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HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau excels at championship tournament

SSB TIFA 15 for webBROWNWOOD – February 19, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s competitive speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, competed at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association spring championship tournament recently at Texas A&M University. The team won 3rd place overall debate sweepstakes, 5th place overall sweepstakes and had one student named to the Texas All-State Forensics Squad.

“We came in 3rd place overall debate with only three debate teams, behind Texas State University and Texas A&M University,” said Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication, chair of the Department of Communication and SSB coach. “When a university the size of HPU with a small team comes in right behind bigger universities, it is impressive.”

HPU freshman Braxton Clark of Southlake was named the 4th place parliamentary debate speaker.

“Braxton is an outstanding debater,” Dr. Welker said. “Earning 4th place against seasoned debaters from A&M and TSU is quite an accomplishment.”

Additionally, senior Marcos Corley of Corpus Christi was named to the prestigious Texas All-State Forensics Squad. Students awarded this honor are nominated and voted on by the officers of the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association and must meet stringent criteria for selection.

“Marcos has been on the speech and debate team for four years,” said Dr. Welker. “He has advanced to several quarterfinal rounds in debate and proven himself to be a competitor with whom to be reckoned. He has been a leader on our team. I’m very pleased that he was recognized with this honor.”

Other students who competed at the tournament were Adam Jones, sophomore communication, youth ministry and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Irving; Ashley Moon, senior communication major from Waxahachie; Luis Rodriguez Ortiz, freshman English and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Early; and Kaleigh Tankersley, senior communication major from Iraan.

The team will attend three more tournaments this semester in Oklahoma, Washington, D.C., and Colorado.

“It’s always a challenge to compete against schools from other states,” said Dr. Welker. “Each region has a distinct debating style, and our teams have to adapt quickly to them. I’m excited to see how we do over the rest of the semester.”

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau recently competed at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association spring championship tournament. Left to right: Adam Jones, Marcos Corley, Kaleigh Tankersley, Braxton Clark, Ashley Moon, Luis Rodriguez Ortiz and Dr. Julie Welker.

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