COPH talent show raises thousands for scholarships

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More than 200 USF College of Public Health (COPH) students, faculty, alumni, staff and friends of the college sung and swung the night away Friday, Jan. 31, at Skipper’s Smokehouse, raising a total of $2582.50 for student scholarships. The event was held in celebration of the college’s 35th anniversary and was made possible with support from USF Health and Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

“We are doing a lot of events to mark the anniversary, but many of them are scholarly,” said Dr. Donna Petersen, dean of the COPH. “We recognized we needed to do something fun. We are a creative bunch at work and at play and I’m really delighted so many people stepped up to share their talents. This is a fabulous night to celebrate all that’s great about the College of Public Health.”

Donna Petersen, PhD, dean of the COPH, kicked off the talent show with a performance of “Ashokan Farewell” on the viola. (Photo by Caitlin Keough)

Twelve acts, performing everything from line and swing dancing to stand-up comedy to rock, jazz, classical and country music, took the stage. They were each introduced by assistant professor Dr. Zachary Pruitt.

Zachary Pruitt, PhD, the night’s emcee, warmed up the crowd. (Photo by Caitlin Keough)

The college will continue to celebrate its 35th anniversary with events and giving opportunities through June. You can help support the college and its efforts to improve the health of populations in Tampa and around the world by becoming a donor.

“I felt a little more comfortable than normal,” said performer Sara De La Cantera, a member of the Business Operations Support Services (BOSS) team. “I knew a lot of the people in the audience, so it was like performing for my family.” (Photo by Caitlin Keough)
The indie-rock band the Bad Bad Hats traveled from the Twin Cities to perform their first-ever show in Tampa. “We’re super excited and having a great time so far,” said Connor Davison, the band’s drummer, before taking the stage. (Photo by Caitlin Keough)
Joe Bohn, PhD, far right, led a dance lesson. (Photo by Caitlin Keough)
COPH students showed their support. “I came because I was curious to see the hidden gems the college has,” said doctoral candidate Dr. Marlene Joannie Bewa, far left.  “We usually see the serious and formal side of the faculty. This is a great way to see the human aspect of the people who are working alongside us.” (Photo by Caitlin Keough)
Left to right: COPHers Evan Itle, June Lake and Jesse Casanova were all smiles while enjoying the show. (Photo by Anna Mayor)

Story by Donna Campisano, USF College of Public Health