A&M-Commerce students shine at SAEA Quiz Bowl

Nine students from Texas A&M University-Commerce showed their smarts in economics at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association's annual Quiz Bowl in Louisville, Kentucky, in February.

The team, which consisted of members Shayna Cooper, Emily Jennings, Haley Marshall, Kelley Smith, Emma Lawson, Madison Oats, John Woodard, Parker Aguilar and Yves Kacou, are advised by Dr. Jose Lopez, associate professor of agribusiness at A&M-Commerce.

The Quiz Bowl is an annual event where students are put into teams with universities from across the United States and play a Jeopardy-like game in which they answer questions from six categories: macroeconomics, microeconomics, finance, quantitative, policy and potpourri.

A&M-Commerce's agribusiness students have been participating in the SAEA's annual Quiz Bowl since 2014. For the past seven years, Lion students have consistently placed at the competition. Dax Havrilak's team won first place in 2014, Jaylen Wallace's team finished second place in 2016, and Troy McDonald's team finished third in 2018.

This year, Haley Marshall led the way for A&M-Commerce students with her team's third-place finish in the competition.

Several A&M-Commerce students shared their experiences from the Quiz Bowl.

“I always enjoy attending the SAEA Conference,” said team member Kelly Smith. “It's an opportunity to reconnect and network with people and colleagues from all over the country who share a common interest in the field of agribusiness. The quiz bowl competition is also an awesome way to share our knowledge of the industry and build professional relationships with our competitors.”

Team member Haley Marshall said Quiz Bowl is the highlight of her year. “Quiz bowl is my favorite experience of the year because it's a great networking opportunity as well as a space to test what you know,” Marshall said. “Going to Quiz bowl connected me with great people and let me go to Churchill Downs, which is a dream of mine, and inspired me to finish my thesis on the racing industry,” she added.

Dr. Lopez emphasized the many benefits of attending a national competition like Quiz Bowl.

“It is very fulfilling to be able to take students to a national conference to participate in a Quiz Bowl contest, engage in experiential learning activities, and network with other students, faculty and professionals from all over the United States,” Lopez said. “Students get to appreciate and know what their discipline is all about outside their classroom. I am delighted to be able to do these types of activities for the students, and I hope that financial support will continue to be available. Students really enjoy and learn from these experiences.”