Benedict Prepares To Compete At Honda Campus All-star Challenge National Championship

L‐R (Juan Valencia, Nickmoon Mware, Yunus Ahmed Ibrahim, Ceaser Nieto, Zamzam Mumin, Jacquan Pollard, Sierra Tubbs, Sarah Dornik, Dane Acena)

The Best and Brightest Students Rise to the Academic Challenger

Columbia, SC- March 24,2017-- After diligent preparation, Benedict College, a 2017 Quarter-Finalist will go head to head with fellow Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) at the 28th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament. Teams from 48 HBCUs will compete in the final round of this unique academic tournament April 8-12, 2017 on the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. campus in Torrance, California. Benedict College has the opportunity to win the HCASC top prize a $75,000 institutional grant from Honda.

Benedict will be represented four members of the team to include: Sierra Tubbs, a Junior
majoring in Chemistry from Detroit, MI; Dane Acena, a Junior majoring in Computer Science from Manila, Philippines; Sarah I. Dornik, a Sophomore majoring in Biology from Columbia, SC; and Jacquan M. Pollard, a Sophomore majoring in Electrical Engineering from Atlanta, GA.

Additional student team members include, Yunus Ahmed Ibrahim, Environmental Engineering Major, Zamzam Mumin, Computer Science Major, Nickmoon Mware, Computer Science major, Ceaser Nieto, Biology Major, Harry Samuel, Social Work Major, and Juan David Valencia, Economics Major. Ms. Verna C. Mayers is the Head Coach, Assistant Dean of the Freshman Institute. She is assisted by Mr. Jacob Koon, Assistant Coach, Community Life and Karen McKenzie, Campus Coordinator, Freshman Institute.

"Honda congratulates Benedict College for qualifying for the 'Great 48,' an impressive feat in itself," said Steve Morikawa, Vice President, Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We're constantly amazed by the academic prowess, teamwork and level of competition during Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, and look forward to crowning a champion in April."

This year's road to the championship began in the fall, with 76 HBCUs vying for a spot in the finals. Through countless hours of study, drills and practice, 48 elite teams emerged,
knowledgeable and ready to take on the competition. HCASC tests students' knowledge, skills and ability to quickly and accurately answer questions on world history, science, literature, religion, the arts and popular culture.

The 2017 HCASC finals will be live-streamed on Monday, April 10 starting at 12:00 p.m. ET on For more information on HCASC, including a full list of the 48 qualifying teams, visit

About Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge
Celebrating HBCU excellence, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) is one of Honda's largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the US Since 1989, the program has awarded more than $8 million in grants to participating HBCUs, impacting the lives of over 125,000 students across 22 states. The participating HBCUs share in grants from Honda of over $350,000 each year.

About Benedict College
Founded in 1870, Benedict College is a private, co-educational arts institution and home to over 2,280 students in its 33 baccalaureate degree programs. The College, affiliated with the Baptist Church, is located on 220 acres nestled in the heart of Columbia, SC. Over the last seven years, Benedict College has been ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly for creating social mobility, producing cutting-edge scholarship and research. Benedict has high-quality programs of teaching, research, and public service. Benedict recently received the National Civic Engagement Award from The Washington Center for encouraging students to give back to the community. Benedict has over 17,000 proud alumni throughout the nation. The College has been “a power for good” in the community for over 147 years and is a major economic contributor to the region and South Carolina, with a local annual economic impact of over $106.7 million.