HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau earns two places at nationals

BROWNWOOD – April 17, 2019 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament, with two of the members earning awards. The competition took place at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas.

Freshman Alek Mendoza, theatre and communication major from Bangs, won fifth place in novice dramatic interpretation, and sophomore Lucy Manning, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, communication and social science jurisprudence major from Fort Worth, won sixth place in open persuasive speaking.

More than 220 students from 21 universities from across the nation participated in the 2019 championship. All institutions represented are members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

“I’m very proud of Alek placing in dramatic interpretation as a freshman,” said Dr. Julie Welker, speech and debate team coach and chair and professor of communication. “He has worked hard this year on his interpretive pieces and the hard work has paid off. Alek is a very talented performer, and I’m thankful the judges recognized that.”

Dr. Welker also praised Manning’s work at the tournament.

“In just her second year of competition, and moving into the open division, Lucy’s sixth place was hard earned,” said Dr. Welker. “Lucy has been a strong competitor this year, winning both speaker awards and placing at every tournament we’ve attended.”
Manning also competed in parliamentary debate.

Other students competing in the tournament were junior Madison Neal, communication major from Chandler; senior Tyler Olin, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe; and sophomore Esmeralda Maldonado, communication major from Whitney. Richelle Hair, instructor of communication, also traveled and assisted in coaching the team.

The team is spending the rest of semester adjudicating district and regional UIL speech and debate meets, and will begin preparing for next year’s competitive season.

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Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament. Pictured from left are Tyler Olin, Alek Mendoza, Madison Neal, Lucy Manning and Esmeralda Maldonado.