Students compete

“SCCA Goes Pro” Video Contest begins

Students from Liberty University’s School of Communication & Creative Arts (SCCA) will soon be creatively showcasing some of their best work from their undergraduate education in the “SCCA Goes Pro” Video Contest, according to SCCA Dean Norman Mintle.

The competition, which will run from April 7 until 12 p.m. April 21, encourages undergraduate SCCA students to select a project they have completed for one of their classes and create a 1-to-2-minute video showcasing their work in the most creative and quality-focused way possible, Mintle said. The video must demonstrate exceptional work as well as skills they have learned that will help them in their chosen field. The winner will receive a GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition camera.

“We really want to encourage students to explore the limits of their knowledge, to explore their talents in the area of media and communications,” Liberty graduate student Emily Kendall, one of four contest organizers, said. “That’s why we chose the GoPro camera, to encourage them in their efforts with filmmaking and digital arts and stuff like that, to get a real incentive that they can actually use to further their professional life.”

According to contest rules, only SCCA students may enter. This includes Digital Media & Communication Arts (DMCA), Studio & Digital Arts, Cinematic Arts and Theatre Arts students.
Although cinematic arts students are allowed to enter the contest, graduate student Nate Jurgensen said the competition was designed to allow video submissions of all varieties and emphasize the creativity of those videos. This is intended to even the playing field among all SCCA students.

“We want to encourage students, maybe inspire them, to believe that the work that they’re doing now in courses could be good enough to professionally give themselves a step up in the market,” Jurgensen said.

At the beginning of the spring semester, Jurgensen and his classmates in Dr. Stuart Schwartz’s effective social media class (COMS 546) were each divided into six groups and tasked with managing a different SCCA social medium. Each group assumed control of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube accounts, as well as an alumni-centered page.

Anderson Santos, Jonathan Pfenninger, Jurgensen and Kendall took over the SCCA YouTube account with the goal of increasing the SCCA’s visibility and social media presence.

Schwartz gave the class generalized goals for the project and each group came up with a creative solution to the challenge. For the YouTube group, that solution was the “SCCA Goes Pro” Video Contest.

“The assignment was you’ve got to come up with something that promotes interaction,” Schwartz said. “That particular contest and the way they went about it, that was them, absolutely them.”

According to Jurgensen and Kendall, the winner will be decided based 60 percent on the quality and creativity of the videos and 40 percent on the number of views on the SCCA Youtube Channel. Mintle, DMCA Chairman and assistant professor Bruce Kirk and Liberty professor Dr. Harry Sova will be the judges of this competition.

After the April 21 deadline for the video submission, Jurgensen, Santos, Pfenninger and Kendall will brand the videos with the appropriate SCCA graphic at the beginning and end of the videos and post the submissions on the SCCA YouTube channel. Those who enter are encouraged to promote their video any way they would like, but only views of the video on the SCCA channel will help them win.

According to Schwartz, the emphasis the video contest places on the work experience gained by students both inside and outside the classroom is consistent with the overall goals set for the SCCA department by Mintle.

“Anything like this that we are able to provide our students with, either kind of a real-world competitive opportunity or real-world learning experiences, those are very important to me,” Mintle said.

Although the focus of the video contest remains on SCCA students and their work, Schwartz noted that they are not the only ones reaping the benefits of the process. The graduate students are also getting real-world experience with growing an organization, such as the SCCA social media, which is a necessary skill after graduation.

“The whole point is to add value to each individual student,” Schwartz said. “If we add value to them through a Liberty graduate education, then they’re going to go out and get themselves some pretty nice positions, and they’re better able to compete in the world.”

Full rules and regulations for the contest, including how to enter, can be found at

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