Not only did the University of Michigan dominate over Iowa 42-3 in the Big Ten Championship, but Eastern Michigan University sophomore Synene Maria Abukaram won $100,000 in tuition scholarships at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Dec. 4.
Abukaram participated in a halftime competition sponsored by Dr. Pepper where participants have to throw as many footballs into a target as they can within 30 seconds. Abukaram won the competition with 14 made targets. She went up against two other students, one from Harvard and one from University of St. Joseph.
It seemed that Abukuram’s winning strategy was to throw the football in chest pass manner into the target. This way of passing is much more effective when aiming for the target rather than a one-handed throw, according to officials.
In order to be entered into the Dr. Pepper tuition giveaway participants had to make a submission video about why they should be selected to participate in the competition. In Abukuram’s video she made on TikTok, she explained that she is the oldest of five siblings and is majoring in athletic training. She aspires to become an athletic trainer for the Indianapolis Colts because that is both her and her father’s favorite NFL team.
Abukuram is also a coxswain for the women’s rowing team at EMU. A coxswain is the steersman of a race boat, and also tells the rowers different commands they need to complete when rowing the boat.
“I come from a super long line of really powerful women,” Abukaram said in her submission video.
She then went on to explain all the successful women in her life. Her great grandmother didn’t become a doctor until she was 50-years-old. Abukaram’s Sitto came from overseas to become a counselor. Her Abuelita supported the young wives of U.S. deployed soldiers. She also mentioned her mother runs half marathons in her free time and works for an interesting tech company.