Ball State debate team places second in national tournament

Topic: College of Communication Information and Media

April 25, 2007

The Ball State debate team placed second in the National Educational Debate Association (NEDA) National Tournament April 13-14.

Placing third the year before, the team improved its standing in the competition and was named the Outstanding School of the NEDA organization.

According to coach Mike Bauer, instructor of communication studies, the team persevered despite its relative inexperience. It was the first competition for 11 of the students.

"I am extremely proud of the students who participated in their first tournament ever," Bauer said. "They were competing against students who had much more experience, but they tried very hard and performed very well."

Dallis Pike and Rebecca Tucker were selected as debate All-Americans. Other students with top performances included Ben Davis and Samantha Sallee, who placed first as a novice team.

Other students qualifying for honors included Jane Ren and Melissa Sokolski, quarterfinalists in the varsity division; Katie Bills and Mollyanne Leitizia, crossfire; and Alexander Newman, crossfire.

Speaker awards went to Alexander Newman, first place, crossfire; Adam Holt, sixth place, crossfire; Josh Griffey, seventh place, crossfire; Mollyanne Leitizia, ninth place, crossfire; Samantha Sallee, fourth place, novice; Robert Zbikowski, ninth place, novice; and Jane Ren, eighth place, varsity.

The debate team is affiliated with the communication studies department and is open to all university students. Department chairman Glen Stamp is proud of the team's accomplishments.

"Mike Bauer, year in and year out, does an outstanding job with the debate team. He is passionate about coaching," Stamp said. "While I am always overjoyed with overall team performance, of equal importance is offering students an opportunity to participate and seeing students grow in terms of ability as debaters."

By Jennifer Strempka

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