Pitt Ph.D. Student, A Finalist In State Slogan Contest (You Can Vote Online Until Feb. 13)

Pennsylvania - Pursue HappinessJames “Kip” Currier, a doctoral student in library and information science at the University of Pittsburgh who also earned his three previous degrees at Pitt, is a finalist in the “Penn a Phrase for Pennsylvania” contest. Currier’s slogan, “Pennsylvania – Pursue Happiness,” was one of five finalists chosen from nearly 22,000 entries. The winner will be determined by an online voting process, taking place at http://www.visitpa.com/. Anybody can vote, and you can vote as many times as you want before the contest closes Feb. 13.

Currier, who met Gov. Ed Rendell in a ceremony for the finalists Jan. 14 at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, had two sources of inspiration for his slogan. The most evident point of reference is to the Declaration of Independence’s phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (the document was adopted in Philadelphia). But Currier said the phrase that originally inspired him to focus on happiness was his father’s favorite saying, “Follow your bliss,” coined by Joseph Campbell.

This isn’t Currier’s first success in a slogan writing contest. In 1984, while spending his junior year of college studying in Japan, he won a contest sponsored by Continental Air Micronesia for a slogan encouraging tourism in Micronesia.

Currier, a 40-year-old Sharon native, is in the second semester of his Ph.D. studies, having previously earned three other degrees at Pittsburgh – a B.A. in Japanese (1985), a J.D. in law (1988) and a Master in library and information science (1996).