AUM Celebrates International Women’s Day

By Latara Holloway

Members of the AUM community celebrated International Women’s Day by attending the “Make It Happen” luncheon and panel discussion held March 9. The panel featured four women from the River Region, each from different careers, to answer questions about their lives and talk about the challenges faced by women today. The speakers included Dr. Jevonnah “Lady J” Ellison, president and founder of Professional Women of Integrity; Marietta Koums, executive director of the Millbrook Chamber of Commerce; Sesi Ogunbym, Montgomery Pediatric Gastroenterologist; and Dr. Elizabeth D. Woodworth, associate professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at AUM.

The event opened with a welcome by host and member of the organizing committee Zaneta Wilson. A dance performance by student Katie Xu followed. Afterwards, Dr. Yolanda Tyre of Student Affairs introduced the panelists and moderated the discussion.

Over 140 students and faculty participated in the event. Questions ranged a multitude of topics, such as how panelists are able to balance having a family and career, overcome doubts and conquer struggles in the work place.

When asked what inspired her to create this event, ISA faculty advisor Sharon Phinney said she was motivated by seeing how the holiday was celebrated in other countries during her ten years abroad. Phinney was approached by Zaneta Wilson to host an International Women’s Day Event in 2013, and the first event was held last year. It featured Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley as the keynote speaker.

“The programming goal for 2015 was twofold,” Phinney said. “The first goal was to create an interactive program that would inspire our students to achieve their goals. The second goal was to carry out an associated service project; thus, we selected donating to the women and children of the River Region through the Montgomery Salvation Army.”

According to Wilson, about ten bags of clothing and personal hygiene items were taken up during donations.

“I feel empowered,” said freshman Sydney Kelsey after the event. “I feel that I have the confidence to be myself, and I don’t have to fit into different categories of what people want me to be. I felt like a lot of people would have benefitted from attending. It would have gained a different perspective and more insight on what being a woman is today.”

The event was sponsored by the International Student Association, Student Government Association and AUM International Student Involvement. Phinney plans on establishing the “Make it Happen” event as part of the annual programming.

Photo Courtesy of Frank C. Williams

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Can Atlanta Braves Contend in NL East?

 

braves

By Jacob Horton

With the 2015 MLB season fast approaching, Atlanta Braves fans all over the country are wondering if this new-look ball club can contend for a playoff spot.

 

The 2014 regular season was a complete disappointment for Braves fans, as they saw their playoff hopes slip away in September. During that month, the Braves managed to lose 16 of the 20 games they played.

 

The 2014-2015 offseason was just as lackluster as the finish to the regular season for fans. In an attempt to stockpile young talent for 2017, the year they will open up their new $622 million stadium, the Atlanta Braves shipped off key pieces of the team’s past success. Outfielders Jason Heyward and Justin Upton, along with catcher Evan Gattis and reliever Jordan Walden, were traded away for prospects that can hopefully produce in 2017.

 

It wasn’t a complete fire sale, however, as the Braves were able to pick up a few veterans this offseason that can help mentor their young talent. Players like outfielders Johnny Gomes and Nick Markakis, Catcher AJ Pierzynski, relievers Jim Johnson and Jason Grili, infielder Alberto Callaspo and starting Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez headline Atlanta’s offseason signees. They’ve all had their fair share of success at the Major League level, and they look to lead this 2015 Braves team in the right direction.

 

With all of the offseason acquisitions and departures, is it too far-fetched to think this 2015 Atlanta Braves team can compete for a playoff berth? Notice that I said berth and not National League East pennant, because the NL East is going to be loaded with talent this season.

 

The Washington Nationals, who took home the division title last season, are the favorite to win the division again. They managed to put together a record of 96-66 last year and look to do even more damage this time. The offseason acquisition of Cy Young Award Winner Max Scherzer has solidified their starting rotation as one of the best in the MLB. Add that to virtually the same lineup from last year, and you’ve got a team that is going to be tough to dethrone from atop the NL East.

 

There are other teams as well, such as the New York Mets and Miami Marlins, who could give the Braves fits this season. The Mets have a solid lineup and one of the better pitching rotations in the league, featuring young studs like NL Rookie of the year Jacob DeGrom, Zack Wheeler and one of the best pitchers in baseball in Matt Harvey.

