Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Resuming competition following its third-place team finish in the National Forensics Association Novice National Individual Events Tournament in the spring, the Lafayette Forensics Society performed well in two early-season meets.

Michael Lestingi helped lead the team to a sixth-place team sweepstakes finish among 13 colleges and universities in West Chester University’s Rose Bowl Tournament Oct. 14-15.

A first-year student from Tallmadge, Ohio, Lestingi took top novice honors in impromptu speaking and placed second in Lincoln-Douglas debate. His performance followed an impressive debut in Lafayette’s first tournament of the season Sept. 30 at Bloomsburg University, where he placed second in extemporaneous speaking and third in impromptu speaking in his first collegiate competition.

First-year students Rachel Korpanty of Summerville, S.C., and Devan Theiler of Bridgewater, N.J., placed first in dramatic duo at Bloomsburg.

“The team’s sixth place finish at West Chester is very encouraging,” says Bruce Allen Murphy, Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights and director of forensics. “We have already qualified a great many people for nationals in these first two competitions.”

At West Chester Jennifer Rusak, a first-year student from Ashley, Pa., placed fourth in novice prose; Emily Murphy, a sophomore from Center Valley, Pa., was fifth in rhetorical criticism; and Jim Azarello, a sophomore from Stroudsburg, Pa., placed sixth in novice poetry. Azarello and Korpanty teamed to take sixth place in varsity duo.

Korpanty and Lestingi placed sixth in dramatic duo at Bloomsburg.

At West Chester, eight Lafayette students participated, including Theiler; Alison Hindenlang, a sophomore from Randolph, N.J.; Brandt Siegel, a sophomore from Marysville, Ohio. At Bloomsburg, six Lafayette students participated, including Rusak; Amy Carson, a junior from Pennington, N.J.; and Jessica Held, a sophomore from Pottstown, Pa.

The forensics society gained national distinction with its showing in the NFA Novice Nationals, held in March in Corpus Christi, Texas. The third-place finish capped the team’s first full season of competition since its formation in spring 1999. Geoffrey Gresh, of Lowell, Mass., now a junior, finished second in extemporaneous speaking. Siegel was fourth in impromptu sales. Emily Murphy, Hindenlang, and Kenya Flash of Coopersburg, Pa., now a sopohomore, also competed at the nationals.

“The team performed splendidly in a particularly challenging competition,” Murphy says. “Lafayette gained national visibility in the forensics community in just 18 months through the efforts of these competitors and those who came before them. This is the most successful novice team in Lafayette history and its impact on the growth of communications activities on this campus has been, and will continue to be, considerable.”

Joining the team this year as director of individual events is Scott Placke, who holds a master’s degree in communications from Purdue University. Among Placke’s areas of special interest is the work of the late American literary critic Kenneth Burke, known for his studies of the relationships between language, literature, culture, and power.

Categorized in: Academic News