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Challenge coin design opens door for student

Katelynn Fry '24 designed a challenge coin for UNG's Public Safety Academy firearms instructor course.

Just days away from graduating from the University of North Georgia (UNG), Katelynn Fry learned her design had been selected for a challenge coin.

"It was pretty cool to have my design selected. I had never done something like that before," Fry said. "With art, you can improve with practice. Even if it's something you have never done before, and even if it comes out bad, that's still a step toward improving. It's always good to try things.”

The contest was developed by the Public Safety Academy at UNG's Dahlonega Campus and posed specifications.

"What Katelynn came up with is everything we were looking for in the coin," Sallie Parker, coordinator of the Public Safety Academy, said. "We asked that the coin have features of UNG and Dahlonega and shooting aspects since it's a firearms instructor coin. And there was specific terminology we wanted used.”

Fry, from Loganville, Georgia, incorporated several required elements in her proposal, including a nighthawk in flight carrying the scales from Lady of Justice which relevant case law, silhouette of instructor and student and the Appalachian Mountains in background.

"We thought it would be a wonderful experience to not just give a student the opportunity to earn a scholarship but to also collaborate with other departments within the university," Parker said. "Working with the talent we have here on campus provided students with a possibility they may not have considered. It is something the student could add to her portfolio."

Anyone who completes the 80-hour firearms instructor course is eligible to receive a coin. The course includes classroom work, range time and passing a qualification test with a 90% or higher, Parker said.

Fry who received her degree in art with a concentration in digital arts May 3, received $500 from the Public Safety Academy foundation for her work.  

"It's a cool, fun way to leave my mark on the school," the graduate said.