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Saturday, Nov 01, 2014

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OHIO faculty, administrators show off talents during benefit pageant (PHOTO ESSAY)


“Nailed it.”

That was Marc Barr’s reaction to winning the fifth annual Ava Nichols’ Faculty Pageant, held Tuesday night in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

Barr, an instructor in the School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, and his company of glow stick dancers defeated six other Ohio University faculty members and administrators to win the crown at this year’s event, hosted by OHIO’s chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.

Alpha Phi Omega started the faculty pageant five years ago to raise funds for Ava Nichols, who was 4 years old when she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and who passed away in March 2012. Nichols’ family attended Tuesday night’s pageant, a benefit for Camp Quality Ohio, a non-profit organization based in Akron that serves children with cancer and their families by providing a summer camping experience, year-round programs and support, all at no cost. According to event organizers, Alpha Phi Omega has raised more than $3,300 for Camp Quality Ohio through the faculty pageant and other fundraising efforts this year.

Contestants at this year’s faculty pageant braved it through three rounds of judging, walking the catwalk during the formal wear round, showing their skills outside the world of academia during the talent portion of the competition, and giving those in attendance some personal insight during the question-and-answer session.

Here are some memorable moments from Tuesday’s event:

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Julie Suhr, a professor and director of clinical training in OHIO’s Department of Psychology, engages an audience member in her talent performance. Suhr has perfected the art of “spalking,” otherwise known as spell talking in which she is able to converse effortlessly by spelling out every word she speaks.

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Loren Goldman, a visiting assistant professor of political science, shows off his talent with the help of one of his students. Goldman and the student wowed the audience with a dance and light routine synchronized to “Dueling Banjos,” an instrumental composition made famous by the film “Deliverance.” Prior to his performance, Goldman said he wanted to show the world what it missed out on when he opted for a career in higher education over that of a professional dancer.

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Alpha Phi Omega members Drew Saunders and Allison Barwacz served as the emcees for the evening, entertaining the audience and engaging the contestants.

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Jennifer Chabot, an associate professor in the Department of Social and Public Health, entertains the audience with “A Little History of a Professor’s Very Best Moments,” a comedy routine in which she shared some of her most embarrassing moments all in an effort to show students how professors are very human.

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Marc Barr, an instructor in the School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, and his dance troupe deliver the winning performance at this year’s faculty pageant. Dressed as glow stick dance figures, the group performed dance moves to some of the most popular dance songs of today and yesterday. The College of Health Sciences and Professions posted a video of the performance on Twitter, which can be viewed here.

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Vice President of Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi and Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones show off what they do best – recruiting students to OHIO – during the talent portion of the pageant. Lombardi and Hall-Jones performed their version of Lionel Richie’s 1984 hit “Hello,” changing the words to “Is it OU you’re looking for?” and peppering the performance with some comic relief.

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The performance by Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones and Vice President of Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi earned the pair second and third place, respectively, at Tuesday’s pageant. Their singing performance was accompanied by a video showing OHIO’s mascot Rufus visiting various locations on campus.

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Emcee Drew Saunders asks faculty pageant contestants Julie Suhr, Jeffrey Vancouver and Jennifer Chabot questions during the question-and-answer portion of the competition. The questions were submitted by the audience. Some of the questions were designated for specific contestants, such as when Vancouver, a professor in OHIO’s Department of Psychology, was asked, “If you could psychoanalyze anyone from history who would it be and why?” His answer? Sigmund Freud, of course. But each contestant was also to share their most embarrassing moment in college.

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Valerie Hudak, a member of Alpha Phi Omega who co-chaired this year’s faculty pageant with Danielle Fultz, crowns Marc Barr as the winner of the fifth annual Ava Nichols’ Faculty Pageant.

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Delfin Bautista, director of OHIO’s LGBT Center; Jacob “Buddha” Hagman, advisor for OHIO’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega; and Eric Horton, a graduate student studying physical therapy, served as the judges for this year’s pageant. “This has definitely been one of the hardest years for judging,” Hagman, who’s judged every faculty pageant thus far, said following Tuesday’s performances.