Eastern Michigan University's forensics team scores big at national competition

by Debra Johnson, Published May 08, 2013


YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University's Forensics Team finished fourth in team sweepstakes overall at the National Forensic Association Competition, held in April at Marshall University in West Virginia.

The National Forensic Association is an intercollegiate forensics association devoted to individual events and Lincoln-Douglas debate. It is the oldest and one of the largest organizations interested in the promotion of intercollegiate speech and debate.

Over 1,000 students from around the country qualified to compete, with 78 schools in attendance at the event held April 17 - 21.

Patrick Seick

Patrick Seick, a junior at Eastern placed second in the nation in After Dinner Speaking, fourth in the nation in Impromptu Speaking and fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking.

"While it was incredibly exciting to do well as an individual at the national tournament, I was so happy to play a part in getting fourth place as a team overall," said Patrick Seick. "Eastern hasn't been in the Top Five since 2007; to contribute to that really made my experience unforgettable. I am looking forward to next year as we continue adding to the tradition of EMU Forensics."

Seick is also a Presidential Scholar. He participated in Eastern's Presidential Scholarship Competition and wasawarded a four-year full-ride scholarship. Awards are based on a competitive exam and high school seniors must have either a 3.7 GPA, with a minimum of a 25 ACT or 1,150 SAT score in order to compete.

"Patrick is highly dedicated to forensics and is extremely talented," said Nick Romerhausen, professor and director of forensics at Eastern. "We're ecstatic that he still has one more competition year with EMU."

The National Forensic Association sponsors the national championship tournament for both individual event speaking and Lincoln-Douglas debate. The tournament normally covers four to five days, and championships are awarded in ten individual events and Lincoln-Douglas debate. Team awards are given in several divisions, based on the entry size of each school.

The Lincoln-Douglas debate on the intercollegiate level is one-on-one policy debate. The debate format is named after the Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858, which were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Illinois, and Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate.

Student awards included:

  • Seick, a junior from Middletown, OH, placed seventh in Individual Sweepstakes, second in After-Dinner Speaking, fourth in Impromptu Speaking, fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking, in the top 12 in Informative Speaking and in the top 24 in Persuasive Speaking.
  • Evan Mann, a senior from Midland, placed in the top 24 in Duo Interpretation, and in the top 24 in Extemporaneous Speaking and in the top 24 in Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Monica Kozakiewicz, a senior from Midland, placed in the top 24 in Duo Interpretation.
  • Nicholas Marek, a senior from Westland also placed in the top 24 in Duo Interpretation.
  • Isaac Reimer, a senior from Holland, who placed in the top 24 in Prose Interpretation and in the top 24 in After-Dinner Speaking.
  • Karen Yelverton, a senior from Los Angeles, placed in the top 24 in Dramatic Interpretation and in the top 24 in Poetry Interpretation.
  • Sami White, a freshman from Fishers, IN, placed in the top 24 in Duo Interpretation.
  • Alexander Landen, a senior from Middletown, OH placed in the top 24 in Poetry Interpretation.
  • Durrell Jamerson, a sophomore from Indianapolis, placed in the top 24 in Poetry Interpretation.

"It was exciting to place fourth in the nation this year," said Romerhausen. "Next year, Eastern will host over 1,000 guests when we hold the NFA tournament in April 2014 and we are preparing to bring more national awards to the University while speaking on our own campus."

EMU Forensics began its tradition of success with its first national championship in 1973. Nationally, the Forensics team has placed in the top 10 for over 40 years and has won over 35 Michigan State Team championships. Visit the EMU Forensics homepage for more information. 


Debra Johnson

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