CSU, Chico News

Forensics Students Speak Their Way to Tournament Success

Date: 12-10-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Sue Peterson, director
Speech and Debate Program

California State University, Chico’s speech and debate team earned significant recognition at the season’s final tournament Dec. 7, the inaugural 2014 Birney Young Burning Passion Invitational at UC Berkeley.

Five of the team’s six students won individual awards, including a first-place capture by junior Colby Knox in the open impromptu speaking event. Overall, the CSU, Chico team took third place in the team sweepstakes.

Knox’s first-place finish earns him his first qualification for the prestigious American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament in Oregon in the spring. He also took third and fourth places in the open informative and the open dramatic interpretation events, respectively.

Other individual awards were won by senior Vianney Bernabe, who placed third in the open poetry-interpretation event; international student Rogier Stekelenburg, who captured fourth place in the open informative contest; and senior James Smith, who took fourth in the open persuasive event and qualified for the National Forensics Association (NFA) Nationals. That tournament will take place at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, in April.

Junior Emma Cozens also took third and fourth in the open dramatic interpretation and the open prose interpretation events, respectively. The latter qualifies her for the NFA Nationals.

The students competed against teams from as far away as Madison, Wisconsin, and Eugene, Oregon.

Students who have qualified for at least one event for the NFA Nationals will compete in the Gorlock Invitational in Webster Groves, Missouri, in late January. Other speech and debate students will prepare to compete at the Talk Hawk Invitational Jan. 31 at Las Positas College in Livermore, California.

CSU, Chico’s speech and debate team is supported by the Instructionally Related Activities fee program. For more information about the team, contact director Sue Peterson at sepeterson@csuchico.edu or 530-898-4771.