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Spelman to Compete in 30th Annual Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge National Championship Tournament, April 13-17 Share a Spelman College Press Release


Mashaun D. Simon
Spelman College
Twitter: @SpelmanMedia

Mary Oberembt
Honda Campus All-Star Challenge
1-800-388-2272 x107 

Jaymie Robinson
Honda North America

CONGRATULATIONS: Spelman College has emerged as the winning team at the 30th annual Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge National Championship Tournament.

Spelman Honda Challenge ATLANTA (April 03, 2019) ‐‐ Spelman College will compete against teams from 47 historically Black colleges and universities during the 30th annual Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge National Championship Tournament. The competition will take place April 13-17 on the American Honda campus in Torrance, California. In addition to the championship title, the winning team will receive a $75,000 institutional grant from Honda.

The HCASC is a year‐round program that includes campus engagement, intramural play, qualifying tournaments and culminates with the National Championship. The fast‐paced competition highlights students' academic prowess and ability to answer questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and pop culture. As a result, students expand their scope of knowledge; learn teamwork and sportsmanship; travel to California to represent their schools at the National Championship Tournament; and also develop a bond with their fellow competitors. HCASC's active alumni group also supports students with networking and mentorship opportunities post‐graduation.

Spelman will be represented by Ariana Nicole Benson, C'2019, a psychology major; Jessika Adjoa Agyepong, C'2020, a biology major; Maati McKinney, C'2021, a mathematics major; and Naomi Steplight, C'2021, a computer science major. Dan Bascelli, coordinator of instructional technologies at Spelman, will coach the team.

Agyepong has competed with the team for three consecutive years." Participating in HCASC and representing Spelman is a prideful moment for each of us," she said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity to represent Spelman and look forward to a great competition against the best minds from HBCUs across the country."

Benson is also looking forward to the competition. "I'm proud to have been a part of Spelman's HCASC team all four years of my time in college," she said. "Quizbowl has been an essential part of my college experience, and I'm looking forward to competing at the National Tournament one final time."

In 1989, Honda established HCASC as a way to recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of HBCU students. More than $9 million in grants from Honda to participating HBCUs have been used to fund tuition and book scholarships, student development initiatives, endowment and development campaigns, as well as facilities and equipment. Over its 30-year history, HCASC has built a network of more than 125,000 program alumni.

Spelman placed second overall during the 2018 competition, resulting in $31,000 in grant money.

“That’s our best finish in the years we’ve been participating,” added Benson. “During my time at Spelman we’ve placed in the top eight each year, but never won. Over the past three years, we have won a total of $51,000.”

HCASC has continued to be an excellent opportunity for HBCU students to engage in academic competition, networking and mentoring. "For 30 years, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge has provided a platform for the nation's top HBCU students to advance their dreams," said Steve Morikawa, vice president of Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility at American Honda. "Honda congratulates the ‘Great 48' for their incredible work ethic, teamwork, and competitive spirit. We look forward to an exciting National Championship Tournament and crowning the 2019 HCASC National Champion in April."

The 2019 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge finals will be live streamed on Tuesday, April 16, at 12:00 p.m. ET. To view the live stream and for more information about HCASC, including a full list of the 48 qualifying teams, visit

Honda and the HBCU Community
For three decades, Honda has been committed to supporting the success and dreams of the nation's HBCUs. Through initiatives like the Honda Battle of the Bands and Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, Honda has been able to reach more than 170,000 students and award over $12 million in grants in support of HBCU education programs. These two initiatives have also enabled Honda to provide unforgettable experiences and opportunities for students to create memories that will last a lifetime, including meeting and networking with their peers from different schools.

About Spelman College 
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges and No. 1 among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit



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