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Student Groups Win Video Awards

Posted on Friday, September 12, 2008

Two groups of Westminster College students produced documentaries that won awards in The Christophers' 21st Annual Video Contest for College Students.

The Christophers, a non-profit organization that encourages people to use their talents to make a positive difference in the world, asked entrants to create a short film-five minutes or less, narrative or documentary-on the theme "One Person Can Make a Difference." Winners received a cash prize.

"It's always difficult choosing a winner. This year was no exception," said Mary Ellen Robinson, vice president of The Christophers. "The winning videos exhibit remarkable diversity, but each, in its own way, demonstrates the Christopher belief that individuals can transform the world for the better and inspire others to do the same."

Over 100 entries were submitted nationwide.

Westminster students Gary DeBaldo, Kristin Nikolaison, Shauna Oles, Nicky Piszczor, and Amy Schillinger shared the $2,000 second place award for "Lead, Live, Learn: Miss Vonnie's Vision." The documentary chronicles the story of Walker House, an after-school program founded by Yvonne "Miss Vonnie" Clark to reach out to inner-city children. Nearly two years later, she is still making a difference in the lives of these children by providing hope for a bright future. The video is available online at

Westminster students Amy Cornicelli, Megan Hoffman, Shayna Marti, Ashley Santarsiero, and Jamie Spisak earned a $100 honorable mention for "What One Woman Can Do Is..." The film describes the contributions of Barb Wagner, director of the Eastside Breakfast Food Pantry, who is responsible for feeding over 120 families in the New Castle area each month. Wagner's warmth, love, and encouragement inspire others to hope for a better tomorrow. The video can be viewed at

The students were part of communication studies instructor Keith Corso's Mass Communications class last spring. Six videos were produced in the class and all were submitted for the contest.

"These documentaries were produced using consumer level production equipment as opposed to professional level," Corso said. "I wanted students to see what can be done today with readily available and affordable production equipment."

Contact Corso at (724) 946-7235 or e-mail for more information.

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