by Geoff Larcom, Published April 23, 2014
YPSILANTI – Patrick Seick, a senior at Eastern Michigan University, won national championship honors in two events and host EMU placed fifth during the National Forensic Association Collegiate Tournament, held April 18-21 on the Eastern campus.
Seick, from Middletown, Ohio, finished first out of 140 contestants in after-dinner speaking, and beat out 199 competitors from around the country in the impromptu speaking event. Those finishes help boost him to third place in the overall pentathlon event.
Eastern also was awarded the association’s Founder’s Trophy, given to programs for sustained success. Eastern has won the award five times since the first NFA event in 1970, tops in the country. The award considers all points accumulated each year and once a team wins the trophy, its point total returns to zero.
"It was exciting to do well as an individual at the national tournament, but I am also happy to play a central part in getting fifth place as a team overall," said Seick. "This adds to the tradition of EMU Forensics, and offers a lifetime of memories and friendships. This was a great event, an amazing weekend of competition and camaraderie.”
“Patrick capped his senior year at Eastern with an extraordinary performance,” said Nick Romerhausen, a professor of communications and director of forensics at Eastern. “He is extremely dedicated to forensics, and an inspiration to all of us. Patrick’s efforts, along with the overall performance of our team in our capacity as host, is extremely gratifying.”
Western Kentucky University took first place in the competition, which drew 86 teams and more about 1,000 students from around the country. The National Forensic Association sponsors the national championship tournament for both individual event speaking and the Lincoln-Douglas debate. The tournament covers four to five days, and championships are awarded in ten individual events and Lincoln-Douglas debate.
The Lincoln-Douglas debate on the intercollegiate level is a 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.
Seick was also a semifinalist in rhetorical criticism and a quarterfinalist in extemporaneous speaking and informative speaking.
Other results involving EMU students included:
• Dramatic interpretation (186 contestants), Jackson Spencer, quarterfinalist.
• Poetry interpretation (168 contestants), Durrell Jamerson and Ashley Kerby, quarterfinalists.
• Persuasive speaking (152 contestants), Ashley Kerby, quarterfinalist; Spencer Belko, fifth place.
• Duo Interpretation (116 teams), Sami White and Jackson Spencer, Jedi Curva and Patrick Seick, quarterfinalists.
Last year, EMU finished fourth at the national competition, held in April at Marshall University in West Virginia. Bradley University, located in Peoria, Ill, won the 2013 national championship.
Seick placed second in the nation in after dinner Speaking last year, and took fourth in the nation in impromptu speaking and fifth in extemporaneous speaking.
Seick is a Presidential Scholar at Eastern. The four-year, full-ride scholarship is based on a competitive exam along with grades and test scores.
In forensics, competitors seek to speak truth, doing so through communication and performance. Whether persuading an audience that legal reform is needed or exploring the emotional truths of the human experience, competitors aim to give an audience a greater understanding of our world and our place within it.
The National Forensic Association, which sponsors the annual collegiate national championship, is an academic association dedicated to providing leadership in intercollegiate speech and debate education in the United States.
EMU Forensics began a tradition of success with its first national championship in 1973. Nationally, the forensics team has placed in the top 10 for more than 40 years, and has won over 35 Michigan State Team championships. Please visit the Forensics homepage for more information.