UIndy Speech and Debate Team wins an International Championship and High Marks at National Championship

UIndy Speech & Debate Team

UIndy Speech & Debate Team

The University of Indianapolis Speech and Debate Team earned high marks at two championship tournaments held virtually in March 2021. Craig-Anesu Chigadza ’21 (political science and psychology) brought home an international win, a first for the team, by winning the Informative Speaking division at the International 31st Annual International Forensics Association Speech and Debate Tournament. In addition, the team earned widespread accolades at the National Speech Championship culminating in an overall team ranking of 15th in the nation. 

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.

“The strength and dedication of this team really shined this year as we were forced to compete virtually. Our students not only survived the change in competition, but they thrived by delivering stellar results at two high-level championships,” explained Wideman.

Craig Chigadza

Craig Chigadza

Of his international championship Chigadza says, “The opportunity to represent UIndy on an international level is the pinnacle of my time here as both a student and competitor.” His award-winning speech informed the audience about a burgeoning movement to acknowledge inequities in representation at museums across the world. “During a time when our country and world is struggling with racial injustices, the opportunity to advocate for racial equity on a global stage is a chance I was given by the university to be a part of the change.”


“Our success at the National Speech Championship (NSC) speaks to the quality and dedication of our coaching staff. We are comparatively a smaller team on the national level, but we keep our eyes on quality not quantity. At NSC we had several students break into quarter, semi, and national finals, placing them within the top echelon of speaking excellence,” explained Wideman.

UIndy Speech & Debate TeamThe team will graduate two members this year. Craig-Anesu Chigadza (political science and psychology) and Kathryn Leigh (biology). The seniors would like to dedicate their success to every member of the greyhound community that worked tirelessly during this pandemic to make sure their education continued. 

Full results below:


International Forensics Association Championship

Craig-Anesu Chigadza ’21 (political science and psychology)-International Champion 1st place Informative Speaking, 6th place in Impromptu Speaking

National Speech Championship

Overall Team Ranking 15th Nationally
Craig-Anesu Chigadza ’21 (political science and psychology) 3rd place Interviewing Speaking

Semi Finalists (Top 12 in Nation)

Craig-Anesu Chigadza Informative Speaking and Impromptu Speaking
Kathryn Leigh ’21 (biology) Interviewing Speaking

Quarter Finalists (Top 24 in Nation)

Kathryn Leigh Rhetorical Criticism
Elise Paz ’23 (business and Spanish) Informative Speaking
Landon Owens ’22 (sports management) Programmed Oral Interpretation
Landon Owens and Alexandra Nickerson ’21 (political science and communication) DUO Interpretation
Craig-Anesu Chigadza Extemporaneous Speaking

WICR adapts to pandemic restrictions

WICR news director Taylor Woods ’21

WICR news director Taylor Woods ’21

We’ve all heard the saying, “The show must go on.” University of Indianapolis students learned firsthand how to keep the show going when coronavirus (COVID-19) struck in the middle of the spring semester. WICR, the student-run radio station that broadcasts from campus, has remained on the air throughout the pandemic, thanks to some out-of-the-box thinking and a lot of collective hard work.  

WICR (88.7 FM/HD) is Indianapolis’ only jazz and classical music station. It’s also a fertile training ground for Department of Communication students, with many successful careers launched at the station. Faced with a dual obligation—to students who rely on WICR for experiential learning, and to the general public who tune in every day—general manager Scott Uecker knew he’d have to get creative in order to meet everyone’s needs. And he required a solution immediately.

“We couldn’t wait because we had to keep the radio station on the air,” Uecker said. 

Working with the radio station staff, Uecker decided to pay a limited number of students who felt comfortable performing essential functions in the studio facility. Keeping social distancing restrictions in mind, most student air shifts switched from in-person to pre-recorded voice tracks. 45 students contributed voice tracks, which a skeleton crew loaded onto a server to get them on the air. 

Uecker noted that University of Indianapolis broadcasting alumni working at radio and television stations across the country had to resort to similar strategies recording from home, just as WICR worked out its own solutions.

“We’re teaching the students to persevere and use the technology they have at their disposal,” he said. “I’m very thankful for the UIndy administration and the leadership in human resources for working with us to find a way to get students who were essential to our operations on campus, but we also had to make a number of changes to keep them safe while they were here.”

Uecker and his staff coached students on best practices for recording themselves while maintaining professional standards. Even as students dispersed mid-semester when in-person instruction shifted to remote or alternative delivery methods, they were still able to access the opportunity for hands-on learning. WICR listeners may not have known it at the time, but they were listening to contributions from students across five states and three countries—besides the United States, international students from Russia, Colombia and Brazil also participated.

