Austin Glamser, raised in Houston, TX, began producing documentaries for the National History Day competition when he was in the 7th grade. He and his team advanced to the national level five of the six years in which they competed. Their work covered topics as diverse as George Washington’s decision to inoculate his troops against smallpox, shown at the National Museum of Health and Medicine; Robert Owen and utopian socialism; and Northern Irish political wall murals. Their documentary, From Terrorist to Peacemaker, exploring the accomplishments of Israeli leader Menachem Begin, won the top national prize in 2008 and was winner of the History Channel Award. Austin was selected from among the competitors to receive the Creativity Foundation’s 2009 Legacy Medal this month for his exceptional creative promise as a historian and documentary filmmaker.
Austin prefers a collaborative process and loves the role of teacher. As much as he enjoys the technical aspects of videography, he takes particular satisfaction in helping groups with their projects. He believes the cross-pollination of skills and knowledge facilitates a broad perspective and enables a team to develop a more rounded view of world events. At Houston’s Eisenhower High School he was the unofficial technology consultant for students and faculty alike. In addition to the National History Day productions, he helped several groups complete video projects at school and in the community. He hopes his success and leadership in the National History Day program will help his school sustain interest in it for many more years.
Austin has finished his first year at Harvard College and is considering a concentration in neuroscience or physics. In keeping with his belief in the importance of cultural and historical understanding across national and cultural boundaries, he will be attending a Japanese language program in Hokkaido, Japan, this summer.