CORVALLIS - An Oregon State University debate team member from Tigard captured the world title of top individual persuasive speaker as her teammate earned a finalist slot in impromptu speaking at the International Forensics Competition in Rome, Italy, last week.
Kathy LaVeine, a OSU sophomore in speech communication, earned the world title and has consistently made strong showings in debate competitions throughout the world since joining the team as a freshman, said Trischa Knapp, OSU Forensics Team coach and assistant professor of speech communication.
Renee Rider, an OSU senior in wildlife science from Phoenix, Ariz., made it to the final rounds in impromptu speaking.
The pair also teamed up to capture second-place international honors in parliamentary debate for the OSU Forensics Team, Rider said.
"All of the debate topics and all the resolutions were based on things related to Rome," Rider said. "For example, one of the topics was: 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do.' We ended up in parliamentary debate in a five-way tie for second place."
The two women were pitted against some of the top collegiate debate teams in the world at the Rome competition, Knapp said.
"They have been doing great all year and they have consistently been one of the top teams in competition all year," Knapp said.
While the competition had a Roman flavor, teams from throughout the world were represented.
"There were also quite a few schools from across the United States," Rider said.
Both OSU students will travel to San Diego on March 27 to compete in the National Parliamentary Debate Competition.
Rider and LaVeine are OSU forensics veterans who traveled last spring to the International Forensics Association Championships in Lisbon, Portugal. In Lisbon, Rider placed third in parliamentary debate and fifth in informative speaking and LaVeine made it to the semifinals in impromptu speaking.