 

The Miami Marlins also made a few big moves this offseason, as they acquired speedster second baseman Dee Gordon, power-hitting first baseman Michael Morse, utility man Martin Prado, future hall-of-fame outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and veteran right handed pitchers Matt Latos and Dan Haren. If the Marlins are still hanging around when ace right handed pitcher José Fernandez returns from Tommy John surgery, look for this team to be a thorn in Atlanta’s side for the remainder of the season.

Photo Courtesy of Atlanta.brave.mlb.com

 

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AUM Cheerleaders to Participate in First Exhibition

 

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By Haley Cotter

Probably the least talked about sports team on campus is the AUM Cheerleading Squad. The squad consists of 11 girls who have a passion for cheering. Coached by Michelle Crompton, their leader is wanting to expand and make the program bigger.

On March 7, the squad members will be heading over to the Cramton Bowl Complex in Montgomery to show a routine they have been preparing. Cheerleading squads from across the Southern States Athletic Conference will come and show their skills on this day. This is formally called the SSAC Cheerleading Exhibition.

This is the first time the AUM Cheerleaders have ever been in this kind of performance. They are looking to expand and become more competitive instead of your typical sideline squad. Beginning next year, the squad will start going to cheer camps and competing. “It will be a new experience for us, and I am confident it will be a positive one,” Crompton said.

The AUM squad will perform a two and a half minute routine, which they also performed at Homecoming on Feb. 28, that will include stunting, tumbling, cheer and dance.

The exhibition will be free for visitors interested and will be held from 12-1 p.m. “Everyone should come out and support the cheerleaders as they are trying something new, and are looking to expand,” Crompton says.

There are no standard requirements for the exhibition, besides the cheerleading by-laws that come along with the SSAC. Beginning next year, the conference is looking to actually making this a real competition.

Photo Courtesy of Michelle Crompton

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Perfection no Longer a Long Shot for UK Men’s Hoops

 

 

UKBy Jacob Horton

For the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, a shot at perfection still hangs in the balance as they head down the final stretch of games for the 2014-2015 season. Through 28 games, the Wildcats remain unbeaten on the season. Of those 28 wins, 14 have come against fellow SEC opponents in conference play.

 

For every athlete that’s involved in a team-oriented sport, the perfect season has always been the ultimate goal. No matter what the sport, nothing looks better at the end of a grueling season than an unblemished zero in your loss column.

 

What makes perfect seasons so special is that they are such a rare occurrence. What the Wildcats are trying to accomplish is no small or simple task. Since the beginning of the tournament era in 1938, only seven Division I men’s basketball teams have completed a perfect regular season and NCAA Tournament. The 1976 University of Indiana Hoosiers were the last team to accomplish this feat, while the UCLA Bruins pulled off the perfect season four different times during the John Wooden era. Sports fans usually associate the perfect season with football over basketball, because it happens more often in the sport. In the previous six college football seasons, only six teams went through their entire schedule without losing a game. Three of those six teams (2013 Florida State, 2010 Auburn and 2009 Alabama) finished the season hoisting a national championship trophy. With the new college football playoff now officially in place, expect to see a significant decrease in teams that finish the entire season undefeated.

The undefeated NFL season is even more of a rarity. The Miami Dolphins stand alone in this category, as they finished the 1972 season as Super Bowl VII champions with a record of 17-0. There have been teams that have come close to sharing this accomplishment with Miami, such as the 2007 New England Patriots, whose only loss came to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. There’s just too much talent and parity in the NFL for a team to play an entire season without losing.

 

Their record might read 28-0, but it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the Wildcats on their journey to the tourney. They’ve had several scares along the way; including an 89-86 overtime thriller against Ole Miss, two tough games against Florida and Vanderbilt that weren’t decided until late in the game, and a 71-69 nail-biter against LSU that almost got away from them. You could coin them as a Goliath if you want, but rest assured that there is an army of Davids waiting to get their turn with them.

 

Let’s not take anything away from this Kentucky Wildcat team, though, as they have singlehandedly kept SEC basketball relevant this season (as they do almost every season). They’ve embarrassed top tier teams such as Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA with blowout victories. It is without question that they are the best team in the country, and barring a catastrophic meltdown, they will receive the number one overall seed for the NCAA Tournament in March.

