Speech and debate photo

UNC Charlotte's forensics team hosted a speech and debate tournament for seven schools on Jan. 28-29. Rounds were held in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) and the Cato College of Education (COED).

The colleges competing against Charlotte were Berry College, Hofstra University, Queens College, Rice University, James Madison University, Hasting College and St. Anselm's College.

"Schools around the country had experienced budget cuts concerning speech teams, so not as many schools attended in person this year as attended last year when it was online. But the quality of programs that came was just outstanding." Director of Forensics Nance Riffe said, "To have schools like Rice and Berry and Hastings from such diverse locations and schools, that was incredible."

There were 11 types of speech forms: informative speaking, persuasive speaking, prose interpretation, dramatic interpretation, poetry interpretation, after-dinner speaking, communication analysis, extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking, duo interpretation and program oral interpretation (POI).

After-dinner speaking is when the student gives a humorous speech within ten minutes, and communication analysis is when the speaker examines a public communication event within a ten-minute time limit. Extemporaneous speaking provides a speaker with a current events question, and that speaker has 30 minutes to research an answer. They then give a seven-minute speech from memory.

Impromptu speaking is when a speaker gets a topic from a given quotation and has two minutes to prepare before delivering a five-minute speech. In duo interpretation, two students present simultaneously, and POI is a combination of literature-based speech genres.

Six finalists were chosen after each section was completed; the winner was selected from those finalists.

In Saturday's tournament, two Charlotte students championed: AJ Siegel in after-dinner speaking and Acadia Dubiel in informative speaking. From Berry College, Kalista Shields won in communication analysis and impromptu speaking. Also from Berry College, Haven Hendrix won in persuasion, and Hannah Boler won in prose interpretation.

Competitors from Rice University, Shay Olaifa and Taylor Gilliam won dramatic and program interpretation. Queens College competitor Abhinandan Gaba won extemporaneous speaking, and Bonnie Wilson from James Madison University won poetry interpretation. St. Anselm's College won the debate section.

Berry College was the overall winner of all competing colleges on Saturday.

Sunday's tournament was organized by the Southern & Northern Atlantic Forensic Union. Charlotte was No. 1 in the team sweepstakes. Three Charlotte students championed in events: Siegel in after-dinner speaking, Dubiel in informative speaking and extemporaneous speaking and Kennedy Brooks in dramatic interpretation. Dubiel also championed in individual sweepstakes.

Riffe said, "I am so very proud of our Niner team. To have such a strong competitive showing and earn so many wins is an incredible accomplishment, especially considering that no one on our team has competed for more than one full year. I am so proud of each of them."

To learn more about Charlotte's speech and debate team, follow their Instagram @charlottespeech.