Results of the Mountain West Area College Bowl

By: Kim Au


The Mountain West Area College Bowl was held recently at Chapman University in Orange, CA and I was proud to be on Chapman University’s team. The night before the competition the teams were able to relax, get to know each other, and have fun as food science students rather than competitors at the annual Area Meeting. The festivities started with a delicious dinner spread which we enjoyed on tables cleverly decorated with laboratory glassware filled with fruit. The meal was then followed by a presentation delivered by Area Representative Jonathan Tong, who talked about current and future IFTSA plans. Also in attendance was Anna Ylijoki, Manager of Component Relations at the IFT headquarters in Chicago.

Each of the competing universities were then given a chance to showcase their schools by presenting a slideshow of the past year’s events which included Valentines in a Can fundraisers at Brigham Young University, pumpkin bites at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, free cheese curds at Utah State University, California State Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo helping to alleviate child malnutrition, and the Proposition 37 panel at Chapman University.

But the best part of the night by far was the intense game of Food Science Feud where each of the four tables competed as a team in a Family Feud-inspired game. We learned that dad is most likely to feed the kids pizza when mom is away, chefs will probably throw their pots and pans at you if you criticize their food, and that Canada is one of the best beer-making countries, according to the (informal) surveys of 100 food scientists. Judging by the enthusiastic responses and constant laughter, everyone had a great time.

The day of the competition the teams and spectators were given a brief recap of the rules and introduction of the judges before beginning. The order in which schools would compete was determined the night before at the Area Meeting.

Although there were periods where none of the teams knew the answer (almost resulting in a shortage of toss-up questions), I’ve never seen a College Bowl where the competitors fought so strongly for the judges’ approval an answer. It really shows the passion and drive that these students have for winning the title of Regional College Bowl Champion. Towards the end, Chapman University and BYU were the last two schools in the double elimination bracket. Chapman had already lost one round, and needed to beat BYU twice in order to win the game. Round 8 concluded with Chapman-12 BYU-0 so the final round was for the win. And with a score of 18 to 8….


CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY took home the title of Mountain West College Bowl Champion!!

I was so happy to be part of the winning team, that I literally teared up. The road to victory was not easy, but the most valuable lesson I learned from this experience was that persistence pays off. It’s easy to get discouraged when you answer a question incorrectly or lose a whole round, but it’s not the end of the world. You get another chance. And if you lose two rounds, your chance will come next year.

Even if our team didn’t win the title this year, College Bowl still would have been an incredibly fun experience. I got to know my teammates better during our practices and I met such nice people at the Area Meeting. I can’t wait to see them again at the IFT Annual Expo in Chicago!
Photo credit:

Science Meets Food

The IFT Student Association (IFTSA) is a forward-looking, student-governed community of IFT members. Through competitions, scholarships, networking, and leadership opportunities, you’ll set yourself apart from your classmates (unless they’re members too).


  1. That’s awesome! I would love to participate in some food science trivia. Must of been a blast!

  2. Pac West section is gearing up for our competition in 2 weeks! We are all very excited. WSU/UI is challenging the professors next week in preparation. I am so excited for Chicago AMFE regardless of the results of College Bowl. Food Science bonding for the win!

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