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Video contest winners announced

Megan Zaubi, a sophomore from Itasca, rides a skateboard in the form of Dillon Docherty in the first-place video from Monmouth College's student competition.

Five Monmouth College students will share $3,500 in prize money for their creative efforts in producing original YouTube admission videos for the college.


Conducted by the marketing/communications department of the college, the six-week contest offered $3,000 to a student or team of students that produced the best video illustrating Monmouth’s slogan, “What College Was Meant to Be.” A prize of $500 was offered for the second-place video.


Taking top prize was a creative team led by Joe Florio, a sophomore from Grayslake. He was assisted by  Dillon Docherty, a sophomore from Monticello; and Sarah Zaubi, a sophomore from Itasca. Senior Owen Russell of St. Paul, Minn., and his partner, junior Scott Haynes, of Burlington, Ontario, won second prize.


Honorary mention was awarded to a video submitted by Cyrus Turner, a freshman from Reynolds, and Alex DeWitte, a freshman from Rock Island.


Students uploaded their 5-7 minute videos to YouTube, where the public was able to view. The three videos that received the most “likes” were then submitted to a panel of judges, consisting of a student, a faculty member and an admission staff member.

The winning video captured two of the judges’ attention because of its creative use of stop-motion animation. “The editing was amazing and extremely creative and professional,” said theater professor Doug Rankin, the faculty judge. “This video, in addition to being attractive to 18-year-olds, has the possibility of attracting attention as a creative film.”


Erik Dalmasso, the admission staff judge, agreed. “The production value is very, very strong and I believe that today's prospective students would love watching—I know I did!


The second-place video made use of campus beauty shots and music to set a mood. “It is more like the traditional Monmouth College video,” Rankin observed, “…safe, highbrow, conservative.  Parents from the last generation would probably prefer it.  I liked its focus on academics and family.”


This video did have some wonderful individual shots—some of the best of the competition,” noted Dalmasso, who also gave high marks to the honorable mention video, which simulated an NBC News report about campus.


Don Capener, vice president for strategic planning and marketing, said the contest was aimed primarily at the current generation of high school juniors and seniors, who often respond better to YouTube videos about a college than they do to traditional glossy viewbooks. “We could have produced a more high-end video,” he added, “but we decided that the product would have more credibility for prospective students if it were created by students roughly their own age—students who are already sold on the slogan that Monmouth is ‘what college was meant to be.’”


The winning videos are stacked below.

First place: Joe Florio / Dillon Docherty / Sarah Zaubi

Second place: Owen Russell / Scott Haynes

Honorable mention: Cyrus Turner / Alex DeWitte