Some professors from Saint Leo University proved that college teachers can be both serious academics and fun-loving souls as they came together to help raise college-scholarship money for young people in need.
Two teams from the university entered the "In Pursuit of Trivia" contest February 28 to benefit Take Stock in Children®, a Florida educational nonprofit program. The event drew about 20 teams from area groups that have an interest in helping the next generation. Various teams had members who were happy to sport costume hats or silly hair accessories for the light-hearted fundraiser, but everyone understood the reasons behind the charitable event.
Take Stock in Children® provides resources and mentors to middle and high school students who have academic potential, but are from families struggling with poverty. Young people who complete the program's requirements are eligible for full Florida Prepaid Tuition Foundation scholarships at institutions such as Saint Leo. University Campus, in fact, has attracted a number of Take Stock in Children® graduates from Pasco and surrounding counties.
The trivia challenge immediately drew some young professors who happen to love competing—and they won! The well-rounded team drew from talented School of Arts and Sciences faculty, specifically, political scientist Frank Orlando, biologist Cheryl Kozina, and theologian Stephen Okey. They were assisted by an economics professor, Ryan Murphy, from the Tapia School of Business.
From left, F. Orlando, R. Murphy, C. Kozina, and S. Okey.
The team captured the top trophy—and proved they know about subjects beyond the ones they teach—by correctly providing the first name of the Guinness known for creating Guinness Beer.
The answer is Arthur, according to Arts and Sciences Dean Mary Spoto, who acted as Saint Leo chronicler and fan. In an aside, Dr. Spoto was also proud to point out that Dr. Kozina creatively uses beer as an example when teaching the DNA molecule to her biology undergraduates.
The Saint Leo School of Education and Social Services (SESS) faculty was naturally happy to compete, too, and fielded its own team. The SESS team made it to the final round. Its members included Dean Susan Kinsella and Associate Dean Rhondda Waddell, who were aided by Courtney Wiest of the social work faculty and Moneque Walker-Pickett of the criminal justice faculty.
The Saint Leo fan section included Cindy Lee, who directs graduate studies in social work, and an alumna of both TSIC and Saint Leo, Jessica Miller '15.
From left to right: S. Kinsella, M. Walker-Pickett, F. Orlando (standing in back), S. Okey, C. Kozina, R. Murphy (standing in back), C. Lee, R. Waddell, J. Miller (wearing sash), and M. Spoto.