SCF Brain Bowl Thrives in State and National Competitions

Bradenton, Fla. Mar. 14, 2023

(Bradenton, Fla., March 14, 2023) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota’s (SCF) Brain Bowl team competed in the Community College Championship National Tournament for the first time since 2019, placing seventh out of 24 competing schools. National Academic Quiz Tournaments sponsored and sanctioned the competition, held in Chicago Feb. 24-25. SCF’s Ursula Kushner earned all-star recognition as the competition’s top scorer.

Fellow students Joao Gutierrez Borges and Angel Ramirez Heske joined Kushner to round out SCF’s team of competitors. The trio earned the highly coveted invitation to the national event with a strong showing at Florida’s Sectional Tournament, hosted by Sante Fe College in January. All three made the trip to Illinois to represent SCF on the national stage. Kushner, recognized as Florida College System Activities Association’s (FCSAA) Brain Bowl Student of the Month during her first semester on the team in November 2022, was also the top scorer in January’s qualifying competition.

SCF professors Justin McDonald and Rodger Tornai coach the Brain Bowl team, with additional support from traveling assistant coach Rose Aragao and Dr. Kathleen Gibson-Dee, assistant practice coach. Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld, President of SCF, also traveled to Chicago to attend the national competition in a demonstration of institutional support for the Brain Bowl team.

Brain Bowl teams compete by buzzing in to correctly answer questions during competition. Successful answers lead to additional opportunities for the team to answer bonus questions for higher scores. SCF has a proud Brain Bowl history, including a national championship in 2015.

For more information, contact McDonald at 941-752-5679 or

SCF Brain Bowl Thrives in State and National Competitions

L to R: Brain Bowl team members Joshua Brunner and Ursula Kushner, traveling assistant coach Rose Aragao, team members Angel Ramirez Heske and Joao Gutierrez Borges.