TJC Speech and Debate Team Earns National Championship | TJC

TJC Speech and Debate Team Earns National Championship

Tyler Junior College Speech and Debate team captured top honors at recent national tournaments.

At the American Forensic Association National Tournament, held virtually for the first time in its long history, TJC was named the Top Community College.

Sweepstakes points are awarded based on each student’s rankings in the three preliminary rounds and break-out rounds. The five TJC students competing at this tournament had to qualify for each event in which they competed. The AFA National Tournament is known as the most elite of the national tournaments because of the stringent qualification system. 

Sophomore Ja’Quacy Minter of Mt. Pleasant qualified for five events and Samantha Rodden of Lindale qualified for three events. Freshmen JoLee Stuart of Whitesboro, Joseph Ritter of Hallsville, and Darian Burroughs of Hallsville, each qualified for one event. 

Ja’Quacy Minter was a quarter-finalist in poetry interpretation, marking the second time a TJC student has succeeded in advancing so far at this prestigious tournament. 

TJC Speech and Debate team was also successful at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament for Community Colleges, with Ja’Quacy Minter winning two national championships and placing second in Top Overall Speaker. Minter was also awarded the prestigious Fellowship Award for sportsmanship and friendship to competitors.

TJC’s team of six students qualified for semifinals or finals in eight of the 16 events in which they participated. Winners included Ja’Quacy Minter, national champion in prose and program oral interpretation and semi-finalist in poetry and duo interpretation; Samantha Rodden, semifinalist in prose and duo interpretation; JoLee Stuart, second place in prose interpretation; and Jessica Saling of Arlington, semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking and IPDA debate.

“I am so proud of these exceptional students for their hard work and outstanding accomplishments,” said M’Liss S. Hindman, TJC speech professor, and team director. “They have persevered during extraordinary times and continued to compete with excellent results.”

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