Nathan Romans takes home a free semester of tuition and fees
When University of Idaho senior Nathan Romans found out he won a full semester of in-state tuition and fees at UI through the Brain Game competition, he thought it might be a scam.
“I got a text message during my class, and you know how you get those text messages you know that say like ‘Congratulations, you know, you won a trip to Jamaica, all expenses paid by a Nigerian priest?’ It was kind of like that,” he said
Romans won a full semester of tuition and fees from UI through the Brain Game, a contest sponsored through a collaboration of three grants, the College of Science and the Office of the President. Romans is able to use the free semester through a tuition waiver.
Carolyn Bohach, Idaho program director of the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence or INBRE, said the goal of the Brain Game was to raise awareness for scientific research being done by professors and students at UI.
“We partnered together with the goal to really inform the public about the kinds of research that happens at the University of Idaho,” Bohach said. “The fact that the faculty members on this campus are engaged in their creative activity… is one of the things that really sets us apart from a community college.”
The Brain Game ran through the football season and is gearing for another round during basketball season leading into the spring. To play the game, sporting event attendees can test their answer to the science-related question aired on the scoreboard during the game. For each correct answer throughout the season, a person is awarded one entry into the drawing.
At the conclusion of the football season part of the Brain Game, Romans was chosen at random from all of entries. During football season over 3,000 correct entries were submitted, Bohach said.
Anyone can enter the game and the prize is completely transferable, she said. Parents, students and staff can all enter and give the semester of tuition to whomever they choose. Each of the questions relates to science research being done at UI and contestants are given links to webpages that explain the question and the research related to it.
The game will run through the basketball season and another winner will be chosen in the spring.
“I think it’s a really excellent start for something that we didn’t really advertise very much,” Bohach said. “I don’t know that the average student even realizes how much science research is going on here.”
For Romans, he’s just excited to redeem his prize and save a semester’s worth of tuition and fees. While he has no plans to go out and celebrate wildly, he has made a practical purchase.
“I bought new tires for my car,” Romans said laughing.
Romans is a photographer at The Argonaut.
Cy Whitling can be reached at email@example.com