June 6, 2012
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine
SRU students bowl over competition, win national title
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – A team of Slippery Rock University exercise science majors has won the national American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Science Student “College Bowl,” bowling over nine other teams to bring home the gold.
The College Bowl is a “Jeopardy”-style competition that tests students’ knowledge in exercise physiology, anatomy, biomechanics and clinical exercise physiology.
SRU’s team of Eric Geiselhart, of Monroeville; Ryan Spiardi, a December graduate from Indiana, Pa.; and Colleen Thomas, a May graduate from Hudson, Ohio, shows that SRU exercise science majors are among the nation’s most knowledgeable in their field, said Beth Larouerve, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences and the students’ adviser.
“Winning the national College Bowl is spectacular,” she said. “The team’s success demonstrations on a national level how the exercise and rehabilitative sciences department prepares our students for graduate school and the workforce. This experience has brought national recognition to SRU and each student through their academic achievements.”
SRU students competed against teams from Indiana State University, the University of Massachusetts, Brigham Young University and the University of Texas.
The College Bowl was part of the ACSM’s May 29-June 2 conference in San Francisco. The team won a trophy and $400 of ACSM gifts, including a textbook and one-year ACSM membership.
“Participating in the student College Bowl was a great experience,” said Thomas, who has been accepted into a graduate program at Appalachia State University. “It was so interesting to see students from around the country and learn what areas are the focus of other exercise science programs. Winning the competition was a great accomplishment for our students, our exercise science program and Slippery Rock University. This accomplishment shows how well the exercise science program prepares its students in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities. We couldn't be more excited to bring a national championship home to The Rock.”
Geiselhart said competing was an “unbelievably exciting experience” and that he was honored to represent SRU on the national stage. The team qualified to compete nationally by winning the Mid-Atlantic region College Bowl in November.
The national College Bowl consisted of two rounds of questions and then a final question. Larouerve said one of the questions was, “What formally banned ergogenic aid mobilizes free-fatty acid oxidation?” Another was, “What clinical test can look at long-term glucose maintenance in diabetics?”
All 10 teams played at the same time, with a game board set up like Jeopardy with columns of topics and questions. Questions became harder and were worth more points as they went down the column. All teams had a dray erase board and answered all the questions. If they answer was correct, they won that question’s points. If their answer was wrong, they lost points.
“The SRU team exhibited its comprehensive knowledge in many different content areas,” Larouerve said. “The students displayed the cumulative effect of a rigorous, accredited, exercise science curriculum as well as the numerous outside-the-classroom learning experiences that prepared them.”
Geiselhart credited his professors with preparing the team.
“Our team went into the national competition feeling prepared thanks to the knowledge and experiences acquired throughout Slippery Rock’s exercise science curriculum,” Geiselhart said. “As the competition proceeded, our team correctly answered the majority of the questions asked. Our ability to correctly answer these questions is attributed to the success of Slippery Rock’s exercise science program.”
Larouerve said she looks forward to watching the winning trio advance in their fields. Thomas plans to become a clinical exercise physiologist; Spiardi a physician; and Geiselhart a physical therapist.
“I am extremely proud of these students,” she said. “Not only are they exceptional students, they exhibited professionalism and Rock pride throughout the competition. These three students have the dedication and drive to succeed, and I look forward to watching them grow in their future careers.”
The ACSM is a medicine and exercise science organization with more than 45,000 members. ACSM works to advance and integrate scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.