Photo courtesy of Alyssa Botelho.

Three lucky students captured how the Harrington School of Communications and Media changed their lives for the better in sixty-second videos that won them a free trip to Los Angeles, California.

The trip will include tickets to a live showing of “The Ellen Show,” a tour of Warner Bros. Studios and the ability to network with University of Rhode Island alumni in the film and media industry.

Students were judged on the creativity, originality and production quality of their videos and their ability to answer the question “Why should others consider enrolling in the Harrington School?” Additionally, they illustrated how the Harrington School has impacted their lives in some way.

“It was really a tough call,” Harrington School Director Adam Roth said of the applicants for the trip, “but they were chosen because their videos stood out. Their videos rose to the top and really were the best of the best.”

Students will also have the opportunity to network with established alumni with important positions such as the vice president of media and marketing at Paramount, a famous Hollywood director and producer and many more.

“This is the second time we’ve done this trip,” Roth said. “[The students] are going to meet incredibly successful alumni in the film and TV industry, they’re going to be able to network with them, it’s going to be a life-changing experience. We try to make sure that all of our students have a transformational experience, in the Harrington School, in one form or another.”

Alyssa Botelho, a sophomore film media and business management student, said she was excited that she had the opportunity to apply for the trip. After hearing the criteria for the video she considered all of the opportunities the Harrington School has given her, and how to creatively fit those into her video.

“I started to think of what the Harrington School means to me and why I love being there,” Botelho said. “ I came up with three main points of how I could express myself creatively, how I stay motivated and how I’ve gotten to do a lot of cool stuff with [the school].”

The two other students chosen out of the applicants were senior communications student Natalie Koenig and senior film media and communications student Sean Campbell.

Campbell said he focused his video on the path that lead him to his academics at the Harrington School.

“I thought about doing things outside of the box, because I’ve seen past videos for the trip and they were very personal,” Campbell said. “I’m not good at being in front of a camera so I had the idea of recording my screen while I was on Google Earth. I moved to different locations and milestones that brought me to URI.”

As a senior, Campbell is looking forward to being able to network and make connections for when he graduates in the spring. He is excited to be able to have connections all over the country.

“I really want to branch out, especially to people that work in the industry,” Campbell said. “Film goes from the East Coast to the West Coast. There are just so many different areas of film and people you can meet in film. [Networking] is probably the most vital part of the industry.”

Koenig approached the questions with a “montage” of information. As a transfer student she wanted to focus on the step she took to becoming a student at URI, and her experience with film.

“I wanted to incorporate as much information about myself in the short amount of time that I had,” Koenig said. “I took the first 30 seconds to talk about how the Harrington School changed my outlook on communications and jobs in that field. I used a voice over and kind of montaged the video to answer the questions.”

The tickets to see “The Ellen Show” were donated by Mary Connelly, the current executive producer of the show. All plane tickets were donated by another alumnus and member of the Harrington School Advisory Board, Bob Vincent and International Game Technology (IGT).

“We’re really excited for [the students],” Roth said. “They are going to have the experience of a lifetime.”

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Theresa Brown
I believe that journalism is one of the most important fields in the world. It is incredible to have the responsibility of informing the public, and while I didn't know I wanted to pursue this interest at first I am so incredibly excited to take on this role. News, whether it be big or small impacts so many and I think that giving the students of URI a look into everything that is going on around them is extremely necessary to the overall functionality of the University. On another more personal note, I'm doing this because I have a passion for writing and because I care so much about the reporters and editors involved with the paper already and can't wait to work with them and lead them going forward.