Fun for a worthy cause took center stage Friday (Oct. 20) in the inaugural State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) Statistics Talent Show Luncheon, presented by the Texas A&M University Department of Statistics.

The event, held in the Richardson Petroleum Engineering Building on the Texas A&M campus, included five acts by Departmental faculty, students and staff and raised nearly $800 to benefit the local United Way Foundation. It was co-organized by Department Head Assistant and SECC Departmental Coordinator Jennifer Reyes and Editorial Assistant Elaine Washington.

Dr. Simon J. Sheather, professor and head of Statistics, emceed the program, which featured a brief welcome by Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science, as well as an entertaining combination of humor -- statistical and otherwise -- and heart.

"The agencies supported by the SECC are the last resort people," Newton told the crowd. "They are the ultimate safety net when the government, the community and other more traditional means are exhausted, and there's nothing left. Personally, I have always felt that this is one of the most important things we do."

Using equal parts of energy and enthusiasm, Sheather kept the lunchtime show moving, interspersing well-timed jokes about statisticians, fundraising and higher education between acts and late arrivals in the crowd.

Graduate student Vince LeMoine and Senior Office Assistant Zena Patterson opened the show with consecutive guitar/singing acts. LeMoine delivered driving renditions of Deep Purple's "Hush" and the Eli Young Band's "Everything is You," while Patterson sang covers of the Dixie Chicks' "Hello, Mr. Heartache" and the Marty Robbins classic "Singing the Blues." The two then combined for a hilarious take on the Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow duet "The Picture."

Next up was Assistant Professor Alan Dabney, who joined the Statistics faculty earlier this fall and made the most of his moving experience, detailing it and a variety of everyday subjects, from home ownership to Bryan-College Station transportation, in a cleverly self-deprecating stand-up comedy routine.

Armed with Western-inspired props provided by Senior Lecturer Julie Carroll, graduate student Charles Lindsey then took the stage and breathed life of the four-legged variety into a passage from the classic children's book series "Hank, the Cowdog." Alternating between narrating and barking, Lindsey expertly detailed the exploits of Hank, his faithful sidekick Drover and their fateful encounter with a large and rather unfriendly bulldog in the adjacent pickup bed during a stopover in town.

Professor Mike Speed and the On-Liners (Software Applications Developer Kim Ritchie, Associate Professor Webster West, and graduate students Jeff Stanley, Diego Cuellar, Ethel Arriola, Curtis Alexander, Brian Hartman, Paul Martin, Ross Larsen, Scott Crawford and Brad Barney) closed the show with a rousing group performance that included a hip-hop video and human illustrations of "Guess That Distribution." Arriola and Ross also teamed up for a musical duet, a statistical spin on a popular Carpenters' hit, "Close to Mu," written by Crawford.

The price of admission included a lunch provided through the generosity of event sponsors Albertson's, Britt Rice Electric, Ed Cravey Transportation and Sam's Club.

To see more photographs from the event, visit http://www.science.tamu.edu/events/ and click on the "SECC Statistics Talent Show Luncheon" link.

For more on the SECC at Texas A&M, go to http://tamusystem.tamu.edu/secc/.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Simon J. Sheather, (979) 845-3141 or sheather@stat.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Applause for the Cause

    Food and fun headlined the Department of Statistics' inaugural SECC Talent Show Luncheon, enjoyed by faculty, staff and students from across the Department and College of Science.

  • Pickin' and Grinnin'

    Zena Patterson (left) and Vince LeMoine combine guitar and vocal talents on "The Picture."

  • Humor in the Workplace

    Alan Dabney delivers another one-liner (as opposed to on-liner) on life in Aggieland as he's known it since arriving in College Station earlier this year.

  • It's A Dog's Life

    Flanked by an illustrative backdrop of cowboy gear, Charles Lindsey barks out another line from "Hank, the Cowdog."

  • Normal?

    The statistical distribution for normal personified, courtesy of On-Liners Jeff Stanley, Diego Cuellar, Ethel Arriola, Curtis Alexander, Brian Hartman, Paul Martin, Ross Larsen and Scott Crawford.

  • Kickin' It for "Mu"

    Ethel Arriola and Ross Larsen (foreground), with their trusty back-up singers/dancers, including (left to right) Curtis Alexander, Brian Hartman and Paul Martin. Standing at left in the background is fellow On-Liner Kim Ritchie.

© Texas A&M University. To request use of any of our photographs for educational use or to view additional options from our archive, please contact the College of Science Communications Office.

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