MiddChallenge 2015 Winners


Alexa Beyer ’15.5 – The Heartland Documentary is a YouTube series that tells creative short stories about environmental change in the South and Midwest.  Alexa is starting with a small town and a problem, and then creating a fictional ending. All of the shooting and casting occurs in the actual town, and the characters are based on the opposing perspectives found there. Learn more about the project at their website.

Farid Noori ’18 – Aghazgar Entrepreneurship Camp in Afghanistan aims to promote a culture of youth entrepreneurship and startups among the 15 college participants, and through them in the wider community. There are a lot of challenges facing Afghanistan these days: security, economy, inequalities, and more. Aghazgar hopes to improve the situation by inspiring a group of hardworking young Afghan men and women to start businesses and create jobs.

Lena Jacobs ’17 – The Dream Bus is a renovated school bus that will road trip across the country to schools to inspire students to follow through with their dreams, in whatever form they might be. The Dream Bus will be renovated to resemble a collaborative, modern school space and will be staffed with 2 to 4 “Dream Directors” that will guide students and help them plan how to achieve their dreams.


Scott Gilman ’15, Catherine Hays ’15 – Online Interactive Map of the Middlebury Tour for Prospective Students. One map will depict the Middlebury admissions tour, and the other will show areas of interest in the greater Champlain Valley. The goal of both maps is to express both the physical and human aspects of Middlebury's sense of place.  Having interned at Vermont Public Radio last summer, Catherine is very interested in audio journalism.  She also started making videos over J-term while in the class Adventure Writing and Digital Storytelling.  For this project, she will be producing audio and video pieces about students' experiences with the places identified on the maps.  One of her favorite parts about journalism is the opportunity to interview people she otherwise would never have spoken with, and she looks forward to meeting new MiddKids and learning about their diverse experiences with this school.

Charlotte Massey ’18.5 – Articulate is a program that uses visual art as a tool for social change, empowering people to discover and speak out about the causes they care about. 


Sally Caruso ’15.5 – Body Language is an experimental claymation film about how women understand their daily ticks/rituals/habits in relationship to their understanding of femininity. She is collaborating with Elori Kramer, a recent midd alumni, on the musical score.

Mark Balderston, Evan Allis '15.5, Patrick Freeman '15.5, Katherine Mulloy '15.5, Joseph Leavenworth Bakali '15.5 – Iron Eyes Cody will spend the summer recording a full-length album of indie-folk-rock hits.  We want to make an album that captures the essence of this band and plays like the ultimate mix tape, reaching boisterous highs and introspective lows. We are holding a naming competition for the album, so please submit your ideas and justifications for said ideas to ironeyescodymusic@gmail.com.


Terry Goguen '16, AnnaClare Smith '16 – JoyRide eliminates the hazards of texting and driving through the encouragement of a more positive reward system. We hope to supplement the grave concerns of not only our state governments, but of society. To do so, we envision participants will be rewarded for every mile they drive not only text-free, but also phone free as well. The phone tracks how far you have traveled with the phone locked. Then you get to spend those miles on things you love. 

Maddison Brusman ’18.5 – Gravity iOS App allows users to create and subscribe to hyper-local communal interest feeds.

Logan Miller ’15, Mike Peters ’15 – Flippant is a company that makes shirts and tank tops with upside down pockets.  We are dedicated to taking a creative, original and genuine approach to business.  Our clothing represents the brand, which is about taking things less seriously, but more seriously. 


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