WICR’s news director Taylor Woods ’21 (electronic media communication major, political science minor) adapted to producing remote newscasts from home. She also had to instruct and manage her team remotely, which involved Zoom editorial meetings.

“Not only are we delivering remote newscasts but so are news stations across the country. This shows how much technology has really prepared us all for crises and unprecedented times such as this,” Woods said.

Promotional events, on-air contests and live newscasts in the afternoon drive have been temporarily suspended. WICR-FM/HD1 has staffed only the essential live on-air shifts since mid-March, while the station’s HD 2 and 3 channels have operated in a fully automated mode since the end of the semester.  Student management staff and a limited number of student volunteers designated as essential continue to be responsible for on-air, production and programming tasks.

WICR Operations Manager Aaron Duvall ’20

WICR Operations Manager Aaron Duvall ’20, recording from home

Aaron Duvall ’20 (communication) took on the role of operations manager in May after serving as the station’s production director for the past two years. He said working through the pandemic has taught him patience as he and his student colleagues adjusted to the new normal. He also has a newfound appreciation for the role of the broadcasting industry in society.

“One of the bigger takeaways I have from working through the coronavirus pandemic is how much impact radio and local media really has on its community. You hear about it all the time, but seeing it firsthand really makes it feel like we have an impact,” Duvall said. “I’m very thankful for the opportunity to come in and do something I love and also add something to the audience’s day.”

Senior spotlight: Mallory Moreno, communication

Mallory Moreno '19

Mallory Moreno ’19

For Mallory Moreno ’19 (communication), her career in radio began well before graduation. Honing her skills on the air at WICR, the student-run public radio station at the University of Indianapolis, Moreno is already working part-time in promotions and on the air at Indianapolis-based radio stations. You can listen to her on weekday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m. and every other weekend on Radio Now.

“Radio Now is a top 40 station, so I’m learning a lot about that particular format—for instance, the importance of running a tight board and connecting with pop culture-enthused millennials. I also work in the promotions department at Radio One, which puts me directly in front of this audience and is one my favorite parts about the job,” Moreno said.

With an Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts competition and a scholarship from the Ria’s Rising Stars Foundation, Moreno’s credentials are impressive. She plans to pursue a career as an on-air personality.

“UIndy’s communication department provided me with the knowledge I need to be an effective communicator in both my professional and personal life,” Moreno said. “WICR especially helped me to develop those passions into my craft. I’ve also had some incredible networking opportunities through WICR and being a part of student management. Four years ago before coming to the university, I never would have expected I would be in the position that I am now with what and who I know.”

While everything about the radio industry excites Moreno, she’s most in her element behind the microphone.

“I love both the science and the art that goes into radio programming and eventually would like to become a program director in a major market. I plan to stay in the radio industry for as long as I can. I really feel like I’ve discovered my place in the world being surrounded by like-minded radio nerds such as myself in this industry!” she said.

Moreno is grateful for her faculty network within the communication department, particularly Scott Uecker, WICR general manager and instructor.

“Scott works hard for every individual student to put them in the right positions in front of the right people. He believed in me before I ever believed in myself,” she said.

For Moreno, taking advantage of the unique experiences UIndy has offered during the last four years has paid big dividends.

“I’m beyond ready for the next chapter in my life but I remain incredibly grateful for my time here at UIndy and WICR,” she said.

Learn more about UIndy’s Department of Communication.

Martinsville, Homestead claim top spots in 2017 IASB High School Broadcasting Competition Awards

Martinsville High School was named Television School of the Year and Homestead High School won Radio School of the Year at the 2017 Indiana Association of School Broadcasters (IASB) awards Monday at the University of Indianapolis. Crown Point High School was the Television School of the Year runner-up, while Carmel High School was the runner-up in the Radio School of the Year category.

Jackson Ammons of Carmel High School (photo courtesy IASB)

Jackson Ammons of Carmel High School (photo courtesy IASB)

More than 800 students and instructors from 30 Indiana high schools and career centers attended the IASB 14th annual conference on UIndy’s campus. Students participated in the IASB High School Broadcasting Competition and attended over two-dozen workshops that addressed topics ranging from promotions, video production and storytelling to social media, radio and sports broadcasting.

Read more

University of Indianapolis students win national competition for WICR-FM election night coverage

The election night efforts of the University of Indianapolis WICR-FM Radio staff have brought them national honors.

Chris Shoulders, WICR Director of Interactive & Social Media, interviews former Indianapolis Mayor and UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard on election night.

Chris Shoulders, WICR Director of Interactive & Social Media, interviews former Indianapolis Mayor and UIndy Visiting Fellow Greg Ballard on election night.

The group won first place in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition in the radio newscast category. Three schools tied for second place in the category: Hofstra University, the University of North Texas and the University of Southern California.
Read more