Benjamin Cooper Awards

The Benjamin Cooper Awards are given each year to recognize individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the quizbowl community. Nominations for the Cooper are solicited from the general quizbowl community and voted on by the members of PACE. We present two editions of the Cooper Award every year: the Academic Ambassador Award and the Young Ambassador Award.

The Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award, first presented in 1998, recognizes a community member who has gone above and beyond to promote and facilitate high-quality high school quizbowl and embody by example the ideals of academic competition.

The Benjamin Cooper Young Ambassador Award, first presented in 2004, recognizes deserving community members under the age of 25. “Young Cooper” winners are often high school or college students at the time they receive the award.

The award is named in honor of Benjamin Cooper. Ben was a student at Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC and an engaged member of the campus community, participating in many student activities and community service projects. Owing to his enthusiasm for promoting quizbowl, Ben’s teammates elected him captain of the GDS academic team for the 1997-98 school year, but he was tragically killed by an automobile accident on August 12, 1997. Members of PACE, impressed with his enthusiasm for the game and the inaugural National Scholastic Competition, established the awards in his memory.

YearAcademic AmbassadorYoung Ambassador
2024Tracey Hickman
Murray State College and
Oklahoma Quizbowl Camp
Tishomingo, OK
Ben Weiner
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
2023Jay Winter
Iowa Quiz Bowl League and
Waukee Northwest High School
Waukee, IA
Joy An
Choate Rosemary Hall
Wallingford, CT
2022Kristin Strey
Scholastic Community Outreach Program
Winnebago, IL
Kevin Kodama
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
2021Ben Herman
Greater Pennsylvania Quiz Bowl
West Chester, PA
Em Gunter
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
2020Chris Johnson
Itawamba High School
Fulton, MS
Ashish Kumbhardare
Penn State University
State College, PA
2019Las Vegas Quiz Bowl Alliance
Las Vegas, NV
Connor Mayers
Penn Manor High School
Millersville, PA
2018Chad Kubicek
Kansas City, MO
Kady Hsu
Rancho Bernardo High School
San Diego, CA
2017Fred Morlan
Jackie Wu
Downington East High School
Exton, PA
2016Sheryl and Michael Cvijanovich
Matt’s Buzzers
Ankit Aggarwal
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
2015Joshua Rutsky
Hoover High School
Hoover, AL
Nicholas Karas
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
2014Jeff Hoppes
National Academic Quiz Tournaments
Quizbowl Resource Center
Berkeley, CA
Matthew Bollinger
High School Academic Pyramid Questions
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
2013Chris Chiego
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, CA
Dwight Wynne
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA
Max Schindler
Ladue Horton Watkins High School
Ladue, MO
2012David Riley
Loyola Academy
Wilmette, IL
Linda Greene
Auburn High School
Rockford, IL
Lily Chen
Hunter College High School
New York, NY
2011Matt Weiner
Virginia Commonwealth University and HSAPQ
Richmond, VA
Missouri Quizbowl Alliance
2010R. Robert Hentzel
National Academic Quiz Tournaments
Bloomington, MN
Sarah Angelo
Maggie Walker Governor’s School
Richmond, VA
2009Eric Huff
Paul M. Dorman High School
Roebuck, SC
Christian Carter
Minneapolis South High School
Minneapolis, MN
2008Award revokedChris Sewell
Mountain View, CA
Lee Henry
Brindlee Mountain High School
Guntersville, AL
2007Julie Gittings
State College Area High School
State College, PA
Evan Silberman
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Alexandria, VA
2006Bob Weiser
Solon High School
Solon, OH
Dr. John Barnes
Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies
Richmond, VA
Eric Grunden
Raleigh Charter High School
Raleigh, NC
2005Sue Korosa
Copley High School
Copley, OH
Tom Egan
Maine South High School
Park Ridge, IL
2004Paul Cain
Ysleta High School
El Paso, TX
Matt Weiner
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA
David Bykowski
Columbia, SC
2003Carolyn Hawkins
Cookeville High School
Cookeville, TN
Award was created in 2004
2002Douglas A. Tyson
Benjamin Banneker High School
Washington, DC
It’s Academic television program
2001Robert C. Grierson
Scholastic Visions newsletter
2000Academic Competition Enterprises
(now ACE Quizbowl Camps)
Rick Barry
Brookwood High School
Snellville, GA
James Garrick
Paul Dorman High School
Roebuck, SC
Hodges Lewis
Irmo High School
Irmo, SC
1999Joe Hermiller
E. L. Bowsher High School
Toledo, OH
1998Sue Ikenberry
on behalf of Benjamin Cooper
Georgetown Day School
Washington, DC