Science club puts on Pie the Professor

#Hydrate hosted its special philanthropy event, Pie the Professor, in the Segerstrom Science Center on Nov. 5. All proceeds from the event went to Compassion International to help provide clean water for families in foreign countries.

The idea for the club was proposed two years ago by senior biochemistry major Karina Morales, who also serves as club president. Following Morales’ proposal, the club was created by Dr. Kevin Sheng-Lin Huang and his wife, Dr. Louise Huang, who understood that many science majors need a place to relax and create community with each other.

“#Hydrate is really meant to be an arena for science majors to come together and get our social and spiritual needs met,” Morales said. “A couple of years ago, I was doing some research over the summer, and I noticed that we have a community that exists [for science majors], that isn’t there during the school year…I had such a good time with these events [over the summer], that I wanted to make it something that all science majors could experience.”

“Science is kind of chancy and a little stressful, and we notice that a lot of students are going through a hard time,” added Dr. Kevin Sheng-Lin Huang, APU’s director of undergraduate research and associate professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry. “We’re trying to provide a club where students can come and refresh, meet faculty and learn about some of the cool sciences that are out there.”

The club also strives to meet its members’ spiritual needs as well.

“There are different elements to our club meetings, like fun events [such as Pie the Professor], getting to personally know other students and faculty in a close setting and learning about their life stories, and also [having] Bible studies and faith integration,” Louise Huang said. “We want to look at the biblical teachings and commands in order to really encourage each other. That’s where we got the name ‘Hydrate,’ because we want students to come in feeling refreshed, as we see the dry areas in a rigorous program.”

The Pie the Professor event invited all students to have some fun while raising money for a good cause. Campus pastor Coba Canales and five science professors, including Kevin Huang, volunteered to get ‘pied.’ Club vice president and applied health major Emily Burchinal explained how they planned to raise the money.

“Students will get to bid on whoever they want to pie, and whoever has the highest bid will get to pie the professor,” Burchinal explained. “However, there is a twist. The professor will also write down their own bid, and if they have a higher bid than the student, then they will get to pie the student that had the highest bid on them.”

After a fun night with many spectators, Dr. Bruce Spalding, Kevin Huang, Dr. Megan Prosser and Canales all got pied. However, two science professors, Dr. Cristian Aguilar and Dr. Skyla Herod were able to pie the students who failed to outbid them.

“I wanted to participate, because it was for a good cause and it’s with good people,” Canales said. “Getting pied wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I thought I was just going to get hit with whipped cream, but instead I was surprised—I got a little bit of Jell-O, fudge and custard in there. Other than the fact that I still have a little bit of it swimming around in my right ear, the experience wasn’t too bad.”

#Hydrate raised over $600 through the small fundraising event—averaging over $100 per pie.

The club, open to all science majors, meets every Monday at 6 p.m. in Segerstrom 220.