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HSSU Prepares to Take On Reigning National Academic Champion at 2013 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

ST. LOUIS, MO (March 22, 2013) – Harris-Stowe State University will head to Torrance, Calif., to take on the reigning National Champions, Morgan State University, at the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), an intense academic competition among the best and brightest students from Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs). The National Championship Tournament (NCT) takes place April 7-8, on the campus of American Honda Motor Co, Inc.

More than 250 students from 18 states representing 48 HBCUs have spent many months training for their chance at the NCT by participating in pre-NCT matches. A win will not only give Harris-Stowe bragging rights as the nation’s top academic HBCU, but will also provide the opportunity to win a share of the more than $300,000 in institutional grants awarded annually by Honda, including the grand prize of $50,000. The grand prize, along with the other institutional grants, will support academic activities at the participating HBCUs. The two-day competition will test students’ knowledge of history, science, literature, religion, the arts, social science and popular culture.

The year’s team is again coached by Dr. Eileen O’Brien, HSSU faculty emeritus, and headed by team captain Matthew Gandolfo, a junior Elementary Education major from Oceanside, Calif. The team composed of students representing both the College of Education and the College of Arts & Sciences includes, David Shaw II, a 2012 all-star and junior Criminal Justice major from Wichita, Kan.; Quinten Mobley, a senior Secondary Education major from St. Louis; Sean Weller, a senior Public Administration major from St. Louis; and Jocelyn Jackson, institutional representative and senior Criminal Justice major from St. Louis.

The team has had nearly a year of preparation and participated in countless practice matches. Dr. O’Brien states, “The team is very well rounded. Each has his or her own strengths. Captain Gandolfo has an excellent command of geography, history and science. David Shaw is very fast on the buzzer and excels in sports, literature, and science. Quentin Mobley is great in sports, pop culture and history, and Sean Weller is phenomenal in politics, U.S. government and entertainment. They all have worked very hard. I expect great things from them at the NTC –I know they will make HSSU proud.”

HCASC is one of Honda’s largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States. Throughout its 23-year tenure, the program has touched more than 100,000 students and awarded more than $7 million in grants. 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. 

For more information on the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge and a list of the 48 participating HBCUs, please go to www.HCASC.com.

Harris-Stowe State University, located in midtown St. Louis, is a four-year institution that offers 15 degree programs in the areas of Accounting, Business Administration, Biology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Health Care Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Information Sciences and Computer Technology, Mathematics, Educational Studies, Middle School Education, Professional Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education and Urban Affairs. Ranked by U.S. News as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, the university, which has been in existence for more than 150 years, offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree in the metropolitan area.