CU professor will compete in first-ever Professors Tournament on ‘Jeopardy!’

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BOULDER, Colo. — A professor of African American history at the University of Colorado in Boulder will, in her own words, partake in the “coolest nerd thing” she’s ever done next week as she makes an appearance on the first-ever Professors Tournament on “Jeopardy!”

Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders is an assistant professor at CU Boulder, where she teaches U.S. and African American history, with a focus on American Civil War memory, Black cultural history, Black radicalism, and collective memory in the United States, according to CU Boulder.

She is one of 15 educators who will compete for a $100,000 grand prize and spot in the show’s upcoming Tournament of Champions.

On the website for the show, she is quoted describing how “Jeopardy!” played a role in her career path: “Well, first you have to know a lot of facts to be a history professor. You have to be able to retain a lot of facts and a lot of information. I think the other thing is just how much you randomly learn while watching ‘Jeopardy!’ That just translates to how much I love being a professor — to see that light bulb go off in a student’s head is just wonderful whenever you have a good lesson or lecture.”

Lawrence-Sanders received her B.A. from Wake Forest University, her M.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University, according to the CU Boulder website.

The other contestants include:

  • J.P. Allen, professor of Business and Innovation at the University of San Francisco in San Francisco, CA
  • Hester Blum, professor of English at Penn State University in University Park, PA
  • Sam Buttrey, associate professor of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA
  • Marti Canipe, Professor of Elementary Science Education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ
  • Lisa Dresner, associate professor of Writing Studies at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY
  • Ramón Guerra, associate professor of English American Literature and Latino Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in Omaha, NE
  • Gautam Hans, associate clinical professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, TN
  • John Harkless, associate professor of Chemistry at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Ed Hashima, professor of History at American River College in Sacramento, CA
  • Gary Hollis, professor of Chemistry at Roanoke College in Salem, VA
  • Alisa Hove, professor of Botany at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC
  • Katie Reed, associate professor of Musicology at California State University-Fullerton in Fullerton, CA
  • Deborah Steinberger, associate professor of French Literature at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE
  • Julia Williams, professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, IN

The tournament begins Dec. 6. It is hosted by Mayim Bialik.