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News Release

April 11, 2013

Ohio University’s Scripps Innovation Challenge winners announced 

Six Ohio University students shared the $10,000 grand prize of the inaugural Scripps Innovation Challenge on April 11 after presenting their idea for a mobile alarm clock app that would get more young people to consume news.

Broadcast journalism seniors Devin Bartolotta, Matt Digby, Glenn Janos, Leah Petrovich, Sarah Tranelli and management information systems senior Ryan Vibbert collaborated to design an app that would allow users to receive targeted news on their mobile devices at a desired time of day. Their challenge was to “Craft a Strategy to Get More Young People to Consume News” and was submitted by Ogden Newspapers.

“It started out as a class project and as the idea developed, we realized it could be so much more,” said Tranelli. “We felt really confident about our idea and hoped we could come in here and get the judges to believe in it.”

The Scripps Innovation Challenge, a campus-wide contest sponsored by the Scripps College of Communication, provided the opportunity for students to innovate creative solutions to actual challenges from the media industry. The Challenge kicked off Jan. 17 and concluded when 10 finalist teams presented their ideas to a panel of industry judges. Each team had five minutes to present followed by a five-minute question and answer session with the judges, including Dennis Hetzel, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association; Ryan Lytle, social media producer for; Silas Lyons, editor and VP of New Media Content for The Record Searchlight, in Redding, Calif.; and Christine Merritt, president of the Ohio Association of Broadcasters.

“I was so impressed with the work, the ideas, the poise these students had in making their presentations,” said Merritt. “The other thing I thought was really impressive was the cross-disciplinary nature of the contest. The innovation presented today was tremendous.”

Additional winners include:

• Second Prize ($5,000) – Sicon Li, Andrew Winter, Ben Weibel, Justin Howell, Rose Troyer, Erica Staeuble

• Honorable Mentions ($1,000 each) –

   o Brianna DiPilato, Amy Gregory, Kaylyn Hlavaty, Chu Wu

   o Chris Pinchot, Gina Ranalli, Alex Martinez

   o Matt Forsythe, Emily Kimble o Kaity Conner, Jacob Corrigan, Isaiah Griffin, Kaitor Kposowa, Bradley Parks

   o Nii Kotei Nikoi, Tracy Tinga, Reda Hassan, Alicia Aikens

The Scripps Innovation Challenge grew out of a $3 million endowment for media innovation from the Scripps Howard Foundation. For more information on the contest, visit

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