Diné College places third at national academic contest
TSAILE, Ariz. - Diné College competed against tribal colleges in the Knowledge Bowl at the 29th annual conference of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) conference in Chandler March 20-23 and came home with third place among 27 schools who entered the competition.
The Knowledge Bowl is similar to Jeopardy. Students are asked questions from selected books and/or films by a Quiz Master. This year's competition was based on seven books and a film. They were: West of the Thirties: Discoveries Among the Navajo and Hopi; What Can Tribes Do?: Strategies and Institutions in American Indian Economic Development; Pueblo Nations: Eight Centuries of Pueblo Indian History; Creek Indian Medicine Ways; American Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court: The Masking of Justice; Imagining Head-Smashed-In: Aboriginal Buffalo Hunting on the Northern Plains; Sweet Smell of Home; In the White Man's Image (PBS film).
The three-day double elimination tournament at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino brought hundreds of students from 37 tribal colleges who are members of the AIHEC organization.
Diné College's five-person team consisted of Matt Tafoya (team captain), Tanya A. Begay, Solito Becenti, Delvin Slick, and Delphine John. They won five games to advance to the semi-final round before finally losing to two schools with advanced academic programs. They played a total of seven games. Team members were selected and coached by Diné College staffers and instructors George Joe and LaFrenda Frank.
If Diné College's team had beaten Turtle Mountain Community College, they would have faced Salish Kootenai the second time around for another game. But unfortunately the team lost to Turtle Mountain with a tie. The DC team waged more than the opponent; waging 80 to our 70 points and thus was close to playing for the championship game.
Salish Kootenai College, who beat Dine College in the fifth game, offers 12 bachelors of science and arts degrees in such areas as biology, business management, and nursing. Turtle Mountain Community College offers two bachelor of science degrees in education, plus several associate of science and arts degrees.
The five teams Dine College defeated were LacCourte Orielles Ojibwa Community College (Wisconsin), Fond Du Lac Tribal Community College (Wisconsin), Navajo Technical College (Navajo Nation), and Wind River Tribal College (Wyoming).
In preparing for the tournament, the students had to read all the books and view the film in less than five weeks. As full-time students carrying 12 credits, they had to make extra time to read and study for this competition.
In other conference events, Diné College placed first in the drawing competition and second in the web page design competition while archer Janis Wilson placed first in women's archery.