Virginia Tech's Office of University Relations announced the top three videos in its student YouTube video contest, True Life: I'm a Hokie, during the Virginia Tech versus University of Virginia football game.

Capturing the spirit of the university with a distinctive take on Virginia Tech through their own eyes were first place winner Tom Copenhaver of Winchester, Va., sophomore geography major in the College of Natural Resources; second place winner Liz McClendon of Poquoson, Va., a graduate student in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; and third place winner Ian Heflin of Remington, Va., a sophomore geosciences major in the College of Science.

The winning effort, a music video highlighting many aspects of student life, was definitely a team effort, says Copenhaver. Spencer Ferguson of Winchester, Va., a sophomore chemistry major in the College of Science, composed the music; and Kevin Do of Fairfax Station, Va., a sophomore in hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business, wrote the lyrics.

They are certainly glad that other students seem to be enjoying the video, but their newfound fame is taking some getting used to, according to Copenhaver. He says it's still strange when they're in the dining hall or walking across the Drillfield and someone they don't know points at them and says, "Hey look, it's the guys from the video! Good job!"

The purpose of the contest, which was designed with the help of University Relations interns, junior Christie Lemley of Purcellville, Va., and senior Sarah Rothe of Burke, Va., both communication majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, was to create excitement among the students by giving them the ability to summarize, in video format, their personal perspective of what it is to be a Hokie, meanwhile tying in a promotion to build awareness of the university's YouTube site. The winners and all the submitted videos can be viewed by going to the site.

The contest ran from Sept. 28, 2008, through midnight Nov. 8, 2008, at midnight. Students entered a video of two minutes or less to a digital drop box on the Virginia Tech YouTube site itself. A panel of judges selected by the Office of University Relations included Tim Leaton, class of 2007, award-winning filmmaker, and production assistant for Tropic Thunder; and Susan Mattingly, executive director of the Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg. The winning music video will be played before the feature film at the Lyric Theatre, Monday, Dec. 1 through Friday, Dec. 5. Cash prizes for winners were $500 for first place, $250 for second, and $100 for third.

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