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Oakwood University's Honda Team Headed for Playoffs

Oakwood's HCASC team and alternates include (left to right): Grayson Mejia, Jordan Seal, Miriam Duronville, Jonas Clarke, Danielle Honoré, Nirvana Walton, Khaliah Patton, and Crosby Lambert.

Oakwood's HCASC team and alternates include (left to right): Grayson Mejia, Jordan Seal, Miriam Duronville, Jonas Clarke, Danielle Honoré, Nirvana Walton, Khaliah Patton, and Crosby Lambert.

On Feb. 7, 2020, after nearly six months of preparation, the Oakwood University Ambassadors emerged as winners at the Honda Campus All Star Challenge (HCASC) National Qualifying Tournament (NQT) held at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The team will now prepare for the national championship tournament in Torrance, California, on March 28 to April 1, 2020.

Teams from Allen University, Claflin University, Harris-Stowe State University, Paine College, and Oakwood University met in a face-off to answer an array of questions on topic areas including classic literature, science, the arts and African-American culture.

The teams of scholars were given a few ground rules, and category names and descriptions, before the games began for the day. The first three rounds, called Face-Off rounds, present the teams with two types of questions: face-offs, worth 10 points each; and bonuses, worth 20 points. The fourth round is called the Ultimate Challenge. Each team gets a turn to play the Ultimate Challenge and has 60 seconds to answer 10 questions in the category of its choice. Each correct answer is worth 25 points, for a total of 250 points. Each round has a category board with four categories.

Each team was anxious to answer as many questions as possible to lead their teammates to victory. When the final round concluded, Oakwood’s Honda team emerged as the winners of the NQT held at Claflin. Because NQTs would also be played the following day (Saturday), it was requested that no one announce Friday’s results until the results of both days could be announced simultaneously.

Oakwood’s HCASC team members included Danielle Honoré, Biomedical Science major – sophomore (captain); Crosby Lambert, Communication major – junior;  Jonas Clarke, Biology major – junior; and Grayson Mejia, Applied Mathematics major – junior. The university’s alternate HCASC team members included Jordan Seal, Biochemistry major – freshman; Miriam Duronville, Biology major – sophomore; Khaliah Patton, Accounting major – freshman; and Nirvana Walton, Allied Health major – senior.

Rennae Elliott, Communication Department chair, also serves as Oakwood’s HCASC Coach.

HCASC is America’s premier academic quiz competition for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). More than 150,000 HBCU scholars have participated in HCASC since 1989. Honda has awarded more than $9 million in grants through HCASC to help fund tuition and book scholarships, student development initiatives, endowment and development initiatives, as well as facilities improvements and equipment.

— Debbe Millet, Integrated Marketing & Public Relations