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NCCU to Host Honda Academic Qualifying Tournament

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) will host nine historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to compete for a spot in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) a national tournament that showcases and recognizes the academic talent of students.

NCCU has been selected as one of seven national hosts of the academic competition that features the quiz team abilities of HBCU students. The National Qualification Tournament will be held on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 9 a.m. in the H.M. Michaux Jr. School of Education Building, 700 Cecil St., on the university’s campus. The event is free and open to the public.

NCCU’s team will test its knowledge of various subjects against teams from the southeast including: Benedict College, Bennett College, Claflin University, Huston-Tillotson University, Livingstone College, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Paine College and Winston-Salem State University.

Representing NCCU at this year’s National Qualifying Tournament are two returning members from the 2017 varsity team and some new faces. Deandria Harper, a sophomore physics/electrical engineering major from Durham, N.C. and Joshua Strayhorn, a senior history major from New Bern, N.C. will be joined by Shavonna Corprew, a sophomore history education major from Apex, N.C. and Shawn Pressley, a junior psychology major from Charlotte, N.C.  Harper has been selected as team captain. 

They are challenged in practice by eight additional team members who are vying for a spot on the varsity team:  twin sisters Miranda and Maya Clinton, freshman history and physics/mechanical engineering majors from Durham, N.C.; Isabel Gutierrez, a freshman environmental and geoscience major from Mebane, N.C.; Lucy Jayala, a senior mass communications major from Durham, N.C.; Sabina Morgan, a sophomore pharmaceutical sciences major from Durham, N.C.; Mya Reeves, a sophomore business major from High Point, N.C.; Brandon Reyes, a senior business major from Warrenton, N.C.; Travis Williams, a freshman psychology major from Stockbridge, GA; and Tyra Woolard, a sophomore  pharmaceutical sciences major from Windsor, N.C.

The club is advised by Clayton Mack Jr. and coached by Christopher Graves and Janice Dargan, Ph.D. Graves’ tenure has included several highlights, including seven finishes among the final eight teams and three national championship appearances (2006, 2009, 2016). The coaches are assisted by several dedicated faculty, staff and alumni volunteers throughout the school year.

Upon the results of the regional tournaments, HCASC will hold the national tournament in Los Angeles that culminates with the crowning of a national champion and the presentation of a $75,000 grant to the winning institution. 

Honda established the Honda Campus All?Star Challenge in 1989 as a way to highlight and recognize the academic talents of HBCU students. More than $8.5 million in grants from Honda have provided support for books and tuition, scholarships, enhancement of student programs and other investments to improve campus facilities.

For more information, contact Clayton Mack, special projects coordinator at 919-530-7620 or cmack@nccu.edu.


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