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Professor to dye hair for fundraiser

It may be neon pink or green, but one professor will receive a new hairdo for a day during the last week of the semester.

It’s one of two ways a USF Honors College class is raising money to support impoverished children in Panama.

The “Bowling for Panama” event Tuesday night at AMF University Lanes in Tampa also raised money for the cause. Ticket sales will fund the project.

Until Nov. 25, students and faculty can donate money to cast a vote for one professor to dye his or her hair for a day. The professor with the most votes will be selected.

Sixteen students from the Health Care in Panama class organized the fundraiser. They’ve raised $200 so far, said Amy Sturrock, coordinator of Academic Advising for the Honors College and instructor of the class.

Professors who agree to participate in the fundraiser are raising money in their classes.

“It’s something very simple to do, it’s a very good cause, (and) that’s the bottom line,” said Johnny El-Rady, instructor in the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology.

El-Rady said his wife would match donations up to $100.

“I passed (the box) around to one class, and I think we got more than 100 bucks,” he said.

The students will travel to Panama from Dec. 12 to 24 to volunteer at Nutre Hogar and Casa Esperanza, Sturrock said.

The Nutre Hogar organization treats malnourished infants and teaches them to eat healthy, Sturrock said.

“Our monetary donations will go to (the Nutre Hogar children) based on what they need,” Sturrock said. “We won’t know what they need until we get down there.”

Any remaining funds will be donated to Casa Esperanza, an after-school program for inner city children whose parents are absent, inattentive or in jail, she said.

Students will present a lecture for the children on the importance of dental hygiene, Sturrock said.

“(Dental hygiene) is probably the thing they are least educated about,” said Robin Mansour, a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences and one of the participating students. “We’re working on translating a ‘how to brush your teeth’ book in Spanish.”

Students are contacting dentists to ask for dental supplies like toothbrushes or toothpaste to donate, she said.

“We are going to focus on Health Care,” Mansour said. “We’re going to try to teach the kids about dental hygiene, but mainly we are just going to give them the attention they are starved for.”

The class will decide which color to dye the professor’s hair, Mansour said.

The darker a professor’s natural hair color, the brighter dye students will use, she said.

Randy Criss, an instructor in the Department of Physics who is also fundraising, said he doesn’t mind dying his hair.

“If the hair dye happens, it is what it is, but if a lot of money is raised and somebody beats me by a dollar, I’m just as happy with that too,” Criss said.

Monetary donations can be brought to the Honors College desk in Student Services building Room 1088.