U. T. Dallas’ Creative Problem Solving
Teams Do Well in Global Competition UTD Awards Scholarships To Two High School Winners

RICHARDSON, Texas (June 2, 2004) — The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) took second, third and fourth place honors at the academically driven Destination ImagiNation Global Finals competition in Knoxville, Tenn. It was the university’s fourth year in a row to finish with high marks in the international tournament.

At the conclusion of the event last weekend, UTD awarded a full scholarship — including tuition, fees and a housing stipend — to high school senior Richard Thomas of Nacogdoches, the Texas winner, and junior Valene Berry of Mesquite, the national winner, for their outstanding achievements in academics and in Creative Problem Solving.

UTD fielded three teams at this year’s event, which was held May 26–29 on the campus of the University of Tennessee and is designed to teach students how to work together to solve complex problems in team environments, as well as how to recognize that there can be multiple solutions to a problem.

More than 800 teams (elementary though university level), made up of more than 8,000 students from 47 states and 15 countries, competed in the tournament and chose from among five categories in which to compete — DestiNations in Time, The Plot & The Pendulum, Cartoon DImensions, Upbeat Improv and GuessDImate.

The UTD team finishing second competed in the “DestiNations in Time” category, which required students to build a time machine, perform tasks on schedule and tell a story demonstrating what could happen if someone could be in charge of time.

The team finishing third competed in the “Cartoon Dimensions” category, which involved creating an original cartoon, complete with costumes, characters and team-generated sound and visual special effects.

UTD’s fourth-place-finishing team competed in the “Plot & The Pendulum” category, which called for creating a theatrical presentation with two original stories that began the same way but had different endings.

Other colleges and universities fielding teams included Clarkson University, Minnesota State University and Texas Christian University. Combined teams from universities in Texas, Wyoming, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota, Mississippi and Iowa also competed.

The three UTD teams had been preparing for the tournament since last fall and included students Megan Malone, Andrea Buchanan, Nicholas Cowling, Gemma Smith, Ben Lotzer, Jaspreet Sidhu, Vikram Patel, Bill Miller, Annie Luu, Jane Lieberman, Lesley Wilsker, David Albrecht and Matt Jamison.       

About UTD

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 more than 13,700 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 UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.