No debate over success of NIU Forensics team

The NIU Forensics team is enjoying a successful season thus far, including a first-place finish overall during a recent competition at the College of DuPage.

Members of the forensics team who competed at the College of DuPage included (back row, left ro right) Jomin Panicker, Julia Boyle, Neal Heatherly, Bernard Chestleigh, Chris Michels, Crispin Brim, Kevin Bartelt, Kyle Larson, Nicole Autry, (front row, left to right) coach Lisa Roth, Lauren Baker, Felisa Ogunyemi, Lauren Scott, coach Judy Santacaterina, Jimmy Zucker and Bobby Browning.

Members of the forensics team who competed at the College of DuPage included (back row,) Jomin Panicker, Julia Boyle, Neal Heatherly, Bernard Chestleigh, Chris Michels, Crispin Brim, Kevin Bartelt, Kyle Larson, Nicole Autry, (front row, left to right) coach Lisa Roth, Lauren Baker, Felisa Ogunyemi, Lauren Scott, coach Judy Santacaterina, Jimmy Zucker and Bobby Browning.

Six team members took first place in individual categories. They included:

  • Senior Jimmy Zucker of DeKalb (persuasion and first place overall for individual events)
  • Senior Lauren Scott of C­­hicago (poetry)
  • Freshman Julia Boyle of Oak Lawn (dramatic interpretation and impromptu speaking)
  • Senior Bobby Browning of Pontiac (communication analysis)
  • Junior Kyle Larson of Palatine and senior Yanelly Villegas of Chicago (parliamentary debate)

Additionally, a number of team members had second-place finishes: junior Bernard Chestleigh of Chicago (poetry), Zucker (impromptu speaking) and Browning (after-dinner speaking and second-place overall for individual events). Third-place finishes were notched by Larson (parliamentary debate), Chestleigh (program of oral interpretation) and Zucker (informative).

“The team has been incredibly successful in the past semester, and the size of the team has doubled to approximately 40 students from a variety of majors,” said forensic coaching specialist Lisa Roth. “We still have an exciting season ahead.”

Among the team’s upcoming events are four invitational competitions; a state competition to be hosted Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at NIU; and two national competitions for which they have already qualified.

To keep up with the team’s latest accomplishments, visit the NIU Department of Communication website.

by Constance Ervins

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