TJC debate team earns state, national honors

The TJC speech and debate team earned several awards at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensic Association’s state tournament held recently at Texas A&M University in College Station.

There were 18 universities and colleges in attendance.

The team is under the direction of M’Liss Hindman, TJC speech professor. Assistant director is Joan Andrews, TJC speech professor.

TJC earned the following:
 
• TJC – First place in Limited Team Sweepstakes
• Aaron Kelley of Ennis – 1st place Top Speaker in Parliamentary Debate
• Alex Dickson of Tyler – 5th place Top Speaker in Parliamentary Debate 
• Dillon Hughes of Princeton and Gavin Downing of Lindale – semifinalists in Parliamentary Debate
• Kelley and Dickson - Quarterfinalists in Parliamentary Debate
• Dickson – Quarterfinalist in International Public Debate Association debate
• Kelley – Octa-finalist in IPDA debate
 
Top Community College participant awards:
• Downing – Extemporaneous Speaking
• Omari Hawkins of Grand Prairie – Program Oral Interpretation
• Downing – Impromptu Speaking
• Kelley and Dickson – Parliamentary Debate
 
Texas A&M Invitational Tournament:
• Hughes – 2nd place in Impromptu Speaking
• Hawkins – 3rd place in Dramatic Interpretation

Gorlak Gala Forensics Tournament in St. Louis, Missouri
TJC also brought home 11 awards from the Gorlak Gala Forensics Tournament, held recently at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

“In all, 43 schools from 22 states competed in the tournament,” Hindman said. “It was a very large tournament – a mini-nationals competition.”

Team TJC placed in the following categories:

• Downing and Hughes – 2nd place in Junior Division of Parliamentary Debate
• Dickson and Kelley – quarterfinals in Junior Division of Parliamentary Debate
• Korey Vaughan of Livingston – semifinals in Novice Parliamentary Debate
• Dickson – 6th place in Top Speaker in Parliamentary Debate
• Kelley – 12th place Top Speaker in Parliamentary Debate
• Hawkins of Grand Prairie – 4th Place in Prose Interpretation
• Hawkins - Excellence in Program Oral Interpretation
• Kelley and Hawkins – Excellence in Duo Improvisation
• Downing – Excellence in Extemporaneous Speaking
• Vaughan – Excellence in Extemporaneous Speaking
• Hughes – 4th Place in Impromptu Speaking

“This was an incredible showing by our students,” Hindman said. “For instance, in parliamentary debate, we placed second out of 30 teams. In prose interpretation, Omari Hawkins placed fourth out of more than 140 competitors; and in the impromptu category, Dillon Hughes placed fourth out of more than 100.

“The competition was tough and I could not be prouder.”

What’s next
Team TJC is working toward qualifying for the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events Tournament, set April 1-3 at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament, set April 9-15 in Virginia.

The TJC speech and debate team has been in existence for more than 60 years and is among the very first programs to compete in collegiate forensics in the state of Texas.

For more information, go to www.tjc.edu/speech.

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