Archive for May, 2011
Posted on May 9, 2011 - by nshaw
By Jessica Comstock
Brendan O’Brien, Math major from Agawam, [Massachusetts] is an Honors student with a unique job. He works as a question writer and fact checker for the Emmy-nominated show As Schools Match Wits (ASMW), which is now in its 50th season. The show, produced by students at Westfield State University, is sponsored in part by the Massachusetts Teachers Association. It allows high school students in the local area to compete on a knowledge-based quiz show which is then broadcast on WGBY television station. Throughout his high school years, Brendan participated in Agawam High School’s As Schools Match Wits club and was a member of his school’s TV competition team in his junior and senior years. Upon graduation, he felt so connected with the program that he wanted to look into a way to get involved. Dr. Ricki Kantrowitz, Chair of the Honors Program, put Brendan in touch with Dr. Elizabeth Preston, Dean of Faculty and Executive Producer of ASMW. Brendan writes scripts and submits them to Dr. Preston, and he also looks over previously written scripts to identify any factual errors before the show airs. His questions cover a wide variety of academic areas, and usually reflect topics that are on his mind. When asked about his favorite part of being a writer for ASMW, he responded that it was great “knowing that your questions will actually be asked on the show.”
Jessica Comstock is a sophomore majoring in Biology at Westfield State from West Brookfield, Massachusetts. This article, originally titled “Brendan O’Brien Writes For As Schools Match Wits,” was first published in Westfield State University’s Honors Program Newsletter, The Squirrel Squire.