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Forensics Team Prevails at National Meet

By Molly Exner
UW-RF News Bureau

APRIL 1, 2005--The UW-River Falls Forensics Team shows no signs of slowing down after giving a dominating performance at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament and Convention held March 17-19 at Webster University in St. Louis, Mo.

More than 400 competitors from 72 colleges and universities in 28 states performed at the Pi Kappa Delta (PKD) tournament, which featured more than 2000 speeches, debates and literary performances.
Renee Schott, a senior pre-vet animal science major from Greenleaf, Wis., took second place honors in informative speaking. Renee's speech was titled "The 50th Anniversary of the Polio Vaccine."

Schott, who's been accepted to veterinarian school at UW-Madison, also was selected a "showcase" speaker, which takes the best of the best to perform and demonstrate how a forensics event should be done. Schott was praised for her organizational and research skills as well as her ability to engage an audience.

On Scott's informative performance, a judge from Webster University wrote, " I have never seen it this good." According to the judge, the reason Schott received first place is because of her organizational skills and absolutely perfect use of sources.

Schott also placed 10th in communication analysis earning a superior rating. Communication analysis is a speech that examines an event in communication through the use of a method and draws implications about the event. Renee's artifact was the new politically correct Bible.

Also competing in duo interpretation, Renee, with teammate Adam Helbach, a junior from Brule, Wis., who has a double major in English and speech communication, earned a good rating from judges, placing them in the top 20 percent of the competition.

Kelly Aherns, a sophomore English major from New Richmond, Wis., competed in after-dinner speaking and persuasion. In persuasion, she earned an excellent rating for a speech on the need for additional stem cell lines, placing her in the top 10 percent of the competition.

The Readers Theater included all four students doing an oral interpretation entitled, "A Tribute to the Romance Novel." The program tied for first place, but then received second based on a total of speaker points.
For the Readers Theater, a judge wrote, "You all work together in a remarkable way. Your energy and enthusiasm made this a fun and enjoyable performance. Creativity was superior."

Melissa Lutes, a sophomore pre-professional major from Apple Valley, Minn., received an excellent rating in program oral interpretation, placing her in the top 10 percent of the tournament. Program oral interpretation combines prose, poetry and drama into a program around a theme. Lute’s subject focused on students who are falling through the cracks in public education.

The team's overall performance earned UW-RF a good rating, placing the team in the top 20 percent among all other teams that participated in the tournament.

Kathy Olsen, director of forensics and instructor of speech communication and theatre arts at UW-RF says she is very proud of the team's accomplishments. "I think the team has had tremendous success on very limited funding."

The College of Arts and Sciences Fund for Excellence provided funding for the team to attend the PKD national tournament. Donations from nearly 500 alumni and friends created the CAS Fund for Excellence designed to support student participation with faculty in specific areas of student interest.

Founded in 1914, PKD is the nation’s oldest honorary society. PKD sponsored the first national forensics tournament in America in 1916. Unlike other national tournaments where competition is more cutthroat and aggressive, the PKD tournament encourages a more spirited and friendly competition.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:21 Central Daylight Time

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