ATU’s debate and forensics team place in tournament

Arkansas Tech’s debate and forensics team recently competed in its third tournament of the year, the “State Line Swing” tournament, hosted by John Brown University and the University of Oklahoma.

The Tech debaters competed in four divisions of the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debate: team debate, individual novice debate, individual junior varsity debate, and individual varsity debate. The team also had entries in both of the forensics (competitions in a variety of public speaking-related events) tournaments offered.

Five debaters competed in the tournament. In the varsity division, Tech was represented by two debaters: Rebecca Lawson, and Jonathan Williams. Two Tech students competed in the junior varsity division: Markayla Stanley and Meeka Smith. The novice division had one member representing Tech, George Wewer III.

The Tech team IPDA squad consisted of two teams: Lawson and Williams, and Stanley and Smith. Wewer also competed in team debate as a member of a cross-school hybrid team with a member of the Southern Methodist University debate team.

In the forensics competition, Sierra Abram competed in five events at both tournaments of the forensics swing: Communication Analysis, Poetry Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, Informative Speaking and Program of Oral Interpretation. Tamara Adkins also traveled with the team to serve as a volunteer judge.

The squad won several trophies at the weekend’s tournaments. In the JBU portion of the tournament, Lawson won first place in Varsity IPDA debate.

Additionally, Abram was a finalist in Communication Analysis and took third place in Informative Speaking. During the OU portion of the tournament, Smith was awarded the fifth place speaker award in Team IPDA; Abram was also recognized as a finalist in both Communication Analysis and Poetry Interpretation.

The Tech debate team will travel to its next tournament, the Southern Forensics Championship, at LSU-Shreveport this weekend. Additional information about the Tech debate and forensics team may contact Dr. Gabriel Adkins, associate professor of communication and director of debate and forensics at

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