BROWNWOOD – October 7, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the Rice University Classic Speech and Debate Tournament at Rice University, in Houston. Two of HPU’s debate teams advanced to the partial-octofinal round at the tournament.
HPU students who advanced in competition include Braxton Clark, senior social science global studies major from Southlake; and Christopher Freeland, sophomore biochemistry and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Bangs; Reagan Grisham, junior communication major from Arlington; and Andrea Balderas, junior biology major from Lytle.
Students must have had a winning record in preliminary rounds to advance. Thirty-two teams from 21 participating schools competed at the tournament.
Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, directs the team.
“For our first tournament of the year, this is a great accomplishment,” Dr. Welker said. “The tournament at Rice University always draws very competitive teams, so for HPU to advance two teams is quite an accomplishment.”
Students also competed in eight other speech events, including impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, poetry, prose, programmed oral interpretation, informative speaking, persuasive speaking, and dramatic interpretation.
Freshman Erin Haley, communication major from Mason, said that her first collegiate speech tournament was a good learning experience.
“It was unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m excited to continue competing and developing my pieces,” said Haley.
Also competing at the tournament were Morgan Ashmore, senior communication major from Weatherford; Brooklyn Britton, freshman theatre major from Brownwood; Gabrielle McWhirter, senior theatre major from Brownwood; Madison Neal, freshman social science jurisprudence major from Chandler; Tyler Olin, sophomore social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe; Aimee Orozco, junior communication major from Shepherd; Isabelle Stahrfisher, freshman communication major from Fort Worth; and Haylee Williams, freshman communication major from Bellville.
Sidni Kirby, instructor of communication, assisted by travelling with and coaching the team as well.
Photo cutline: Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau competed at Rice University recently with two teams advancing in competition. Pictured from left are: Dr. Julie Welker, Morgan Ashmore, Braxton Clark, Aimee Orozco, Isabella Stahrfisher, Madison Neal, Christopher Freeland, Gabi McWhirter, Erin Haley, Brooklyn Britton, Isaac Sommers, Andrea Balderas, Haylee Williams, Reagan Grisham, Tyler Olin and Ms. Sidni Kirby.