Live from Memphis, It’s SCO Student Bowl 2013

What do the Memphis Blues, travel grants, and Tobradex all have in common? It must be Student Bowl 2013 at Southern College of Optometry (SCO)!

Southern College of Optometry’s chapter of the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) hosted the evening, which featured 10 of the college’s brightest students from the first, second, and third-year classes. The winner will go on to represent SCO at the national Varilux Optometry Student Bowl Competition at Optometry’s Meeting in San Diego this year. The night also boasted record attendance for the second year in a row as students overcrowded yet another SCO auditorium. There were over 200 students that came out to support their classmates – what a sight!

SCO’s Student Bowl was a far cry from your academic team competitions of yesteryear. The night was full of entertainment, laughs, and the occasional cheering matches between the classes. Expectations were set high with Anatomical Sciences professor and emcee extraordinaire, Dr. Daniel Taylor. Donned in a tuxedo, Dr. Taylor began the night right by introducing the competitors and judges with his signature lecture-esque style full of quips, jokes, and the mildly embarrassing Facebook photo here-and-there. Then it was off to announcing the game rules, in which Dr. Taylor created an interactive Xtranormal movie that was every bit Dr. Evil meets Inspector Gadget. There’s nothing like some good chuckles to help set the comedic tone for the rest of the evening. In fact, you can check out this video by clicking this link: SCO AOSA Student Bowl 2013 Rules Video

With the rules and introductions out of the way, and the students nicely fed thanks to Essilor’s sponsorship, it was time for the battle rounds to begin and the war to be won. Only one student was going to be named champion…who was it going to be?

As the Student Bowl began, the competitors were divided into two groups of five with one group competing in either Round 1 or Round 2. After dueling through the first two rounds, the top three scorers of Rounds 1 and 2 moved on to compete in the third round. With the top six students competing, Round 3 brought in even higher stakes as the correct answers were worth double the points and wrong answers left the contestants losing twice as many points. If by the end of the third round contestants weren’t able to accumulate any points or had negative points, they were unable to compete in the final round. With that in the back of each contestant’s mind, there wasn’t a moment in that third round where the buzzers didn’t stop buzzing as each and every point was scavenged for. Fortunately for the players, and on the whim of their optometric prowess, the entire group of six had earned enough points to wager in the final round.

While SCO’s Student Bowl is definitely about finding our next great champion, AOSA likes its students in the audience to get in on the winning action as well. So in between the rounds AOSA raffled off several $350 student travel grants to Optometry’s Meeting 2013. AOSA even held a mini-bowl where five randomly selected students answered ‘fun’ questions for a chance to win gift cards or a travel grant to OM2013. Then the AOSA spirit coordinator announced SCO’s winning Student Bowl theme. It’s that spirit theme which SCO students will showcase as they cheer on SCO’s Student Bowl champion at the national competition in San Diego. Get ready folks, SCO is bringing the blues to the West Coast! In the end, AOSA likes nothing more than to give back to SCO students in appreciation for their support, cheering, and excitement at another SCO AOSA event.

Now back to the Student Bowl. The final round saw all six contestants put their intellect to the test in an attempt to answer the final question. The one caveat: competitors had to wager a minimum amount of their earned points before answering the question, a-la-Jeopardy. With only a minute to respond to the final question, students feverishly jotted down their final answer. In the end, victory came to third year Brandon Hadel. A former Student Bowl contender, Brandon used not only his wealth of knowledge but former experience to capture the title. As champion, Brandon will go on to represent SCO at the national Varilux Student Bowl Competition at Optometry’s Meeting where he will compete against the other student representatives from all the other schools and colleges of optometry. SCO AOSA will also be sponsoring Brandon’s travel and accommodations in San Diego this June. All of SCO is excited to see how far Brandon will go in the national competition – we’re sure he’ll flex his optometric muscle and give the other schools a good run for their money!


So from the Blue’s City to sunny San Diego…Southern College of Optometry AOSA looks forward to bringing the competition to this year’s Optometry’s Meeting 2013 Student Bowl!

Carpe Diem,


SCO AOSA Trustee



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