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Public health students take championship in scholar bowl

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A team of seven students representing the Mercyhurst University Public Health Program scored first place in the fifth annual Public Health Scholar Bowl, besting Ohio State University and Johns Hopkins University. The competition was held the weeeknd of March 31 at St. Louis University.

The winning team included seniors Mallory Mansberry, Susan Baltes and Robert Wood, juniors Julia Martino, Meaghan Kinkaid and Amber Matha, and freshman Brett Conrad. Their victory came in the quiz bowl competition that focused on public health topics such as epidemiology and health policy.

The students went 4-0 in the preliminary rounds of the quiz bowl, beating St. Thomas University (Minnesota), Truman State University (Missouri), Kent State University and Baldwin-Wallace University. That enabled them to advance to the semi-finals, along with Johns Hopkins, Ohio State University and Macalester College (Minnesota).  Mercyhurst beat Ohio State in a close match to advance to the finals against Johns Hopkins, which they bested 7-4, after being tied 3-3 following the first 10 questions. 

“We have always had great teams and great fun going to St. Louis but this year’s team was truly special,” said Public Health Department Chair Thomas B. Cook, faculty advisor to the team.  “They were exemplary both in the competition and in representing Mercyhurst throughout the weekend.”

In addition to the competitions, students toured the city and celebrated their victory along with other participating teams at the City Museum, a post-industrial urban playground for adults and kids. In taking the top prize this year, the team won $1000, which will be used to support future trips to the scholar bowl.  

PHOTO: (L-R) Robert Wood, Brett Conrad, Julia Martino, Amber Matha, Mallory Mansberry, Susan Baltes and Meaghan Kincaid; at back is Dr. Thomas Cook, faculty advisor.