When University of Bridgeport alumnus Kenichi Ebina was announced winner of “America’s Got Talent” last night, his $1million victory capped a dizzying trajectory for the former mass communications major, who not so long ago performed with his dance troupe on campus.

Ebina—a self-taught dancer who integrates music, special effects, and mime into super-charged and highly emotive dance routines—walked away with $1 million and his own show in Las Vegas after dominating season eight of NBC’s hit show. His final performance on Tuesday, September 17, a simulated robotic video game, had judges gushing.

“This is a celebration of Kenichi tonight, Not ‘America’s Got Talent,'” said Howard Stern. “I think that your creativity is limitless. I think that you are a superstar,” added Heidi Klum.”If I could vote, if would be at home right now, I would vote for you.” Viewers agreed, too. They included dozens of UB students who attended two viewing parties of AGT on Tuesday and Wednesday at Cox Student Center, exactly where Ebina and his troupe, Soul Beat, used to dance during the University’s annual International Festival.

Ebina earned an Associates of Arts in General Studies from the University in 1998 and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications in 2000.
Media contact: Leslie Geary