On Saturday, April 8th, Chapman’s College Bowl team took home the title of Pacific Southwest College Bowl Champion at the regional Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) Pacific Southwest area meeting hosted by Cal Poly Pomona. Four schools (Chapman University, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Cal State Long Beach) competed in the quiz bowl-style competition, in which team members buzz in to answer questions pertaining to food science and technology. Question topics range from food engineering and chemistry to trivia and history.

The Panthers will be packing their bags in June for Las Vegas to battle it out in the national competition at the annual IFT meeting. In Las Vegas, Chapman will face off against the winners from the other 7 geographic regions: Pennsylvania State, Purdue University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Georgia, Louisiana State University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and University of California, Davis.

Despite heavy academic and professional workloads, each member of the team put in the time and dedication necessary to bring the title home. Food science graduate student and team captain, Alexa Sarcona, said, “it’s hard to balance work and school. Add in studying for College Bowl… It’s not for everyone. We do this because we love it! As a result, I think we all end up being similar people; competitive and driven, which makes for a great team dynamic.”

Second year team veteran and food science graduate student, Vyom Mehta, stated, “I originally went to the College Bowl informational meeting for the free cookies. After almost two years of studying, I’m going to Vegas for nationals!”

The team would like to thank their faculty advisor, Dr. Lilian Were, for providing tremendous amounts of guidance and motivation, and express their gratitude for the support from the Chapman food science students and faculty.

From left to right: Constantine Spyrou, Natalie Tom, Vyom Mehta, Alexa Sarcona (team captain), Alyssa Hardy