Talent show to be hosted by psychology department

The psychology department will be hosting their 2nd annual talent show to raise money to help students attend research conferences.

Andrew Ainsworth, psychology professor, said the talent show was started when the department wanted to show students, especially those in the undergraduate program that it is not all about academia.

The event will be held at the  Grand Salon on Thursday Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. for the exhibition and silent auction. The talent show will start at 7 p.m.

There is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

“We want to show students they can have a life outside of school,” Ainsworth said.

Last year with the budget cuts, morale was low and this was a way to have fun and help out some students forget about the economy, Ainsworth said.

The show raised $1,500 after expenses were used to help fund students going to conferences. In order for students to go to graduate school they have to present research at a conference, Ainsworth said.

Students could apply for a portion of the money last year to help cover travel expenses through an application process that was determined by the psychology department and its chair.

With more information out about the show this year, Ainsworth said he is hopeful that more students will attend and more money raised.

If more money is raised, there may be a more formal scholarship will be offered. It all depends on how much money is raised this year, Ainsworth added.

There are three parts of the talent show. There will be a stage type show with traditional songs and dances including different acts, such as a martial arts demonstration and a barbershop quartet, Ainsworth said.

Many people in the psychology department are participating, including undergrad and graduate students as well as faculty members and even some of the faculty members’ children.

There will also be an exhibit portion, where students and faculty can exhibit their non-stage talents such as paintings, photography and pottery.

The last part will be a silent auction, where faculty members and students can donate products and services.

Last year, one faculty member donated a weekend camping trip with supplies included. There are usually a lot of services donated, Ainsworth said.

Gary Katz, a psychology professor, is in charge of organizing the silent auction.

This year’s items include home-made goods, an autographed newspaper story about Arnold Schwarzenegger signed by the governor himself), piano lessons, statistics consulting, and even Persian cooking lessons, Katz said.

Shereen Gawad, a psychology major, said students enjoyed watching the talented faculty and students perform last year.

“We had great success last year with all the wonderful students who performed,” Gawad said. “It was definitely a great way to earn some money as well as let the students show they had other talents besides studying the mind. It was incredible. I am pretty optimistic that this year will be great as well and we can continue this tradition.”