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Spelman College Advances to 35th Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament Share a Spelman College Press Release


ATLANTA (April 2, 2024) – Four Spelman College students are advancing to the 35th Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament, America’s premier academic competition among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The students will compete among 31 other teams from April 11-12, 2024, on the corporate campus of American Honda in Torrance, Calif., for the HSCASC National Championship title and a portion of over $500,000 in institutional grants provided by Honda.

The HCASC is a year-round program that celebrates HBCU academic excellence and showcases the best and brightest minds from HBCUs across the country, bringing together over 325 HBCU students, coaches, presidents and institutional representatives. The competition features 32 teams who will go head-to-head in a battle of scholastic skill, quickly answering questions on a range of topics including history, science, math, pop culture and more.

After advancing in the HCASC National Qualifying Tournament in February, Spelman College will compete in the HCASC for the 23rd year in a row. Daniel Bascelli, 17-year HCASC coach of Spelman College and 2019 HCASC Coach of the Year, will coach the team of students.

Representing Spelman College:

  • Maya R. Leflore, C’2026, mathematics major from Jackson, Miss.
  • Claire Jackson, C’2024, English major from Oakland, Calif. 
  • Frances A. Taylor, C’2024, international studies major from Hanover, N.H.
  • Hailey A. Jones, C’2025, history major from Oakland, Calif.


“The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge has provided a national stage for generations of talented HBCU students to display their impressive academic capabilities and the rich culture of HBCUs,” said Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion & Diversity at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Honda is proud of our longstanding commitment to supporting and inspiring the next generation of leaders by providing HBCU students with the tools and experiences they need to live their dreams.”


HCASC challenges students to expand their scope of knowledge, with the opportunity to gain lifelong learning skills, including leadership, collaboration and sportsmanship. Participating students also can build camaraderie with students from other HBCUs and gain networking and mentorship opportunities with HCASC alumni, volunteers and Honda associates. Additionally, Honda offers development seminars to help prepare students for success after graduation.

To view the competition, tune in to the livestream April 11 –12 at www.hcasc.com.

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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 2,300 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 the U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 39 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 2 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 17th year among historically Black colleges and universities.  Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors and minors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, data science, refugee studies and gaming. Collaborations have been also established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning, among others.

Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, former Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, Federal Reserve Governor Lisa D. Cook, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard University professor and former Dean Evelynn Hammonds, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones.

To learn more, please visit spelman.edu and @spelmancollege on social media.

Honda and Historically Black Colleges and Universities

For 35 years, Honda has supported the success and dreams of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students through initiatives including the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge and Honda Battle of the Bands. These programs provide unforgettable experiences and opportunities for HBCU students, including meeting and networking with peers from other HBCU schools. Honda has impacted the lives of more than 250,000 students and awarded over $14 million in grants in support of HBCU education programs and facilities improvements.

To advance its leading investment in HBCUs, Honda is a member of the HBCU Partnership Challenge, a Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus initiative that brings together government, industry and HBCUs to create strategic, more sustainable HBCU partnerships. Honda also has partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to provide annual scholarship funding to support HBCU students pursuing an education in engineering, supply chain management and manufacturing-related fields.

Learn more at https://www.honda.com/community/diversity-reports.

For more information:

Lillian E. Parker, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge: lillian@hcasc.com

Jaymie Robinson, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.: jaymie.robinson@na.honda.com

Connect with HCASC on social media using #HCASC:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HCASC

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_hcasc

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HCASCNCT/videos

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