 

Three more games stand between the Kentucky Wildcats’ and a perfect regular season. Those four wins would set the school record for most wins by a men’s basketball team in a single season. Yet, with every win, the pressure becomes greater, and the dream takes one step closer towards reality. John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats could mark themselves down in history forever with only few more victories. All that’s standing in their way is the SEC Conference

Photo Courtesy of ncaa.com

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AUM Remembers Hate Crime Victims

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AUM Students remember hate crime victims.

 

By Kimberly McGuinty

“Billy Jack Gaither, Lawrence “Larry” King, Mark Carson, Islan Nettles….”  The AUM Gay Straight Alliance’s Hate Crimes Vigil held on Feb. 4 begins with a solemn reading by Dr. Paul Hard of the names of victims lost to hate crimes. Hard is the group’s faculty sponsor and a local champion of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer community. We have just finished watching a “Frontline” movie on the brutal slaying of Billy Jack Gaither, the man whose memory the hate crimes vigil was established in honor of, just weeks after he was killed. The documentary relates how the man was stabbed, set afire and finally bludgeoned to death with an axe handle as he tried to escape his attackers. The other attendees and myself collect ourselves and prepare for the next part of the evening. We are each provided with a picture of one of the victims and a small battery operated candle, as we file out of the building and into the rain. Conversation is muted as we walk to the flagpole where we will lay our photos. We take turns reading the name of the victim we hold, and placing our cards one by one at the base of the flagpole. Hard then asks us to share a thought or prayer for victims named, unknown and to come. We pray, and disperse.

I meet with Hard later in the week to get his thoughts on the vigil. I inquire about his first realization of hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals. “You would see kids bullied at school all the time.” Hard says. “Then hearing family members talking, even advocating gay bashing .He describes the tendency of victims to withdraw in response to these interactions, an action, which unfortunately leaves them vulnerable. I ask him what the wider community should take away from the hate crimes vigil. “There are a lot of people who would say there’s no such thing as homophobia, no such thing as hate crimes against the LGBTQ community. To the point that the legislature has resisted adding LGBTQ wording to the hate crimes bill.” Hard says that this is something the LGBTQ community considers a priority, as hate crimes carry a heavier sentence than other violent crimes. When asked what message he would leave for the world, should he be the victim of a hate crime, he replies, “In December I bought a matching grave marker. It says two things: ‘Loving husband’ and a private message to my spouse. You can be a bigot of any sort and deny that another person is of worth, claim that we are worthless or worth less, but it takes a human to have a relationship. I am a human being in relation to other human beings.”

Vigil
Candles honor the victims of hate crime.

A few days later, on Feb. 15, I attend Alabama’s sixteenth statewide hate crimes vigil downtown which is fittingly held in the civil rights museum. The vigil , too, begins with a roll call of victims. There is a decidedly less oppressive mood here, however, as the LGBTQ community has enjoyed a small victory since students at AUM gathered to remember hate crime victims. Though the gay marriage ban has been lifted, we are reminded that there are many areas in which improvements can be made. There are still many policies that purport the idea that LGBTQ individuals are less than human. Among the speakers are representatives from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Human Rights Campaign and the Alabama Legislature. Representative Patricia Todd takes the floor toward the end of the service to talk about legislation she is introducing in the upcoming session that would include LGBTQ community members in anti-discrimination legislation. Currently, there is no such protection.

The thread that connects these events seems to be one of reluctant hope. While victories are being won, there are still many areas in which the LGBTQ community is unfairly denied the same rights and protections as their fellow humans. The message echoed by many at the state vigil is tragic and clear, that we do not have to continue these vigils for new victims in the years to come.

Photo Courtesy of Kimberly McGuinty

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Recapping National Signing Day 2015

signing day

 

By Jacob Horton

National Signing Day 2015 marked another great year for the state of Alabama, as both Alabama and Auburn received commitments from many sought-after high school football players.

 

For the University of Alabama, National Signing Day 2015 officially made it the fifth straight year in which Nick Saban has put together the number one recruiting class in the nation, according to two of the four major recruiting websites.

