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The Battle of the Brains

November 14, 2012

Holland Cullbreath, Joshua Hughes and Travonya Kenly compete in preparation for the April Honda Campus All Star Challenge

Holland Cullbreath, Joshua Hughes and Travonya Kenly compete in preparation for the April Honda Campus All Star Challenge

The heat is on for dozens of Cheyney students, vying for a coveted spot in the Honda Campus All Star Challenge, the first-ever academic competition between students at America’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU’s).  Forty-eight teams will go head-to-head in Los Angeles, CA in April for the big $50,000 prize.  Last year’s CU team earned $3,000 in prize money. 
 

Tuesday evening, teams of three played against each other in the Ed Bradley TV Studio in DSS to see who knew more, had faster recall and could come out on top.   They answered questions about history, spelling, government, and a host of other categories.  The fast-paced competition had the audience, at times, squirming in their seats to see who would hit the buzzer first and if that person would answer the question correctly.


Cash prizes were handed out to the two best teams.  Team TBW came in 2nd—each member got $50 for their efforts.  Team Panda, comprised of sophomore biology/chemistry dual major Travonya Kenly, sophomore biology major Joshua Hughes, and junior math/computer science dual major Holland Culbreath, came in first—they each nabbed $100.  Culbreath was one of the four CU students who represented Cheyney at the HCASC last year. 


The Keystone Honors Academy, led by Dean Tara Kent, sponsors Cheyney’s participation in the HCASC.   Dr. Hazel Spears, Assistant Professor of Psychology, is the coach who gives pointers, mentors and encourages participants. 


CU students have been battling it out in practice sessions since September.  The goal is to see which team of three will come out on top, qualify, and represent Cheyney on the national stage this spring .  Since Cheyney started competing in HCASC in 1989, CU has earned $28,500 in cumulative grants. 


The last two fast-paced campus practice sessions will be held November 27th and December 4th in Emlen Hall’s Seminar B room at 5 pm.  It’s crunch time since some of Cheyney’s qualification materials are due December 7th.   If Cheyney qualifies, the smallest prize it will receive is $1000.


Morgan State University took top honors last year.  Over the last 23 years, HBCU schools have earned over $7 million in grants from Honda for their institutions.