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UNI Forensics takes home national honors

April 18, 2013

Katherine Lavelle, professor, communication studies, 319- 273-7200,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- UNI Forensics is the home of the intercollegiate speech and debate competition teams. Not only is speech and debate the oldest student activity at the University of Northern Iowa, but UNI is the only university in Iowa to host both a speech and policy debate team. Both teams are doing well, having received several honors at recent national competitions.

The UNI Speech Team received several honors at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in Hutchinson, Kan., April 5 through 8. The team qualified 10 students for a total of 34 events and placed 10th out of 78 teams in team sweepstakes.

Harrison Postler, senior communication studies major, placed first in impromptu speaking, second in dramatic interpretation, was a semifinalist in after-dinner speaking and placed sixth in individual sweepstakes overall. This is the first time a UNI student has won an individual event at nationals since 1992.

Mandy Paris, senior communication studies major, was a quarterfinalist in duo interpretation with Postler. Michael Taylor, senior communication studies major from Danville, Iowa, was a quarterfinalist in program oral interpretation and was a semifinalist in duo interpretation with sophomore communication studies major Ryan Courtney. Courtney, of Coralville, Iowa was a quarterfinalist in dramatic interpretation.

Zoe Russell, senior communication studies major from Ames, Iowa, was a quarterfinalist in impromptu speaking. Keegan Bosch, first year English major from Joliet, Ill., was a quarterfinalist in dramatic interpretation.

AFA-NIET is the most selective and competitive national speech tournament. This marks UNI's second consecutive year placing in the top 10 in team sweepstakes at this event. UNI has received several honors at recent national competitions, including Abbie Shew and Zach Simonson of UNI's Debate Team advancing to triple octafinals at the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament in March.

For more information about UNI Forensics, contact Katherine Lavelle, professor in UNI's Department of Communication Studies, at 319- 273-7200 or