Penn State Animal Science Students Win National Quadrathlon

Posted: July 17, 2013

Penn State Animal Science Students took first place in the second year of the contest, after winning first last year in the quiz bowl portion of the four-part competition.
The 2013 winning national Quadrathlon team from Penn State, from left: Kevin Harvatine and team members Vance Brown, Nate Ulmer, Amy Kraus and Amanda Mosier.

The 2013 winning national Quadrathlon team from Penn State, from left: Kevin Harvatine and team members Vance Brown, Nate Ulmer, Amy Kraus and Amanda Mosier.


Students from Penn State's Department of Animal Science captured first place in the national academic Quadrathlon held as part of the Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), held in Indianapolis, July 8-12. It is the second year for the competition, which is designed to be a comprehensive academic overview of the animal sciences; Penn State won the opportunity to represent the northeastern region both years, and won the quiz bowl portion of the first contest last year.

Members of Penn State's team included: Vance D. Brown, Port Matilda; Nathan R. Ulmer, Bellefonte; Amanda M. Mosier, Cochranton; and Amy E. Kraus, Aliquippa. Kevin Harvatine, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Physiology, accompanied the group.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "I am thrilled that the Penn State team won this contest, and offer my congratulations to these students for their success in this challenging national competition. The contest is a comprehensive test of the range of knowledge they acquired in their classes at Penn State along with practical experience. To represent the northeast region two years in a row and perform so well is an outstanding achievement, and a tribute to the students, faculty and staff who supported them."

Other teams participating in the finals included Oklahoma State, southern region; Kansas State, mid-west region; and Montana State University, western region. Each had won similar competitions in their respective regions.

This academic Quadrathon consists of teams working together in each of the four segments of the contest: laboratory practicum, written exam, oral presentation, and quiz bowl. The written test included 15 sections with 10-15 questions per section covering the comprehensive body of work students learned in their collegiate career. Teams had one hour to complete the test. The practicum consisted of 12 individual activities, each with a different emphasis involving every livestock species. For the group oral presentation, teams selected one of five current topics and had one hour to prepare a 12-minute presentation designed to educate the listener.

The Quiz Bowl contained wide-ranging questions about all domestic animals, livestock and companion animals, as well as questions on nutrition, genetics, reproduction, meat science/muscle biology, physiology and lactation. In a close competition, Penn State defeated Oklahoma State in the double elimination contest in the championship round. 

Purdue University hosted the quadrathlon.