Isa Amaro Varas ’23 awarded distinguished Watson Fellowship
He may have had a whole minute, but senior Zurab Grdzelishvili says he only needs three words to describe his experience as a student on Connecticut College's campus. "I would call it 'a beautiful eclecticism,'" he said. Grdzelishvili is the winner of the College's "Student Minute" contest, which challenged students to capture short video clips of their college experience.
With more than 1,600 views, his video of a student tango session beat out an appropriately eclectic group of submissions, including snippets of a classroom lecture, an a cappella performance, an inside look at a favorite campus coffee spot, a number of athletic events and even a clip of one student walking the length of a basketball court in the College's athletic center - on his hands.
The contest, in which students submitted unedited Smartphone videos to be posted on YouTube, was directed by Jeff Puklin, the new media producer in the College's communications office.
"We wanted to give students a way to show prospective students an authentic view of campus life," Puklin said. "The contest allowed them to showcase the variety of academic, athletic and artistic activities our students participate in on a daily basis."
Once the videos were posted to YouTube, members of the campus community were encouraged to watch and 'like' their favorites. Grdzelishvili, a government and history major, said he took advantage of the viral power of social media to take home the grand prize of a Kindle Fire.
"I asked everyone I knew to view the video - and possibly 'like' it too," he said, adding that his friends also posted it to their own Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.
The contest's other winners, who will each receive a $50 gift card, are:
- Second place: Ellen Nadel '13 for "Acapella at OPT21 Benefit Concert"
- Third place: Grace Kabel '12 for "Conn Skier"
- Fourth place: Claire Wellbeloved-Stone '14 for "A look Inside a Class Lecture at Connecticut College"
- Fifth place: John Hile '14 for "Crazy Arms - Fun in the Athletic Center at Connecticut College"
Overall, the contest's YouTube channel had more than 13,000 views, and Puklin said prospective students were grateful for the first-person look at life at the College.
"They told us they thought it was a really good way to capture some of the things you might not see in admission marketing materials or on a campus tour," Puklin said.