Thursday, March 28, 2013

Speaking Bearcats finish the year in “Superior” fashion

Southwest Baptist University News Release
Contact: Charlotte Marsch, Director of Marketing and Communications
(417) 328-1803 /

Speaking Bearcats finish the year in “Superior” fashion

BOLIVAR, Mo.The Speaking Bearcats from Southwest Baptist University finished the 2012-2013 season in strong fashion, earning “Superior” rankings in each of the three sweepstakes categories — debate, individual events and overall — at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament March 13-16 at Webster University in St. Louis, Mo.

The tournament featured entries from 86 colleges and universities from 36 different states. The Speaking Bearcats finished with the third highest point total in overall sweepstakes, finishing just behind William Carey University and defending champion Boise State University.

“I am very proud of the team,” said Dr. David Bailey the Director of Forensics. “Our students did a tremendous job, especially when you consider that we are still mostly a freshmen and sophomore squad. They fared very well competing against teams that were much larger and more experienced.”

He was quick to add, however, that it is both the educational value of the activity and the sense of team-orientation that will benefit the students most.

“Success is not measured in trophies. The real measure of the success of this year’s team will be the later accomplishments of the team members themselves,” he said. “The things they learned about public policy, argumentation, performance, politics, economics and a host of other fields, combined with all the hours of tedious practice and research it took to hone their performances, will pay dividends for each one of them. That is what makes me proudest of all. I know each one of them will make a difference in the world.”

The team posted a number of strong results in debate including:
·         Nik Fischer and Meg Burns were quarterfinalists in both parliamentary debate and college public forum debate.
·         Julie Strubinger and Maggie Thomas reached the quarterfinals of parliamentary debate.
·         Chad Bryant went undefeated in preliminary rounds of public debate and reached the quarterfinals of that event. His strong preliminary round results enabled him to earn the “Top Superior” in novice public debate.
·         Leah Cleek compiled a strong record in open public debate and narrowly missed advancing to the elimination rounds of the event.
·         Bobby Sterling received an “Excellent” (top 30 percent) award in novice legislative debate.
·         Kaila Todd received an “Excellent” award in discussion.
Squad members also compiled a number of strong results in individual events:
·         Burns earned the “Top Superior” award in communication analysis. She also earned Superiors in “To Honor Pi Kappa Delta” and informative speaking. She earned “Excellent” awards in program of oral interpretation and dramatic interpretation.
·         Fischer earned Superiors in communication analysis and impromptu speaking. Fischer earned Excellent awards in extemporaneous speaking and “To Honor Pi Kappa Delta.”
·         Strubinger earned a Superior in informative speaking. She also earned “Good” ratings in almost all of the rest of her events.
·         Thomas earned a Superior in broadcast journalism. She also earned excellent awards in communication analysis and persuasive speaking.
·         Cleek earned Excellent awards in persuasive speaking and communication analysis.
·         Hannah Larino earned a Good in communication analysis and was a participant in the PKD showcase for that event.
·         Chad Bryant earned an Excellent award in after-dinner speaking.
“We also acknowledge each of the other students who traveled with the team to nationals and assisted us by earning a ‘Good’ in at least one of their respective speech or debate events,” Dr. Bailey said. They are Matt Adams, Catie Lathrop, Micah Jordan and the Reader’s Theatre team of Trevor Parrish, Jessica Palen and Kati Clair.

The tournament was the final team outing for the 2012-2013 season except for Thomas, who will be competing in the Interstate Oratorical Contest in Shreveport, La., April 25-27.

Dr. Bailey noted it was an important year for the SBU Forensics Program.

“This year we reclaimed the overall sweepstakes title at our state tournament and took a significant jump up in our standings at PKD nationals; we finished eighth last year and 18th the year before that,” he said. “I look forward to the future growth of the SBU Forensics Program.”

For more information about the Bob R. Derryberry School of Communication Arts and the SBU Forensics Program, contact Dr. Bailey at (417) 328-1697 or


Photo cutline: SBU Forensics team members competing at the PKD National Tournament are, from left, front row — Dr. David Bailey, Kaila Todd, Catie Lathrop, Meg Burns, Leah Cleek, Julie Strubinger, Mrs. Rebecca Godsey; back row — Matt Adams, Chad Bryant, Bobby Sterling, Nik Fischer, Maggie Thomas, Micah Jordan, Jessica Palen, Hannah Larino and Kati Clair.

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