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Jenni Bullington, UT Dallas
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UT Dallas’ Creative Problem Solving Team
Finishes Second in Global Competition

University Continues Strong Performance in ‘Mind Games’

RICHARDSON, Texas (June 5, 2001) — A team from The University of Texas at Dallas, a school already known for its championship chess team and nationally ranked debate team, finished in second place last week in an international “Creative Problem Solving” competition in Knoxville, Tenn.

               Wilmington College of Wilmington, Ohio, won the five-day, five category event, which was held at the University of Tennessee and formally entitled the Destination ImagiNation Global Finals Tournament.  More than 8,000 students comprising approximately 840 teams and representing 13 countries participated in the competition, which featured kindergarten through high school students as well as those at the university level.

               The group of seven UT Dallas students rallied to finish second with a strong showing in the “Mystery Loves Company” team challenge, which charged the participants to craft a mystery story, create a mechanical/technical communication device to relay information leading to the solution of the mystery and conduct a scientific experiment impacting the story line.             

               The annual competition is designed to teach life skills and imagination-expanding exercises through team-based creative problem solving activities, explained team advisor Lana Sooter, assistant to the dean of undergraduate studies at UT Dallas. 

“In order to prepare for the competition, our students dedicated themselves to meet once per week during the fall and spring semesters,” Sooter said.  “Although I helped guide them through the process, they solved the problems on their own and proved they are among the most elite creative thinkers.  I hope they will use the skills they have developed to become leaders in business and society after they graduate from UT Dallas.”

UT Dallas has sponsored a Creative Problem Solving team since 1997 and has competed in regional, state and world competitions yearly thereafter.  In 2000, UT Dallas fielded two CPS teams, and they placed first and third at Destination ImagiNation’s inaugural competition. 

In recognition of their achievement at this year’s contest, UT Dallas students were awarded a medal and the university was presented a trophy.

UT Dallas’ 2001 team is composed of Damon Armstrong, junior, Carrollton, Texas; Nick Combs, sophomore, Greenville, Texas; Judy Cook, junior, Allen, Texas; Erin Dougherty, sophomore, Plano, Texas; Evan Fort, freshman, Houston; Chris Knight, senior, Plano, Texas; and Ray Mitchell, sophomore, Leander, Texas.

UT Dallas has no football team, but the university consistently does extraordinarily well in games of the mind.  The UT Dallas chess team won the President’s Cup at the “Final Four” chess championship in April, and the debate team is ranked among the top 15 best collegiate debate programs in the country.  The Texas House of Representatives recently passed a resolution commending UT Dallas’ Creative Problem Solving team.

About UT Dallas

               The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor ®, enrolls approximately 6,500 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s web site at www.UT .  

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This page last updated June 5, 2001