The BIG Contest

Announcing the 202 winners of the big contest!


Andrew W. Mellon Fellows from The New Hampshire Humanities Collaborative, served as judges for the 2020 BIG Contest. All of of organizers and participants would like to offer sincere thanks to them, as well as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for making this all possible. There are four catagories, view them all below.


Digital Storytelling award for excellence in narrative

1st place: Meghan Murphy

Comments from the Judges: "The Day that Sports Stopped" focuses on Riley Freehling, whose senior gymnastic season was cut short by COVID-19, ending her athletic career. Murphy weaves in the importance of gymnastics and the UNH gymnastics community to Freehling to highlight the pain of losing this sport season. This highly relevant and topical essay uses powerful visual editing and effective music and voice overs to capture the sense of loss to Freehling and her teammates.  


2nd place: Elena Gregory

Cancer and COVID-19: A Patient’s Perspective During the Global Pandemic

Comments from the Judges: "Cancer Patient" is a story of Gregory's father's battle with pancreatic cancer amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Using her father's own words, Gregory unveils the challenges of fighting cancer, while focusing on living. This short film gives a universal and moving message of fear and uncertainty as well as hope and strength.


3rd place: Annaliese Schmell

Comments from the Judges: "Same Same, but Different" shows Schmell's experiences while working to help impoverished people in Nepal. She tells the story of how she grew as a person while volunteering, making deep, short-term connections with the people there.  She shows her experiences of heartbreak and trauma, but also love and humanity.


Change the world award for a persuasive project

1st Place: Hope Davids (and company)

A special edition, online publication titled "A Century of Change and Female Empowerment (1920-2020)." All nine students in ENGL287, which is known as "Women in Lit." worked together on this project. We planned the project with excitement about marking the 100th anniversary of women in the U.S. getting the right to vote with passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. An exhibition of student work was also supposed to take place on our campus on 4/30 with this website featured, along with posters, and this submission to the HUGEmanities "Big Contest." Thankfully, our class, working as three groups, met in person before spring break and have continued to meet in Zoom weekly since then. Two members of the class are part of the campus' literary journal (Hope Davids, VP, and Kathryn Shaw, editor), and we decided it made the most sense to partner with the literary journal to develop our project there to share it with a larger audience. Despite working in grocery stories and more during the pandemic, our class members really pulled together and submitted the writing, photos, and illustrations/infographics they had planned in February, and made a meaningful website.

preview thumbnail and link to the the eye website

This is the home page, which links with the title buttons to the other five pages of the special edition of the literary journal. Please be sure to click on each title button to view the full website.

Comments from the Judges: A beautifully assembled and conceptually well executed piece, with clarity of purpose and a diversity of viewpoints and applications to the modern world.


2nd Place: Jasmine Taudvin

This collection of interviews shows students from around the world (30 interviews, 15 different countries) talking about what they were taught in history class about the same historical events. The point of the video is the highlight how each country teaches the same historical events through a different perspective, and how students from different countries have different understandings of a shared past. Some of these differences are enormous, while others are more subtle. However, our understanding of the past shapes our understanding of identities today, making the fact that these discrepancies exist incredibly important to understanding each other in the present day. Due to permissions, the video posted here is an edited version of full-length video, but it gives an idea of the content.

Shorter Clip of The London Project

Comments from the Judges: A magnificent and ambitious idea whose composition was truly global and diverse, and which used global diversity to ask wide-ranging questions about how we understand our shared world.


3rd Place: Lisa Robidoux

I was studying abroad in London this semester, and I worked on a semester long "London Project" for my class. While out exploring London, I stumbled upon the Thames River Barrier. This is a water barrier system that was designed to help prevent floods in London and is now being used to help hold back sea level rise and the effects it will have on the Thames and the area around the Thames River. I decided I wanted to research what London, one of the most popular and historic cities in the world, is doing to combat climate change. I wanted to focus on what London is currently doing to fight climate change, what the effects of climate change have on the city and the river, and what their plan is for the future. It was extremely fun and educational to learn what London is doing to fight climate change, and it made me interested to learn what other major cities across the globe are doing, as this is a global issue.  Prezi link can be navigated using the arrow keys on your keyboard.

