SCF Brain Bowl Team Beats Duke University and UC Berkeley in Intercollegiate Championship Tournament

(Bradenton, Fla., March 28, 2015) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota’s (SCF) Brain Bowl team competed in the 2015 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament, the national championship for four-year schools, March 27-28, after claiming the 2015 National Community College Championship Tournament for the first time in SCF’s history.

SCF’s team, which includes Michael Moore, Naim Chowdhury, Leon Hostetler, Kara Stevens, Austin Goode and Carlyle Styer, placed 25th out of 32 teams, ranking ahead of prestigious Duke University and University of Alabama, in the College Division II. During the tournament, the team defeated University of California, Berkeley; Claremont Colleges; Duke University; and other community and state colleges that participated, including Valencia College, Broward College and Redlands Community College.

“The team demonstrates once again that you can get anywhere from SCF. My heart is full of pride and joy and my face hurts from smiling ear to ear,” said SCF President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld.

Michael Moore, who ranked 35th in individual standings, bested students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, Stanford University, University of Florida and Duke University, among many others.

Other SCF player rankings included Hostetler, 62nd; Chowdhury, 65th; Goode, 96th; Stevens, 105th; and Styer, 108th.

For top-scorers Moore and Chowdhury, participating in the national tournament at the four-year level is a gratifying reward after leading the team through a successful season, which included claiming the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) state championship and the National Academic Quiz Tournaments national championship. Their hard work throughout the summer and during the season paid off, and they are proud of their accomplishments at SCF.

Recognizing the stiff competition at the tournament, Moore said, “Just because we attend a small state college doesn’t mean that we can’t achieve the same level of success as players at larger universities."

Although Moore and Chowdhury are looking forward to their future, hopefully as students of New College of Florida in the fall, they almost wish they would have had another year to win nationals one more time and take more time to prepare for the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament.

“Participating in the intercollegiate tournament was more of a learning experience than anything else since we competed against teams whose players have been playing in Brain Bowl since high school,” Chowdhury said.

Chowdhury and Moore recognize they couldn’t have had a successful season without their team members who also brought a range of experience and expertise to the team. Hostetler, who was raised Amish, is the team’s science expert. Goode, Stevens and Styer contribute their knowledge in American history, political science, pop culture and sports. Stevens and Styer are SCF Collegiate School students and are simultaneously earning a high school diploma and completing their first two years of college.

“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,” Chowdhury said. “People have this stigma about community colleges that has been around for such a long time and I can’t say I believe it anymore after going to State College of Florida. I’ve had an amazing experience at SCF. Professors here realize your potential and they push you. They ask the best of their students no matter the level of the class.”

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

Christina Dwyer, SCF assistant professor, mathematics, and Hyun Kim, assistant professor, art, design, humanities, are the team’s coaches.

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