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Different competition, same winning results

By Chelsea Royal

For the second year in a row, students from the School of Communication are off to the red carpet. Seniors Jackie De Tore and Beth Laschever, and Junior Melanie Rubin head to Los Angeles this week after winning a video contest last month.

The contest organizer,, provides the winning team with a grand prize package, including airfare to the event, money for formal outfits and meals, transportation and access to the Oscar events. The ABC network produces the site, which is owned by a division of the Walt Disney Company. The rules required a three-person team of a reporter, producer and videographer to send a three minute video explaining why they deserved to be chosen. The video was chosen over 200 others submitted.

De Tore, a broadcast journalism major, the group's on-camera talent, narrated the video as the reporter. She first heard about the contest from advisor Gregory Smith, who sent an email out containing the information. She partnered up with Melanie Rubin, a television major, and the two began brainstorming ideas. After realizing the contest required a team of three, Rubin immediately asked Laschever to join them in the competition as camerawoman.

"It was the perfect combination of all of our strengths and how we all worked together as a team," said Laschever.

The team spent five days shooting and editing the short film, which they submitted the Tuesday before Super Bowl. They believed submitting an article early would better their chances of winning. However, De Tore thought their chances were not so high because of a similar success by Hofstra students the year before.

Senior Luz Pena and recent graduate Philip Robibero were the winners last year in a similar contest sponsored the mtvU 2011 Oscar Awards. Robibero, who graduated in May, found out from Pena about the competition two months after they had met. He took a lot from the experience and realized the impact of their work.

"It made me understand the value of creating a community around a video," said Robibero.

He advises this year's winning team to remember to remain professional. He also encourages them to try not to be intimidated.

"If you're a nice person and you're very relatable and personable, you can pretty much talk to anyone, whomever they are," said Robibero.

Nerves may not be an issue for the all-girl team. De Tore, Rubin and Laschever are bringing their business cards with them to the awards.

"Our expectation is to meet people in the business," said Rubin.

Although the contest differs from last year, these changes did not stop students from Hofstra from winning for the second year in a row. Pena and Robibero had to pass three rounds of voting in order to be sent to the Oscars. This year, the participants only endured one round.

Mario Murillo, head of the RTVF Department, worked with Pena and Robibero last year.He feels that the University will once again be in the spotlight nationally, recognizing its students for their success and caliber.

"The world is going to be watching," said Murillo.

The team will be in Hollywood Feb. 23-27.


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