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NIU junior Julia Boyle earns national recognition

April 30, 2015
Julia Boyle

Julia Boyle

Julia Boyle is a winner, and that’s not up for debate.

The NIU junior represented Illinois in the 2015 Interstate Oratory Contest and placed fifth in the nation.

“I am extremely lucky to have represented both Northern Illinois University and the state of Illinois at Interstate,” said Boyle, who is from Oak Lawn. “It felt incredible to be recognized on a national level, and I am delighted to have helped NIU Forensics receive the representation it deserves at Interstate.”

The Interstate Oratory Contest, in its 141st year, is the nation’s oldest speech contest. On April 24 and April 25, Boyle and other top orators from the nation competed at Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga.

Boyle’s speech examined the problem of spyware apps which can be secretly downloaded onto a person’s phone without the victim ever knowing. Despite the fact that there is little research on these apps, Boyle argued, there is “anecdotal evidence from domestic abuse shelters that they have become an easy outlet for stalkers to abuse their partners.”

“Julia proved that when you are passionate about a topic, and you work hard to share your message, people will celebrate you for your advocacy,” said NIU Director of Forensics Lisa Roth.

Judy Santacaterina, NIU director of Individual Events, shared the sentiment.

“I was beaming as Julia presented her speech in the final round; she was ever so poised, committed to her message and spoke with passion and conviction, the true mark of a successful orator,” Santacaterina said.

Boyle is the 14th NIU orator to represent Illinois and the sixth NIU orator to make it to the final round of the Interstate competition. Roth said Boyle will go down in history as one of the most successful speakers in the nation.

Lisa Roth (left) and Judy Santacaterina (right) join Julia Boyle at Berry College.

Lisa Roth (left) and Judy Santacaterina (right) join Julia Boyle at Berry College.

“The coaching staff, team, and I are so proud of Julia and her accomplishments,” Roth said. “Not only is she an extremely talented individual who works hard for her success, she is also an active team member, peer mentor, and all around joy.”

Santacaterina was part of an expert panel discussion that presented at this year’s contest, which she was especially honored to attend for several reasons.

“This was even more special in some way because it capped off one of the most successful forensics seasons in NIU’s long history,” Santacaterina said. “I also was so honored to be there with Lisa Roth, my former student and now colleague. It felt like three generations of forensics women were at Interstate.”

Boyle said she is grateful to be part of NIU Forensics, and has received and “outpouring of support from alumni, faculty and students on the speech circuit.”

“NIU Forensics is incredibly successful in the competitive-arena, yet our organization promotes an understanding of real world applications of public speaking,” Boyle said. “I am privileged to be a part of an organization that has such a rich history, a network of successful alumni, and a community that cares so much about giving students an opportunity to find their voice.”