Lights. Camera. Biology? As exams kicked into high gear on Apr. 20, one class took a dynamic approach to finals week. Sections CA01 and CA02 of Biochemistry, under the tutelage of Dr. Sergiy Borysov, participated in the first Bio-Oscars awards ceremony/final project of the 2017 semester.
The students had one month to tackle randomly assigned topics and explain the subject matters in a lively way. The performances culminated in an epic display of cinematography that would rival the presentations of Theatre Majors at Saint Leo University.
Borysov opened the event with a rousing round of applause (Computer generated) which was supplemented by the students who did not expect a display of such magnitude. Borysov was immaculately dressed from head to toe adorned in formal black and white attire, including bow ties. The whiteboards were designed with the phrases, “Best Movie,” “Best Actor/Actress,” and “Best Soundtrack.” Several gold-plated trophies lined the instructors table, which would be awarded to the participants based on their achievements. Borysov opened the period, by handing out slips of paper with several categories that the students would judge the films on. The audience was admonished not to vote for themselves but the best films in terms of soundtrack, best actor/actress and best overall film while he judged each movie for its scientific content and accuracy.
Junior and Biology Student Chidozie Igbonagwan, praised Dr. Borysov for his dynamic style of teaching.
“This event is a great undertaking as it employed the students creativity and ability to explain crucial topics in Biochemistry,” said Igbonagwan.
As most persons know, the sciences are very content heavy and require hours in and out of class time to achieve success. The students were able to take the key points of each topic and relate them within a ten-minute window successfully. There was dancing, running and even a few familiar melodious tones being sung. Amber Pimentel did one such performance. Pimentel sang songs to the tune of Disney’s Frozen while walking around the lab introducing equipment for her experiments. This brought smiles to the room as most of her peers didn’t know she sung so well.
The lighting of the room, coupled with the hilarious and energetic presentations, disarmed the nervousness associated with finals week. This was reinforced by the remarks of Cody Walker, who accepted the award for Best Film in Section CA02 with co-star Chogizie Igbonagwan.
“I am very nervous entering finals week but walking into this room and seeing Dr. Borysov, including what my classmates and I have produced in a non-traditional sense of testing gives me great relief!” Walker said.
Borysov reiterated that this was the type of event that he was looking forward to producing. An event that was non-traditional and also would ease the tensions of a chaotic semester filled with information.
The cinematic style and approach to finals week challenged the way students approached the rest of finals week in addition to giving them a much needed break. As iterated by Borysov, it continues to demonstrate core values of Saint Leo University by affording each individual to learn from their community, bring responsible stewards of the information we attain and the achievement of excellence.