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Student's Video Honored at Sparky Awards

Christopher Wetzel, a senior accounting major from Strongsville, Ohio, was recently recognized for his participation in the second-annual Sparky Awards. The awards are a nationwide contest organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) that calls on entrants to creatively illustrate the value of sharing ideas in a short video.

Wetzel's entry, an animated short titled "Brighter," won him second runner-up honors. He, along with another runner-up, won $500 for his entry.

Winners were chosen by a panel of media scholars, educators, librarians, students and others. The winning videos "offer potent and colorful glimpses of how students see sharing of knowledge spurring innovation, solving problems and improving lives," according a SPARC press release.

The winners were announced on Jan. 24 at a public screening held in connection with the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Denver, Colo. The winning videos will also be screened at the Campus MovieFest Southern Regional Grand Finale in Atlanta, Ga., March 28-29.

Wetzel said he "stumbled upon the Sparky Awards while surfing the Internet" and decided to enter.

"I've enjoyed making videos for years," he said. "And the possibility for a little cash didn't hurt, either."

The grand prize went to a team entry from the University of Illinois at Chicago Honors College titled "To Infinity and Beyond." First runner-up was an entry from the Savannah College of Art and Design titled "How to Make Things Easier," and a special merit award went to a team from France for their entry titled "GrowUp."

Wetzel said that while he would have liked to place higher, he's "happy to be up there amongst students from France and a student from an arts and design college."

The grand prize winner received $1,000 and a Sparky statuette. All the winners, in addition to the monetary awards, also received a copy of "Freedom of Expression: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property," a documentary film by Kembrew McLeod that explores free speech and fair use.

Wetzel's entry can be viewed at: