Chemistry professor chosen for last seat in lifeboat

At “Lifeboat,” an event held by the Seton Hill University (SHU) Honors Program on Wednesday night, professors competed for the last seat in a hypothetical lifeboat, arguing their cases based on traits respective to their disciplines and skills. Students then voted on which professor they would save.

 The students of the Honors Program transformed Griffin’s Lounge into a tropical themed paradise, adorned with flower petals and colorful toucans. Tropical themed food and drinks were served as students settled into seats close to the stage.

 Five professors competed in the event: associate professor of english Dennis Jerz, education professor Mary Monsour, business/accounting professor Roland Warfield, music professor and choral director Mark Boyle and associate professor of chemistry Diana Hoover.

 The arguments ranged from the logical to the passionate to the downright far-fetched, and the students were roaring with laughter. When it was time to vote, opinions became side debates for favorite candidates across the lounge.

 “I don’t know how that Jerz guy thinks he’s going to procure an entire library in the middle of the ocean. I’m rooting for Boyle,” said biology major Yasmine Watkins.

 “Dr. Monsour was so sweet with her argument. I adore her. I hope another boat comes along and grabs her while we float away with Dr. Hoover. That would be nice,” said Allie Parady, art therapy major.

 In the end, Hoover of the chemistry department was the victor. The crowd favored her logical arguments and references to popular media such as “Chopped” and “Lost.” She was presented with an oar that will remain in her possession until next year’s event, in which she will be given the opportunity to defend her spot in the lifeboat, lest she be replaced with a more qualified candidate. Student reactions were split.

 “It was Dr. Hoover all the way for me. She was so legit, and not only is she actually the most qualified for this kind of thing, she’s hilarious,” said biology major Amy Mae.

 “I mean, I voted for Dr. Jerz, but Hoover was up there too. I just don’t want to end up having to hear science lectures all day, because if that happens, someone is going to drown,” said Justin Taylor, performing arts major.

 “I think this is just great. Everyone had great arguments, so I’m honestly a little surprised.  It’s nice to know that the students can appreciate my humor though,” said Hoover, holding on to the oar, “Can’t wait for next year.”


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