Chicago State Prepares to Compete At Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge National Championship

The best and brightest HBCU students rise to the academic challenge

From Left to Right:  Isiah Samuel, Kayla Mensah, Nicolette Sanders, Courtney Jenkins, Olanepikun Laosebikan (Coach)

Chicago, IL, March 14, 2017 ‐‐ With great excitement, President Cecil Lucy announced that after diligent preparation, Chicago State University, the 2016 runner-up will go head to head with fellow Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) at the 28th annual Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament. Teams from 48 HBCUs will compete in the final round of this unique academic tournament April 8‐12, 2017 on the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. campus in Torrance, California. Chicago State University has the opportunity to win the HCASC top prize ‐ a $75,000 institutional grant from Honda.

Chicago State will be represented by Nicolette C. Sanders, a junior Chemistry major from Chicago, IL, Isiah Samuel, III, a junior Pre‐Pharmacy major from Chicago, IL, Courtney L. Jenkins, a junior majoring in Psychology from Chicago, IL, and Kayla A.C. Mensah, a sophomore majoring in Biology & Pre‐Med from New York City, NY. Dr. Olanipekun O. Laosebikan will coach the team. Brandon Morgan, a current graduate student in Education will be assisting in coaching and is an integral part of the team.

“I am extremely proud of our students,” said, Cecil Lucy, Interim President of CSU. “They put in a lot of hard work to prepare for this competition and have demonstrated that it’s not just about trivia, it’s also about working together to learn and improve their skill set as critical thinkers.” 

This year's road to the championship began in the fall, with 76 HBCUs vying for a spot in the finals. Through countless hours of study, drills and practice, 48 elite teams emerged, knowledgeable and ready to take on the competition. HCASC tests students' knowledge, skills and ability to quickly and accurately answer questions on world history, science, literature, religion, the arts and popular culture.

"Honda congratulates Chicago State University for qualifying for the 'Great 48,' an impressive feat in itself," said Steve Morikawa, Vice President, Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We're constantly amazed by the academic prowess, teamwork and level of competition during Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge, and look forward to crowning a champion in April."

The 2017 HCASC finals will be live‐streamed on Monday, April 10 starting at 12:00 p.m. ET on

For more information on HCASC, including a full list of the 48 qualifying teams, visit

Connect with HCASC on social media using #HCASC. 


About Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge

Celebrating HBCU excellence, Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge (HCASC) is one of Honda's largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States. Since 1989, the program has awarded more than $8 million in grants to participating HBCUs, impacting the lives of over 125,000 students across 22 states. The participating HBCUs share in grants from Honda of over $350,000 each year.

HCASC's impressive roster of past participants includes engineers, lawyers, doctors and professors. A number of high profile former HCASC participants have been inducted into the HCASC Hall of Fame at

For more information, contact:

Mary Oberembt, Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge, (800) 388‐2272 x105 / Jaymie Robinson, Honda North America, (310) 783‐3943 /