Speech and Debate team brings home high marks and persuasive speaking state champion

The University of Indianapolis Speech and Debate Team earned high marks at the Indiana Forensics Association (IFA) State Championship in February 2019 at Ivy Tech Community College-Indianapolis. The team earned widespread accolades throughout the tournament, culminating in bringing home the State Championship title in Persuasive Speaking.

Photo (L-R): Craig Chigadza, Reid Lorey, Sierra Roberts, Collin Fausnaugh, Kaylee Blum, Kathryn Leigh, Vanessa Hickman, Landon Owens, Shayla Cabalan, Taylor Woods, Roci Contreras, India Graves

Photo (L-R): Craig Chigadza, Reid Lorey, Sierra Roberts, Collin Fausnaugh, Kaylee Blum, Kathryn Leigh, Vanessa Hickman, Landon Owens, Shayla Cabalan, Taylor Woods, Roci Contreras, India Graves

The UIndy Speech and Debate Team is a nationally ranked learning-centered community that competes in speaking events to enhance student’s communication, research, and public speaking skills. Stephanie Wideman, assistant professor of communication, is the team director.

“Our success at the state tournament is reflective of a distinguished work ethic among the students and coaching staff. We are pleased that our efforts and skill were recognized at the state championship. I am particularly proud of this team’s ability to act as ambassadors for our university throughout the state,” Wideman said.

Craig Chigadza ’21 (political science and psychology) earned the title of State Champion in Persuasive Speaking. “Winning the state championship is a testimony to hard work, but ultimately I could not have done it without the support of my teammates and coaches who always challenge me to go the extra mile,” he said.

Chigadza’s win qualifies him to compete on a national level in the country’s oldest speech competition, the Interstate Oratory Association’s (IOA) Persuasive Speaking Contest held in April 2019 at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. IOA’s birth as an intercollegiate event was in 1874, and the organization is composed of approximately twenty state collegiate forensic organizations. The organization’s purpose is to conduct an annual competition in oratory. Participants in the contest are the top two finalists in each of the respective state contests. Participants in this contest will have their speech published in the organization’s annual publication, “Winning Orations.”

See a full list of team results below.

Team Sweepstakes – 3rd place overall

Persuasive – State Champion (1st) Craig Chigadza ‘21, 3rd Shayla Cabalan ‘20, 4th Vanessa Hickman ‘19

Prose – 3rd India Graves ‘18

Poetry – 3rd Taylor Woods ‘21

Impromptu – 3rd Craig Chigadza ‘21

Extemporaneous – 3rd Vanessa Hickman ‘19, 4th Craig Chigadza ‘21

Dramatic Interpretation – 3rd Roci Contreras ‘20, 6th India Graves ‘18

Novice Impromptu – 3rd Collin Fausnaugh ‘22, 7th Kathryn Leigh, ‘21

Rhetorical Criticism – 4th Melanie Moore ‘20

Novice Persuasive – 5th Kathryn Leigh ‘21

After Dinner Speaking – Sierra Roberts ‘21

Informative – 5th Melanie Moore ‘20

Programmed Oral Interpretation – 6th India Graves ‘18

Duo Interpretation – 6th Vanessa Hickman ’19 and Taylor Woods ‘21

Long Read Response – 6th Kaylee Blum ‘19

Novice Extemporaneous – 6th Collin Fausnaugh ‘22

Public Narrative – 7th Shayla Cabalan ‘20

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