Palm Desert High School Takes 1st Place In Academic WorldQuest

The following is a press release from California State University, San Bernardino - Palm Desert Campus:

PALM DESERT, CA — Palm Desert High School took first place from a field of eight Coachella Valley high schools during the 17th annual Academic WorldQuest competition held virtually on March 3. Team members included Joseph Lehman, Evan Lindemann, Shafaa Munjal, Ian Randolph and Coach Patricia Lizza.

WorldQuest was originally scheduled to take place in the Indian Wells Theater at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, but was held virtually for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was hosted and coordinated by Michael Karp, an assistant professor of history at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus.

Desert Hot Springs High School captured second place and La Quinta High School took third. The Desert Hot Springs High School team included team members Elijah Christy, Kaden Cross, Joseph Garcia, Nari Rodriguez and Coach Paul Eyskens. La Quinta High School team members included Alexa Vasquez, Devan Mejia-Gonzalez, Nazli Muñoz and Coach Justin Klockenteger.

After eight individual rounds and two-and-a-half hours of competing, Palm Desert High School took first place with a score of 69 out of 80. The team will move on to compete against other high school teams throughout the country in the National Academic WorldQuest Competition on April 29-30.

Scholarships were awarded to each student in the top three teams: first place, $300; second place, $200; and third place, $100. The most improved award went to Coachella Valley High School whose team members won $75 each.

Sponsored by World Affairs Council of the Desert, the Academic WorldQuest is a team game that challenges the competitors’ knowledge of world affairs. The topics this year included 21st Century Money: Dollars to Digital Currencies, Current Events, Great Decisions, Human-Centered Agenda to the Future of Work, Insecurity in China’s Neighborhood, Technology & Democracy: Threat or Promise?, Where Climate & Migration Meet, and Working for Peace Through Legacies of War: The Case of Vietnam.

This year’s competing high schools also included Palm Valley School, Rancho Mirage High School, Shadow Hills High School and Xavier College Prep. Certificates of recognition were delivered to all teams for the day of the competition.

The competition began with a thank you to the event sponsors and video introduction from Armando Bolaños, a student at the Cal State San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus who won a scholarship last fall to attend the World Affairs Council of America’s National Conference in Washington D.C. Following Bolaños’ opening remarks, an introduction of the coaches and teams was provided along with a welcome from the competition host Michael Karp.

Yul Roe chaired the event, and was assisted by Marly Bergerud, Lisa Corbin, Tom Headrick, Gordon Kramer, Charles Porter, Priscilla Porter, Karen Speros and John Westerholm.

Event sponsors included Inland Empire Community Foundation and Charles and Priscilla Porter as platinum sponsors; and the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, Barry Berlin & Mary Reisher, Kim Smith, and Thomas Flanagan, Jim Bruner, Pat Lizza of UBS Financial Services, Inc. as silver ambassador sponsors.

For more information about the Academic WorldQuest, visit the World Affairs Council of the Desert website at:

About PDC: The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a doctorate in educational leadership, teaching credentials and certificates. Serving more than 2,300 students, it is the Coachella Valley’s four-year public university and plays a vital role in educating and training the region’s growing population.

For more information about the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, contact Mike Singer in the Office of Strategic Communication at or (760) 341-2883, ext. 78107, or visit the PDC website at

This article originally appeared on the Palm Desert Patch