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Led by first-place finishes from Joe Dudek ’09 (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) and Bill O’Brien ’07 (Elmont, N.Y.), Forensics Society placed third at a tournament hosted by Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., this past weekend. Teams from 15 colleges and universities, including New York University and Cornell University, attended the competition.

Lafayette produced strong finishes throughout the event. A Trustee Scholar, Dudek finished first in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate and competed in impromptu speech. O’Brien, a history major, took first in after-dinner speaking, second in rhetorical criticism, fourth in informative speech, and competed in persuasive speech.

“Overall, I was very pleased with how we performed this weekend,” says O’Brien. “I was very impressed with the effort and enthusiasm from our novices and look forward to seeing their forensics careers progress brightly. Personally, I was thrilled to have done as well as I did.”

Ng’ang’a Muchiri ’09 (Nairobi, Kenya) placed fourth in extemporaneous speech and competed in impromptu and informative speech. Marquis Scholar and computer science major Mark Kokoska ’08 (Bloomsburg, Pa.), winner of last year’s novice national speech championship, was a sixth-place speaker in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

“I felt it was a good all-around tournament,” says Muchiri. “I was busy all day, which is good because it kept me on my feet. It also served to show which parts I still need to work on. The team and the coaches were a lot of fun to be with for the weekend.”

Other Lafayette competitors include Brad Hock ’09 (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), extemporaneous speech, impromptu speech, and rhetorical criticism; Maria Mitova ’09 (Sofia, Bulgaria), impromptu speech; Kavinda Udugama ’09 (Kandy, Sri Lanka), impromptu and persuasivespeech; and international affairs major Douglas Weltman ’08 (Little Silver, N.J.), Lincoln-Douglas debate.

“While I cannot comment firsthand on our performance in speech events, the numbers undoubtedly speak for themselves – another tour de force by William [O’Brien] and a very impressive performance by Ng’ang’a,” says Weltman. “This tournament made me quite happy, and the novices exude a wholesome enthusiasm for learning. I look forward to working with each of them, and we have established a very good rapport.”

Scott Placke, director of forensics, and John Boyer, debate coach, were both impressed with the team’s performance.

“Our new competitors have been working really hard to get new events up,” says Placke. “I am really proud that Brad, Kavinda, and Ng’ang’a all brought out new events this weekend. While none of these events broke to final round at Suffolk, I am sure that they will in the near future.”

“The tournament had a very relaxed atmosphere and was a good experience for our younger competitors,” says Boyer. “I’m especially pleased with the performance of Bill O’Brien, who worked very hard to get his after-dinner speech ready for this weekend and was rewarded with first place.”

Forensics Society members are active participants in other campus activities as well.

Dudek is a member of Tennis Club, Table Tennis Club, Concert Band, and Concert Choir.

Hock is co-president of McKeen Hall Residence Council, a member of Investment Club and Philosophy Society, and writes for The Lafayette.

Kokoska is president of Table Tennis Club and vice president of Haven and Social Gaming Network.

O’Brien is president of Dry Surfers, a member of Newman Association, and a tour guide for the admissions office.

Mitova is a member of International Students Association and Le Cercle Francais (French Club).

Udugama is a member of the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and Tennis Club.

Muchiri writes for The Lafayette.

Forensics Society’s next competition will be hosted by Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., this weekend.

Prior tournament reports

Categorized in: Academic News