COD Forensics Team Places in Top Ten in National Tournament

Phi Rho Pi Tournament Icon

By Mike McKissack

The College of DuPage Forensics Team placed ninth out of 64 two-year colleges at the 80th Phi Rho Pi National Speech Tournament in Washington, DC.

The Phi Rho Pi tournament offers community college students the only full-service speech tournament in the U.S., providing competition in 11 individual events, three forms of debate and interpreters’ theater. Established in 1929, Phi Rho Pi is one of the oldest forensics organizations in the U.S. and is committed to increasing knowledge and appreciation of the forensics arts at junior and community colleges by fostering growth, development and participation in forensics.

COD competitors who won medals at the event are Cem Addemir (Naperville), bronze medal in International Public Debate; Mojeri Coker (Warrenville),gold medal in Program of Oral Interpretation,bronze medal in Speech to Entertain; Jake Cowart (Lombard),silver medal in Communication Analysis; Gabbi Gruver (Naperville),bronze medal in Communication Analysis, bronze medal in Persuasion; Hamdan Suhail (Woodridge),bronze medal in Informative, silver medal in Speech to Entertain; and Veronica Williams (Westmont),bronze medal in Poetry.

Also joining the team were Katrina Caluza (Aurora), Liz Fritz (Naperville), Gabrielle Moraru (Bensenville), Roha Nehas (Glendale Heights), Rocio Olvera (Elmhurst) and Emma Swanson (Wood Dale). 

The COD Forensics Team is coached by speech communication faculty members Kacy Abeln,Lauren Morgan, Mia Poston and Brandon Wood, as well as alumni Matt Beifuss and Kelsey Fiegel.

Continuing Education will host a High School Summer Speech Camp for high school students in Community College District 502. For more information about the camp or about becoming part of the speech and debate program at COD, contact Lauren Morgan at (630) 370-7870 or

Click here for more information about summer programs for high school students at COD.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 28,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

(Pictured left to right: Jake Cowart, Cem Addemir, Katrina Caluza, Gabbi Gruver, Gabrielle Moraru, Liz Fritz, Rocio Olvera, Brandon Wood, Lauren Morgan, Kacy Abeln, Roha Nehas, Veronica Williams, Emma Swanson, Hamdan Suhail and Mojeri Coker.

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