College of DuPage Places in Top Ten at National Speech Tournament

By: Mike McKissack

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The College of DuPage Forensics Team placed sixth overall at the recent 2019 Pi Rho Pi National Forensics Tournament.  

Individual winners include Amy Ayyad, first place in Informative Speaking, third place in Prose Interpretation; Jake Fondel, second place in IDPA Debate, third place in Parliamentary Debate, third place in Extemporaneous Speaking, recipient of the Lynch-Grossman International Debate Fellowship Award; Rachael Johnson, third place in Dramatic interpretation; Anita Kuchlewski, third place in Prose Interpretation, third place in Speech to Entertain, third place in Informative Speaking; Djimon Lewis, first place in Dramatic Interpretation, first place in Persuasive Speaking, third place in Poetry, third place in Parliamentary Debate (with Alexandra Weston), third place in Individual Sweepstakes; Gavin McDonnell, third place in Informative Speaking; Brooke Morenz, third place in Dramatic Interpretation; Kelsey Peters, third place in Persuasive Speaking, third place in Prose Interpretation; Samantha Powers, third place in Impromptu Speaking; and Alexandra Weston, third place in Parliamentary Debate (with Lewis), third place in IDPA Debate.

Additional team members competing included Jennalyn MendiolaJohanna Kando and Stephaine Tagudar.

The team also took fourth place in individual events and fifth place in Debate.

The COD Forensics Team is led by full-time speech faculty members Kacy Abeln-StevensBrandon Wood and Lauren Morgan, who was this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, adjunct faculty member Matt Beifuss, and alumni Heidi BajekTia CollinsZoya KhanRocky RoqueJim Snyder and Mahera Suhail.

For more information about the Forensics team, contact Forensics Director Lauren Morgan at, (630) 942-2007, or visit the Forensics Team web page.

Pictured above, front row, left to right: Jennalyn Mendiola, Stephanie Tagudar, Johanna Kando, Alexandra Weston, Amy Ayyad. Second row, left to right: Brooke Morenz, Kelsey Peters, Samantha Powers, Anita Kuchlewski, Djimon Lewis, Jake Fondel. Third row, left to right: Gavin McDonnell, Rachael Johnson, Jacob Trecziak.