University of Illinois students claim Sparky Awards People’s Choice Prize

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2012
 
Contact:
Andrea Brusca Higginbotham
(202) 296-2296 x 121
andrea [at] arl [dot] org

University of Illinois students claim Sparky Awards People’s Choice Prize

Washington, DC – A team led by Bryan Killian, a Junior Biological Sciences student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has won the 2011 Sparky Awards Peoples’ Choice prize for the short film, “Open Access.” The video was selected in an open online vote held earlier this year.
 
The Sparky Awards were created by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and have been widely adopted by campuses across the U.S. The contest calls on entrants to innovatively exemplify in a short video the value of openly sharing ideas. “Open Access” humorously displays the constructive possibilities that open access allows researchers. The clip is available online athttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BqeV-3Fqtk.
 
Killian collaborated with several fellow students to make the video. Featuring Akshay Patel, Alex Kim, Aneesh Nandam, and Killian, the cinematography was done by Garrett Padera.
 
“Restricting access to scholarly material would make my research next to impossible,” said Killian. “I think it's a great thing to have people challenging what it means to have access to information. This isn't some esoteric issue for university research departments, but really encompasses much of what we take for granted today.”
 
"The Honors College is very proud they have won SPARC's 'Sparky' People's Choice Award,” said Bette L. Bottoms, Dean of the Honors College and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The students “produced a clever and visually effective video that shows their concern for the challenges of information access and knowledge distribution facing today's researchers," she said. 
 
Dr. Donald Chambers, Director of GPPA Medicine Students, which several of the winning students are a part of, similarly expresses his pride that his students are being recognized "for their creativity and advocacy for open access and free sharing of ideas and information. This award further demonstrates the fulfillment of our expectations for our GPPA students in meaningful public involvement."
 
The People’s Choice Award winners will share a $1,000 cash prize plus a personalized award statuette. 
 
The 2011 Sparky Awards were organized by SPARC and co-sponsored by: The Association of College and Research Libraries, The Association of Research Libraries, Campus MovieFest, The Center for Social Media, The New Media Consortium (NMC), The Open Video Alliance, Penn Libraries, Students for Free Culture, The Student PIRGs, and SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).
 
For more information, visit the Sparky Awards Web site at http://www.sparkyawards.org.
 
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THE SPARKY AWARDS are organized and sponsored by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), an alliance of academic libraries and research institutions working to build on the opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Membership in SPARC is open to libraries of all sizes. For more information, visit http://www.arl.org/sparc.