The third, and final, Vaughn College new student orientation session began Wednesday (Aug. 24), where the power of the mind was on full display.

Hypnotist Joe DeVito brought the power of mind control with him from Boston during an hourlong demonstration that featured three student volunteers, Anthony Sanjurjo, Zoe Simpson and Pedro Toro.

“It was great; you can’t really explain what hypnosis feels like,” Toro said. “But it’s very peaceful.”

With help from Vaughn’s volunteers, DeVito delighted the 100 or so incoming students. His power of suggestion had Sanjurjo, Simpson and Toro performing a series of innocent, if amusing, tasks.

“I don’t remember anything,” Sanjurjo said. Added Simpson: “It’s a very different feeling, very relaxing.”

DeVito is a former dancer who became a hypnotist two decades ago after reading a book loaned to him by his father. He now tours college campuses, businesses, fairs and more, demonstrating the power of the mind. He is a television regular and an in-demand showman.

“You have to be willing to be hyponotized,” DeVito said, without giving away more of his secrets. “We always look for the best and the brightest.”

DeVito’s demonstration climaxed a day that began with a second appearance by motivational speaker Jonathan Sprinkles, whose  custom-tailored speech included this message: “The VC is not just Vaughn College; it’s Vision and Change.”

“Vision is why you are here,” Sprinkles told students and parents. “Change is why you are going to get out of here and do a great job. You have to be willing to step away from what is comfortable to do what is necessary so you can achieve what is possible.”

Sprinkles is a University of Texas graduate and former Dell Computers manager who now travels the country inspiring executives and students. Two weeks ago, he charged up Vaughn students with details of his own life, including his four attempts to pass college calculus. He passed and graduated with honors.

His message of personal empowerment was a hit on Wednesday. After his half-hour talk, he signed copies of his new book “Make it Happen” for Vaughn students.

“He was amazing, charismatic, everything a motivational speaker needs to be,” said Miguel Padilla, an incoming airport management student from Bridgeport, Conn. “Students can be really, really quiet during orientation but he really inspired us all.”


VAUGHN COLLEGE’S THIRD NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION SESSION: Above, hypnotist Joe DeVito looks for volunteers from among Vaughn’s incoming students.