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Thursday, February 27

Brookdale Newsroom

Student Wins MTVU Contest, Headed to SXSW

Brookdale student Demi Vernikov is looking forward to an exciting Spring Break this March, when she travels to the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas to attend the 2017 MTVU Woodie Awards.

The all-expenses-paid trip comes courtesy of MTVU’s “Spin and Win” contest, which allows college students across the country to enter for a chance to win exclusive prizes and experiences. Vernikov was one of dozens of Brookdale students to enter the contest, and was announced as the top winner earlier this fall.

“When they called me to tell me I won I thought it was a joke, or a telemarketer trying to sell me something,” said Vernikov, who serves as president of Brookdale’s Student Life Board. “When they explained to me that wasn’t the case, I was ecstatic! I have never won something so major before.”

Vernikov and a guest will fly roundtrip to Austin and receive hotel accommodations, spending cash and tickets for the Woodie Awards, a star-studded award show recognizing some of the biggest names in music. The show, presented by MTVU, honors artists, songs and albums as voted on by college students. This year’s Woodie Awards will be held at SXSW, an annual conference and series of festivals focused on the arts, entertainment, culture and technology.

“I’m very excited,” Vernikov said. “I’ve never attended an event or gone on a trip like this before. I have had opportunities in the past, but because of my busy schedule, I wasn’t able to attend. I think this trip will be a lot of fun. I’m flying out with my best friend fairly early just so we can experience what Austin has to offer. This trip will definitely consist of a lot of music, adventures, memories, and lots and lots of food.”

While she’s excited to be booked on the trip of a lifetime, Vernikov said the win did come with one drawback: having to select a companion.

“Have I been flooded with requests for the second ticket? Absolutely!” she said. “Once some students found out that I won, they would come and ask me who I am taking. I would just politely say that I have already have picked someone to take. Regardless, I am very excited to be able to experience a trip like this and I am excited to make some amazing memories while there.”