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REF NO.: 173

SUBJECT: Memorial University announces winners of the Rant Like Rick contest
DATE: May 7, 2007

Three winners were announced at a special awards ceremony today for the Rant Like Rick contest. Melissa Hoskins from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Brandon Copeland from Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and Stefanie Peters from Sydney, Nova Scotia, were recognized for having the best rants. 
“We are thrilled with the results of the contest,” said Sheila Devine, director of Student Recruitment. “An initiative like this really gives prospective students an opportunity to interact and connect with Memorial. The creativity and talent that was displayed in the entries was truly remarkable. We are very glad that these students made Memorial University their university of choice.”
Contestants were asked to send in their rant about a relevant topic with a chance to win free tuition. The three winners will receive a tuition voucher for two semesters, currently valued at $2,550.
Melissa Hoskins put her passion for global warming to film. Melissa is actively trying to persuade her peers and members of her community to give up drinking bottled water in favor of the cost and emission-free tap variety. Melissa says that the Rant Like Rick contest gave her an opportunity to showcase her journalism and public speaking skills while seeking new ways to pay for her university education.  Brandon Copeland had so many factors to consider when choosing his post-secondary education options. This was the focus of Brandon’s rant, and he says that this was his attempt at helping out with the costs of education.
Stefanie Peters says she “created a rant in an effort to provide an excellent way to approach paying for university.” Stephanie chose to rant about the media playing such a large role in moulding the development of today’s youth.
There were 28 entries received in total. Six entries were from a Grade 10 class at Merivale High School in Ottawa, Ontario. Although these entries did not meet the eligibility requirements, the students were very enthused to take part in the initiative. 
The Rant Like Rick campaign was aimed at a much wider audience than just prospective university students with a beef and a passion for cinematography. The campaign was designed to show Memorial in a different light to many groups – as a university that embraces creativity and self-expression.
“The campaign has been like nothing else we have ever worked on here at Memorial,” says Michael Pickard, Memorial’s associate director of marketing. “People seemed to understand that to project the essence of this place, we don’t always need to show smiling faces and classrooms. The response, inside and outside of the province, has been overwhelming. We’ve stayed true to our modern approach – from posting the ads on YouTube to sending invitations to our event on Facebook.” 
The campaign Rant Like Rick is based on the concept of Rick Mercer’s rant component of his show The Rick Mercer Report. Two ads, one featuring a male and one a female, are both “ranting” about factors that prospective students need to consider when choosing a university.
To view the winning rants, visit www.mun.ca/rant.
“Rant Like Rick” Winner Biographies
Stephanie Peters
Stephanie is an outgoing, bright student from Sydney, Nova Scotia who is very passionate about drama and public speaking. When Stephanie saw the television commercial for the “Rant Like Rick” campaign she immediately knew that this contest was made for her. Having won various awards for her public speaking, she thought that creating a rant would provide her with an excellent opportunity to showcase her talents – acting and public speaking. Creating a rant would not only provide an excellent and unique way to approach a scholarship application, but would also help her in gaining acceptance into the Theatre Arts program at Grenfell College. Stephanie chose to rant about the media playing such a large role in molding the development of today’s youth.

Brandon Copeland
Brandon is an enthusiastic curler and snowboarder from Wolfville, Nova Scotia. What really frustrates him is trying to decide which University to attend; there are so many factors to take into consideration! This burning annoyance was the focus of Brandon’s rant, which was fuelled by a desire to apply for a scholarship in a fresh, new way. At Memorial University Brandon hopes to further explore his passions for English, History and Political Science. He is greatly looking forward to starting the school year, and is excited that his closest friends will be joining him on this new adventure.

Melissa Hoskins
As a Newfoundlander, Melissa attended Prince of Wales Collegiate in St. John’s and is very passionate about human rights issues, Canadian politics, and the environment. Melissa spends her free time enjoying dance with various groups around the province and contributing to world issues as a UNESCO Youth Ambassador. As Valedictorian of her high school graduating class and contributor to her school’s newspaper, Melissa put her passion of Global Warming to film. She is actively trying to persuade her peers and members of her community to give up drinking bottled water in favor of the cost and emission-free tap variety. Melissa found that the “Rant Like Rick” opportunity allowed her to showcase her journalism and public speaking skills while seeking new ways to pay for her university education.

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