MONTGOMERY, AL - Alabama State University students will join 47 other historically black colleges and university (HBCU) students in making final preparations to face off in a unique battle of academic prowess at the 21st annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (www.hcasc.com), which is the nation's largest academic competition held between HBCUs.
More than 250 HBCU college students will travel to Orlando, Fla., to participate in the two-day competition (April 11-12), which will showcase the students' knowledge in the areas of world history, science, literature, religion, the arts, social science and popular culture. Each of the participating 48 teams will have the opportunity to win grant money for their school with the winner walking away with the top prize of $50,000.
In all, a total of $328,000 in institutional grants will be awarded through this year's program.
"We are proud of our students from Alabama State University who will be competing in this nationwide battle of the brains, which will showcase the high academic standards of both Alabama State University's students and its stellar programs," said Dr. David Iyegha, campus coordinator of ASU's All-Star team and chair of its Department of Humanities.
Among the members of ASU's Academic All-Star team includes: team captain, Amber Johnson; Ronarro Cleveland; Willis Postell, and Maya McKenzie. The team's assistant coach is Annie Markham.
This year the "Great 48," as they are called, will be split into eight divisions and will compete in a modified round robin format with the top two teams from each division advancing to the "Sweet 16," to compete in a single elimination playoff, said Iyegha. He said the final two teams would then compete for the National Champion title.
Colleges and universities from Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri and New York are slated to participate.
"The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge was created to shine a spotlight on the academic excellence exemplified at America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities," said Marc Burt, senior manager, Office of Inclusion and Diversity, American Honda Motor Company. "We at Honda are proud to say that 21 years after this program's inception, HCASC continues to not only highlight the great minds present at our nation's HBCUs, but it also provides, through grant giving, an opportunity for the company to invest one of the country's largest pipelines for professional and academic talent."
The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is one of Honda's largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States. Since 1989, HCASC has brought together the nation's best and brightest academic competitors from the America's top HBCUs. In addition to providing students a venue for friendly competition, the program encourages relationship building, intellectual excellence and the development of values that define good character. Throughout its 21-year history, HCASC has touched over 50,000 students, awarded more than $5 million in grants and continues to be the only annual academic competition of its kind.