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Three Finalists Named in Academy®/mtvU Oscar® Correspondent Contest


Student Teams From Fordham University, Rice University and San Diego State University Fly to Los Angeles for Awards Week

Beverly Hills, CA — Three teams of college journalists have been selected as finalists for the first-ever “Oscar Correspondent Contest,” a joint promotion by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network. All three teams will fly to Los Angeles next week as they continue on in the hope of winning a spot on the red carpet for the 81st Annual Academy Awards®. The finalists are (listed in alphabetical order by university):

* Fordham University Senior Justin Shackil (anchor) and Senior Garry VanGenderen (videographer)
* Rice University Senior Faheem Ahmed (anchor) and Junior Anish Patel (videographer)
* San Diego State University Sophomore Megan Telles (anchor) and Junior Andrew Huse (videographer)

The three video entries of the finalist teams are now posted online at for a final round of online voting through the morning of February 20. All three teams will cover Academy Awards pre-events in Los Angeles, including the Animated Feature Symposium, Foreign Language Film Award Nominees Photo Op and Symposium, the Makeup Artist and Hairstylist Symposium and the Governors Ball preview. Teams will post their video coverage of these events online at for the public to view.

The Grand Prize team will be revealed on Friday, February 20, at an Academy press conference and awarded a spot on the red carpet for the 81st Academy Awards arrivals as well as credentials for access to backstage press rooms. The two other teams will receive bleacher seats along the red carpet and admission to an Oscar viewing party.

The three finalist teams beat out seven other teams of college journalists selected by the Academy and mtvU. The “Oscar Correspondent Contest” was open to teams of two college students, one anchor and one videographer, residing in the United States. For a complete list of rules and regulations, please visit

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.
About mtvU

Broadcast to more than 750 college campuses and via top cable distributors in 700 college communities nationwide, mtvU reaches upwards of 9 million U.S. college students – making it the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are: on-air, online and on campus. mtvU programs music videos from emerging artists that can’t be seen anywhere else, news, student life features and initiatives that give college students the tools to advance positive social change. mtvU owns and operates the College Media Network, the largest interactive network of online college newspapers in the United States, and, the Internet’s largest listing of collegiate professor ratings. The College Media Network comprises nearly 600 campus publications, with a combined enrollment of over 5.5 million students, reaching an average of 5 million unique users each month. reaches approximately 2.9 million college students each month, via the site’s more than 6.6 million student-generated ratings of over 1,000,000 college professors. For more information about mtvU, and a complete programming schedule, visit


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