What is: “Brilliant” – Pennington native to be quarterfinalist on College Jeopardy!

For the Hopewell Valley’s own Catherine Zhang, appearing on College Jeopardy! is a dream come true. And you can watch that dream unfold starting Tuesday on ABC Primetime.

Zhang grew up in Pennington and graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School with the class of 2018. Now she is a Cornell University senior majoring in Computer Science and Sociology.

“I’ve been watching Jeopardy! since I was young, so learning that I was going to be on the show was unbelievably exciting and surreal,” Zhang shared with MercerMe. “I was definitely pretty nervous going into the filming process, but the producers made it such a wonderful experience, and I got to meet so many amazing students from around the country! I couldn’t be more grateful to have had this opportunity, and I still can’t quite believe I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of being on the show.”

Mayim Bialik and Catherine Zhang.  Credit for photos: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

This year, 36 of America’s sharpest undergrads will enter this collegiate competition, hosted by Mayim Bialik, but only one will claim the $250,000 grand prize and the title of Jeopardy! National College Champion. Second place takes home $100,000, and third place leaves with $50,000. The remaining contestants will receive the following prizes: $35,000 (fourth place), $20,000 (8 semi-finalists eliminated), and $10,000 (24 quarter-finalists eliminated).

Watch the Jeopardy! National College Championship on ABC starting Feb. 8! Stream on Hulu.

Tuesday, Feb. 8 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 1, Quarterfinals 1 & 2

Wednesday, Feb. 9 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 2, Quarterfinals 3 & 4

Thursday, Feb. 10 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 3, Quarterfinals 5 & 6

Friday, Feb. 11 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 4, Quarterfinals 7 & 8

Tuesday, Feb. 15 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 5, Quarterfinals 9 & 10

Wednesday, Feb. 16 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 6, Quarterfinals 11 & 12

***There will be 1 winner per quarterfinal game. 12 winners will advance to the semifinals.

Thursday, Feb. 17 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 7, Semifinals 1 & 2

Friday, Feb. 18 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 8, Semifinals 3 & 4

***There will be 1 winner per semifinal game. Out of those 4 winners, the 3 with the highest semifinal game total will advance to the 2-game finals.

Tuesday, Feb. 22 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 9, Finals 1 & 2

Check out the full roster of participating schools and contestants below:

Brandeis University – Joey Kornman, a junior majoring in Classical Studies from West Hartford, Conn.

Brown University – Max Niles, a senior majoring in History and Public Policy from Washington, D.C.

California Institute of Technology – Toussaint Pegues, a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering from Dallas, Texas

Carnegie Mellon University – Kristin Donegan, a senior majoring in Biological Sciences from Towson, Md.

Clemson University – Pauline Bisaccio, a junior majoring in Biochemistry and Psychology from Fort Mill, S.C.

College of William & Mary – Lucy Greenman, a senior majoring in Health Analytics from Sterling, Va.

Cornell University – Catherine Zhang, a senior majoring in Computer Science and Sociology from Pennington, N.J.

Creighton University – Chance Persons, a sophomore majoring in Physics and Chemistry from Burnsville, Minn.

Dartmouth College – Gus Guszkowski, a senior majoring in Classics from Pomfret Center, Conn.

Duke University – Anna Muthalaly, a junior majoring in Public Policy from Hoover, Ala.

Georgetown University – Nam Vu, a senior majoring in Environmental Biology from Farmingdale, N.J.

Harvard University – Neha Seshadri, a senior majoring in Economics from Ann Arbor, Mich.

Howard University – Jess Agyepong, a senior majoring in Biology from Silver Spring, Md.

Kennesaw State University – Raymond Goslow, a senior majoring in Geospatial Sciences from Austell, Ga.

Louisiana State University – Stephen Privat, a junior majoring in Political Science from Lafayette, La.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Ani Dehadrai, a senior majoring in Chemistry and Biology from Norman, Okla.

Northeastern University – Liz Feltner, a senior majoring in Political Science and Business Administration from Baton Rouge, La.

New York University – Jeric Brual, a senior majoring in Film and TV from Union, N.J.

Northwestern University – Yejun Kim, a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering from Naperville, Ill.

Pomona College – Lauren Rodriguez, a senior majoring in Public Policy and Sociology from Moraga, Calif.

Princeton University – Ella Feiner, a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering from Ridgewood, N.J.

Rice University – Jasmine Manansala, a junior majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from San Antonio, Texas.

Spelman College – Claire Jackson, a sophomore majoring in English and Spanish from Oakland, Calif.

Stanford University – Isaac Applebaum, a junior majoring in Computational Biology from Bethesda, Md.

Tulane University – Fiona Hellerman, a senior majoring in International Relations and Philosophy from Glenview, Ill.

University of Georgia – Elijah Odunade, a junior majoring in Political Science from Norcross, Ga.

University of Minnesota – Emmey Harris, a sophomore majoring in History from Lincoln, Neb.

University of Notre Dame – Matt Downing, a senior majoring in Marketing and Applied Mathematics from Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

University of Pennsylvania – Mehek Boparai, a senior majoring in English from Hanford, Calif.

