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JSU wins $75,000 top national academic prize in Honda’s HBCU All-Star Challenge

Jackson State University is $75,000 richer after students captured the top academic prize during the 29th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament in Torrance, California.

Honda MainJSU competed in a head-to-head battle with 48 Historically Black Colleges and Universities on the campus of the American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

The four students representing JSU were Zaveon Demon Cooper II, a senior majoring in theatre arts from Jackson, Mississippi; Justin Clarke, a junior majoring in accounting from Atlanta, Georgia; Charles Octavius Pennington, a senior majoring in chemical engineering and chemistry from Hollandale, Mississippi, and James Meeks Jr., a senior majoring in finance from Jackson, Mississippi. Team coaches were JSU instructors Dr. Farah Christmas and Joshua J. Cotton, both in the Department of History and Philosophy.

Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge is a year‐round program that includes campus engagement, intramural play, qualifying tournaments and culminates with the National Championship. The fast‐paced competition highlights students’ academic prowess and ability to answer questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and pop culture.

In 1989, Honda established HCASC to highlight and recognize the academic achievements of HBCU students. More than $8.5 million in grants from Honda have provided support for scholarships, facility upgrades and other investments to improve the student experience. Now in its 29th year, more than 125,000 students have participated in HCASC.