 

According to ESPN.com, the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 2015 recruiting class contains 25 commits. Of those 25 commits, 19 are ranked in ESPN’s top 300 high school players in the nation. Standouts from this class include: The number 2 ranked pro-style quarterback Blake Barnett, the number 1 ranked wide receiver in Calvin Ridley, the number 2 ranked running back Damien Harris and the number 3 and 4 ranked cornerbacks in Kendall Sheffield and Minkah Fitzpatrick.

 

Saban has always prided himself in being able to recruit the best players in the nation. His elite recruiting skills have almost singlehandedly placed him atop the Mount Rushmore of college football coaches. His process has turned the University of Alabama into the premiere college football program, and it all starts with recruiting. You’re not going to win without the best players, and they aren’t going to want to come to your program if you don’t win games. It all comes full circle, and winning breeds winning.

 

Auburn University also experienced their share of success this recruiting season. They were able to put together the seventh best recruiting class in nation, while making some big splashes on signing day.  Of their 27 players signed, 12 of them belong to the ESPN 300.

 

Of all their signees, nobody stirred up more conversation than Byron Cowart. The 6’4”, 258 pound defensive end from Seffner, Florida, headlines Auburn’s 2015 recruiting class as the number one high school football player in the nation. Cowart’s decision to commit to Auburn University on National Signing Day made headlines across the nation, putting an exclamation mark on Auburn’s 2015 class.  His presence alone helped bolster Auburn’s recruiting class from being ranked outside of the top 10 nationally to seventh in the nation.

 

In addition to signing Cowart, Auburn reeled in commitments from three other big names. The Tigers landed linebacker Jeff Holland, wide receiver Ryan Davis and cornerback Carlton Davis. Each of these three players were labeled as four-star recruits, meaning that they could have an immediate impact on Auburn’s success next season.

 

Give credit to Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Ever since he joined the team on Dec. 12, there has been a level of excitement that they haven’t felt at Auburn since their national championship season in 2010. He brought in loads of talent to the University of Florida while at the helm, and is already making strides in his first couple months at Auburn.  Muschamp’s presence on the coaching staff served as the x-factor this recruiting season, and look for it to only improve Auburn’s chances of landing big-name talent as next season unfolds.

 

National Signing Day proved that the state of Alabama still rules college football, both on and off the field. Even though a team from the state didn’t play for a national title for the first time in six years this season, it shouldn’t be much longer before the state is once again represented in NCAA championship game. Look for the success of these two teams to continue as long as they keep bringing in the big-time recruits.

Photo Courtesy of endzonenews.com

 

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu

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“Fury” from the Past

Fury Movie Poster

 

By Nicky Disbrow

As I sat in the audience at the screening of “Fury” awaiting the violence and drama to ensue, Dr. Ben Severance, Professor of History at AUM, asked the same rhetorical question I had in mind: “where would Hollywood be without war movies?”

As part of the Political Film Series, Fury was introduced by an AUM faculty member who is considerably knowledgeable about the topic; Severance provided the brief introduction for Fury” and helped set the scene for it.

“Fury” is about a U.S. Army tank crew located in Germany in the final weeks of battle during World War II. With one character extremely reluctant to partake in battle, and another who uses his religious beliefs to help him get by, the movie develops a deeper tone than what I was expecting to experience. It also did an excellent job at developing characters, adding slight comedic moments to lighten the mood when need be, and it did not over-do the drama and battle scenes we often see in this genre.

While the film does contain many war-movie clichés and quotable lines, it also prompts the audience to analyze underlying themes of morality, religion, and the psychological wear that war has on soldiers. This is what sets it apart from other war movies.

After the film was over, I was fairly tired and ready to go home. Instead I decided to stay for the discussion after the film concluded, and I am glad I did. Not only did the discussion address how the film showed the typical display of American greatness, but it also focused on the accuracy of the film.

Severance explained there were several scenes that were somewhat accurate, while others were exaggerations or far from realistic. Had I not stayed for the discussion, I probably would have accepted the whole film as portraying truth and displaying a realistic picture of what happened in World War II.

I went more for the entertainment aspect, but I ended up learning more than I expected. If you’re looking for entertainment, education, or just free food and drinks, I strongly suggest attending the Political Film Series screenings..