University of Southern California – Sarah Salisbury, a sophomore majoring in English from La Mesa, Calif.

University of Texas at Austin – Jaskaran Singh, a senior majoring in Finance and Economics from Plano, Texas

University of Virginia – Megan Sullivan, a junior majoring in Classics from Burke, Va.

University of Washington – Kaden Lee, a junior majoring in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from Medical Lake, Wash.

Vanderbilt University – Sam Blum, a senior majoring in Engineering Science from Aventura, Fla.

Villanova University – Mitch Macek, a sophomore majoring in Mathematics from Felton, Pa.

Yale University – Sebastian Torres, a junior majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Tampa, Fla.

Wednesday, Feb. 16 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 6, Quarterfinals 11 & 12

***There will be 1 winner per quarterfinal game. 12 winners will advance to the semifinals.

Thursday, Feb. 17 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 7, Semifinals 1 & 2

Friday, Feb. 18 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 8, Semifinals 3 & 4

***There will be 1 winner per semifinal game. Out of those 4 winners, the 3 with the highest semifinal game total will advance to the 2-game finals.

Tuesday, Feb. 22 (8 – 9 p.m. ET) – Episode 9, Finals 1 & 2

Check out the full roster of participating schools and contestants below:

Brandeis University – Joey Kornman, a junior majoring in Classical Studies from West Hartford, Conn.

Brown University – Max Niles, a senior majoring in History and Public Policy from Washington, D.C.

California Institute of Technology – Toussaint Pegues, a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering from Dallas, Texas

Carnegie Mellon University – Kristin Donegan, a senior majoring in Biological Sciences from Towson, Md.

Clemson University – Pauline Bisaccio, a junior majoring in Biochemistry and Psychology from Fort Mill, S.C.

College of William & Mary – Lucy Greenman, a senior majoring in Health Analytics from Sterling, Va.

Cornell University – Catherine Zhang, a senior majoring in Computer Science and Sociology from Pennington, N.J.

Creighton University – Chance Persons, a sophomore majoring in Physics and Chemistry from Burnsville, Minn.

Dartmouth College – Gus Guszkowski, a senior majoring in Classics from Pomfret Center, Conn.

Duke University – Anna Muthalaly, a junior majoring in Public Policy from Hoover, Ala.

Georgetown University – Nam Vu, a senior majoring in Environmental Biology from Farmingdale, N.J.

Harvard University – Neha Seshadri, a senior majoring in Economics from Ann Arbor, Mich.

Howard University – Jess Agyepong, a senior majoring in Biology from Silver Spring, Md.

Kennesaw State University – Raymond Goslow, a senior majoring in Geospatial Sciences from Austell, Ga.

Louisiana State University – Stephen Privat, a junior majoring in Political Science from Lafayette, La.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Ani Dehadrai, a senior majoring in Chemistry and Biology from Norman, Okla.

Northeastern University – Liz Feltner, a senior majoring in Political Science and Business Administration from Baton Rouge, La.

New York University – Jeric Brual, a senior majoring in Film and TV from Union, N.J.

Northwestern University – Yejun Kim, a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering from Naperville, Ill.

Pomona College – Lauren Rodriguez, a senior majoring in Public Policy and Sociology from Moraga, Calif.

Princeton University – Ella Feiner, a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering from Ridgewood, N.J.

Rice University – Jasmine Manansala, a junior majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from San Antonio, Texas.

Spelman College – Claire Jackson, a sophomore majoring in English and Spanish from Oakland, Calif.

Stanford University – Isaac Applebaum, a junior majoring in Computational Biology from Bethesda, Md.

Tulane University – Fiona Hellerman, a senior majoring in International Relations and Philosophy from Glenview, Ill.

University of Georgia – Elijah Odunade, a junior majoring in Political Science from Norcross, Ga.

University of Minnesota – Emmey Harris, a sophomore majoring in History from Lincoln, Neb.

University of Notre Dame – Matt Downing, a senior majoring in Marketing and Applied Mathematics from Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

University of Pennsylvania – Mehek Boparai, a senior majoring in English from Hanford, Calif.

University of Southern California – Sarah Salisbury, a sophomore majoring in English from La Mesa, Calif.

University of Texas at Austin – Jaskaran Singh, a senior majoring in Finance and Economics from Plano, Texas

University of Virginia – Megan Sullivan, a junior majoring in Classics from Burke, Va.

University of Washington – Kaden Lee, a junior majoring in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from Medical Lake, Wash.

Vanderbilt University – Sam Blum, a senior majoring in Engineering Science from Aventura, Fla.

Villanova University – Mitch Macek, a sophomore majoring in Mathematics from Felton, Pa.

Yale University – Sebastian Torres, a junior majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Tampa, Fla.

*edited headline 2/4/22 at 2:48 to clarify Zhang is a quarterfinalist rather than a semifinalist

If you rely on MercerMe for your local news, please support us.

To keep the news coming, we rely on support from subscribers and advertising partners. Hyperlocal, independent, and digital — MercerMe has been providing Hopewell Valley its news since 2013. Subscribe today.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.