A four-student team won the Wood Science Bowl at the Forest Products Society conference in Washington, D.C., last summer. Shawn Crawford of Salem, Va., and Qingqing Li of China, both graduate research assistants in forest products; Jeffrey Dolan of Salisbury, Md., a graduate research assistant in the macromolecular science and engineering program; and Johanna Madrigal of Costa Rica, a recent wood science and forest products graduate, made up “Team Quercus.”

“Our team had a good combination of research specialties and nationalities,” said Li. “We were both bold and prudent. The final match against Oregon State University was really tight. We won by a narrow margin, and the fact that we competed against such a strong team made it a very exciting game.”

The competition was a Jeopardy-like game that tested the participants’ knowledge of the wood and forest products field. Trivia questions were formulated by faculty members from participating schools.

“With skill, knowledge, and some luck, we were able to come away with a victory,” explained Dolan. “We faced three teams in a bracket system to take the first-place prize, which was, in fact, a wooden bowl.”

“It was a humbling experience because it showed me how vast and diverse the forest products industry is,” Crawford added. “It was also very rewarding to put the knowledge we obtained from Virginia Tech to good use.”