What do a violin and a hula hoop have in common? They are both “instruments” that Collin College students used to win this year’s Collin’s Got Talent competition. Read on to find out more.

Student Winners

Tasheem Dickson took the first place slot this year with his rendition of I Will Exalt by Bethel Music. He earned a $1,250 Collin College scholarship and a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card for his skill.

“I was nervous. I was the third student to perform. I wasn’t expecting so many people to be there. I love expressing myself through music. It is definitely a passion for me,” Dickson said.

Dickson plays violin for his church and at weddings. He has also played for prison inmates.

“It is something that I thought I would never do. It was rewarding. They were accepting of us bringing light to a dark place. They talked to us afterward about making good decisions. They were wishing us a good life. They totally flipped that around because you thought you were going there for them.”

Dickson was recently accepted into the college’s Dental Hygiene program and says the scholarship will be especially helpful because he needs to buy tools for the program.

Taylor Scott used a smart hoop to earn the second place slot and a $500 scholarship. Scott has been hula hooping for about a year. Her hoop has LED lights which are controlled by remote. When she threw her hula hoop in the air it created bright, elaborate patterns.

A friend in her algebra class encouraged Scott to enter the talent show.

“The scholarship was my motivation to enter. It means a certain amount of financial freedom. My first semester of college was difficult balancing full time work and school. With the scholarship, I can take days off to study. It is kind of nice to have a secret talent. I thought it was really awesome.”

This is Scott’s first semester at Collin. She is planning to earn an associate of science degree and hopes to earn additional degrees in kinesiology.

Faculty & Staff Awards

This year winning faculty and staff earned the honor of selecting scholarship recipients.

First place went to Michael Medina, professor of commercial music, and Cindy Horstman, associate professor of music. The “2tone” duo played Fragile by Sting on electric bass and concert grand harp.

The duo has performed at several events including the Denton Jazz Festival, Ft. Worth Main Street Festival, corporate and private concerts and festivals and the noon concert series at Collin College.

“I thought it was a fabulous event. The participants were unique. It was nice to see the John Anthony Theatre almost full,” said Medina.

According to Medina, when he informed student Joon Kim that he would be receiving a $1,250 scholarship Kim was moved and humbly stated that many other students were far more deserving of the scholarship.

Second place was awarded to Matthew Coulter, professor of history, and Deborah Hall, administrative assistant for the Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement.  The Academic Suspension duo sang the duet I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, originally performed by The Supremes and The Temptations.

“I was very impressed with the student performances,” Coulter said. “Collin definitely has talent. There is no doubt about that. We had a blast. Deborah and I are in a bigger band, Academic Suspension, which has other Collin College professors and staff in it.”

The duo won a $500 scholarship and selected Collin College student Caroline Dillard as the recipient.

Third place was secured by Jed Harris, associate professor of psychology, who selected Collin College students Olivia Shannon, Laura Ashley Eaton and Cierra Brannies as the shared recipients of the $100 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Harris sang and played a medley of songs ranging from Kansas to Ed Sheeran on his acoustic guitar. He also shared an original work, the title song of his new album Tenderheart. A former full time musician, Harris is also a recording engineer and producer, psychotherapist and Olympic style weight lifter.

“I really enjoy teaching. These students have gone above requirements, so I was happy to be able to give them something for that. I think this is a great opportunity for us to be able to show our appreciation to our students.”

To watch the Collin’s Got Talent performances, visit https://www.facebook.com/collincollege/videos/vb.157110755600/10158739575035601/?type=2&theater .