Announcement of 2010 Cooper Award Recipients

The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is pleased to announce that the 2010 Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award will be awarded to R. Robert Hentzel and that the Young Ambassador Award will be awarded to Sarah Angelo. Mr. Hentzel and Sarah have been chosen from a slate of deserving nominees submitted by many members of the quizbowl community.

Mr. Hentzel, a founding member and longtime president of NAQT, is recognized specifically “for his dedication to popularizing pyramidal questions in high school quizbowl in new regions around the United States.” The success of Mr. Hentzel’s efforts can be seen in the popularity of the HSNCT, which in recent years has ballooned to include 192 teams, many of them from states in which pyramidal quizbowl was unknown just a few years ago. It is too easy to forget that the many hours Mr. Hentzel puts into organizing NAQT are essentially volunteer work. By awarding him the Cooper Award, PACE honors his sustained dedication to the game of quizbowl.

Sarah, currently a senior at Maggie Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, Virginia, is recognized “for her outstanding and dedicated work as a tournament director and editor, which has expanded and enhanced the independent quizbowl circuit throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.” In the past two years alone, Sarah has been the tournament director of an impressive array of tournaments at Maggie Walker, including GSAC XVI, HAVOC II, a Fall Novice Tournament mirror, GSAC XVII, and an MUT mirror. One PACE member, when discussing the Cooper Award nominees, summed up succinctly Sarah’s work on behalf of quizbowl at such a young age, calling it “impressive as hell.”

The Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award and the Young Ambassador Award recognize those who have made substantial contributions to the “spirit and honor of quizbowl competition.” Benjamin Cooper, for whom the award is named, was a model student at the Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, who was well-liked among his colleagues and the faculty. He participated in many activities in school and in service to the community. Because of his enthusiasm and encouragement to promote academic competition among his team members, he was selected as the captain of the varsity team for the 1997-1998 school year. On August 12, 1997, Ben was tragically killed in an automobile accident while returning from his summer job.

The first Cooper Award was presented by PACE to Georgetown Day School team advisor Sue Ikenberry in honor of Ben at the 1998 NSC. Subsequent awards have been presented every year. The Young Ambassador Award was first presented at the 2004 NSC. A complete list of winners of both awards is available on the PACE website.

The 2010 Cooper Awards will be presented to Mr. Hentzel and to Sarah on the first day of the NSC, which will be held in Fairfax, Virginia, on June 5-6.