University Community

Avinav Prem Anand wins 2023 Ohio Regional Spelling Bee sponsored by Ohio University College of Business

Avinav Prem Anand, sixth grader from Olentangy Orange Middle School, was crowned champion of the 2023 OHIO Regional Spelling Bee sponsored by the Ohio University College of Business and AECOM Center for Sports Administration on Saturday, March 25.

The winning word for the Spelling Bee was "guayabera" (noun), meaning a usually short-sleeved lightweight sport shirt designed to be worn untucked. This is Prem Anand’s second consecutive regional bee championship. He went on to tie for 32nd place at the Scripps National Spelling Bee last year.

The in-person regional spelling bee consisted of 51 spellers and lasted 29 rounds. To qualify for the regional spelling bee, spellers from 209 enrolled schools had to complete a preliminary online spelling and vocabulary test and earn a Top 51 score to advance to the in-person regional spelling bee.

Ohio University College of Business Director of Undergraduate Programs and O’Bleness Associate Professor of Sport Management Dr. Jim Strode served as pronouncer for the competition, and the judges who tracked every word and verified spelling accuracy were Zane Maier (BSM/FEEM ’23), Madalyn Metzger (BSM ’23), and Emily Moser (MBA/MSA ’24). Spellers studied Words of the Champions, the 4,000-word list provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Prem Anand now advances to compete in the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the Washington, D.C., area during the week of Memorial Day. In addition to qualifying for the national finals, Prem Anand also won the following prizes:

  • The Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, which is a 2023 United States Mint Proof Set provided by Jay Sugarman, chairman and CEO of iStar Financial, in honor of his father and will receive the prize in the summer.
  • The Britannica Online Premium, a one-year subscription for the premier online resource from Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online,  a one-year subscription for the official word source for all levels of competition for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • The Regional Spelling Bee Champion and their parent/guardian’s stay at Bee Week 2023 is sponsored by the Ohio University College of Business. This is a six-night state at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
  • An official Ohio University t-shirt to show their Bobcat pride during Bee Week.

“We are grateful to sponsor an event that empowers youth in our communities to pursue their academic pursuits, as well as provide a meaningful experiential learning opportunity for our Festivals, Events, and Entertainment Management [FEEM] certificate students with real-life event management experience,” said Christina Wright Mehlon (MBA/MSA ’10), associate professor of instruction (sports administration) and director of the FEEM Certificate for the Ohio University College of Business. “As Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said in his 2019 Heisman trophy speech, the poverty rate in our region is almost two times the national average. To many of our spellers, our regional competition is their Super Bowl. It is our privilege to welcome these spellers to campus to encourage and support their academic pursuits.”

The Ohio University College of Business has sponsored the regional bee event for three years. The competition encourages students to set goals and dedicate time to study and prepare. Participation also provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in public speaking and performing under pressure. The Scripps National Spelling Bee provides the list of words for the regional competition. The Bee reaches millions of students across the country and in other parts of the world with the classroom materials it provides to enrolled schools. The purpose of the Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. 

Below are the top 5 finishers of the 2023 OHIO Regional Spelling Bee:

  1. Avinav Prem Anand, Olentangy Orange Middle School (6th grade)
  2. Swara Palanivel, Hyatts Middle School (7th grade)
  3. Hana Fathima, Metro Early College High School (7th grade)
  4. Adhvika Thooyamani Mohan, Olentangy Liberty Middle School (7th grade)
  5. Rosella Lattavo, Lattavo Home School (7th grade)

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program. For more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company, please visit

Thanks to the generosity of the Ohio Lottery Commission, Ohio schools participated in this year’s Spelling Bee season at a discounted rate. The 2022-23 enrollment fee is $175; however, thanks to the Ohio Lottery Commission’s support, schools in the state of Ohio enrolled for only $50 to participate.

April 6, 2023
Staff reports