By Zac Alexander
The Jefferson State Speech and Debate Team traveled to Berlin, Germany on March 8-16, 2019, to compete in the International Forensics Association Speech and Debate Tournament, held in the Park Inn Alexanderplatz Hotel. Students from two dozen colleges and universities competed in individual public speaking and dramatic events as well as IPDA (International Public Debate Association) debate. Jefferson State sent three second-year team members and all brought home awards.
Individual Event Captain Atiyah Muhammad won 5th place in Prose Interpretation. Regarding the tournament voyage she stated, "Our trip to Germany was exciting, nerve-wrecking, and something I hope to never forget.” She also noted, “the competition itself was really fun, despite the stress. I met people from Montana and Utah to New York City. It also felt great to perform on a national level and come back successful. Overall, I will always be grateful to my coach and to Jeff State."”
JSCC Debate Captain Jacob Humphries was a semi-finalist in Extemporaneous Speaking. Of the tournament experience he stated, “From the beginning of the competition we all knew it was going to be tough and we would have to have our best run through ever in order to place.” Furthermore, he said, “my favorite part of the whole trip (besides karaoke of course) was how we all managed to place in at least one event! Germany was amazing and I truly never will forget the times we had!
The third competitor for the squad, Team President Rich Quarles, also had a strong tournament performance. He went undefeated in debate preliminary rounds and was ranked 7th of out all 64 open-division debaters at the tournament.
The team’s faculty sponsor, Dr. Janice Ralya, said of the tournament “It was a pleasure to travel to Berlin with Atiyah, Jacob and Rich. They all have done such a fine job over the past two years that this trip was a fitting reward.” She added, “I was very proud of all of them for how they represented Jefferson State. For each of them to bring home an award from this prestigious tournament was very exciting and a testament to the hard work and dedication they have displayed on the team.”
The team is looking forward to the start of a new tournament season. They will attend a debate workshop in Baytown, Texas in July and begin Fall competition in September. Please contact Dr. Janice Ralya (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about the Speech and Debate Team.