Winners of “Why I Love ProCon.org” National Student Video Contest Announced

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Photo from 3rd place winner (high school) Landon Gerrits’ video, Dec. 31, 2012. Click here to see all the winning videos.

A panel of prominent film celebrities and education leaders judged 1-2 minute student videos on the theme “Why I Love ProCon.org,” and their lucky seven winners in the ProCon.org national student video contest were announced today.

First place ($400), second place ($200), and third place ($100) winners were selected in three categories: middle school (grades 6-8), high school (grades 9-12), and college/university (undergraduate and graduate) students. There were not enough eligible entries in the middle school category for 2nd or 3rd place winners. All winners receive ProCon.org merchandise for their schools.

All the winning videos are available on the ProCon.org website at: /view.background-resource.php?resourceID=005180 

And the winners are…
Middle School
1st – James Piehl “ProCon.org Rules!” (Naperville, IL)
High School
1st – Michael Ge “ProCon and Reliable Data” (West Covina, CA)
2nd – Mark Morud “Life After ProCon” (Warren, OR)
3rd – Landon Gerrits “untitled” (Fresno, CA)
College/University
1st – John William Leonard “Promoting Critical Thinking” (Manhattan, KS)
2nd – Ellen Chmielowski “Procon.org = A+ on my final papers” (Austin, TX)
3rd – Ryan Longley “Just Go ProCon It” (Dover, NH)

“Congratulations to the winners and thank you so much to our esteemed judges,” said ProCon.org President Kamy Akhavan. “We are thrilled that so many people love the critical thinking and free education that ProCon.org has been providing since 2004.”
ProCon.org, online at www.procon.org, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity that provides free and nonpartisan research on controversial issues. Teachers, librarians, and educators in over 3,500 schools in all 50 states and 53 countries have used ProCon.org content in their instructional materials. 
Judges
Each of seven judges completed a scoring sheet, and all scores were combined to determine overall winners. The seven judges were (in alphabetical order):
Jeff Harris, CEO of the Junior Statesmen of America (JSA) Foundation, has directed 14 sessions of JSA summer schools at prestigious universities including Stanford, Princeton, and Georgetown. He’s also a board member of the California Association of Student Councils. www.jsa.org 
Gregory Mackenzie, President of Impatient Pictures, directed “Camille” (with James Franco and Sienna Miller) and “The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie” (with Gena Rowlands, Kevin Zegers, and James Caan). www.impatientpictures.com 
Mike Marvin, Director, Producer, Writer, Actor on dozens of films, has film credits which include “Atlas Shrugged: Part I” (writer), “Hot Dog… The Movie” (producer and actor), and “The Wraith” (director) featuring Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes, and Randy Quaid. IMDB profile: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0555549/ 
Whitney Novak, MBA, is the former COO and a current consultant at Mathnasium Learning Centers, the world’s largest math tutoring company. She is Co-Owner of Kazoo Toys of Atlanta, and mom to a beautiful 6-month old daughter… who will be good at math in exchange for toys. www.mathnasium.com, www.kazootoys.com
Tod Oliver, PhD, MBA, Senior Leadership & Organizational Development Consultant at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is also a former National Learning Consultant for Cox Communications. www.jpl.nasa.gov 
Ken Wheaton, MA, Managing Editor of Advertising Age, was born and raised in Opelousas, Louisiana, he now lives in Brooklyn and thinks your idea of what gumbo is is probably completely wrong. He’s also the author of The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival (2010). www.adage.com 
Mark Youngren, Senior Artist at Industrial Light & Magic, has film credits which include: “Star Trek,” “Transformers 2,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and “Terminator Salvation.” www.ilm.com

[Correction: We originally mischaracterized Mark Morud’s entry as a middle school entry when it was a high school entry. Based on the points awarded from the judges, Mark becomes the second place winner in the high school category. Landon, who we originally announced as the second place winner, becomes the third place winner. We also neglected to recognize Ryan Longley for winning third prize in the college/university category.]