New show 'Conference of Champions' celebrates stories of academic success

One hour special profiles student scholars from around the Pac-12 Sunday, May 3 at 9:00 p.m. PT

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (Apr. 29, 2014) – It’s well documented that the Pac-12 Conference is the home of 474 NCAA titles, by far the most of any athletic conference in the nation. That same rich history of success is shared by the Conference’s academic counterparts on each campus and Pac-12 Networks celebrates Pac-12 students and their championship performance in the classroom with the special Conference of Champions, airing Sunday, May 3 at 9:00 p.m. PT.

The one-hour special centers around how the unique collegiate experience at each of the Conference’s world-class institutions has shaped the personal stories and career aspirations of 12 student scholars. Additionally, university presidents, chancellors and faculty professors offer further insight into what sets each campus apart, delving into the unique history, ideals and tradition that defines their institution.

“The emphasis on excellence lives as much in academics as it does in athletics at our 12 universities,” said Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans. “The moniker ‘Conference of Champions’ refers to champions on the playing fields and in the classrooms. In this special, we capture an up-close look at some of the faculty, staff and students who power these 12 world-class institutions.”

With narratives that are as unique and impressive as the topography found throughout each Pac-12 campus, the featured students represent a variety of majors including: Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Communications, African-American Studies, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Nursing, Molecular & Cellular Biology and Political Science.

The students profiled in Conference of Champions also hail from a variety of backgrounds and hometowns from all across the U.S., all at various stages en route to completing their areas of study.

Below is a list of each student scholar featured within Conference of Champions. Following Sunday’s premiere, an encore of the special will air Monday, May 4 at 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. PT.

For more information on the special, including a preview video of the show, please visit



Field(s) of Study


Dana Kralicek

Optical Science & Engineering

Arizona State

Crystal Hernandez



Vanessa Gerber

Conservation & Research Studies


Juedon Kebede



Chase Salazar


Oregon State

Benjamin Narin

Computer Science & Electrical Engineering


Ryland Towne

Political Science


Katilin Mogentale

Environmental Studies


Mark Pittman



Jessica Reed

African American Studies


Joshua Dawson

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Washington State

Phil Pitts

Computer Science & Chinese