2020 Benjamin Cooper Awards

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Thaumatibis gigantea
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2020 Benjamin Cooper Awards

Post by Thaumatibis gigantea »

I am pleased to announce that the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Awards. The Cooper Awards, which recognize those who contribute to the “spirit and honor of quizbowl competition,” will be presented at the 2020 PACE National Scholastic Championship in Rosemont, Illinois, on June 6-7.

The Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award will be given to a coach, advisor, administrator, tournament organizer, or other person who has made significant contributions to high school quizbowl. A second award, the Young Ambassador Award, will be given to someone affiliated with a college or high school program who, despite their young age, has already made valuable contributions to the high school academic competition community. Nominations will be accepted through April 1, 2020, and the winners will be announced in early May. For more information on the award and the nomination process, please see below.

The Benjamin Cooper Awards:

The Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award and the Young Ambassador Award recognize those who have made substantial contributions to the “spirit and honor of quizbowl competition.” Benjamin Cooper, for whom the award is named, was a model student at the Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, who was well-liked among his classmates and the faculty. He participated in many activities in school and in service to the community. Because of his enthusiasm in promoting academic competition among his team members, he was selected as the captain of the varsity team for the 1997-1998 school year. On August 12, 1997, Ben was tragically killed in an automobile accident while returning from his summer job.

The first Cooper Award was presented by PACE to Georgetown Day School team advisor Sue Ikenberry in honor of Ben at the 1998 NSC. The Young Ambassador Award was first presented at the 2004 NSC.

Last year's winners were the Las Vegas Quiz Bowl Alliance and Connor Mayers of Penn Manor HS. A complete list of past winners is available on the PACE website.

How to Nominate:

Any member of the quizbowl community is eligible for the Cooper Award. Eligibility for the Young Ambassador Award is restricted to those who are currently students in high school or college. PACE welcomes re-nomination of those nominated in previous years who have continued to contribute to the quizbowl community. Organizations are eligible for nomination, as are small groups of individuals who have collaborated on their quizbowl work. The Cooper Awards are primarily intended to honor contributions to the high school quizbowl community.

To submit a nomination, please compose a statement of no more than 1,000 words detailing your nominee’s contributions to the quizbowl community. This statement should include a summary of positions held by the nominee as well as a specific explanation of why, in your opinion, they have contributed to the “spirit and honor of quizbowl competition.”

Please email your nomination statement to this year’s Cooper Award coordinator, Sam Luongo, at [email protected] no later than April 1, 2020. To make sure they're easily found, please put "Cooper Nomination" in the subject line of the email, and clearly specify in the text if you are nominating someone for the Young Ambassador Award. Sam will confirm receipt of your nomination within a few days of the time you submit it (if you haven't heard back from us within a week, please send a follow-up). In your email, please include your contact information in case the PACE Cooper Award Committee wishes to contact you for additional information about the nominee. All nomination statements are strictly confidential and will be seen only by the PACE members involved in the selection process.

Announcement of Winners:


Members of the PACE Cooper Award Committee will deliberate throughout the month of April. The winners will be announced on the hsquizbowl.org message board and on the PACE website during the first week of May. The awards will be formally presented to the winners on the first day of the 2020 NSC.

If you have any questions about this year’s Cooper Award or to submit a nomination, please contact Sam Luongo at [email protected].
Rebecca Rosenthal, Bergen County Academies '16, Swarthmore College '20
PACE Director of Communications
she/her/hers
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Thaumatibis gigantea
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Re: 2020 Benjamin Cooper Awards

Post by Thaumatibis gigantea »

PACE is pleased to present the 2020 Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award to Chris Johnson, the coach of Itawamba High School in Fulton, Mississippi, for his admirable work expanding high school quizbowl in the area, both through outreach to local schools to create and develop new teams, and through hosting high quality, pyramidal events and encouraging other local hosts to do the same.

PACE is pleased to present the 2020 Benjamin Cooper Young Ambassador Award to Ashish Kumbhardare of Penn State University for his outstanding outreach and logistics work in Central Pennsylvania, which has included directing high quality events at Penn State, assisting with logistics of other local tournaments, and recruiting and advising new teams.

While this similarity is coincidental, both of our award winners this year have done outstanding work in areas that are more rural and traditionally less active in quizbowl. PACE applauds their efforts, and we hope that they will stand as exemplars to the community in demonstrating the great potential of students and teams from all backgrounds.

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 National Scholastic Championship, the 2020 Cooper Awards will be presented in person, along with the 2021 Cooper Awards, at the Opening Meeting of the 2021 NSC. In the meantime, PACE will be sharing a few words from our 2020 award winners on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) over the next few weeks.
Rebecca Rosenthal, Bergen County Academies '16, Swarthmore College '20
PACE Director of Communications
she/her/hers
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