The Oklahoma Christian University Psychology Department has a few tricks up its sleeve – literally. Chair of the Department of Psychology and Family Studies Ryan Newell is hosting a magic show to fundraise for an illness that hits close to home.
“My wife last year was afflicted with a neural muscular disorder,” Newell said. “It came in August, and by October she wasn’t able to walk anymore. She’s better now and she is up and walking, but it’s a chronic disorder so it probably isn’t going to ever completely go away.”
Newell said, with the help of the psychology club, Psi Chi, the department is raising money to support research for this disorder. All of the money raised will be going to GBS/CIDP International Fund.
The magic show is led by Newell, who will perform tricks related to psychology. Newell said one of his goals is not only to raise awareness for his wife’s disorder, but also make it an entertaining night for students.
“I hope students can be amazed,” Newell said. “I’ll do a variety of things, but most of them will be a mental and psychological approaches. I hope that it will be a fun night. I’ve had a lifelong interest in magic, and I’ll talk a little bit about how I got into that at the show.”
The psychology department has previously supported other professors within the department by raising money. Some of the past causes included breast cancer and down syndrome.
“Psi Chi has already been involved with several service projects,”senior Abby deSteiguer, secretary of Psi Chi, said. “We just really wanted to make that the center of the club. This magic show is going to be raising money for a really good organization, so we really hope that people will come support the club and Newell.”
deSteiguer said she encourages students to attend because the money is supporting one of Oklahoma Christian’s own and the night will be entertaining.
“I will definitely be there, and anyone who knows what’s good for them will be there too,” deSteiguer said. “It goes to a good cause and Newell is known for his magic tricks. It’s going to be a good time.”
Junior, psychology major Madeline Roseke said the magic show is a “must see for everyone on campus”. Roseke also said Newell has performed a few amazing tricks in a recent class.
“He started class with a big smirk on his face and grabbed a set of cards,” Roseke said. “He asked us if we thought he could read minds, which I genuinely think he probably can. He guessed the card she had and I instantly blurted out for him to do it again so that I could figure out how he did it, but I couldn’t. There was no way.”
Roseke said Newell talks about the show every day in class and it is evident he is excited for this event.
“It’s just a super goofy side of Newell, which you don’t usually see so it’s really fun,” Roseke said. “A lot of times we don’t have goofy things on campus that involve professors, so it’s going to be and really good time and I am pumped.”
The magic show will be Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in Adams Recital Hall.