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College of Human Development, Culture, and Media

Brownson Speech and Debate Team Shines at Nationals

Brownson Speech and Debate Team in Glendale, AZ

Members of the Brownson Speech and Debate Team in Glendale, Arizona

Seton Hall’s Brownson Speech and Debate Team is celebrating its ongoing success at the 2024 Pi Kappa Delta (PKD) National Tournament in Glendale, Arizona, where 59 colleges and universities’ teams and more than 1,450 individual entries, represented the nation’s oldest forensics honor society in four intense days of competition.

This young team, include sophomore Amos Willey ’26, freshman Joshua Yue ’27, sophomore Tristan Radcliffe ’26, sophomore Catherine Jones ’26, and sophomore Emily Vaca ’26, and placed seventh in the nation.

“Their expertise and commitment to the advancement of rhetorical excellence helped our students to represent our University with grace and dignity,” said Catherine H. Zizik, chair of the department of Communication, Media, and the Arts; associate professor and director, Forensics, College of Human Development, Culture, and Media.

Biology major Jones led the charge and was crowned national champion for the category of Informative Speaker, presenting on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recent guidelines, risks and benefits of bariatric surgery for children aged 12 and up in response to the nation’s “obesity epidemic.” She also placed 4th in Persuasive Speaking.

Vaca earned 5th place in Poetry Interpretation and 12th in Informative Speaking.

Radcliffe placed 7th in Extemporaneous Speaking and 11th in Commentary.

Willey finished 12th in Commentary.

Radcliffe, Jones and Willey also were awarded “excellent,” recognized among the top 10 percent of elite competitors for Impromptu Speaking.

The Seton Hall team was fortunate to have Head Coach Brian Sumereau ’21, who helped the team to victory with Assistant Coach Abigail Thow ’19.

Next, seven members of the Brownson Team have been invited to the "big dance" again. They have qualified to compete in 29 different events at the American Forensics Association Speech Tournament (AFA-NST), hosted by the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, from April 6 to 8.

Categories: Arts and Culture