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REF NO.: 141

SUBJECT: Memorial University announces Rant like Rick winners
DATE: April 27, 2009

The winners of this year’s Rant like Rick contest were announced today at a special awards ceremony held at Memorial University’s St. John’s campus. Elizabeth Hann from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, won the Rant like Rick Award valued at $10,000. Melanie Hoskins of St. John’s, and Stacy Gagnidze of Calgary, Alberta, won the runner-up prizes of free tuition for two semesters at Memorial.  
“We are thrilled with the results of this year’s contest,” says Shona Perry-Maidment, acting director of student recruitment. “The response from across Canada was overwhelming and the creativity and talent that was displayed in the entries was truly remarkable.”
A grade 12 French immersion student at Holy Heart of Mary High School, Elizabeth Hann’s rant was inspired by the chaos surrounding high school graduation. She says that “people need to relax, especially when it comes to the forming of Facebook  groups back in September detailing which girl ‘owns’ a particular dress when graduation isn’t until June!”
A grade 11 student at Prince of Wales Collegiate, Melanie Hoskin’s says she used the Rant like Rick contest to “vent her frustration on the lack of trans-Atlantic air service in Newfoundland after recently being stranded at both the Toronto and Montreal airports.” 
A grade 12 student at Western Canada High School, Stacy Gagnidze’s rant was a light-hearted commentary on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s hair. Stacy says that “it’s no secret that many Canadians don’t like Stephen Harper, but when you ask why, not many people have a good solid answer. I decided to find a small detail that could deem Stephen Harper unpopular, so I choose his hair. It has stayed the same since 1985!”
“Rant like Rick gives prospective students an opportunity to interact and connect with spirit of Memorial,” says Michael Pickard, associate director of marketing. “Once again this year we took a modern approach, posting ads on Facebook  and asking students to upload their entries to YouTube.” 
The Rant like Rickcampaign is based on the concept of Rick Mercer’s rant component of his show The Rick Mercer Report. In total, 108 entries were received including 50 entries from the Grade 11 and 12 classes at St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s, NL.  
To view the winning rants, visit www.mun.ca/rant
 
Rant like Rick Winner Bios
 
Elizabeth Hann
A grade 12 French immersion student at Holy Heart of Mary High School, Elizabeth’s rant was inspired by the chaos surrounding high school graduation, including the formation of Facebook groups dedicated to showing what girl ‘owns’ what dress. Elizabeth is an active member of student council and theatre arts and will be appearing in two upcoming school productions. An award-winning public speaker and athlete, she also loves to read, write and sing. With a brother and sister who are both Memorial graduates, Elizabeth says she’s always known she wanted to attend Memorial and thinks it is a great university.
 
 Melanie Hoskins
A grade 11 student at Prince of Wales Collegiate, Melanie’s rant on the lack of trans-Atlantic air service in Newfoundland was inspired by a recent event in which she was stranded at the Toronto and Montreal airport. Her many achievements include winning several regional Historica Fair competitions and placing first in the Senior Colour Poster Category of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Remembrance Day Poster Contest. She is also the secretary of her high school’s Key Club. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys Irish step dance, creative art, and playing guitar. Due to the positive experiences of her two sisters currently attending Memorial, Melanie says she feels fortunate to have a quality institution like Memorial in her own backyard.
 
Stacy Gagnidze
A grade 12 student at Western Canada High School, Stacy’s rant was a light-hearted commentary on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s hair. Along with learning French as a second language, Stacy says that finishing in the top-three of the Rant like Rick Contest is one of her biggest accomplishments to date. She is also an avid photographer and even started a photography club at her school. As a volunteer on her school’s student union, Stacy spends countless hours organizing important school events. In her spare time, she enjoys snowboarding, music, reading, and making a “mean espresso with flare!” Stacy says Rick Mercer is the funniest man in Canada, which played a major role into why she entered this contest.

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