'Mind Games' ends for Northwestern; team prepares for next year

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'Mind Games' ends for Northwestern; team prepares for next year

May 11, 2012

Seven Northwestern Oklahoma State University students made it into the semi-final round of “Mind Games,” an impressive feat for first time contenders. “Mind Games” is an Oklahoma Academic Challenge that brings together teams of students from Oklahoma colleges and universities to compete in a weekly battle of the brains.

In the fall, the team will begin preparing for competition again in hopes to gain a few more students as teammates and possibly put together two teams for competition.

Northwestern participants’ hometowns, classifications and majors include:

Isaac Broce, Mooreland senior, natural sciences education; Lukas Dollarhide, Tonkawa junior, history; Lakpa Lama, Kathmandu, Nepal, freshman, nursing; Nathan Sacket, Aline sophomore, computer science; Prashant Upadhyay, Kathmandu, Nepal, freshman, business administration; Khadidja (Eva) Souleyman, Alva senior, political science; and Zachary Zook, Waynoka senior, social science.

Northwestern beat Redlands Community College, a team who competed at the national level last year, to make it to the semi-finals. However, in this year’s competition, Southwestern Oklahoma State University won the semi-finals round, which aired on KSBI-TV in Oklahoma City Wednesday, May 9.

The team is coached by Kathleen O’Halleran, instructor of political science, sociology and geography.

“Southwestern was an excellent team, and we were honored to compete against them,” O’Halleran said. “Now we know what we need to work on for next year.”

All teams receive scholarship awards either as a consolation prize or as the week’s winning team. Teams are comprised of three players and up to three alternates who may be substituted in during the games.

Through this competition, Northwestern’s “Mind Games” team has earned approximately $7,000 in scholarship rewards.

These scholarship dollars were well-earned. Between classes, studying and everyday life of a college student, these individuals met to practice for one hour, three times a week prior to a competition. O’Halleran said it was important for the group to meet regularly to work as a team and understand one another’s body language. In between competitions, they also met two times a week.

Next year, the team hopes to obtain a bell system to make practices more life-like.

The KSBI "Mind Games" utilizes the toss-up/bonus format. Questions are formatted from all topics of collegiate knowledge. The bulk of the questions come from the areas of science, history and literature. Fine arts and humanities was the next emphasis area followed by geography, current events and pop culture.

Northwestern’s “Mind Games” team currently is looking for additional team members who have a passion for fine arts, humanities, English and literature.

To become a member of the team, contact O’Halleran at kiohalleran@nwosu.edu  or (580) 327-8519.