UC Clermont has sent Respiratory Care students to the state-level “Sputum Bowl” almost every year the program has been at the college, and Clermont won the state competition in 2007, 2011, and this year as well (2017). Jodi Kaminski and Mike Mullarkey coached the team to a victory at the state competition and are now going to travel to Indianapolis to represent Ohio at the national competition that occurs from October 4th – 7th.
The Sputum Bowl is a Jeopardy-like competition, testing the knowledge of students in respiratory care as well as related sciences like chemistry, physics, microbiology, etc. Four students alternate between three positions in each round. The teams are given a question and students have ten seconds to answer it after they hit their buzzer. If they answer correctly, they receive a point. The competition is set up as a double elimination tournament with two preliminary rounds; during the third evening, the top four teams match up in head-to-head competition. Jodi Kaminski said that the Sputum Bowl is a “fun, fast-paced competition” that tests the students on many subjects, including those related to respiratory care. The Sputum Bowl has been a tradition that the Respiratory Care program has been involved with since the 1970’s.
UC Clermont’s very own students—Nick Soltau, Kara Evans, Dawn Jones, and Brian Shipley—will be representing Ohio in the national Sputum Bowl because of their victory in the state competition in Columbus. After their victory, they received a trophy along with $1,000 from the Respiratory Care State Society, which will sponsor them to compete in the national competition. Typically, students hear about the competition from their peers in classes before them and are encouraged by the faculty to compete.
The team’s captain, Nick Soltau, decided to compete in the Sputum Bowl to fulfill a specific service learning requirement for the Respiratory Care Program. Although he was “embarrassed to admit” his primary reason for competing, he explained that “the Sputum Bowl has come to mean so much more than that now. My inspiration now is to represent my school, my respiratory care program, and my state. I did not think we would make it through the state competition, and here we are getting ready to compete in the national tournament. I just want to bring honor to everything we are representing.” Soltau described prepping for the Sputum Bowl as a “tremendous study tool” and said that winning the state competition was certainly a pleasant surprise. He believes it’s an honor to be invited to nationals and it’s a privilege to represent Ohio at this competition.
Jodi Kaminski and Mike Mullarkey have committed significant time to practicing with the team. After their class, the group reviews rules and regulations and goes over practice questions for the students. The coaches will even have students who are not in the competition stay after to help review. The state competition champions are now practicing twice a week for nationals. Also, in preparation of the trip, Dean Bauer has worked with the Office of Research to find funding to help the team with their trip to the national competition.
Good luck to this year’s team. Everyone wishes you the best, and knows you’ll represent UC Clermont proudly!