COMM Week’s Game of Games Baums out

The Department of Communication’s COMM Week is in full swing and was hosted by our very own celebrity Tues, Feb. 18. Assistant Professor of Media Communication Dr. Mary Liz Brooks took on the part of Ellen DeGeneres, and hosted at West Texas A&M University a version of DeGeneres’ “Game of Games.”

Donning a blonde wig, larger than life attitude and contagious smile, “Ellen” hosted different faculty from the Department of Communications. The star-studded teams included Professor Carolyn Baum, Professor Connie McKee, Dr. Jessica Mallard, Professor Dane Glenn, Dr. Michael McFarland and student DeAnn Murry. Two groups of three were divided with Baum, McKee and Glenn on one team\; and McFarland, Mallard and Murry on the other.

The show began with an energetic, Ellen-like entrance by Brooks, introducing the concept and events to come.

“I’ve had a great time. Again, this is my second time to participate in COMM week, and it just gets better every year,” Brook’s Ellen said. “I love bringing my talents to this campus. There are some very skilled students here, very intelligent students here. And so I’m just happy to be a part of this environment.”

The first event the contestants had to endure was, “Guess the Food”. Both teams were blindfolded, with one team member eating a surprise food and then describing it to their fellow members without saying what it was.

Students cheered on the different contestants, with some having made signs for the teams. Sophomore electronic media and digital communications major Rachel Widder was amongst the crowd, cheering on McFarland and Glenn.

“I think it was a fun way for professors to kind of go up on stage, embarrass themselves and represent the department in a really fun and interesting way,” Widder said. “It was the best time. I wish it was longer. She [Brooks] was the best Ellen, besides the actual Ellen, of course.”

The second, and more messy game, was “Danger Word”. Similar to the game show “Password”, contestants were given a word that they described to their unknowing team members. Teams had the chance of saying the ‘danger word’, which would then prompt a pie to the face of the guesser.

Both guessers, Baum and Mallard, were both unfortunate enough to guess the danger words in their respective terms. The game at that point was tied and ended with a dance-off.

The ultimate winners were the team of McFarland, Mallard and Murry, with the crowd deciding via applause.

McFarland, in victory, began assisting the crew in disassembling the stage. McFarland spoke very highly of the production and structure of the show.

“Just from a planning perspective, though I was very impressed,” McFarland said. “So hats off, kudos to the people who actually put that event together.”

McFarland reflected on his time on the stage. His participation was the first time that he had partaken in such an event, but mainly, he had fun.

“I never have a problem of just having fun,” McFarland said. “Students get to see you in a different light. So I think it’s it’s really good for everybody. It’s kind of a bonding experience. And it’s something I hope that they remember.”

So who knows if the real Ellen will get a glimpse of a little West Texas version of some West Coast fun and call Brooks out to Hollywood. Make sure to remember where you were if she is called out west.

  • Instructor of Communication Studies Carolyn Baum
  • Associate Lecturer, Director of Forensics Connie McKee
  • Professor of Communication Studies, Dean of the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and
  • Humanities Dr. Jessica Mallard
  • Student Success Coordinator Dane Glenn
  • Assistant Professor Dr. Michael McFarland
  • Student Participant DeAnn Murry