The 2016 SUMR Orientation and Talent Show

SUMR Blog

The 2016 SUMR Orientation and Talent Show

Conferring With Former SUMR Scholars and Performing on Stage
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At the end of its opening week of orientation, Penn's 2016 class of Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) scholars got to interact with a panel of former SUMR scholars and current PhD students (above). Those program veterans -- (r to l) John Gehlbach, Penn pre-dental undergraduate; Penn PhD student Amy Bond; Harvard post-doc-bound Penn graduate Julius Chen; Penn PhD student Vicky Chen; and Urban Institute staffer Siya Ndwandwe -- offered tips about the SUMR experience and potential career moves. Lighting up the day's activities was the separate annual SUMR talent show -- an ice-breaker event which requires all scholars to briefly perform. Scholars from the Wharton School's Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) also took part in the week-long orientation and the talent show. Photos below:
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"I would never ask you to do anything I wouldn't do myself," SUMR program Director Joanne Levy told the assembled scholars (above, left). To prove her point, she kicked off the SUMR talent show by donning faux 1920's jewelry and dancing quite a lively Charleston backed by YouTube music. Above, right, the first scholar "performance" and an award winner was by Gabriela Esnaola of Yale University who prepared a large rice pudding for the audience to eat.
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Demonstrating gymnastic prowess with headstands (above, left) are Penn's Ian Jeong and Haverford College's Levi Bowers. Above, right, Vanderbilt University's Kenya Wright, a connoisseur of riddles and puzzles, engaged the audience in a riddle word game.
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Doing a shtick of comedy routines (above, left) were Dartmouth College's John Fitz-Henley and Penn's Wen Tao Zhang. Above, right, Penn's Benjamin Blanco navigated the class through the process of making a paper airplane.
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Comedienne and mathematician from Wooster College (above, left), Sophia Anderson told a number of jokes. Here's one: Why did the scarecrow get a raise? Answer: It really excelled in its field. Above, right, Penn's Barrington Bennett sketches Patrick Star, the starfish from the SpongeBob SquarePants series.
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In one of the most intricately detailed performances, Rutger's Ana Bonilla Martinez (above, left) pasted everyone's forehead with symboled stickers as part of an exercise from a conflict resolution workshop. Above, right, the session's show stopper occurred when Penn's Carlos Carmona, who minors in American Sign Language, "sang" -- via sign language -- along with the song "Rude" by Canadian reggae fusion band Magic!
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University of Dallas' Joseph Pecha (above, left) performed a scene from Shakespeare's "Tempest" in which the Duke of Milan bemoaned his exile to a remote island. Above, right, Penn's Erica Dienes, a member of the Federally recognized Creek Indian Tribe of southern Alabama, demonstrated the Mvskoke language phrases most appropriate for addressing a tribal elder.
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Penn mathematical economics student Alejandro Borgonovo (above, left) duplicated the famed YouTube bottle tossing trick, but it took him two attempts. Above, right, Wake Forest University's Sarah Rudasill guides the audience through the process of drawing a dog head.
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Senior Associate Director of Research and Scholars Programs at Penn's Wharton School Utsav Schurmans (above, left) conducted the audience in an audio performance comprised of only mouth and tongue clucking sounds. Above, right, Penn's Sebastian de Armas' demonstration of his paddle ball skills was so vigorous that the ball ripped away from its rubber string.
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Penn's Christopher Koilor (above, left) performs a card trick with the aid of Levi Bowers . Above, right, Penn's Carson Miller holds up a ceramic work that she designed and created. She also displayed website photos of her other ceramic projects.
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An origami aficionado, SUMR Program Coordinator Safa Browne (above, left) had audience members follow along with their own pieces of paper as she folded an intricate paper fortune teller. Above, right, Penn's Sohum Daftary conducting a gaming demonstration that drew bids of up to $1 million for a $20 bill.
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Kareha Agesa of Denison University (above, left) who holds a black belt in Taekwondo, performed some of the Korean martial art's moves. Above, right, Penn's Mohammed Malik and Elliot Oblander tell a series of unjokes. Here's one: Why did the plane crash? Answer: Because the pilot was a loaf of bread.
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Temple University's Kehinde Oyekanmi, another award winner (above, left) sang the theme song of the Disney Channel's animated "Proud Family" sitcom. Above, right, Penn's Wan (Wendy) Jiang explained that in Chinese culture when the moon is "perfectly round" it signals families to reunite. She sang a melancholy ancient poem written by a man who was far from home as he viewed a round moon.
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Penn's JinAh Kim (above, left) showed how to draw Charles Schulz's cartoon characters Snoopy and Woodstock. Above, right, Penn's Nada Boualam noted that "I do not have a talent but I do have balls -- or only one ball and I'm going to juggle with it." And so she did.
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Lincoln University's Bushauna Freeman (above, left) who grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands read a Caribbean poem entitled, "Crystal Clear Waters." Above, right, Tiffany Smith of Penn has eleven siblings -- and when she became an aunt at a young age she wanted to become the "best aunt in the world." To prove her talent as a doting auntie she brought the artwork and hand-made cards she's received from her nephews and nieces.