Students win quiz bowl

From left to right: Allie Petry, Ryan Bonitatibus and Rachel Simmons present their trophy after winning the regional quiz bowl

Three UNH exercise science students make history on May 29 as the first team to represent the university at the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) annual Student Bowl, a Jeopardy-style sports medicine and exercise science quiz bowl.  

The team, which includes seniors Ryan Bonitatibus and Rachel Simmons and junior Allie Petry, won the Peter Roni NEACSM College Bowl regional competition last October. They will now compete in the national competition in Boston.   

“I think our team is very well-rounded; we all have our own specialties, and our program here at UNH is strong. There were no questions that I hadn’t heard before,” Bonitatibus says. 

A Win for the UNH Exercise Science Program 

Many students from UNH exercise science program attended the regional quiz competition to support their classmates, cheering for the team and quizzing them during breaks.  

“The experience was celebrated together, and that was special for everybody to be a part of,” says Clinical Assistant Professor Aurora Vellante. “For these three to experience that support, it gives them an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and success to the other students.”  

“It was a win for the entire program,” added Clinical Assistant Professor Greg Spicer.  

Gearing Up for Nationals  

In anticipation of nationals, Petry says, “I’m excited for the experience no matter how it goes.”  

The team will face off against ten other teams competing at nationals, including students from the University of Oklahoma, Hofstra University, Baylor University, Washington State University, and the University of Alabama.   

Simmons views the competition as a great way to conclude her time at UNH.  

“It will be nice to work as a team one more time.” Simmons says. “We also get to meet researchers and see some of our professors and classmates present.” 

Preparing for Careers in Exercise Science 

Bonitatibus and Simmons will conclude summer internships before graduating from UNH. Bonitatibus will research running shoes at Altra Running, while Simmons will work in cardiac rehab at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Bonitatibus aims to become an exercise science professor, and Simmons plans to continue in cardiac rehab. Both credit the exercise science program, especially their work in the cardiac rehabilitation and employee fitness programs, for preparing them for future careers opportunities.