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By Melissa Thrasher

The Eastern Michigan University Forensics team has once again showcased its expertise, securing third place in the National Championship Tournament of the National Forensics Association. This achievement marks EMU’s 51st consecutive year of participation in the tournament, underscoring its enduring commitment to excellence in competitive forensics.

EMU Forensics sent 18 students who participated in more than 50 performances in the national competition. The tournament, hosted by Central Michigan University,  featured 60 schools and 399 students. This achievement follows the recent fourth-place finish in the American Forensics Association Competition.

“This is my first year as director and joining a team with such a prestigious history was extremely intimidating,” said Bill Heinze, director of Forensics at Eastern. “It’s safe to say that as a team, the students were very uncertain about whether or not they could repeat past successes. Our strong finish indicates that EMU forensics can adapt to changing leadership and hold onto the commitment to performance and advocacy that makes us strong.”

The following students placed in the semi-finals and above in their respective categories:

  • After Dinner Speaking (top 12): Katie George (Freshman),
  • Duo Interpretation (top 12): Katie George, Gavin Millard, Meghan Huelsman
  • Impromptu Speaking (top 12): Olivia Wetzel (Sophomore)
  • Program Oral Interpretation  (top 12): Gavin Millard, Informative Speaking (top 12): Abdur Rahaman Elder (Junior)
  • Communication Analysis: Cedrick Charles (Senior) secured fourth place, Kate Inman, senior sixth place with Louise Engohang (Junior) among the top 12.
  • Prose Interpretation: Louise Engohang achieved a top-five finish
  • Persuasive Speaking: Louise Engohang placed fifth and Cedrick Charles secured spots in the top 12, with Kate Inman (Senior)
  • Informative Speaking: Louise Engohang secured the top-three position and ranked 11th as the overall speaker at the tournament.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking: Kate Inman secured third place

Heinze is optimistic about next year’s prospects and continuing EMU’s winning legacy on the national stage. “Next year, we’re looking forward to having more preparation time and seeing if we can once again bring the national championship back to EMU.”

Kate Inman, a recent EMU graduate who placed third in the extemporaneous speaking competition, attributed her success to the coaches who guided her through the process and is excited about the future.

“I am so excited to see what the team will do next year,” said Inman. “With some amazing new coaches and an amazing director this team has such a bright future that I have seen foster this year being a senior. I think this team understands what it means to help and support each other, how to combat obstacles together, and how to be competitively and academically successful.”

Photo courtesy of EMU

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