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April 5, 2016
The Northwest Missouri State University speech and debate Team, also known as the Speaking Bearcats, picked up five more national championships April 2-3 at the Public Communication Speech and Debate League (PCSDL) national tournament, hosted by Butler University in Indianapolis.
The PCSDL tournament updates intercollegiate speech and debate competition to reflect the changing ways people communicate. Speech events are inspired by publicly available events such as TED Talks, slam poetry and interviewing.
In its seventh year of competition in the national organization, the Speaking Bearcats brought home three team awards, finishing second in the Combined Team Sweepstakes and the Debate Team Sweepstakes and third in Speech Team Sweepstakes.
Emily Meyers, a senior public relations major from Maryville, led the way for the Speaking Bearcats, earning a total of five national championships individually and as part of two duos. She won the Individual Sweepstakes award as the top overall speaker at the tournament as well as PowerPoint Sales; Public Forum Speaker; Duo Improv with her partner Mersadie Moore, a junior marketing and business management major from Kansas City, Missouri; and Public Forum Debate with Nick Van Ross, a junior marketing major from Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
The Speaking Bearcats closed out the final round of Public Forum Debate, giving Northwest co-national champions with the teams of Meyers and Van Ross, and Moore and Rodney McDuffie, a junior pre-law major from Raymore, Missouri.
The Speaking Bearcats’ success at the PCSDL tournament raises their national championship total to 17 individual and team titles since 2009. Meyers and Van Ross were part of three national titles in 2014, including one they shared in Public Forum Debate.
“Over the past several years, Northwest has become one of the top Public Forum Debate programs in the nation,” said Brian Swafford, who is in his fifth year as Northwest’s director of forensics and as a communication instructor. “We have either been the champion or runner-up at each of the past three PCSDL national tournaments. That demonstrates both the skill and commitment of our students. I am very proud of their accomplishments.”
Northwest will host the 2017 national tournament next April.
A complete listing of the Northwest results is provided below.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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