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Forensics Society placed first among schools in Pi Kappa Delta, the national honor society for forensics, and third overall in “Tournament of Roses” held at West ChesterUniversity Oct 14-15. Teams from 20 colleges and universities competed at the event including New YorkUniversity, SetonHallUniversity, Saint Joseph’s University, and CornellUniversity.

Fifteen Lafayette competitors participated in the tournament and were led by Scott Placke, director of forensics, and John Boyer, debate coach.

Marquis Scholar Mark Kokoska ’08 (Bloomsburg, Pa.), a computer science major, took first place in the Lincoln-Douglas debate, second in extemporaneous speech and fifth in impromptu speech. Trustee Scholar Joe Dudek (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.), a mathematics major, came in second place behind Kokoska in the Lincoln-Douglas debate.

“This was a really good team opener. Everyone did very well,” Kokoska says. “I think we really came out of the gates. Look out forensics, here comes Lafayette College 2006-07.”

Marquis Scholar Christian Dato ’07 (Poway, Calif.), a double major in history and government & law, took first place in impromptu speech.

“I am happy to be back on the circuit and immersed in the activity,” Dato says. “Special recognition needs to be given to our novices, who have the potential, competitive spirit, and spunk to do very well.”

Marquis Scholar Amy Solomito ’09(Coopersburg, Pa.), an A.B. engineering major finished in third place in informative speech and placed sixth in dramatic duo with Bill O’Brien ’07 (Elmont, N.Y.), a history major.

“I was very glad to get to compete with such a talented group of novices,” Solomito says, “I am excited to see how everyone does throughout the year. Personally, it was exhilarating to back on the circuit competing again. I really like my speeches this year.”

Trustee Scholar Beth Wehler ’09 (Gettysburg, Pa.), a mathematics-economics major, was a semi-finalist in the Lincoln-Douglas debate and placed fifth in persuasion.

“I really enjoyed being able to participate in speech events, in addition to debate. I was especially proud of our Lincoln-Douglas team’s all around success,” Wehler says.

The team’s group of novices performed very well. They took the top places in the novice Lincoln-Douglas debate. Rather than break ties, tournament officials designated a shared team award. Anthony Romanoski ’10 (Etters, Pa.), Greg Hintz ’10 (New Milford, Conn.), Teevrat Garg’10 (Haryana, India), Marquis Scholar Sam Derrick ’10 (Etters, Pa.), and Ryan Benjamin ’10 (Bronx, N.Y.) all took a portion of the award. Garg and Derrick also finished in third and sixth place in novice impromptu speech, respectively.

“The forensics circuit is becoming more and more appealing as I learn more,” says Garg. “The members of the team make everything fun and are always ready to help. Mark Kokoska is always there to answer questions. Most importantly, I enjoyed this tournament. I am looking forward to the forensic year.”

Other students who participated in the tournament were Shao Ping Bao ’10 (Jersey City, N.J.), Ram Gopalakrishnan ’09 (Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia), Jordan Kaplan ’10 (Livingston, N.J.), and Joash Mudalige ’10 (Homagama, Sri Lanka).

Forensics Society members are active in other campus groups as well.

Bao is a member of the Tennis Club, the Table Tennis Club, Alternate School Break, and works for the Landis Community Outreach Community.

Dato is a member of Haven, the College Democrats, the Social Gaming Network, and the Government and Law Honor Society.

Derrick is a member of the Econ Club and the Table Tennis Club.

Garg is a member of the International Student Organization, Econ Club, and the Chess Club.

Gopalakrishnan is a member of LEAP (Lafayette Environmental Awareness Program).

Kokoska is a member of Haven and the Table Tennis Club

O’Brien is a Lafayette Tour Guide and a member of the Newman Association.

Romanoski is a member of the Volleyball Club.

Solomito is on the Crew team.

Wehler is the President of Haven, and a member of the orchestra.

Categorized in: Academic News