Psychology department’s annual talent show raises money for scholarships

Students, professors and their family members showcased their talent on the USU Grand Salon’s stage to raise scholarship funds for the Psychology Department on Wednesday.

More than 40 performers of all ages participated in the 5th annual Psychology’s Got Talent show. Students from all fields and years, family members, and staff filled the audience for the two-hour event. Big name companies like Yogurtland and Target sponsored the department’s production.

“We wanted to encourage creative endeavors (as) opposed to the regular research stuff we do in our department,” Dr. Andrew Ainsworth, associate professor in department of psychology said. “Four years ago we all got furloughed and we were going through the budget crisis. Everybody was really depressed, we thought we should be loud and have some fun.”

Ainsworth helped produce the show and marched the acts along as the master of ceremonies.

Omar Contreras, a freshman psychology major, said performing comes natural to him. He’s performed in the past and said he no longer gets nervous. Contreras rapped an original song titled “The Shadows on the Wall.” Contreras says Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” inspired him in his work.

“I was walking through Sierra Hall and saw this huge poster,” Contreras said. “My song is a very psychological song, so you know, I connected the dots. I signed up, emailed in and (now) I’m here.”

A silent auction persuaded guests to bid on paintings, photographs, dance lessons and more. One of the more popular services auctioned off was a personal car wash done by Ainsworth. Other items and services were donated by the department’s alumni and faculty.

All proceeds from Psychology’s Got Talent show and silent auction will be used to sponsor the annual Department of Psychology Creative Endeavor Scholarship. Ainsworth says the scholarship is designed to encourage students in the Psychology Department to pursue their goals and innovative ideas within their education.

Senior psychology major Samantha Cappuccino says the email and fliers captured her interest in the show. She was surprised to see the talent that her department holds.“I liked the bellydancer and the pianist,” Cappuccino said.

A suggested $5 donation replaced a traditional entrance ticket to the show. Apart from showcasing talent, the event also held an exhibit of student and faculty art.

Ainsworth says the money raised is not much, but it’s all for the scholarship and to allows the students and faculty family members to take a break and have some fun.