Kent Communication Society puts professors in the hot seat


Mariah Alanskas

Students gather while professors get ready to eat Hot Wings during a Q&A.

Mariah Alanskas, Reporter

Professors revealed their most embarrassing stories, best advice and secret talents as they sat down with the Kent Communication Society (KCS) to answer students’ “hot” questions. The only catch was that answers were given while eating various levels of spicy wings.

The idea stems from the popular segment ‘Hot Ones’ where YouTube Channel ‘First We Feast’ interviews celebrities while they eat progressively hotter and hotter wings.

The event was put on Wednesday night by the KCS, and was set up similarly to its inspiration with a table displaying the different hot sauces and the interviewer and interviewee sitting across from one another.

Society members came with a slew of lemons, milk options, bread and water to curb any pain or uncomfortable feelings participants might have experienced.

“We wanted to get the professor’s involved more and kind of get our students to know professors on a more personal level,” said Megan Lehman, the KCS president and senior advertising major. “Instead of them just going to class, learning the material and leaving.”

The questions were gathered from students through Instagram polls and GroupMe responses.

Assistant Communication Professor and first ‘Hot Ones’ participant, Cristin Compton answered questions ranging from “the best and worst part of teaching” to “tell us something students don’t know about you.”

“I am a drummer,” Compton said. “I actually have a degree in it and used to play professionally.”

Compton’s answer caused an uproar of questions and intrigue from students, and by popular demand, led to her giving a drumming demonstration on the table.

The second participant was Assistant Communication and Journalism Professor Stephanie Smith, who also gave an answer that surprised some students. She mentioned that she used to be employed at the CIA.

“The best time at CIA is Halloween,” Smith said. “Every Halloween is the best event you could ever attend. Think robots, think heavy concealment where people aren’t just in costume they’re in disguise. So it’s just really cool.”

Smith wasn’t able to go into too much detail about her time in the CIA, but did hint at having an alias during her time there.

The last professor to tackle the hot challenge seemed to be the most nervous. He was even seen carrying around his own carton of soy milk.

Associate Communications Lecturer Aaron Bacue kept students laughing throughout his interview by sharing his embarrassing stories, expressing dislike of spicy foods, and proclaiming his old dream of becoming Oprah Winfrey.

Throughout the laughs came moments of connection and snippets of advice.

“You’re gonna change your career probably six times so don’t freak out if you don’t get the perfect, most amazing job after graduating,” Bacue said. “Your job should not be your life. I spent decades thinking that this was my identity. And it wasn’t until I realized that there’s a lot more, that I’ve had a much more fulfilling life. Anything you do, does not have to be perfect, it just has to be effective.”

In the end, all three professors and e-board interviewers were able to eat all six or seven of the hot sauces used, and the event seemed well received through student’s reactions.

“If you know your professors more, you’re more likely to go get extra help when you need it,” Lehman said. “So we kind of thought something like this would be silly because you can get your professors in a vulnerable position. So, it’s like leveling them down to student level and getting to know who they actually are while having fun.”

Mariah Alanskas is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].