SU Jaguars reign in national, intellectual competition

Southern University and A& M College (SUBR) participated in the National African-American Association of Honors Programs Conference, October 29-November 1, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee. Thirty-one Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) were represented.

The theme of the conference, "Celebrating 25 Sterling Years of Academic Distinction," referenced the celebratory promises that were experienced by all attendees as the conference highlighted scholarly oral and poster presentations, academic quiz bowl and debate competitions, African model United Nation oratories, as well as an undergraduate career fair and talent show. Twenty-five students and two faculty, from the SUBR Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes Honors College, participated in all categories.  

Southern University's Quiz Bowl Team showed won first place in the quiz bowl competition.  SUBR students Myeisha Webb (captain), Kelvin Wells, Joyner Deamer, and Terrence Curry were the team members who represented the University extremely well.  The Southern University Jaguars rallied against the Spelman College Jaguars in the final competition.

"Although they were worthy opponents, they had to be taught which Jaguar was the strongest and most proficient cat in the game," said campus coach and Honors College assistant professor, Deadra James Mackie. "We performed at the top of our game and did what was expected."

"It should be noted that last year, when the Jaguars took their place, dean (Honors College) Diola Bagayoko stated, in print, that 'The Quiz Bowl team trophy was a prelude to our quest for first place in 2016,' added Mackie.

This year, the Jaguars also participated in the Debate Competition for the first time. The team members were students Alex McKee, Kendall Richard, and Oscar McClain.  Eric Pugh, program associate, and Mackie, served as coach and assistant coach, respectively. The competition was quite intense as the Jaguars initially tied with Elizabeth City State University.  The tie breaker topic, where only the affirmative and the negative was recited, was, "Millennial voters should stand in opposition of Trans Pacific Partnership."  McKee stated his position on the negative constructive with succinct precision and ease. This allowed Southern University to advance to the semi-finals and to win third place. 

SU Honors College students Jonalyn Fair and Macy Ceasar received certificates for their scientific research presentations at the conference. A contingent of SU students exhibited various aptitudes at the talent show: Darolyn Walters, Alana Stevenson, and Christopher Washington sang contemporary hits; Alexandria Nixon and Anita Achea adeptly recited an original poem on "Back to Basics" and Troy Winslow taught other students the primary positions involved in fencing.

Pugh was elected as secretary of the board for the National African American Association of Honors Programs.  Next year's conference is set for Atlanta, Georgia.

Third-place SU Debate Team winners at the National African-American Association of Honors Programs Conference, October 29-November 1, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee. Pictured (left-right) SU Honors College program associate Eric Pugh (coach) and Kendall Richard, Alex McKee, and Oscar McClain.

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