Author Archives: Marianna Zhang

2017 Cooper Award Winners

PACE is happy to announce that the winner of the 2017 Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award is Fred Morlan. We recognize his work on HSQB Rank, assisting coaches and tournament directors in West Virginia and Kentucky, and spreading better quizbowl practices nationwide.

The winner of the 2017 Benjamin Cooper Young Ambassador Award is Jackie Wu of Downingtown High School East in Pennsylvania. We recognize her work to convert her school and others in her region to pyramidal quizbowl, including hosting multiple tournaments.

Congratulations to Fred and Jackie! We at PACE thank you for all your hard work building the high school quizbowl circuit.

Both awards will be presented at the opening meeting of this year’s PACE NSC on June 10.

2017 NSC shirts

By popular demand, shirts for the National Scholastic Championship are back! Order yours at our Booster page! The deadline to place an order is May 17.

When you purchase a shirt, you have the option of having the shirt shipped directly to you (+shipping/handling fees) or picking up the shirt at the tournament.

Anybody can buy a shirt whether or not they attend NSC. This fundraiser for PACE will help support our Outreach Fund and Morgan Costa-Rhodes Scholarship.

2017 Morgan Costa-Rhodes Memorial Scholarship winner

Congratulations to the inaugural winner of the Morgan Costa-Rhodes Memorial Scholarship: Casey Wetherbee from Ithaca High School (Ithaca, NY)!

Casey is a high school senior who will be attending Georgetown University next year, where he plans to continue playing quizbowl. For more about Casey, check out his #ThisIsQuizbowl profile from January!

PACE would also like to thank the other applicants this year. We were incredibly impressed by your applications, which made for a strong and fierce scholarship competition. We look forward to future years of awarding the Costa-Rhodes Scholarship!

2017 Benjamin Cooper Awards: Now Accepting Nominations

PACE is pleased to announce that we are now accepting nominations for the 2017 Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Awards. The Cooper awards, which recognize those who contribute to the “spirit and honor of quizbowl competition,” will be presented at the 2017 PACE National Scholastic Championship in Rosemont, Illinois, on June 10-11.

The Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award will be given to a coach, advisor, administrator, tournament organizer, or other person who has made significant contributions to high school quizbowl. A second award, the Young Ambassador Award, will be given to someone affiliated with a college or high school program who, despite their young age, has already made valuable contributions to the high school academic competition community. Nominations will be accepted through April 1, 2017, and the winners will be announced at the beginning of May. For more information on the award and the nomination process, please see below.

The Benjamin Cooper Awards:

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, and a complete list of winners is available on the PACE website. The Young Ambassador Award was first presented at the 2004 NSC.

How to Nominate:

Any member of the quizbowl community is eligible for the Cooper Award. Eligibility for the Young Ambassador Award is restricted to those currently affiliated with high school or college programs. Because there are always many deserving candidates, PACE welcomes re-nomination of those nominated last year who have continued to contribute to the quizbowl community.

To submit a nomination, please compose a statement of no more than 1,000 words detailing your nominee’s contributions to the quizbowl community. This statement should include a summary of positions held by the nominee as well as a specific explanation of why, in your opinion, they have contributed to the “spirit and honor of quizbowl competition.” Organizations are eligible for nomination, as are small groups of individuals who have collaborated on their quizbowl work.

Please email your nomination statement to this year’s Cooper Award coordinator, Jonathan Pinyan, at no later than April 1, 2017. To make sure they’re easily found, please put “Cooper Nomination” in the subject line of the email, and clearly specify in the text if you are nominating someone for the Young Ambassador Award. I (Jonathan) will confirm receipt of your nomination within a few days of the time you submit it (if you haven’t heard back from me within a few days, please send me a follow-up). In your email, please include your contact information in case the PACE Cooper Award Committee wishes to contact you for additional information about the nominee. All nomination statements are strictly confidential and will be seen only by the PACE members involved in the selection process.

Announcement of Winners:

Members of the PACE Cooper Award Committee will deliberate throughout the month of April. The winners will be announced on the message board and on the PACE website during the first week of May. The awards will be formally presented to the winners on the first day of the 2017 NSC.

If you have any questions about this year’s Cooper Award or to submit a nomination, please contact Jon Pinyan at

2017 NSC Hotel Information

The 2017 NSC will be held in the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago on June 10-11, 2017.

General Hotel Information
The Hyatt Regency O’Hare is located at:
9300 Bryn Mawr Ave
Rosemont, IL 60018

Room Reservations
PACE has reserved a block in the Hyatt Regency specifically for attending teams and their affiliated people. Rooms in this block can be reserved at a discounted rate of $159 per room per night. All rates are per room per night and are subject to local tax and fees (subject to change). Reservations will not be accepted without a valid credit card guarantee of one night’s room rate plus tax for each room reserved.

Reservations must be made by Monday, May 1, 2017, to guarantee the discounted tournament rates. After that date, room blocks will be released and rooms and rates will be based on availability. All changes, cancellations, and inquiries reservations should be made directly with the hotel.

UPDATE (5/3/17): The deadline for reserving hotel rooms at the discounted rate has been extended to Sunday, May 7, 2017.

NSC attendees can reserve a room through either of two methods:
Through this booking link,
– Or by calling the Hyatt Regency O’Hare directly at 847-696-1234. Reference the 2017 PACE NSC room block.

Indicate any special needs you may have when making reservations. A confirmation will be sent to you by email shortly after booking.

A word of warning: Unauthorized organizations may contact you and try to sell you a room at a discounted price. They are commonly called room pirates and are not in any way connected to PACE’s organization or the tournament. The only authorized way to purchase a room is directly through the Hyatt room booking link listed above, or by calling the Hyatt. If you have any questions, please contact Bernadette Spencer at

We recommend teams traveling by flight fly to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). The Hyatt Regency is only 2 miles east of the airport, and offers a complimentary 24 hour shuttle service to and from domestic airport terminals every 15 minutes.

More information about the hotel and transportation options can be found at the official hotel website.

Overflow Hotel
If the Hyatt Regency is full, we recommend the Doubletree O’Hare, just down the street from the Hyatt Regency. The Doubletree has a complimentary airport shuttle.