Here are the upcoming screenings:

February 25

Film: 42 (2013; PG-13)

Room: 109 Goodwyn Hall; 7pm

Introduction: Dr. Eric Sterling

Co-sponsor: AUM Athletics

 

March 18

Film: Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katarina Gilbert (2014; PG)

Room: 109 Goodwin Hall; 7pm

Introduction: Dr. Annice Yarber

Co-sponsor: AUM’s Office of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs

 

April 22

Film: Extreme Realities: Severe Weather, Climate Change, and Our National Security (2014, NR)

Room: 109 Goodwyn Hall; 7pm

Introduction: Dr. Linda Dennard

Co-sponsor: AUM’s Office of Global Initiatives

 

All films are open to the public and are free of charge. For more information, contact Dr. Pia Knigge at pknigge@aum.edu.

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Super Bowl XLIX has Historic Potential

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By Jacob Horton

Regardless of the outcome on Feb. 1 when the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks square off in Super Bowl XLIX, we will all witness history taking place. A win for either team on Super Bowl Sunday will result in something that sportswriters and fellow members of the media will be talking about for years to come.

 

If the New England Patriots come away victorious on Super Bowl Sunday, it will mark their fourth championship in franchise history. That would be good enough to place them tied with the Green Bay Packers for third all-time in Super Bowl wins.

 

From a coaching standpoint, Bill Belichick could accomplish a major career milestone with a win next Sunday. For Belichick, he can move into a first place tie with the late Pittsburg Steeler’s coaching legend Chuck Noll for most Super Bowl wins as a head coach.

 

Aside from a few bumps in the road, with “Spygate” in 2007 and the more recent “Deflategate,” Bill Belichick has established himself as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history during his 14-year tenure in New England. The frequently hooded football mastermind had only one losing season, coming in the year 2000, which was Belichick’s first year with the organization. Therefore, the result of Super Bowl XLIX will not be a make-or-break for his career, but a win certainly wouldn’t make Belichick’s résumé any less impressive.

 

For New England’s world-renowned quarterback Tom Brady, this Super Bowl could put him into a club with elite company. A win would place Brady into a three-way tie with NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana for most Super Bowl wins as a starting quarterback. If Brady plays well enough to earn Super Bowl MVP honors, he would again be rewriting the history books. A Super Bowl MVP award next Sunday would be the third of his career, which is another record he could share with Joe Montana.

 

While Brady has put together quite a career in New England, this game will no doubt have a huge impact on his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks. A win would give Brady an overall record of 4-2 in Super Bowls. A loss would drop Brady to 3-3 and cancel out his winning record in the big game. The fact that he’s been to these many Super Bowls is impressive, so this is a statistic that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

 

As for the Seattle Seahawks, a victory would result in them being crowned NFL champions in back-to-back seasons. This is a feat that has not been accomplished in over ten years. “In a league featuring more parody than a “Weird Al” Yankovic album, the Seattle Seahawks managed to once again navigate their way through cutthroat NFC opponents. While teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers had huge offensive numbers this season, the Seahawks stayed true to the adage that “defense wins championships.”

 

Although both teams were successful enough to earn the number one overall seed in their division for the playoffs, this is not your typical Super Bowl matchup. Will Brady, Belichick and company mark their place on the list of all-time greats, or will the Seattle Seahawks accomplish something as a team that we may not see again for a long time? Both teams have a chance to leave us with a game filled with memories of a lifetime.

 

 

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu

Photo Courtesy of nfl.com

 

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Big Ten Powers, Internal Cannibalism Biggest Threats to SEC Dominance

urban meyer

By Jacob Horton

As we set our eyes on the 2015 college football season, SEC fans have a few reasons to be worried. Two things next season could end up costing the conference a shot at its first national championship in the College Football Playoff era. Big name coaches in the Big Ten Conference and the weekly bashings handed out to each other in conference play help drive down the SEC’s championship potential.

 

With the recent hire of Jim Harbaugh at the University of Michigan, the list of big-name head coaches in the Big Ten can stand toe-to-toe with the more prominent coaches of the SEC. While they’re not going to dethrone the almighty SEC simply by showing up, the players that these coaches are going to put on the field over the next several years will make up teams that can contend for a spot in the playoff.

