HBCU quiz bowl team
The UMES Honda Campus All-Star Challenge team is shown following a successful run at the Norfolk State University regional qualifier where the varsity team was a playoff semifinalist and clinched a spot in Honda’s National Championship Tournament, set for April 6-10 in Los Angeles, California.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is one of 32 Historically Black Colleges and Universities participating in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament (NCT), set for April 6-10 in Torrance, California.

UMES, competing in the HBCU quiz bowl competition for the 22nd time, will be represented by sophomores Princaya Sanders (Baltimore, Md.) and Kailey Wilson (Duluth, Ga.), senior Witchell Laurier (East Orange, NJ), and freshman Destenie Barnaby (Laurel, Md).

The team is coached by UMES public relations director Earl D. Holland Jr., Dr. Kawanda McCarthy-Williams, Assistant Dean for Experiential Education and Assistant Professor in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, and April Wright, a former HCASC alum.

HCASC, in its 35th season, is a year-round program that celebrates HBCU academic excellence and showcases the best and brightest minds from HBCUs across the country.

The 32 teams, comprised of four students from participating schools, will go head-to-head in a battle of scholastic skill, quickly answering questions on a range of topics including history, science, math, pop culture, and more.

“I’m excited that these students are being celebrated for their hard work, dedication, and passion for knowledge,” said Holland, also a former UMES HCASC player from 2001-2005. “For our program to come so far after resurrecting the team last year is a testament to the quality of students we have here at UMES.”

Students participating in the competition are able to widen their scope of knowledge while gaining lifelong learning skills, including leadership, collaboration, and sportsmanship.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore quiz bowl team
From left Kailey Wilson, Destenie Barnaby, and Witchell Laurier of the UMES Honda Campus All-Star Challenge team are focused during competition at the HCASC National Qualifying Tournament at Norfolk State University on Feb. 10, 2023 (Photo by Aniya Hughes)

They are also able to build camaraderie with students from other HBCUs and gain networking and mentorship opportunities with HCASC alumni, volunteers, and Honda associates.

Teams competing in the NCT are vying for more than $500,000 in institutional grants, including a $75,000 grand prize for the winning institution.

Additionally, Honda offers development seminars to help prepare students for success after graduation.

“The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge has provided a national stage for generations of talented HBCU students to display their impressive academic capabilities and the rich culture of HBCUs,” said Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion & Diversity at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Honda is proud of our longstanding commitment to supporting and inspiring the next generation of leaders by providing HBCU students with the tools and experiences they need to live their dreams.”

The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is part of Honda’s vision in supporting the success and dreams of HBCU students through various initiatives, which also includes the Honda Battle of the Bands.

Honda has impacted the lives of more than 250,000 students and awarded over $14 million in grants in support of HBCU education programs and facilities improvements.

Other initiatives include partnerships with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to provide annual scholarship funding to support HBCU students pursuing an education in engineering, supply chain management, and manufacturing-related fields, and membership in the HBCU Partnership Challenge, a Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus initiative that brings together government, industry, and HBCUs to create strategic, more sustainable HBCU partnerships.

For more information on the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team:

Go online at https://wwwcp.umes.edu/hcasc.

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