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Let the battle of wits begin

September 27, 2011

ASU Academic Bowl returns Oct. 3-6

This man identified four functions of the mind: thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition.


Answer: Who is ____.  

(check answer at bottom)

Kudos, if you were able to answer this question correctly. And if the answer came to you immediately, then consider yourself a potential threat in the whip smart world of academic competition.

Returning to campus Oct. 3-6, the ASU Academic Bowl is a way to foster school spirit among ASU students and possibly usher them into national quiz bowl competitions

The ASU event has become a smart-alecky staple of the fall semester – a time of year when nearly 100 undergraduate students step into the spotlight to show off their knowledge and the college that helped give it to them for a chance to win scholarship money and another kind of knowledge.


Answer: The kind that makes you act smug around fellow classmates.

That is correct.

The high-level academic competition matches the style of the classic American quiz show and pits teams, comprised of four students, against each other in a fast-paced round of question-and-answer trivia that covers everything from political science to pop culture.

The competing students hail from all over the world and are majors in disciplines ranging from climatology to industrial design. Their ability to think fast and buzz in quickly also will be tested, as well as their ability to recall old television shows, past political debates and popular music of bygone eras.

"We have a well-rounded team that is calm under pressure," said Zachary Kovach, a secondary education-physics major from Cleveland, who will be representing the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at this year's competition.

When asked how he is preparing for the event, Kovach said simply: "I'm not. I know what I know." In his free time, Kovach said he likes to skate, plays drums, collect rocks and volunteer at the Arizona Science Center.

James Martell, an industrial design major from Bettendorf, Iowa, said he is training for competition by visiting trivia websites and watching "Jeopardy!" Jamie Tellez, his teammate on the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts team, is an Arizona native also studying industrial design. She said that one of her strengths is her age.

"As an older student, I have had a little more time to accumulate knowledge than most of my competitors, and this is helpful with certain types of questions," she said. 

When asked how she is preparing, Tellez said that she has been focusing on her weak areas: science and math. 

"I noticed in practice that there have been many questions in the past dealing with the periodic table, so I'm trying to re-familiarize myself with that," said Tellez, who enjoys writing music, playing music, creative writing and watching football. "Go Devils!"  

In recent years, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Gold and Maroon teams have dominated the competition. The only other colleges to get a taste of victory are the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the W. P. Carey School of Business.

For a list of competing colleges at this year's ASU Academic Bowl, in addition to details about the event, visit

The opening rounds of the ASU Academic Bowl will take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 3 and 4, in the Pima Room of the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus. The final round will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 6, in the Eight, Arizona PBS studio on the Downtown Phoenix campus, and be televised in front of a live audience.

All rounds will be broadcast on ASUtv. For television viewing options, visit ASUtv can be watched anywhere with a web connection on and at

Viewers also can follow the action live on Twitter @ASUnews_insider.

All events are free and open to the public – smarty-pants and know-it-alls welcome.

(Answer: Carl Jung)