OSU forensics team hosts Northwest debate tournament


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Two members of the Oregon State University forensics team received honors recently when OSU hosted the eighth annual Earl Wells Memorial Speakeasy Tournament.

The event featured 14 schools from around the greater Northwest and more than 200 individual entries in categories such as extemporaneous speaking, program oral interpretation, and communication analysis.

“Every year, the students on the team act as gracious hosts,” said team director Mark Porrovecchio. “At the same time, they compete at a high level against some of the best schools in the region.”

Jana Hodgins of Clackamas was fourth best speaker in open international public debate and received a second place award in open persuasive speaking. Cody Connolly of Honolulu, Hawaii, was a finalist in novice impromptu speaking.

The competition squad was rounded out by Michael Walters of Gresham, Esther Rodriguez of Woodburn, Briana Gellner of Klamath Falls, and Bronson Ayala of Clackamas. The team was coached and the tournament was run by graduate assistants Kori Thornburg of Kennewick, Wash., and Forest Ledbetter of Sheridan, Ore., and team alumnus Kyle Bidwell of Sumner, Wash.

Celebrating its 119th season, OSU Forensics is one of the oldest clubs on campus.  The team is open to all students in good academic standing. For more information, contact mark.porrovecchio@oregonstate.edu.