NGU News

PA Medicine wins SCAPA 2021 Student Challenge Bowl

Posted on: October 25, 2021
By LaVerne Howell,

Tigerville, SC (October 25, 2021) The South Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants held its annual Student Challenge Bowl on Oct. 9 on Kiawah Island. North Greenville University’s (NGU) PA Medicine team brought home the first-place trophy and a $500 cash award.

“The NGU PA program is so proud of the quiz bowl team. They represented the program and institution so well at the SCAPA conference annual quiz bowl. Their dedication to their education and practice for the event paid off,” said NGU Department of PA Medicine Program Director Dr. Jordan Hairr.  “I would also like to thank SCAPA for hosting the event and congratulate the other programs and teams. The competitiveness of the event is a great example of the bright future for the PA profession in South Carolina.”

Hairr said NGU’s three-member winning team consisted of Karen Colangione, Halle Irvine, and James Newman. They competed against teams from Charleston Southern University, Medical University of South Carolina, Presbyterian College, and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

The challenge bowl competition, which began in 2017, is modeled after the annual Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) National Challenge Bowl. The challenge includes three rounds of 25 questions. In round one, up to 10 teams participate. The lowest scoring teams at the end of round one are eliminated. In round two, up to five teams participate and the two highest scoring teams compete in round three. The highest scoring team from the championship round wins.  

“The team has decided to use their cash prize to enter the 2022 AAPA National Challenge Bowl and we look forward to supporting them as they prepare to compete,” Hairr said.

Team member Karen Colangione is thankful to the faculty for their support and the opportunity to represent NGU at the state championship.

“It was an honor to join Halle and James in testing our knowledge against teams from every other PA school in the state. The competition was tough, but our excellent medical education and mentorship prepared us to succeed,” she said. “My favorite moment was turning around after Eric announced that we won and seeing our classmates, families, and professor Brandenburg rushing towards us with the biggest smiles. That’s the best trophy we could receive. Thank you to everyone who supported us and to the Lord for His grace and provision every step of the way. We are excited to go to Nationals next year.”

To learn more about NGU’s PA Medicine program, visit

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