Link to Prezi

Comments from the Judges: A laudably deep dive into the intersection of a huge problem with a local feature, one with variable and wide-reaching effects touching on history, geography, economics, politics, and more.


Breakout Award for projects by a first-year or novice student

1st Place : Kylie Gorgenyi

Feedback from the Judges: This project was does most everything well: good use of titles, lively narrative pacing, effective transitions, great choice of music, and a sense of humor. The author's skill and creativity at working in visual and written communication are evident throughout. The images are well-chosen, used artfully, and technique and technology are employed very effectively without ever getting in the way of story-telling, This project goes beyond personal narrative to include its audience while making a larger topical point. Very well done in every regard.  


2nd Place: Leah Minnucchi

Feedback from the Judges: This is a very well designed project with a clear and engaging narrative. The voice over is particularly well done, and the numerous pop culture clips and references impart an appropriately friendly, if not humorous vibe. The move towards the end to note the familial and cultural importance of food works well, enlarges the narrative, and builds a stronger connection between the viewers and the narrative. This is a very smooth, seamless project that makes the most of its topic. 


3rd Place: Kelsey Van Dalsum

Feedback from the Judges: This is a strong project with an engaging narrative and good production value. There are some really interesting music choices, and the pacing of the narrative is well done. The entire projects is well thought out, effectively delivered, and enjoyable to watch . 


Innovative Design Award for creative use of digital tools


1st Place: Matt Quinney

"Early 1900’s Process of Adding Sound to Film/Film Noir"

Film Noir (Big Contest Submission)  Dubbing & ADR (Big Contest Submission)

Comments from the Judges: We have decided to consider both of these projects as one. Our decision was based on the similarity of each, which also highlights the skill and ingenuity of the larger project. Each film demonstrated good academic rigor and insight. The design and execution of each project showed a sense of professionalism and skill for not only the use of mixing and editing the video, but also the execution of the sample films. Overall, this larger project works to demonstrate the interlacing aspects of what the humanities are and how it can be highlighted.


2nd Place: Erin Mahoney

"Grief, Guilt, and David Bowie" (Due to the nature of this project, you can veiw this project at:

Collage of writing and pictures around the theme of David Bowie

Comments from the Judges: The project showed ingenuity and was a delight to read. In particular, the writing showed advanced skill, which then worked well with the interactive aspects of the project. The project was difficult to access, but this also highlighted the skill and originality of the participant to tackle an html project.


3rd Place: Evan Edmunds

"London Soccer" (Website)

thumbnail link to website

Comments from the Judges: The project was well organized and had a cohesive wholeness to it that lacked in some of the other blogging projects. The blog was well organized, had embedded video and pictures, and had multiple lengthy entries that highlighted strong writing.





the 2019 Winners of The BIG Contest:


In 2019, we ran our first Big Contest, and gave financial awards for digital work in the humanities and the liberal arts at the University of New Hampshire. This year, we've grown! We're seeking digital assignments from UNH and NH Community College Students!

Please click HERE to read about Big Contest guidelines

and new submission categories for 2020.


Breakout Award: For a distinguished project from a first-year student


Halle Hamilton "Rich Media Presentation"

Halle Hamilton Rich Media Presentation HUGEmanities

Deans Award: James Ennis "Last Hike"

Ennis Breakout 2019

Digital Storytelling Award: For a distinguished project featuring narrative as the driving component


Madelyn O'Leary "The Hinton Family"

Hinton Family


Dean's Award: Abigail McIntosh "Winter"

McIntosh Storytelling 2019
Design and Innovation Award: For a distinguished project involving design as a primary component of delivery


Cassie Hollasch for "Jane Eyre's New Writers Forum"

Also found at: