Microsoft Word U.S. Champion Dominique Howard Earns Spot to Compete in Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship

Microsoft Office World Championship contestant Dominique Howard.
Microsoft Office World Championship contestant Dominique Howard. (Photo: Certiport)

This Microsoft Word master is taking on the world.  Harlemite Dominique Howard will put her software-savvy skills to the test this weekend when she competes for the coveted Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship title against some 30 international computer geeks.

“There’s no way that I can’t be excited,” said the 21-year-old JPMorgan Chase receptionist, who uses Word and Excel regularly at work. “They’re all good feelings. They’re overwhelming, but they’re good feelings.”

Howard proved she could do more than copy and paste in June when she won the U.S. championship as a Microsoft Word 2007 wizard.

She reformatted documents with speed and precision, tracked changes, encrypted and mail-merged like a pro.  It landed her a ticket to Anaheim, Calif., for the July 27-30 event, where she’ll vie against finalists from more than 30 countries for $5,000.  “A lot of people know the basics,” said Howard, who received a perfect score on a Microsoft Word certification test last summer.  “There’s a secret developer tab that helps in design mode,” she added. “There’s macros, which is a whole bunch of fun.”

The Empire State College business student also had a perfect score on Excel 2007. But she could only enter the playoffs with one Microsoft specialty.  The Comic-Con fan and self-confessed “biggest nerd” said mastering the program was another dorky thing she wanted to do.

“I watch ‘Star Trek’, the animated series, to fall asleep just about every night,” she said. “I’m not embarrassed. It’s one more nerdy thing to tack on for me.”

Her father, Don Newkirk, said: “She’s almost an underachiever, she’s so smart. She could take over the world, that girl.”

article by Frank Green via


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