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USS' virtual Halloween party offers frights and delights

Emily Jacoby, dressed as "Betsy Ross," poses with her patchwork pumpkin.

Emily Jacoby, dressed as "Betsy Ross," poses with her patchwork pumpkin.

University Support Services (USS) knows how to party — even in a pandemic.

In lieu of an in-person event, USS staff gathered October 30, 2020, for a virtual Halloween party, which offered plenty of frights and delights. Activities included costume, pumpkin decorating, and Zoom background contests; coloring; a movie screening; video games; scary stories; a “Where’s Jason” puzzle; and a USS leadership “Guess Who” game. Staff could earn points toward prizes for participating in select events.

Shenia Sellers, Kelsey Loizos, Emily Jacoby, Aimee Morgan, and John Fresco — dubbed the “Spooky Skeleton Crew” by Sellers — organized the party, hosted via Microsoft Teams and Zoom. The event kicked off with a few words from Deputy Chief Information Officer Ken Pink and a search-and-find puzzle featuring 15 hidden images of USS Engineering Associate Director Jason Moeller.

From there, staff could choose their own adventure — watch “Beetlejuice” in the Cinema Cemetery, play Jackbox.TV games in the USS (Underground Super-Spooky) Lair, or hang out in the Water Tower — and post messages and contest entries in the associated Teams subchannels. 

The “Guess Who” game, which stumped several employees, offered a chance to learn more about USS leadership, from their silliest fears to their favorite candy. A few highlights:

  • Barb Iannucci’s childhood costume was Punky Brewster
  • Doug Kenner’s preferred super power is ability to defeat Balrogs and the Borg in the most epic way possible
  • Dan Thornley’s favorite horror movie is “Friday the 13th"
  • Pink’s favorite candy is candy corn
  • Rachael Sheedy’s favorite horror movie is “The Haunting of Hill House”
  • Tom Howa’s silliest fear is mice
  • Gary Carter’s preferred super power is the ability to fly
  • Moeller’s childhood costume was a baseball player 

See the gallery below for photos and screenshots from the event, as well as some of the stories or details that USS staff shared with their posts.  

Business Intelligence Associate Director Tom Howa dressed as a shark. Kelsey Loizos said, "I didn't have a real pumpkin, so I made one 🤦🏼‍♀️" John Fresco hosted games on John Fresco hosted games on Kelsey Loizos gives a thumb up in front of her Jason Moeller-themed Halloween Zoom background. Shenia Sellers leads the closing ceremony on Zoom. Larrisa Turner created this Halloween Zoom background, featuring Associate Director Jason Moeller. One of the games was called "Where's Jason?" The design for the USS Halloween website. Emily Jacoby wrote, "Bein' like grandpa. You can call me, Betsy Ross." Emily Jacoby's patchwork pumpkin. Marc Thompson posted this GIF, writing "Is this scary from May 2011?" He had trimmed his facial hair prior to a surgery. Marc Thompson's dog Lucy and a carved pumpkin. Marc Thompson wrote, "Here's another scary pic! This was a portion of my desk when I worked @ Eccles Broadcast Center, EBC for Media Solutions." Kelsey Loizos, dressed a ketchup packet, takes a photo with her son, who's dressed as sriracha. Emily Jacoby wrote, "Just me and my pet squirrel, painting happy trees like my long-lost grandpa, Bob.  You may know him. Sadly, I did not inherit the fro." Aimee Morgan wrote, "Hahaha. Yeah, I went a little too far with the costume. 😉" Daniel Dennis Gillen wrote about his Zoom background, "pretty scary." Marc Thompson, wearing a fask mask and shield, wrote "My shield is on mute. So, three masks and Marc's on mute..." Marc Thompson wrote about his dog Lucy, hiding under some fabric, "I'm SCARED but adorable!" Larrisa Turner colored this pumpkin using Photoshop. Shenia Sellers takes a photo with her "Zombie graveyard pumpkin diorama 🧟‍♀️" Marc Thompson wrote, "Here's what ended up being put in my right knee the following February after getting a bone eating virus and 12 weeks of antibiotics once every 8 hours. I'm pretty much all better now almost 10 years later but that 9 month ordeal was SCARY!" Alexia Adair dressed up as Pebbles Flintstone. Shenia Sellers wrote, "My Zombie graveyard pumpkin diorama 🧟‍♀️" 

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Last Updated: 4/13/21