by Linda Hass, Published August 07, 2013
Competing on Eastern Michigan University's Forensics Team has not only sharpened junior Patrick Seick's verbal and critical thinking skills, it has given him the capacity to change the world.
"At the heart of forensics is the celebration of the individual voice, the ability to critically assess situations, and the capacity to change the world," says Seick, 21, a communication and philosophy major and Presidential Scholar at Eastern.
Seick's powers of persuasion and eloquence were in full force at the National Forensic Association Competition this April when he placed second in the nation in After Dinner Speaking, fourth in Impromptu Speaking and fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking. The talented wordsmith also is ranked in the top 12 in Informative Speaking and top 24 in Persuasive Speaking.
Seick was part of the 25-member EMU forensics Team that competed in the intercollegiate competition, held at Marshall University in West Virginia. Eastern's Forensics Team finished fourth in the team sweepstakes overall.
"Nationals is the last and most prestigious tournament of the year, what we've all been working towards as individuals and as a team. The atmosphere was electric!" says Seick of the competition, which drew 78 schools and over 1,000 students from around the country.
"Patrick is highly dedicated to forensics and is extremely talented," says Nick Romerhausen, professor and director of forensics at Eastern. "We're ecstatic that he still has one more competition year with EMU." Eastern is slated to host next year's competition on its campus.
Seick says he chose Eastern for many reasons, including a top notch education. But the reputation of EMU's forensics team was among selling points. "Chris Griesinger (BA '07) was an alumnus of my school (Middletown High School, Middletown, OH) and he went on to have a tremendous forensics career at EMU," says Seick of the national champion who earned a bachelor's degree in communications and creative writing. "Chris was an important role model for me and remains one today.
"At the most practical level, however, Eastern is so incredibly supportive of its students, that I knew it would be an institution I'd be proud to call home for the next four years," Seick adds. "I knew I'd be getting an extended family I could rely on for a lifetime."
Other benefits of an Eastern education include a greater appreciation for the value and power of experiences, from joining the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity to mingling with alumni, staff and students, he says.
"Learning about people's experiences has made me a better person. It's really easy to judge people-it's more difficult to try and understand them. I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to meet a variety of people and listen to what they've been through in life."
Seick, who is on track to receive a bachelor's degree in communication in 2014, said he would like to attend graduate school to pursue further studies in the field of communication, while possibly serving as a graduate assistant for another forensics program. "I'd love to be a professor someday . . . who knows? Maybe I'll return to EMU."