 

Headlining the list of these big name coaches is Urban Meyer, the man currently sitting atop the college football world. All Meyer has done in his three years at Ohio State is post an overall record of 37-3. Nobody was really giving Meyer any credit, however, due to the Big Ten’s lack of parity within the conference. This season, which was arguably one of the greatest single-season coaching jobs ever, made people appreciate just how brilliant of a coach Meyer is.

 

After Meyer, you have Mark Dantonio at Michigan State and James Franklin at Penn State. Dantonio has been at the helm of one of the most consistent college football teams in the country, and lead his MSU program to four 11 win seasons in the past five years. Franklin hasn’t been at Penn State long enough for us to make assessments, but we do know that he’s a winner. Franklin is an excellent recruiter. He gave life to a Vanderbilt program that hardly ever saw success on the football field. It shouldn’t be long before Franklin has Penn State competing for a national title.

 

The wild card in all of this is Jim Harbaugh. We all know that he can be successful at the college level, so the real question is how quickly he can turn around this Michigan football team. The athletic department and fans of the University of Michigan are hoping sooner rather than later, but  being able to land Harbaugh as your next head football coach should be enough to keep them happy until they are back to their winning ways.

 

However, the biggest threat to the SEC’s chances of bringing home a national title next season will be none other than themselves. We were almost a witness of that this past season, as it took a game-winning fourth quarter drive against Arkansas, an overtime thriller against LSU and a record-setting Iron Bowl for Alabama to make it out of its schedule with only one loss.

 

Week after week, somebody significant was either defeated or played tough by a team of a lesser ranking within the SEC. Top-tier SEC programs danced in and out of trouble and often times did not make it out alive. Teams such as Auburn and South Carolina, by whom many were picked to win their respected divisions, suffered multiple losses from teams they were expected to beat by double digits.

 

With lesser SEC programs vastly improving, look for the gap between the best and worst SEC teams to shrink. For the most part, all of the teams in the SEC are going to be able to compete with one another. Don’t be surprised if we are in a scenario this upcoming season like the one we were in this past season, with everybody beating up on each other.

 

This is both good and bad for the SEC.  You’re going to see great games, but if we are stuck with a two or three-loss SEC champion that doesn’t qualify for the College Football Payoff, what does the conference have to show for all of its great teams? If the SEC is once again unable to reclaim a national championship this upcoming season, there is a strong possibility that it’ll be because they were outshined by a Big Ten head coach or fell victim to their own SEC brethren.

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Subscribe to Fame

 

 

By Jessica Klinner

Looking back now, it’s hard to remember a time when YouTube did not exist. It’s been almost 10 years since the free video streaming website first appeared. Since its birth in 2005, YouTube has launched the careers of a countless number of entertainers. Within the last few years, more and more viewers have been flocking to the site to get their daily dose of video content, ranging from tutorials to cute animals to music videos. With 72 hours of video being uploaded every minute, YouTube stands as the fastest and most efficient way to share video content on the Internet.

The beauty of YouTube is that anyone can create a channel and upload videos. YouTube fame is just a click away; it’s that simple. If you own a camera, a computer and have something to say, you could become the next big thing on YouTube.

While YouTube has been credited for launching the career of Justin Bieber along with many other artists, it has also opened the door for a new generation of original content creators. People, just like you and me, who posted a video on YouTube out of boredom or curiosity, and found their way to Internet fame. These creators make a living by making YouTube videos. By standing in front of a camera and ranting about the latest pop culture phenomenon, raving about a new gadget or filming their everyday life, the YouTubers, as they’re called, welcome viewers into their world for a span of around four to 14 minutes. Videos any longer run the risk of losing the viewer’s attention, something that is imperative to the success of a YouTube channel.

A YouTuber’s success is based on his or her audience. Like musicians rely on their fans to continue making music, YouTubers rely on viewers in order to keep making videos. However, the YouTube audience is quite unique. Viewers are able to give feedback immediately and directly to the content creators. If they do not like a video, they can give it a “thumbs down,” which indicates their disapproval. Likewise, viewers can give videos a “thumbs up” to show their support.

