Comedian provides laughs and advice to RMU students
This past Saturday, Robert Morris University’s First Year Seminar Program (FYSP) and the Student Life Office hosted comedian Michael Dean Ester.
Ester’s stand-up comedy act was part of the activities that the freshmen mentors coordinated during their training for the semester.
“The program itself is sponsored by the mentors and Student Life,” stated Meredith Weber, a counselor at the Center for Student Success and coordinator of FYSP mentors.
Weber explained that while the Student Life staff, which hired Ester, worked on organizing the event, the mentors signed in the first year students.
“They’re doing all of the back work and making sure everything runs smoothly,” added Weber.
“We didn’t know if we wanted to bring a comedian in, or if we wanted to let the students here tell their own jokes,” explained Chenee Cleveland, a junior majoring in pre-medicine who chose to be part of the committee that organized the event.
In the end, Cleveland explained that they decided to bring in someone because they believed he would be able to entertain everyone.
“He’s a very well-known comedian who performed in a lot of colleges and universities,” added Maureen Keefer, the assistant dean of students. “He’s just a great person to have at the start of the school year.”
Since August 26, Ester has been traveling to colleges and universities everywhere in the country, such as Texas, Montana, Florida and Maine.
Although the show was open to all students, the audience was primarily first year students with a small number of upperclassmen.
Ester managed to advise the first year students about college life through his jokes.
“He was inspirational in a funny way,” stated Shaylynne Shrader, a first year student majoring in education.
“He was funny [and] . . . able to relate to everyone,” added Keyanna More, a sophomore mentor majoring in psychology.
Ester also brought with him an aspiring stand up comedian whom he mentors.
His mentee Derrick Knopsnyder, a junior from California University of Pennsylvania majoring in professional golf management, entertained the students with stories mostly about his love life.
Ester explained that his goal for the show is to actually advise students.
“I want students to take ownership of this experience,” he said. “I want them walking out a little closer to their dreams,” he stated.
Weber expressed her satisfaction with the show and the amount of students who attended it.
“I was glad for its turn out,” she said. “We had probably around 100 students.”