the faculty, as well.
- In 2014, English teacher Steve Rayburn encouraged the students in his Shakespeare class to come up with projects of their own devising.
Megan James responded by rewriting Shakespeare's "Richard III" as a mobster story set in 1920s Chicago.
Megan won the Wylde Q. Chicken Award for that.
- In 2015, Sharlene Denos inspired her students to invent a simple device to allow people suffering from Macular Degeneration
to write with a pen. They won the Wylde Q. Chicken Award for that.
- In 2016, Craig Russell gave his students a few photographs of some unidentifiable maintenance task in progress and asked them
to develop a story to go with the pictures. The students came up with a 35-page dossier documenting a fictional investigation
of a cockroach invasion at Uni. They won the Wylde Q. Chicken Award for that.
This year, in the aftermath of the recent presidential election, Steve Rayburn decided to work up a unit on
"Fake News." They discussed Fake News as a genre of writing, and then each student sought out a story they could bastardize
into a "good" Fake News article. They even added photos, links, and ads - all the accouterments of authentic Fake News -
incorporating legitimate information in a truly illegitimate way. Student Phon Tran created
a website where the students
could publish their fake news stories. Their nefarious goal is to have enough folks click on their stories that they start
trending on social media.
For outstanding and ongoing originality in assigning projects that inspire works of exceptional creativity and humor by his
students, the 20th annual Wylde Q. Chicken Award, and a prize of $250, goes to Steve Rayburn.
2017 Wylde Q. Chicken Award Winner Steve Rayburn
with Class of '72 Representatives Jane Hays & Greg Walters
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