Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Capturing one of seven highly coveted Superior Team awards, the West Chester University Forensics Team took the competition by storm at the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial National Forensics Championships at Mt. Hood Community College in Portland, Oregon, on March 23-26. Eighty-four teams from across the country vied for honors in this year’s championships in speech and debate. Fielding a squad of eight students-most of whom are in their first year of competition-WCU swept away their opponents in an upset victory.

The team was led by their president, Sara Franklin, fourth-year communication studies major, who won Top Superior (national champion) in Broadcast Journalism, Superior in Persuasive Speaking, Superior in Dramatic Interpretation, Excellent in Impromptu Speaking and Excellent in Program Oral Interpretation. Franklin is a four-year team member who significantly improved on her two Excellent awards at the previous biennial competition in Shreveport, Louisiana, two years ago. She plans to pursue graduate work in communication/public relations in the fall.

She was joined by second-year communication studies major, Lanie Presswood, who is in her second year of competition. Presswood was selected to deliver a Showcase Performance in Communication Analysis, which she earned a Superior award. She also earned a Superior in Broadcast Journalism, and Excellent in Informative Speaking.

Dan Hinderliter, second-year Honors middle grades education major, a first year team member, won Superior in After Dinner Speaking, Excellent in Persuasive Speaking and Excellent in Broadcast Journalism.

Daquann Chung, a first year undeclared major from Pocono Mountain, captured Excellent in Poetry Interpretation.

Jake Markiewicz, a second-year communication studies major, who is also in his first year on the team, won Excellent in Informative Speaking.

Ashley Murphy, a first year Honors English BSED and special education major from Wallenpaupack, captured Excellent in Impromptu Speaking.

Joe Tetreault, a second-year history education major, who is in his first year on the team, earned an Excellent in After Dinner Speaking.

Brian McCormick, a first year Honors Biology major, netted preliminary scores high enough to push WCU into the Superior team finish.

Director of Forensics, Mark Hickman, who teaches in the Department of Communication Studies, states that WCU can be very proud of how these students represented the university.

In capturing this top honor, these students sent a message to the country that WCU is an academic leader that can match its students against the very best in the country.

The forensics team is open to all undergraduate students who are in good standing with the university.

For more information contact Mark Hickman at or 610-430-5848.

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