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After impressive performances at the National Forensic Association’s championship tournament and previous competitions, Marquis ScholarKim Moore ’05 (Longwood, Fla.) was a semifinalist among 100 competitors at the Interstate Oratorical Association’s (IOA) annual tournament.

Moore qualified for the tournament through her second-place finish in persuasion at the Pennsylvania Forensic Association’s annual championship. Held this year at Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., the IOA tournament is the oldest oratorical contest in the United States, with a field of two contestants from each state since 1872. Last year, Jennifer Rusak ’04, who graduated last year as a double major in psychology and philosophy, was selected as one of the two Pennsylvania representatives.

Moore graduated cum laude on May 21 with honors in psychology and membership in the Sigma Xi international honor society for scientific and engineering research and the Psi Chi national psychology honor society.

According to Scott Placke, director of forensics, her semifinal award signifies that she was one of the top 12 speakers at the tournament. Her speech, “An American Symbol,” will be published in an upcoming book called Winning Orations. Moore’s speech focused on DDT and its use as an agent for preventing diseases in developing nations. One of her arguments asserts that DDT could have prevented over 85 million deaths and no scientific correlation exists between DDT and the strength of eagles’ eggs.

“Interstates was a fun tournament,” says Moore. “Since it is the last tournament of the year, and because competitors have to specifically qualify for it, Interstates is very competitive. All other competitors are at their absolute best. No one from Lafayette has ever progressed to the semifinal round at Interstates before. I was happy that I was given the opportunity to represent both Lafayette and Pennsylvania. I am proud of how I did at the tournament.”

“Since this contest is part of a long and substantial oratorical tradition in the U.S., it really felt to me that Kim was part of a larger historical context,” says Placke, who accompanied Moore to the tournament. “It seemed like she was participating in something truly greater, perhaps the very spirit that our country was founded upon. She performed magnificently, holding up very well to the task..”

During Forensics Society’s season this year, Moore accumulated more than 10 finishes in the quarterfinals or higher and helped the team to six finishes of fourth place or better, including second place at the state championship tournament and third in speech at the national championship tournament.

“Nationals is always a fun tournament, and it gives me a chance to look back on the year. This year it was even more special because I got to look back on my debate career,” she says. “At my last tournament with the whole team, I was proud of how much we have improved over the past few years.”

Her notable awards include a sixth-place pentathlon award at the state championship tournament for being one of the top speakers who participated in five or more events. Moore won informative speech at St. Anselm College’s Jack Lynch Tournament and helped Forensics Society defeat the 2004 national speech and debate champions en route to a first-place finish.

She also performed well at the Presidential Love Swing at Suffolk University in Boston with first-and second-place finishes in persuasion and informative speech, respectively, during the two-day competition. At West Chester University’s Hugs and Kisses tournament, Moore finished fourth in extemporaneous speech; the week before, she finished fifth in the same category at Cornell University’s Tournament of Love.

Her other activities at Lafayette included serving as secretary for College Democrats, as a campus tour guide, and as a March After-School Help tutor through Lafayette’s Landis Community Outreach Center. She was a member of the orchestra, Psychology Club, Biology Club, and Dry Surfers, a technology-oriented and substance-free living group.

Chosen from among Lafayette’s most promising applicants, Marquis Scholars like Moore receive special financial aid and distinctive educational experiences and benefits, including a three-week, Lafayette-funded study-abroad course during January’s interim session between semesters. Marquis Scholars also participate in cultural activities in major cities and on campus, and mentoring programs with Lafayette faculty.

Categorized in: Academic News