By RIVES KUHAR
As his beaded Speedo glistened under the stage lights, Andrew Hogan wrapped a snake around his shoulders and rightly earned first place in this year’s Lip Sync competition. While his hip moves were memorable, there’s more to Hogan than meets the eye.
Many students may recognize Hogan, a senior and biology major, from his past three performances at Lip Sync and from his impersonation of Justin Timberlake, which won him last year’s title of Mr. UMW.
However, not many people would guess that Hogan, a performer who enjoys giving over the top performances on stage, spends most of his days and nights in the biology lab performing minute procedures.
Hogan came to the University of Mary Washington with the intention of going into Pre-Med, but after taking genetics and learning about cancer biology, Hogan became fascinated with the disease.
“Cancer is a very sad disease, but it’s a really interesting one too,” Hogan said.
The challenge of cancer research are rewarding to Hogan, and his passion for it has only grown stronger as time has passed.
Currently, he is applying to graduate schools for biomedical sciences with a concentration in either cancer biology or immunology.
“I look at cancer and it’s so overwhelming and confusing, and there’s so many things happening at once,” said Hogan. “In the back of your head, it’s taunting you and you have this drive to figure it out. That’s how you don’t quit, because you have a passion to not only help people, but to understand how the disease works.”
Whether it’s dancing on stage or working in the lab, Hogan brings his upbeat, fun disposition to every atmosphere.
“I like taking a break from the intense science field to be myself,” Hogan said.
When it came to his recent performance for Lip Sync, Hogan worked with his dance coaches, fellow seniors Liz Brennan and Sam Corron, to help determine choreography and lighting.
He also spent time working with the nearly 5-foot long Columbian Boa, Zappa, belonging to Kelsey Trumble, to grow comfortable with the snake and avoid putting it in a stressful environment of new lightings and sounds.
“The more comfortable [Zappa] was with me, the more he would move freely to distinguish the smells and surroundings,” Hogan said.
After the screams and gasps from the audience, Hogan knew his efforts paid off.
“From the amount of volume I couldn’t hear the music at some points. So I definitely got the reaction I was looking for,” Hogan said. “It was my last year, I had to go slutty. I had to go hard. I had to go crazy.”
Outgoing on the dance floor but technical and serious about academics, Hogan will never stop finding reasons to go crazy and dance, even in his future full of lab coats.
“I may retire the beaded Speedo, but I’ll never retire the dance.”