by Tammy Parrett
Economics students from the University of West Georgia Richards College of Business recently won first place in the Rockonomix National Contest for the spring 2014 semester. Viewers were asked to vote for their favorite video.
The winning video for the spring 2014 semester was a parody of the popular Sara Bareilles song “Brave,” created by Nick Hoang, Leo Rodriguez, Jessica Brown, Rebekka Arocho, Austin Crider, Derek Brunson, Mark Arnold and Justin Daniels. Student Samantha Bush performed the lyrics in the video. The video was filmed in Atlanta, and highlights many of the landmarks and locations that identify the city. Students won a prize of $200 from Worth Publishing Company, a higher education textbook publisher that has sponsored the national competition since it was established.
Rockonomix is a music video contest between universities across the country, including UWG, Northern Kentucky University, the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and California Polytechnic State University. Kim Holder started the contest in 2010 when she began working as an economics lecturer in the Richards College of Business at UWG.
Kim recognized that students struggled with concepts because they were too invested in technology or popular media to apply them to the world around them. She saw this as an opportunity to merge media that interests students and the course content that they needed to know in order to succeed. Thus, Rockonomix was born.
In an effort to motivate students to retain relevant course information, Kim invited other universities to participate, increasing the competitive nature of the contest. “Honestly, the students care more about the ‘title’ than the money...at least mine do!” Kim says.
Since economics is a required course for many degree programs, many students are non-economics or non-business majors. “I find that the Rockonomix assignment more fully engages the students whose comparative advantages are present in creative and artistic fields,” said Adam Hoffer, economics instructor at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, who made the assignment mandatory during his spring 2012 semester.
The UWG students won first place, while Northern Kentucky University won second place and the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse won third place. Second and third place winners receive prizes of $100 and $50, respectively.
“This is an excellent example of the level of engagement our faculty have with students,” says Dr. Faye McIntyre, dean of the Richards College of Business. “Kim Holder created this opportunity for students and has been able to get them excited about economics. The students created videos that present economics concepts in a fun and entertaining way. This particular video is simply fantastic! Every time I hear the 'real' song now, I think 'I want to see you save.'”
The videos that won awards are: