Archived News | Return to News Center

May 10, 2012

UGRAD student wins video competition

As a part of the Global UGRAD exchange program, Anton Dudko of Ukraine attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe for two semesters from 2011-2012.

During his stay, Dudko used video to chronicle his time in Monroe, and around the United States.

That video earned Dudko first place in the International Research and Exchange Board's annual UGRAD video competition where fellows (in different host institutions in over 20 U.S. states) can enter a YouTube film, up to five minutes long, to share how they have spent their year in America.

According to Anton, most of the footage was filmed on the ULM campus and in the Monroe area.

The award he received is a micro-grant that will allow him to implement a short project to share U.S. culture in his home community of Kyiv, Ukraine, once he leaves after this semester.

"We arrived in August 2011, a group of five exchange students from different countries in Eurasia," said Dudko.

"The Global UGRAD program enabled us to spend two academic semesters of non-degree study in ULM. This meant that we were allowed to pick classes not relevant to our fields of study that would teach us more about America and life here."

"Per the program ideology we also were required to get involved into community service projects in the area," continued Dudko.

"I enjoyed volunteering at the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home and Black Bayou refuge."

"Through our advisors Dr. Mara Loeb and Dr. Bill Rambin, I met a lot of remarkable people in the community that made me feel welcome."

Dudko also enjoyed speaking opportunities, which allowed him to give presentations about his home country at the ULM International Education Expo in November 2011, and at the local Kiwanis Club, Lions Club, and various classes and audiences at ULM.

"My only ambition was for the film to be fast-paced and energetic," explained Dudko.

"I tried to achieve this by cranking up the speed, with most of the real footage sped up 20 times faster. Some parts of the video were attempted in the time-lapse concept, where a sequence of photos, shot at a fast rate, are then slide-shown at a fast rate."

According to Dudko, most of the video footage was shot with no professional equipment whatsoever

Most was shot with his Canon Digital IXUS 70 pocket camera, and edited on his personal laptop in the Kdenlive program for Linux.

"My hope is that my video will inspire local photographers to create a more professional time-lapse film, as the beautiful campus that ULM has deserves it.

It would show the everyday flow of people and their favorite spots, and would serve as a valuable promo for the school, as well as souvenir for alumni. "

This is not the first time Dudko has been in the news. He received local attention for a free trip he took during winter break, where he hitchhiked through 15 U.S. states over 36 days, which included riding along with 62 different strangers.

Dudko shared this story through the online campaign "Mission Hitchhikable," to promote traveling and cultural openness.

The story was highlighted by the ULM Hawkeye, and The Monroe News-Star. At the end of his nine-month journey, Dudko will have visited 20 states.

During his time at ULM, Dudko participated in the ULM Student Research Symposium in April 2012, where his Math Modeling project won a medal.

Dudko was mentored by Dr. Youssef Dib on his project "Stochastic Time Estimation to Visit N Points by Hitchhiking."

Dudko also become a member of Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society in December 2011, and volunteered as a physics and math tutor in the Student Success Center during Spring 2012.

Anton's award-winning video, can be found at:

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.