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HPU Student Speaker Bureau prepares for upcoming debates and events

SSB Team Photo Fall 2017BROWNWOOD – September 15, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team is preparing for a busy fall semester of tournaments and events.

A group of students from across majors and disciplines, Student Speaker Bureau members compete at intercollegiate speech and debate tournaments, host high school UIL speech and debate workshops and adjudicate elementary, middle and high school UIL tournaments. Team members are also called upon often to emcee events on campus and in the community.

At the end of September, the group will compete at the Storm Classic Speech and Debate Tournament at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. The team will then host the British National Debate team in an exhibition debate on Sunday, October 15, at 7:30 p.m.

In November, the team will travel to Del Mar College in Corpus Christi to compete at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association fall championships tournament. HPU will also host its annual UIL Speech and Debate Workshop for area high school students in November.

Fall 2017 team members include Brooklyn Britton, sophomore theatre major from Brownwood; Christopher Freeland, junior theatre education major from Bangs; Esmerelda Maldonado, freshman communication, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Whitney; Lucy Manning, freshman communication, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Fort Worth; Madison Neal, sophomore communication and social science jurisprudence major from Chandler; Tyler Olin, junior psychology, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe; and Aimee Orozco, senior communication and Spanish major from Shepherd.

Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, coaches the team.

“HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau is an excellent team of speakers and debaters,” said Dr. Welker. “They all have heavy course loads and active lives but spend a great deal of their time keeping up with current events and honing their debate and presentational skills to prepare for competition. I’m looking forward to seeing their achievements this fall.”

For more information about HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau, visit The exhibition debate with the British National Debate team is open to the public. More details will be announced in the weeks to come.


Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau team members include (back row, from left) Dr. Julie Welker (coach), Aimee Orozco, Lucy Manning and Esmerelda Maldonado and (front row, from left) Christopher Freeland, Madison Neal, Brooklyn Britton and Tyler Olin.