Showcasing talents outside the lines

A showcase of student-athletes’ talents took place in Annenberg Hall.

Students and faculty learned to do the “Whip and Nae Nae” at the Student Athlete Talent Showcase Nov. 11 in Annenberg Hall. | Brianna Spause TTN

At the Hidden Talent Showcase hosted by the School of Media and Communication, Nov. 9, Dean David Boardman and students could be found whipping, sexy walking and dropping for the audience.

Teresa Tham, a junior communication studies major, had the entire room dancing to DLOW’s “Bet You Can’t Do it Like Me” in a dance class at the lasagna dinner-and-show event featuring SMC student-athletes and their hidden talents.

With around 110 people in attendance, the showcase began, like all athletic events, with a musical introduction. But this musical introduction was done on the bagpipes by junior media studies and production major Andrew Rodriguez, who has also been an SMC peer mentor to student-athletes.

From a magic show to a dance class, the evening was filled with diverse groups of students, from rostered athletes to intramural participants.

“It’s the very notion of the athletics community was expanded,” said Scott Gratson, director of the communication studies program. “I just think it brings everyone together, an event like this.”

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Sean Hawkins performed two of his own acoustic songs Nov. 11 at the Student-Athlete Talent Showcase. | Brianna Spause TTN

Musician and singer Sean Hawkins, who is a coach for a soccer team in Whitpain Township, performed two of his original songs for the crowd.

“It was a cool spread of people,”said Hawkins, a sophomore communication studies major.”I’m in the process of recording an album, so it was nice to get a little bit of publicity going.”

A quieter moment occurred when the teary-eyed Khalif Herbin, a junior communication studies major currently inactive on the Temple football team, read his poem “Nameless” to the crowd.

Sophomore Brett Smulligan, a communication studies major, was required to attend the event for one of his classes, but was pleasantly surprised.

Smulligan and Hawkins both said they would attend again in the future. Smulligan hopes future iterations of the program will focus on the talents of the entire student body, not just student athletes.

Women’s rowing captains and seniors Aimee Meissner, a media studies  and production major, and Lily Papaleo, a strategic communication major, performed a magic show for the audience.

“Most of the time, we’re so caught up in our own groups that we don’t take the time to interact with other students and see what they’re all about,” Meissner said. “But seeing students and faculty who are really interested in what we do outside the classroom was refreshing.”

“An event like this shows that the student-athletes are just so multi-layered and complex,” Gratson said. “Most important to me as a teacher is to see them as scholars, as people, and to find out about  their craft and everything else that they do too, beyond their craft.”

“I think an event like this allowed me and others to do that.”

Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at

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