COD Forensics Team Places Third in State Tournament

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The College of DuPage Forensics team placed third while two students took individual championships at the Illinois Intercollegiate Forensics Association Tournament held at Bradley University Feb. 28 to March 1.

The IIFA state tournament brings together teams from Illinois community colleges and four-year institutions from across the state in head-to-head competition. Community college students can reach finals in both the two-year and four-year (Open) divisions. The following team members placed in both the Open and Community College Divisions:

Harry Bodell (Bolingbrook): First place, Impromptu Speaking; second place, Communication Analysis (Open Division); fourth place, Community College Parliamentary Debate Speaker; fifth place, Extemporaneous Speaking (Open Division); first place, Community College Individual Sweepstakes

Carolyn Clarke (Glen Ellyn): Second place, Parliamentary Debate (with partner Joe Vitone); fourth place, Extemporaneous Speaking; sixth place, Community College Parliamentary Debate Speaker

Zoya Khan (Aurora): Fifth place, Program Oral Interpretation

Thea Klinker (Downers Grove): First place, Oratory

James Peterson (Hinsdale): Second place, Community College Parliamentary Debate Speaker

Patty Schwarts (Wheaton): Fifth place, Speech to Entertain

Connor Sofia (Villa Park): Third place, Poetry Interpretation

Joe Vitone (Wheaton): Second place, Parliamentary Debate (with partner Carolyn Clarke); third place, Extemporaneous Speaking; fifth place, Community College Parliamentary Debate Speaker

Also joining the team were Erin Aniolowski (Carol Stream), Ben Elliot (Carol Stream), Thinh Lam (Naperville), Shannon Linares (Downers Grove), and Matt Mayorga (Geneva). The team is coached by Lauren Morgan, Jude Geiger, and Mia Poston, all full-time faculty in Speech Communication, as well as alumni Melissa Gomez and Matt Beifuss.

Additionally, three COD Forensics alumni also placed well in Open Parliamentary debate at state. Kyla Donato (Northwestern) was a semi-finalist and Abby Escatel and Steve Perry (North Central College) were co-champions with their respective partners.

The 2013-14 COD Forensics team will complete its season at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament on March 20 to 23 in Indianapolis and at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament April 7 to 12 in Denver.

The team will present public performances of their events at the annual Night of Gold showcases scheduled on Wednesday, March 19 (Parliamentary Debate and Reader's Theater performances) and Tuesday, March 25 (Individual Events), both beginning at 7 p.m. For more information on the Forensics team, email Lauren Morgan at