MarketCast Awards UCLA’s Joseph Helfgot Scholarship to Miguel Medina Betancourt and Jazmine Vega

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Annual scholarship awarded to UCLA students concentrating in the Social Sciences whose academic studies have practical applications in a field of popular culture

MarketCast today announced that Miguel Medina Betancourt and Jazmine Vega are the 8th and 9th recipients of the annual Joseph Helfgot Memorial Scholarship, established at UCLA upon Dr. Helfgot’s death in 2009.

Dr. Helfgot left academia in the mid-1980’s to start the entertainment research firm MarketCast, and enjoyed a long and illustrious career surrounded by clients and colleagues who enjoyed his spirit, intelligence, and passion for movies. This annual scholarship is administered jointly by the Helfgot family and MarketCast. It is available to UCLA students who are concentrating in the social sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, or Psychology) and demonstrate how their academic studies could have practical applications in a field of popular culture such as movies, TV, or music.

Miguel Medina Betancourt will be transferring to UCLA in the fall from El Camino College. He is an Anthropology major who credits video games for his passion for his chosen field of study. While at El Camino, Medina Betancourt received the prestigious Academic Presidential Award. He intends to pursue a career in education, focusing on Anthropology and teaching English to Hispanic children.

Jazmine Vega is a Psychology major. Her application essay discussed the social interactions developed through online multi-player video games and how they can develop into meaningful, real life relationships, especially for those who may be introverted or suffer from a social disorder. Vega is a member of the International Honor Society in Psychology, the Alumni Scholars Club, and also an active volunteer in the UCLA community. She aspires to work in trauma therapy and/or become a school psychologist.

This year’s selection committee included Ben Proctor, VP Domestic Research at Paramount Pictures, Dr. Helfgot’s daughter Emily Helfgot, and MarketCast’s Greg Ferland and Craig Massie.

“This year we again saw a varied and interesting group of undergrads, and the entire committee enjoyed learning more about these students at this important time of their lives,” said Ferland, a Managing Director at MarketCast. “We received a record number of amazing applicants this year, but Miguel and Jazmine were exceptional, and we couldn’t choose just one.”

About MarketCast

Based in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, Boston, and London, MarketCast is a leading provider of marketing research services for the global entertainment industry. Through a variety of consulting services backed by rigorously scientific quantitative and qualitative research methods, MarketCast works in collaboration with marketers and researchers across the entertainment spectrum in the development and execution of their marketing strategies, from early concept exploration through primary and ancillary distribution windows. MarketCast services are available worldwide, and include materials testing (trailers, TV spots, print ads, etc.), concept and positioning studies, exit polls, recruited audience screenings, tracking studies, and focus groups, as well as a host of custom offerings including brand/franchise studies, title tests, post-release studies, and attitudes and usage studies. In November 2014, MarketCast was acquired by RLJ Equity Partners in alliance with GE Asset Management. For more information, visit

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Jonathan Bing
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