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Academic Bowl kicks off opening rounds


October 13, 2008

ASU will kick off its 2008 Academic Bowl with two nights of opening round matches Oct. 14-15 in the Pima Room of the Memorial Union.

The academic event features 15 teams of undergraduate students competing for college pride and scholarship money in a fast-pace, question-and-answer format. The questions will cover a wide range of subjects, including current events, history, science, sports and culture.

“When we started the competition, we wanted to highlight our outstanding students and draw the same kind of attention we give our sports achievements to intellectual achievements,” says Virgil Renzulli, vice president for public affairs at ASU. “Judging from the level of competition and the great crowd support we have had, we have been very successful with both goals.”

The competition both evenings will begin at 7 p.m. The scheduled matchups are:

Oct. 14
• Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Gold vs. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
• Fulton School of Engineering vs. W. P. Carey School of Business.
• College of Design vs. College of Human Services.
• Through a random selection, the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education will receive a bye and automatically move to the second round.

Oct. 15
• College of Teacher Education and Leadership vs. Herberger College of the Arts.
• University College vs. Cronkite School Maroon.
• New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences vs. Fulton School of Engineering Gold.
• College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation vs. the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness.

The second round of the event will be held Oct. 22 in the Memorial Union Pima Room, with the semifinals and finals planned for Oct. 30 in the KAET/Eight studios.

Each member of the four-person winning team will be awarded a scholarship prize of up to $4,500, and the winning team's alternate members (up to four) will each receive a $1,000 scholarship. The college also will win the right to display the President's Cup trophy for the next year.

For the participating students, the event has been described as exhilarating. A senior with a double major in history and global studies, Erin Hutchinson is participating in her second ASU Academic Bowl after winning the championship cup with her College of Liberal Arts and Sciences team in last year's event.

“The competition last year was very exciting and a lot of fun,” says Hutchinson. “People who have not watched a game would be surprised at how fast and exciting the games are. There is always the opportunity for a team to make a comeback.”

Hutchinson will graduate in May and wanted to take advantage of her last year as an eligible competitor. “As we have three of the four members from last year returning to the CLAS team, we are hoping for a repeat victory. At the same time, I think that no matter what happens we will have a great time playing against the other teams and watching the other games. If we aren't competing in the final game, I can assure you that all of us will be in the audience!”

Representing the Cronkite School, Perri Collins is participating in his third bowl game.

“We have a really great team this year, and I hope we go far,” says Collins, who participated in his high school academic bowl program and was eager to get on board when ASU started their event in 2006.

“We had the opportunity to talk to other teams from across the Southwest, and we found that no other school in our region has a program like Academic Bowl,” says Hutchinson. “Coaches and students from other schools were completely floored when they found out that we had a universitywide competition that so many people watched and participated in. No other school in our region had anything like the publicity we had with the semis and finals shown on PBS.”

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the bowl's defending champion after bringing home the cup in 2007. In the competition's 2006 inaugural year, the team from the Ira Fulton School of Engineering hoisted the championship trophy.

The Academic Bowl is co-sponsored by the offices of Public Affairs and Student Affairs.