WASHINGTON – The Science Coalition (TSC) today announced the winners of its inaugural Fund It Forward Student Video Challenge. Sumit Kar of the University of Nebraska was awarded first place in the graduate category, and Lillie Xi Max Williams of Washington State University won first place in the undergraduate category. Additionally, Bryan Keller of Florida State University received the People’s Choice Award, which was decided by the votes of over 2,000 participants from across the country.

“We are thrilled by the results of TSC’s first Fund It Forward Student Video Challenge. As their videos show, students help advance groundbreaking research at America’s universities and are passionate about protecting the essential work happening on their campuses,” said TSC President Heather Bené. “It is crucial members of Congress hear from these future scientists, innovators, and leaders about the need for stable, robust research funding. I want to thank and congratulate all the students who entered this year on a fantastic job.”

The full list of winners are as follows:


  • 1st Place – Sumit Kar and Tyler Kambis, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • 2nd Place – Max Levy, University of Colorado Boulder
  • 3rd Place – Bryan Keller, Florida State University


  • 1st Place – Lillie Xi Max Williams, Carl Bunge, Matthew Hunt, and Jordan Raymond,   Washington State University
  • 2nd Place – Alissa Wuorinen, Marquette University

People’s Choice

  • Winner – Bryan Keller, Florida State University

Jennifer Larsen, M.D., Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center said, “It is so important for all of us in science to help the broader community understand how biomedical research is essential to the future of health care. I was impressed that all these videos translated that vision exceptionally well.”

“I want to congratulate Lillie and her colleagues in the HYPER Lab for placing first in the undergraduate Fund It Forward Student Video Challenge run by The Science Coalition,” said Kirk Schulz, President of Washington State University (WSU). “WSU’s world class research can change the world, but being able to communicate the importance of this work will help Congress and others understand the benefit of the investment in science. Cougar nation is proud of the work of our students and students around the country. Go Cougs!”

The Fund It Forward Student Video Challenge is a contest for undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in TSC member institutions. Participants were asked to create a video to tell the story of why science matters and remind members of Congress that now is the time to invest in research for the future of our nation. The winning videos can be viewed here.


About The Science Coalition

Established in 1994, The Science Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities. It is dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s investment in basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation, and drive America’s global competitiveness.