by Vanessa Milan
EASTON, PA – This weekend the Lafayette College Forensics Society hosted the Pennsylvania State Forensics Association Championship Tournament. Pardee Hall was packed with competitors from Penn State University, West Chester University, St. Joseph’s University, Wilkes University, and Bloomsburg University competing in a variety of speech events and parliamentary debate. As always, Lafayette competitors demonstrated their dedication to Forensics in every way they could—from wild warm-ups to passionate and intellectual speeches.
At the conclusion of the tournament, every member of the Lafayette Forensics Society left wearing at least one medal—including two state championship medals. Kaitlin Kinsella (’17) was named state champion in rhetorical criticism for her speech on a photography project in New York City. Michael Wellnitz (’19) was named state champion in informative speaking for his speech on transparent solar panels. Fayola Fair (’19) and Aaron Walker (’18) were runner-up finishers in poetry interpretation and extemporaneous speaking respectively. As a team, the Lafayette Forensics Society finished 3rd in the state of Pennsylvania. In addition to his competitive success, Aaron Walker was elected as one of the two student representatives for the state.
Director of Forensics and President of the Pennsylvania Forensics Association, Scott Placke, remarked that the state tournament is one of the most rewarding tournaments every year because it is experienced as a Lafayette Forensics Society family. With so many alumni returning to judge, it was heart-warming to see multiple generations of Lafayette Forensics laughing together and sharing their love of forensics. The Lafayette Forensics Society is thankful for their contributions to the tournament and to the team. Alumni judges included Erik Heins, Jen Rusak, Nicholas Moore, Mark Kokoska, Rachel Heron, Elizabeth Wehler, Samuel Derrick, Ryan Benjamin, Teevrat Garg, Joseph Dudek, and James Hilbert.
One of the best things about hosting the state tournament is the opportunity to showcase forensics for the college. Several staff and faculty members also donated their time to act as judges for the tournament. Lafayette Forensics Society would like to extend a special thanks to the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Alex Hendrickson, Professor of Economics, James DeVault, and Professor of Economics, Rose Marie Bukics. The contributions of the host community at any forensics tournament enriches the educational and co-curricular experience.
The Lafayette Forensics Society travels to Hillsdale College in Michigan for their last invitational of the year in early March. After that, the team will travel to various national tournaments in March and April.
Cassidy Reller ’16 – 3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking, 3rd in Persuasion, and 3rd in Rhetorical Criticism
Vanessa Milan ’16 – 6th in Persuasion
Kaitlin Kinsella ’17 – 1st Place in Rhetorical Criticism and 3rd in Duo Interpretation (Walker)
Aaron Walker ’18 – 3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking, 2nd in Impromptu Speaking, and 3rd in Duo Interpretation (Kinsella)
Fayola Fair ’19 – 2nd in Poetry Interpretation and 3rd in Impromptu Speaking
Michael Wellnitz ’19 – 1st in Informative Speaking and 5th in Persuasion
Sarah Pungitore ’19 – 4th in Extemporaneous Speaking
3rd place – Team Sweepstakes