TJC Speech and Debate brings home national awards | TJC

TJC Speech and Debate brings home national awards

The TJC Speech and Debate team recently returned from two national tournaments on opposite ends of the country, scooping up a national championship and many other significant awards along the way.

At the National Forensics Association’s National Speech Tournament held April 1-3, in Santa Ana, California, TJC earned a Community College Sweepstakes. The following week, the team then traveled east to Bethesda, Maryland, for the Phi Rho Pi Community College National Tournament, where they competed against 53 other schools from around the country. 
Isabella LoCicero, of Paris, earned gold in impromptu speaking and earned silver in IPDA debate and bronze in parliamentary debate. She was also named the tournament’s fourth overall top speaker.

Isabella LoCicero

Isabella LoCicero

“Impromptu speaking is one of the largest individual events in the tournament,” said M’Liss Hindman, TJC speech professor and team director. “We are so proud of Isabella LoCicero for taking the top spot in the nation in that event and for being named fourth overall speaker out of 450 competitors at the tournament.”
Kraig Coulter, of Grand Saline, earned silver in IPDA (International Public Debate Association) debate and bronze in parliamentary debate, extemporaneous speaking and impromptu speaking. He was named the second top speaker in IPDA.
“That is a great accomplishment for a freshman,” Hindman said.
Josh Lockaby, of Canton, took the bronze in prose interpretation.
The team also earned the bronze Sweepstakes Award in debate.
Others who represented TJC well at both tournaments included Mary Katheryn Dillon, Elysian Fields; Vanessa Trevino, Dallas; Rachael Lowery, Elysian Fields; Mya Bowden, Rusk; and Erika Gonzalez-Alonso, Rusk.
“It has been another excellent year,” Hindman said. “And special thanks go to Assistant Coach Joan Andrews, who works tirelessly for this team.”
Team showcase set April 24
The TJC Speech and Debate team will hold a showcase performance at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, in the Recital Hall of the Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center on the TJC central campus.
Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend. 
For more information on the program, go to


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