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Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine team scores quiz bowl championship


BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 8, 2010 – Three students from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine clicked, buzzed, and answered their way to victory, winning the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) national quiz bowl competition in Albuquerque, N.M., last month. 

The college team, comprised of Sarah Brauning of Finksburg, Md., Class of 2012; Anne Dewar of Potomac Falls, Va., Class of 2011; and Jenny Miller of White Hall, Md., Class of 2012, defeated 23 other veterinary colleges in the day-long event held on Aug. 20.

The competition, the first of its kind held by the AABP, was part of the association’s annual conference.

Answering questions covering a range of curriculum related to bovine medicine – gaining 10 points for a correct one and losing five for every incorrect answer, the future veterinarians cruised through several rounds of quiz bowl competition. The final round was victoriously played against the University of Georgia.

Being the first time the association has held such a competition, the students did not know what specific types of questions or materials would be presented. They were only informed of basic rules and that questions would accelerate in terms of difficulty.

“Other than that, no one knew what to expect,” Brauning said. “We were ready for anything.”

Dr. William S. “Terry” Swecker, Jr., professor and associate department head in the college’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, said the students’ ability to answer the questions with little prior information underscores the quality of students at the college and instruction in the curriculum.

“This is another sign of our students’ excellence,” Swecker said.

Two college alumni, Drs. Arn Anderson, Class of 1991, and Leo Vranich, Class of 2008, were also involved in design and implementation of the quiz bowl through their participation in the AABP membership committee.

With their prizes -- AABP jackets -- on their backs, the students have returned from the clickers and score boards to the labs, classrooms, and pastures at the college. And while they’ve been sworn to secrecy about revealing the exact questions they were asked during the tournament, the students are ready for other students and teams to rival their title.

“We encourage other students to get involved,” Dewar said.

Their tip for future teams? “Make sure you know and have studied your curriculum,” Miller said.

The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is a leading biomedical teaching and research center, enrolling more than 700 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, master of public health, and biomedical and veterinary sciences graduate students. The college is a partnership between the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland. Its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, features the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and large animal field services which together treat more than 79,000 animals annually. Other locations include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia, and the Gudelsky Veterinary Center in College Park, Maryland.