Staff Fest ‘Variety Show’ participants crown Favorite Pet and Aspiring Talent winners

Emory Report | May 25, 2021

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The virtual Variety Show of Staff Fest 2021 was a success on multiple levels, including offering participants the chance to vote on Emory’s Favorite Pet and Emory’s Aspiring Talent. Lizzy Clements of Emory College won the talent title with her “Pandemic Playlist” mash-up of 17 popular songs from the past year.

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Hundreds of Emory staff took time to celebrate the conclusion of another academic year with Staff Fest 2021 on May 21. What was dubbed “a Variety Show like no other” had participants jumping into virtual games such as “Guess who?,” “Predict what Google would say” and “Don’t forget the lyrics” by typing into chat so quickly that their answers scrolled past in a blur.

Two highlights included live voting for Emory’s Favorite Pet and Emory’s Aspiring Talent.

More than 120 staff members submitted photos of their pets for consideration. Bracket-style voting during the week narrowed the field to Ollie (owned by Lou Ocasio, Office of the Registrar) and Cipro (owned by Natasha Hopkins, Campus Life).

Cipro the dog

After watching a video with photos of all pet contestants, viewers met Ollie and Cipro in their homes. Votes were cast, bestowing the title of Emory’s Favorite Pet on Cipro, a three-legged English foxhound (pictured on right) who lives a life full of adventure.

Entries in the Aspiring Talent competition included singing, dancing, playing of musical instruments and more. A highlight reel showed snippets of entries before viewers watched the full performances by the finalists: John Patrick (Goizueta Business School), Maggie Mataczynski (School of Medicine) and Lizzy Clements (Emory College).

Mataczynski, who began playing guitar in eighth grade, was a one-woman band, playing guitar, drum and percussion simultaneously. Patrick played drums, sharing that he spent time touring with the Zac Brown Band and others in years past. Singer-songwriter Clements performed her “pandemic playlist,” a mash-up of 17 of the biggest songs released during the past year.

Viewers enjoyed all three performances, once again filling the chat space with kudos, encouragement and suggestions that the three collaborate to create music together. When the votes were tallied, Clements was crowned Emory’s Aspiring Talent.

The 120 employees who participated in the annual fun run/fun walk earlier in the week also were recognized. Participants completed a two-mile course on their own and submitted their times (and sometimes selfies) for gold, silver and bronze levels of recognition.

To read more about the festivities and to check out recipes from the cooking demonstration with Chef Jochen Lawson, visit the Staff Fest web page.