This interactive way of viewing content is making YouTube videos more popular than television. When people watch a show on TV, they cannot directly interact with the content or give immediate feedback. The characters are made up and so are the stories. YouTube videos are created by real people who are sharing their real life experiences. When YouTubers sit down in front of their camera to make a video, they are inviting the viewers into their home, or their office or their studio. Even though creators may be half a world away from the viewer, it only seems like they’re on the other side of a camera screen. YouTube is a place for unique content to be created without filters.

YouTube does not just cater to one specific audience, though. On YouTube, you’ll find anything from music videos to tutorials to rips of movies. In the past few years, it has become a place where voices can be heard.

 

YouTubers are celebrities in their own right. Two of the most famous YouTubers are John and Hank Green. The brothers began making videos as a way to stay in touch with each other in a fun way. Since they uploaded their first video, the Green brothers have helped expand the YouTube community, including an annual convention held in Los Angeles called VidCon. At this special convention, which accommodates more than 20,000 attendees over a span of three days, viewers are invited to meet and learn from their favorite YouTube celebrities through meet-and-greets, panels and special parties.

YouTube is a medium that is constantly changing and evolving, but that’s what makes it so appealing. Creators have the freedom to express their opinions and inspire authentic relationships with their viewers and the rest of the YouTube community.

Let’s take a look at some of the YouTubers who have successfully made their career by posting videos on the Web.

 

Grace Helbig
Channel: it’sGrace (http://www.youtube.com/graciehinabox)

Subscribers: 1.9 million

On YouTube since Oct. 3, 2006

Grace-Helbig-Feet-966743
Grace Helbig

 

Grace Helbig’s decision to create a YouTube channel came after taking a college editing course. From there, she and her then roommate, Michelle, would upload videos about their life in New York City. Fast forward a few years, and Helbig signed a contract with Rob Barnett from My Damn Channel, an entertainment website, to create videos under the moniker “Daily Grace.” By uploading five videos a week, Helbig transformed into a comedy heroine, amassing thousands of views and gaining a cult following. In 2013, Helbig decided to step away from My Damn Channel. Unfortunately, the company controlled the rights to her video content and name, leaving Helbig to start from scratch. Thankfully, the fans Helbig accumulated over the years followed her to the new channel, where she continues to post three videos a week. Outside of YouTube, Helbig is a writer—she just released her first book, Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be A Grown-Up. She is also an actress and comedian. She has appeared on shows such as Chelsea Lately and The Soup, filmed a movie called Camp Takota with fellow YouTube stars Hannah and Mamrie Hart, and she is currently in the process of launching a pilot for a series on E!.

 

Zoe Sugg

Channel: Zoella (http://www.youtube.com/zoella280390)

Subscribers: 6.7 million

On YouTube since Feb. 2, 2007

header Jessica
Zoe Snugg

 

Zoe Sugg decided to try her hand at making YouTube videos after her fashion and beauty blog gained thousands of followers. By moving her expertise to YouTube, Sugg expanded her audience and quickly became one of the most viewed beauty YouTubers. She regularly posts videos in which she talks about her favorite make-up products and fashion trends. On her second YouTube channel (moreZoella), Sugg documents her everyday life with her boyfriend and fellow YouTuber, Alfie Deyes (PointlessBlog) and their adorable pug, Nala. Earlier this year, she launched a range of bath and beauty products under the brand, Zoella Beauty, and she just recently released her debut novel called Girl Online, which tells the story of a young girl, much like Sugg, who runs an anonymous blog that goes viral.

 

Charles Trippy

Channel: CTFxC (http://www.youtube.com/CTFxC)

Subscribers: 1.4 million

On YouTube since June 16, 2008

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Charles Trippy

 

Charles Trippy has been recording his day-to-day life for 2,052 consecutive days and counting. Through the ups and downs of his life, Trippy never fails to upload a video on his channel, CTFxC, and holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Consecutive Daily Video Blogs Posted On YouTube.”  Over the six years, Trippy has been daily vlogging, he has documented two brain surgeries—he actually filmed one of the operations— a divorce and several tours with his band, We The Kings. What started as an experiment that was only meant to last a year has turned into a huge Internet community.

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of:

Zoella pic- zoella.co.uk

Grace Helbig pic- gracehelbig.net

Charles Trippy pic- store.dftba.com/collections/charles-trippy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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