Two teams from the Physician Assistant (PA) Program at University of the Cumberlands (UC) took first and third place in this year’s Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants (KAPA) Challenge Bowl competition.

Lindsey Neeley, Aria Alokozia and Pascale Look comprised the team which placed first, despite none of the students having a background in academic competitions. They went into the challenge bowl with open minds and a goal to simply have fun. Their team name was N’Syncope.

“It was really cool!” said Look. “The way we’ve been taught to study and remember material for class gave us the preparation we needed. It was so nervous at first, but once we got some answers right, it built up our confidence. I would encourage the next cohort to do it!”

“I thought it was a lot of fun,” added Neely. “It’s a confidence boost for sure.”

The Cumberlands team known as the Retrovirals, which included of Emily Bruce, Caitlin Bischoff and Lu Dai, placed third in the competition.

The challenge bowl consisted of nine teams from three PA programs across the state. One team represented each school in every round. The final round was between the three winning teams, who competed for the Challenge Bowl trophy and, of course, bragging rights.

“I take this win as a compliment to the program,” said Dana Campbell, Physician Assistant Program Director. “The students are obviously being prepared well and they know their medical knowledge. It speaks a lot about the faculty and students. They give 100 percent effort every day.”

Physician Assistants are trained medical professionals who can perform about 80 percent of the functions a physician can. Students in Cumberlands’ PA program can obtain their Master’s degree in 27 months. All students in the program’s Cohort I passed the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam. Cumberlands offers PA programs on their main campus in Williamsburg, Kentucky and at their northern Kentucky campus in Florence, Kentucky. For more information, visit

N’Syncope may compete again in the national symposium, which will be held in May 2019 in Denver, Colorado.

The KAPA Challenge Bowl was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington, KY during the annual KAPA CME Symposium.

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at