“Who can take the sunshine, and make some energy? Teach and spread the word about ecology.” Berea College’s Campus Plan to reduce energy use by 45 percent by 2015 can!

Berea College seniors John Carter and Justin Lee and sophomore Kina Huffman worked together to create a video, “Berea College and the Environment Factory,” featuring how Berea College is dealing with global warming to enter in the National Wildlife Federation Chill Out video contest.

The contest and the event, Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming, is one way the NWF is attempting to get campuses involved in recognizing and working toward solutions.

The winners of the video contest are featured in the NWF’s live Earth Day broadcast from 3 to 4:30 p.m. today. Berea College is hosting a broadcast in the Seabury Center’s Trustee’s Room. It will feature a special message from former Vice President Al Gore, a live panel discussion with questions from more than 40,000 students across the United States and the premier of the winning video entries.

The students competed against 22 other schools in the contest, which was posted on YouTube, and the winners were decided by ratings received on the Web site.

The group promoted the video on Facebook and MySpace in attempt to gather votes, as well as announcing the contest in class, sending mass e-mails and passing out fliers.

“It was difficult for us to get more votes because we’re a small community and school competing against big schools,” said Carter.

The video placed fourth in the contest, but the NWF people enjoyed it so much they wanted to include it in their Web cast.

“We checked out example videos and noticed a lot were documentaries,” said Carter. “So we wanted to do something fun, youthful, dynamic and high energy to differentiate ourselves from the documentary formats that saturated the contest.”

The video features Carter teaching Huffman how Berea College is attempting to reduce their energy use in a humorous song. The majority of the camera work and editing (and a small acting role) was done by Lee.

“They’re a really creative group of students and it’s a pleasure to work with them,” said Julie Sowell, public relations news and information manager at the college. “We’re lucky to have good equipment and resources for our students to do projects like this.”

The students worked with Tammy Clemons, sustainability coordinator of Berea’s ecological sustainability program in gathering information scattered throughout the video. The department also sponsored the video in the contest.

“It’s been a wonderful experience, a lot of fun,” Carter said. “It’s a unique diversion from the kind of work we normally do at PR. I’m thankful for the opportunity to participate and have such pleasant results.”

The video may be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6cAmZfS2aA. The Web site for the NWF Earth Day Broadcast is www.fc-tv.com/client/nwf/portal.asp.

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