September 29, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU’s Hunter Howle Wins College Documentary of the Year

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University's Hunter Howle, a 20-year-old mass media major from Port Richey, Fla., won College Documentary of the Year at the 2015 Great American NO BULL Challenge Teen Video Awards in Los Angeles, Calif.

High school and college students around the world were challenged to produce an original film that inspires teens and young adults to take a stand against bullying. Howle’s five-minute film, "One Word," addresses how one word can change the course of someone's life. 

“I consider myself a very observant person,” said the daughter of Dolly Hughes and granddaughter of Mary Knight. “I listen. I hear what is said and see the effects of it. Growing up, I was a wallflower theatre kid. I listened to the things other people said to each other. I learned how much one word could hurt someone, how it only takes one word to tear somebody down.”

Howle discovered the Great American NO BULL Challenge in January while enjoying a holiday weekend away from campus. She finished her documentary a couple of days before the Feb. 27 due date. Then she waited for it to be accepted into the competition. Next she rallied support from her family, friends, classmates, and faculty to push her video through the public voting phase. Only the top 25 videos made it to the judges’ table, where they were evaluated for creativity, content, and originality. The top 16 moved on to the final round.

In August Howle flew across the country to Los Angeles, Calif., to attend the star-studded 2015 Great American NO BULL Challenge Teen Video Awards at YouTube Space. She walked the red carpet, mingled with Hollywood celebrities and social media sensations, and waited for her category to be called.   

“I really didn’t know what to think,” said Howle, as she recalled the moments leading up to her video being named College Documentary of the Year. “I didn’t think that I was going to win because another group against me had already won something. I was actually really shocked when they said my name.”

Howle, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in mass media, is already working on her next idea and plans to enter the Great American NO BULL Challenge again next year. After college, the award-winning executive producer dreams of working on a television series — her dream job would be with ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” — or maybe a movie set.

“I really enjoy the creative process,” she said. “I like seeing it all come to life, from concept to black and white script to something people can relate to, filled with characters people feel personally connected to and identify with.”

Howle is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Freshmen Honor Society.

Visit to view Hunter Howle’s winning documentary.

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

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