SCF’s Brain Bowl Fire Team Claims the FCSAA State Tournament

(Bradenton, Fla., March 14, 2015) — When State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota’s (SCF) Brain Bowl Advisers Christina Dwyer and Hyun Kim recruit students for their team, they tap students who are know-it-alls.

“We want students on our team who aren't just satisfied with getting an answer right but knowing everything there is to know about a topic," Dwyer said.

SCF’s Brain Bowl team members have proven again that they are know-it-alls. The undefeated Fire team claimed first place in the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) State Tournament at Pasco-Hernando State College March 13-14. Ten teams competed in the tournament.

The Fire team, which includes Team Captain Naim Chowdhury, Michael Moore, Leon Hostetler, Chris Medrano and Carlyle Styer, upended Indian River State College in the championship round. The team also broke defending champion Chipola College’s winning streak of seven consecutive FCSAA state tournament wins.

SCF’s Ice team, which includes Team Captain Adriana Souza, Paul Foerster, Jonathan Willman, Matthew Willman and Austin Goode, won sixth place in the tournament.

“SCF Brain Bowl students are amazing, and I’m so happy for them. They are an inspiration to me and an example of how hard work, dedication and focus can pay off,” said SCF President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld, who surprised students and coaches by traveling to the tournament to show support for them.

Individual players, who ranked in the top 10, included Chowdhury, third place; Moore, fourth place; Hostetler, seventh place; and Foerster, ninth place.

Moore and Chowdhury were named FCSAA All-Tournament players.

Gratified that they led the team in claiming the state championship in their final year at SCF, Moore and Chowdhury consider Brain Bowl to be the highlight of their time at SCF. They credit their professors and Brain Bowl advisers for pushing them to succeed.

“SCF was the right choice for me because it’s my hometown, it offers a quality education for not a lot of money and provides great academic resources. I’ve had such a level of support from professors here that I couldn’t ask for more,” Moore said.

Moore plans to attend New College to study environmental literature, religion and philosophy with the goal of educating the public about environmental issues. Chowdhury, who came to SCF with a GED, plans to join Moore at New College, where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a newfound passion thanks to his experience in Brain Bowl, with the goal of becoming a professor.

“Finding Brain Bowl at SCF completely changed my college experience. Brain Bowl made it so that I wanted to win competitions and absorb every bit of information I can from my classes,” said Chowdhury, who also has begun to study several languages on his own, including Japanese.

The Ice team also is proud of its performance at the FCSAA State Tournament. SCF Ice Team members and twin brothers Jonathan and Matthew Willman, who started at SCF as home-schooled, dual-enrolled students, may have never participated in Brain Bowl had it not been for students’ and professors’ persistence in recruiting them before they carried out their plans to join the Math Club. Ironically, the twins’ greatest contribution to the fast-paced competition is not math but literature and most importantly, homemade sweet treats for team members at practices.

“Not only has Brain Bowl helped me sate that need for competition, but it also has helped me to make new relationships, form lifetime bonds and expand my knowledge base in a way that will undoubtedly enrich my life,” Jonathan Willman said.

At the competition, Dwyer was recognized as the FCSAA Brain Bowl Coach of the Year. A humble adviser who praises her team for their hard work, Dwyer does what SCF professors do best – ignite students’ passion for learning and encourage them to pursue their dreams.

“The greatest thing that the students take away from Brain Bowl is the friendships they have formed and their ability to work together as a team. The skills they have acquired from their experiences are strengths that they will take to the workforce in the future,” Dwyer said.


Brain Bowl Fire Team
Brain Bowl Coach Hyun Kim, Fire team members Leon Hostetler, Naim
Chowdhury, Chris Medrano, Michael Moore, Carlyle Styer and Coach Christina Dwyer.

 Christina Dwyer Coach of the Year

SCF Brain Bowl Coach Christina Dwyer was presented with the FCSAA Brain Bowl
Coach of the Year Award by FCSAA State Brain Bowl Adviser James Givvines
at the tournament.

SCF Brain Bowl All-Tournament Players

SCF Fire team member Michael Moore and Team Captain Naim Chowdhury were
named All-Tournament players at the FCSAA State Tournament.

Up Next: SCF’s Fire Team Takes on Prestigious Universities

SCF’s Brain Bowl Fire team, which also competes in the National Academic Quiz Tournaments, is on a winning streak. After claiming the 2015 National Community College Championship Tournament for the first time in SCF’s history, the team has been invited to the 2015 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament March 27-28 to compete against four-year schools, including prestigious universities, Stanford and Cornell.

To recognize them for their achievement, SCF President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld surprised SCF Brain Bowl team members on Monday, March 2, by presenting them with a key to the President’s Dining Room to hold practices and providing them with lunch for the remainder of the spring Brain Bowl season. She also announced that the Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld Commitment to Excellence Fund would sponsor students to travel to competitions and that SCF will offer scholarships for Brain Bowl team members in Fall 2015.

“Your hard work and dedication to your classes and Brain Bowl have paid off, and you are very deserving of this recognition. You have been an inspiration to me, and I thank you for representing SCF well,” Probstfeld said.


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