Award-winning Forensics Team at LSC-Kingwood
- Written by Jeffry Tupa
Lone Star College-Kingwood Forensics Team is busy attending tournaments and bringing home trophies. The team is headed to a five-state regional competition. Five team members will then head to Chicago for a national competition. LSC-Kingwood team members are Nathan Byrd, Jeremy Trepagnier, Kelsie Copeland, Alicia Adams, Marisa Brown, Holly Burns, Christian Collins, Fallon Hopper and Mikayla Riddles. Professor Collier Patton, director of forensics and associate professor of speech communication, says participation in forensics helps create a bridge to four-year universities. “Our students are really coming into their own and making quite a name for themselves as they compete against the brightest students from colleges and universities around the nation.” “Forensics competition is one of the things that employers say is a great benefit to have on one’s resume." Forensics competitions involve three kinds of events: Public Speaking events where students give memorized, extemporaneous, or impromptu speeches; Oral Interpretation events where students interpret a piece of literature; and Parliamentary Debate where students work in teams to debate issues against other teams. Trepagnier was a student in Professor Patton’s speech class when he was recruited to the team after arguing with his professor on the first day of class. He says his involvement in the team has helped him enormously. He’s become more involved with student activities, made new friends, and improved his grades. “Being on the team has opened doors for me. I received a forensics scholarship and I already have scholarship offers from five universities.” The team competed at the Texas Community College Speech and Theatre Association tournament where Byrd won second place in Communication Analysis, eighth in Impromptu Speaking, and seventh in Extemporaneous Speaking. Riddles and Hopper placed fifth in Duo Interpretation. The combined efforts of the team earned the college third place in debate. They headed next to the Speech on the Beach tournament in Corpus Christi where they competed against both community colleges and four-year universities. Byrd and Trepagnier won third place in Parliamentary Debate. Trepagnier won second top speaker in Debate and Byrd brought home an additional five awards in various categories. Riddles and Hopper both won awards as well. The team won the second- place sweepstakes trophy in debate. The Spring Parliamentary Debate Marathon, sponsored by the Houston Area League of Forensics and attended by colleges and universities from across the nation, was hosted by LSC-Kingwood. Trepagnier and Copeland won second place and Trepagnier received the fifth top speaker award for the first half of this two-part tournament. In the second half Byrd won first place with his partner from Central Texas College and Trepagnier won the fifth top speaker. The team earned the second place sweeps trophy in both parts of the tournament and second place sweeps overall. Riddles was involved in her high school debate team and says forensics helped her overcome stage fright and become a more confident speaker. She says she has enjoyed the friends she has made through the Forensics team. Any LSC-Kingwood student may participate on the forensics team and scholarships are available for participation in forensics. For more information on the Forensics Team, contact Patton at 281-312-1764. Registration is under way for LSC-Kingwood May mini-term and summer classes. The first session of summer classes begins June 2 and ends July 8. The second summer session begins July 10 and ends Aug. 14. Register early for best class selection. For more information, call 281-312-1600 or visit Kingwood.LoneStar.edu. Photo: LSC-Kingwood Forensics team members: Alicia Adams, Fallon Hopper, Kelsie Copeland, Holly Burns (front row) and Mikayla Riddles, Nathan Byrd, Jeremy Trepagnier (back row).