BYU RMYL Students Place First in National Quiz Bowl

At one point the Brigham Young University recreation management and youth leadership team was down more than 2,000 points. But that didn't stop its members from turning things around and taking home the first-place trophy at the annual National Recreation and Parks Association Quiz Bowl.

"The first round was really scary, but when the categories for the second round came on the screen, we just looked at each other and smiled," says team captain Elicia Merwin, an RMYL senior from McAllen, Texas. "We knew those topics really well. And going into the final round, we were double the next highest score."

BYU's win at the annual quiz bowl was part of the week-long National Recreation and Parks Association Congress recently held in Atlanta. The Jeopardy-like competition covered topics in finance, marketing, budgeting, operations, leisure theory, and leaders and historical figures in parks and recreation. The team members competed against universities across the country, including the University of Mississippi. Texas A&M, and California Polytechnic University, which won last year's competition.

Merwin and her teammates, RMYL seniors Catherine Truman from Mapleton, Utah; Miranda Deighton from Sedro-Woolley, Wash.; and Alexi Trotter from Fairfield, Calif., began preparation in August. The team was assisted on its way to victory by faculty adviser and RMYL professor Brian Hill.

In addition to endless flash cards, weekly meetings and extensive research, the team challenged BYU RMYL faculty to a practice quiz bowl. The student team claimed first in that competition as well.

Hill and six other faculty members accompanied the students to the Congress, which also showcased professionals, university educators, students and vendors in the national recreation and parks association realm.

"The most fun part of the Congress was being able to watch our students answer questions confidently in a stressful and competitive environment," Hill says. "It shows how bright and capable they are and how hard they are willing to work to succeed."

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Tori Ackerman