COD Forensics Team Captures Top Awards


By Brian Kleemann

The College of DuPage Forensics Team continues to compile team and individual awards as it competes across the nation this year.

Northwestern University: At the first tournament of 2017, the team entered two members to compete against other two- and four-year institutions and found success:

  • Mojeri Coker (Warrenville): Finalist, Open Program of Oral Interpretation
  • Emma Swanson (Wood Dale): Second Place, Novice Persuasion; Fifth place, Novice Prose

Gorlock Gala: The team traveled to Webster University in St. Louis to compete against 42 two- and four-year schools and placed finalists in both debate and individual events: 

  • Mojeri Coker (Warrenville): Top Novice and Excellence Award in Program of Oral Interpretation; Fifth Place in Poetry
  • Jake Cowart (Lombard): Semifinalist in Persuasion; Top Novice and Excellence Award in Informative; Top Novice and Third Place in Communication Analysis
  • Gabbi Gruver (Naperville): Quarterfinalist in the Novice Division of Parliamentary Debate; 10th Place in speaker awards for Debate; Semifinalist in Persuasion
  • Gabrielle Moraru (Bensenville): Quarterfinalist in the Novice Division of Parliamentary Debate
  • Liz Fritz (Naperville): Octafinalist of the Junior Division of Parliamentary Debate
  • Cem Addemir (Naperville): Excellence Award in Impromptu

Lauren Morgan
, Director of Forensics, called the team’s performance at the Gorlock Gala “outstanding.”

“This was the second tournament of the spring semester and we only had one returning team member,” she said. “To have six of our 10 competitors earn awards is a good sign of things to come this spring.”

The Montezuma Mesa Tournament: Traveling to San Diego State University for the first of two tournaments in California, the Chaparrals competed against several two- and four-year schools in both the Open and Novice divisions. The team finished in second in the Community College Team Sweepstakes and received the following individual awards:

  • Cem Addemir (Naperville): Bronze Finalist in International Public Debate
  • Emma Swanson (Wood Dale): Fifth Place in Open Persuasion
  • Jake Cowart (Lombard): First Place in Informative; Fourth Place in Open Communication Analysis

Sunset Cliffs Classic: Continuing its trip in California, the Forensics team traveled to Point Loma Nazarene University, where it placed fourth in the Community College Team Sweepstakes with individual award winners as follows:

  • Liz Fritz (Naperville): First Place in Novice Persuasion
  • Roha Nehas (Glendale Heights): Fifth Place in Open Informative Speaking
  • Katrina Caluza (Aurora): Finalist in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Gabbi Gruver (Naperville): Third Place in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking; Third Place in Open Communication Analysis

Also joining the team at both tournaments were member Rocio Olvera (Elmhurst) and coaches Kacy Abeln and Morgan. Click here for photos from the team’s California trip.

Litrenta Triangle Tournament: At the annual tournament hosted by Harper College, 12 Chaparral Speech Team members competed against students from other two- and four-year schools in both individual events and two types of debate – Parliamentary Debate and International Public Debate. The tournament employed Phi Rho Pi (Nationals)-style scoring, giving the competitors opportunities to receive bronze, silver or gold in their final rounds.

COD’s team took Second Place in Individual Events Sweepstakes, Fifth Place in Debate Sweepstakes, and Second Place in overall Team Sweepstakes. The following team members received individual medals:

  • Rocio Olvera (Elmhurst): Silver in Readers’ Theatre
  • Ian Hogan (Naperville): Gold in Impromptu Speaking; Silver in Readers’ Theatre
  • Gabrielle Moraru (Bensenville): Bronze in Group Communication
  • Liz Fritz (Naperville): Bronze in Extemporaneous Speaking; Silver in Parliamentary Debate
  • Katrina Caluza (Aurora): Gold in Impromptu Speaking
  • Mojeri Coker (Warrenville): Gold in Program of Oral Interpretation; Gold in Poetry
  • Cem Addemir (Naperville): Bronze in Impromptu; Silver in Poetry; Silver in Readers’ Theatre
  • Roha Nehas (Glendale Heights): Silver in Informative
  • Jake Cowart (Lombard): Gold in Communication Analysis; Gold in Informative; Silver in Readers’ Theatre
  • Emma Swanson (Wood Dale): Silver in Prose; Gold in Persuasion; Silver in Readers’ Theatre
  • Gabbi Gruver (Naperville): Silver in Parliamentary Debate; Silver in Persuasion; Gold in Communication Analysis; Gold in Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Hamdan Suhail (Woodridge): Gold in Group Communication; Gold in Prose; Gold in Informative; Gold in Speech to Entertain

Three COD competitors also took home medals in individual sweepstakes:

  • Emma Swanson: Bronze
  • Gabbi Gruver: Silver
  • Hamdan Suhail: Gold

Coaches Morgan, Abeln, Kelsey Figiel and Brandon Wood accompanied the team. Click here for photos from the tournament.

The COD Speech Team will continue its season in March, with the Phi Rho Pi Regional Tournament held at Prairie State College March 24 and 25. For more information about the Forensics Team, email

Pictured: Members of the College of DuPage Forensics Team hold their medals and trophies after competing at the Litrentra Triangle Tournament held at Harper Community College.


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