Department of Communication Studies

Speech Team Repeats Top 10 Finish at Nationals

This weekend (April 5-8, 2013), the University of Northern Iowa Speech team competed at the American Forensics Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in Hutchinson, Kansas. This is the most selective and competitive collegiate national speech tournament. In the last two seasons, the team has placed 10th (2012) and 13th (2011).

This year, the team qualified 10 students with a total of 34 events, which is one of the largest contingents UNI has sent to AFA-NIET in the tournament’s 35-year history! The team finished 10th out of 78 teams in team sweepstakes.

Four students qualified to AFA, but did not reach elimination rounds. Three students qualified two events each to AFA-NIET: Sophomores Heather Kelly and Jordan Lukehart, and First Year Maddison Jansen. Junior Scott Bredman qualified one event.

Six students cleared to elimination rounds:

Senior Harrison Postler qualified six events. He was the champion in Impromptu Speaking! He was 2nd in Dramatic Interpretation! He was a semifinalist in After Dinner Speaking. Overall, he was 6th in Individual Sweepstakes out of 198 eligible competitors.

Senior Mandy Paris qualified three events and was a quarterfinalist in Duo Interpretation with Senior Harrison Postler.

Senior Michael Taylor qualified six events and was a quarterfinalist in Program Oral Interpretation, as well as a semifinalist with Ryan Courtney in Duo Interpretation.

Junior Zoe Russell qualified five events and was a quarterfinalist in Impromptu Speaking.

Sophomore Ryan Courtney qualified five events and was a quarterfinalist in Dramatic Interpretation and Duo Interpretation with Senior Harrison Postler.

First Year Keegan Bosch qualified five events and was a quarterfinalist in Dramatic Interpretation.

While we generally like to emphasize the importance of team performance, I would like to point out that this is Harrison Postler’s third year in a row reaching the finals at AFA-NIET. During his career at UNI, he has placed six events in three years in the top 6 at nationals. Harrison’s AFA-NIET success is one of the more impressive individual performances in the history of UNI Speech. Harrison is graduating in May, and we applaud him for his consistently excellent performance at AFA-NIET. He is the first event champion for UNI Forensics at a National Speech tournament since 1992, and the first AFA-NIET event champion since 1988.

Rebecca Buel directs the Individual Events Team. Graduate students Yaw Kyeremateng and Sarah Taylor assist the team, along with Sade Barfield and Josh Hamzehee. The team will send the seniors to the NFA National Tournament the third weekend in April. Overall, the team qualified 48 events to NFA. Thank you so much for your support!

2013 Speech Team
Dr. Katherine L. Lavelle
Director of Forensics
Assistant Professor of Com. Studies
University of Northern Iowa
334 Lang
Cedar Falls, IA 50613-0139