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Professors showcase their talents at Faculty Beauty Pageant

Alpha Phi Omega raised $600 for a children?s hospital
Mar 17, 2010
By Catherine Roebuck

On Mar. 11, the Alpha Phi Omega pledge class of 2010 sponsored a faculty beauty pageant to celebrate glitz, glamour and charity.

The charity event brought out the divas, rockers and performers that live inside several Ohio University instructors and administrators and most importantly, raised $600 for cancer research at St. Jude?s Children?s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Megan Johnson, a first-year student and pledge for the fraternity, said the pledges thought of the faculty pageant during one of their meetings.

?We all agreed that this would be a great idea,? said Johnson.

Hilary Johnson, first-year student, along with the other pledges, sought to find the most energetic and brave instructors and administrators at Ohio University.

?We wanted to find the most outgoing professors, the ones that weren?t scared to [perform] in front of a bunch of people,? she said.

The pledges succeeded in this task, securing five of the most interesting staff members at Ohio University.

The professors and instructors strutting their stuff were Julie Suhr, associate professor of psychology, Dwayne Dixon, the Bobcats football wide receivers coach, Mary Beth Gillam, instructor of journalism, Jessica Shafran, a graduate student and teaching assistant in Spanish, and possibly the most entertaining of the group, Kevin Berry, a teaching assistant in the philosophy department.

The formal wear portion of the competition showcased the participants' appearance and taste. Dixon even took the opportunity to show off his moonwalk skills. The talent portion, however, provided the audience an exciting, and often funny, view of faculty and staff that students rarely have the opportunity to see.

Suhr surprised the crowd by coming on stage with green hair, an electric guitar and a T-shirt featuring the 1980s metal band Poison. The neuropsychologist rocked out with "Bad to the Brain," a creative interpretation of the rock and roll staple "Bad to the Bone," with her own lyrics.

Although she did not know how to play the electric guitar, the audience was impressed by the enthusiasm Suhr put into her guitar performance, which included pretending to strum the guitar and pretending to smash the instrument like a stereotypical rock star.

Dixon showcased his talents to the tune of ?I?m Too Sexy? by the band Right Said Fred. Dixon began his performance with some tame juggling, but upped the skill and danger of his talent by balancing a chair, a real machete, and then a pocket knife on his nose and chin.

Gillam danced to a song from the musical ?West Side Story,? while Shafran performed a hand clap game she learned while teaching at an English immersion camp in Spain. She included the audience in her performance, teaching everyone the addictively fun game.

Barry, however, stole the show with his performance of the song ?Sweet Transvestite? from ?The Rocky Horror Picture Show.? Coming on stage covered in a blanket and wearing high heels, the audience was not prepared when Barry whipped off the blanket to reveal a Bedazzled lace-up vest, a pair of black briefs, a garter belt and thigh high stockings. His arms covered in long black gloves and his eyes rimmed with thick, black eyeliner, Barry carried off the impersonation of Dr. Frank-N-Furter perfectly, causing the audience to clap and cheer loudly.

The pageant continued with a ?follow the leader? section, where contestants mimicked one of the members of Alpha Phi Omega, a question and answer segment and two videos from St. Jude?s Children?s Research Hospital.

After the judges tallied the scores, Barry won first place, Dixon received second place and Suhr placed third.

Alpha Phi Omega is a co-ed, national service fraternity that aims to develop leadership, promote friendship and provide service in humanity. The fraternity requires its pledges to complete a mandatory service project before they can be fully active members.


Updated March 24, 2010

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Published: Mar 17, 2010 3:20 PM


Faculty members and graduate teaching assistants showed off their talents at Alpha Phi Omega's faculty beauty pageant. Participants included Dwayne Dixon, Bobcat football wide receivers coach; Mary Beth Gillam, instructor of journalism; Kevin Berry, a teaching assistant in the philosophy department; Julie Suhr, associate professor of psychology; and Jessica Shafran, a graduate student and teaching assistant in Spanish.

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