NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to compete in a “battle of the brains” recently when they took on challengers from universities and colleges from across the country as they took part in the 25th Annual Honda Campus All Star Challenge.
Held in Torrance, Calif., April 12-16 the competition featured the best and brightest students from 48 of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities to match wits and test their knowledge on such topics as the arts, geography, literature, history, politics science, as well as African-American literature and history among other categories.
The team, according to Dr. John Miglietta, professor of Political Science and coach of the team, has traditionally done very well in the competition, and has advanced to the Sweet 16 the last two years. TSU also claimed the top spot in 2007 as the national champions.
“The students did very well, with several of them playing in their first national tournament,” said Miglietta. “TSU was very competitive and the team received valuable experience. This will serve them well for next year’s tournament.”
The competition is divided into two phases, with the first phase a round-robin competition in which the field of 48 is divided into eight divisions of six teams. Each team plays the other team in its division once.
“Our team started off slow losing its first three games but rallied to defeat Virginia Union and Clark Atlanta Universities,” added Miglietta. “The team finished 2-3 and ultimately took third place in the division.”
“The top two teams advance from each division into the playoffs. TSU did not advance but was rooting for our friends from Fisk University who eventually were winners of the tournament.”
Representing TSU this year were: Adriann N. Wilson, a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Albany, Ga.; Brandon Bartee, junior Mechanical Engineering major from Manchester, Tenn.; Aurora Garvin, a sophomore Art major from Nashville, Tenn.; and Joseph Edward Patrick II, a junior Electrical Engineering major also from Nashville.
“The great thing about this competition is that it allows students from all over the country to interact and make ‘friends for life’ while also competing for scholarships for their institutions,” said Miglietta. “Every school that participates receives some scholarship money with the winners taking home $50,000 for their school. This year as National Championship Qualifiers TSU will receive $3,000 from American Honda.”
A highlight of the tournament was the induction of former player and TSU alumnus Malick Badjie into the HCASC Hall of Fame. Malick captained the team for three years from 2001-2003. While at TSU, in addition to HCASC, Malick was also active in Model United Nations, the Muslim Students Association, as well as the Honors Program. Malick now lives in London, United Kingdom, and has gone on to a career in financial services.
Celebrating 25 years of HBCU excellence, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is one of Honda’s largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States. Since 1989, the program has awarded more than $7 million in grants to participating HBCUs, impacting the lives of over 100,000 students across 22 states. The participating HBCUs share in grants from Honda of up to $328,000 each year.
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With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.