Nutmeg. At the World Geography Bowl Competition, it was the answer in which Team Virginia earned first honors.
On Nov. 29, 2009, the southeast division of the Association of American Geographers Conference World Geography Bowl Competition was held in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The teams at the conference are comprised of students from all over each state, having atleast one female, one male, one undergraduate student, and one graduate student.
This year, eight states from the southeast division of the United States competed against each other, such as Alabama and Florida. Seniors Allyson Thompson, Anya Bogdanow, Brandon Eads, junior Matthew Holden, freshman Joseph Winter, and a Virginia Tech graduate student represented team Virginia.
The competition lasts for only one day, with each state competing in a round robin tournament in the afternoon. The two teams with the highest scores would then go onto a competition in the evening, which lasts about 30 to 40 minutes.
The final competition, which pitted Team Virginia against Team Florida, consisted of 10 toss-up questions and two team questions.
Toss-up questions are questions that each team can call out if they know the answer.
The two team questions were those that one team could answer but the opposing team could as well for points, in case the other team provided an incorrect answer.
This year, Team Virginia scored better in the bowl than last year. Brandon Eads, who competed last year, reflected on this. “Understanding how it works is a big deal. So this year it was a lot easier.” Eads said.
Eads reflected on how he and his fellow teammates prepared for the competition.
“We had practice or meetings every Sunday [for two hours] starting three to four weeks into school, leading up to the conference” he said.
The answer to the final question, nutmeg, was given by Matthew Holden, which allowed the team to earn first honors.
For the past three years, Holden has been the leading undergraduate scorer at the competition and will be attending a National Conference held in Washington D.C. in April.
This year, according to a press release from the university on Dec. 8, 2009, Joseph Winter ranked in eighth for undergraduate scoring.
Associate Professor of Geography, Dawn Bowen commented on the other teams at the competition, saying, “there were some really good teams. Team Virginia was competitive all the way through.”
Bowen recently received The Henry H. Douglas Distinguished Service Award by the Pioneer American Society: Association for the Preservation of Artifacts and Landscapes at a conference in West Virginia on October 31st, 2009.
According to the press release from the University on December 8th, 2009, the award is given to one “ who has made significant contributions in furthering societies goals through service, teaching, publications and the promotion of historic preservation.” Bowen is the first woman to receive the award.
“ It was pretty amazing,” Bowen said.
Bowen has been involved with the Society since 1990. The award was based on her published research and teaching of material culture.