Medical students host first OUWB talent show

A student performs at the OUWB talent show.

Sophie Hume

A student performs at the OUWB talent show.

Dean Vaglia, Staff Reporter

Students and faculty from the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) held the first OUWB talent show on Friday, Feb. 5. The event was open to members of the OUWB community and held over Zoom.

Approximately 70 OUWB community members and prospective students tuned in to watch seven performers show off their creative abilities. Acts included singing, opera, guitar playing, beatboxing, painting and magic tricks. Both students and faculty performed.

The talent show was planned by five members of the Learning Community for Integration of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in Health Profession Education, one of three Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) learning communities.

The five students are Donna Kayal, Jenny Nguyen, Maidah Raja, Luu Pham and Adam Wahl. OUWB professor Misa Mi came up with the idea for the talent show.

“[Mi] sent out a survey of students who were interested in doing the talent show,” Nguyen said. “It was all of us meeting a couple of times before the talent show in order to plan all the little details of how we would send the surveys links for who would be interested in performing.”

Advertising the event was a one of the main focuses of the planning team. Word of the event was spread through OUWB online spaces such as GroupMe and Facebook, along with emails.

“We just tried to get as many participants as we could,” Kayal said. “Eventually we were able to get some and that was exciting once we started seeing the numbers go up.”

Another focus was figuring out how the show would be formatted. Would it be a competition or would the OUWB community be free to show off their skills in an open environment?

“We were initially wanting to do a competition,” Kayal said. “But then we thought, ‘Maybe if we do set it up as a competition it might discourage some people’ … but we also thought maybe it could motivate some people to perform. We ended up just deciding on having it open as a talent show just for fun.”

When the day finally came, seven entrants took to the virtual stage and performed for their OUWB peers. Kayal’s favorite performance was student Collin Trainer’s magic show, and Nguyen’s was assistant professor Abram Brummett’s video of him painting a picture. 

“You could see everyone was either in awe, they were laughing or they were basically dancing in their seats,” Nguyen said, regarding the audience’s reactions to the performers. “It was a success of bringing the community together and just making people feel good.”

Since the planners see the show as a success, plans are being made to host a second event sometime during the next school year. 

“We are hoping things may be able to get to in person by next year … but we definitely want to continue,” Kayal said. 

The next talent show will either take place around late January and early February or sometime in the fall semester. Student workloads are a primary concern, as upper level medical students have exams to study for in the winter semesters.