Small Forensic & Debate Team Yields Big Success at Tournament

| September 26, 2012

Webster University forensic and debate team members show their latest trophies.

The Webster University forensic and debate program opened its 2012-2013 season at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo.

Three Webster students and their small entry made a huge impact on the tournament, winning third place in the overall sweepstakes and debate sweepstakes competitions in the field of 16 teams from six states.

Highlighting the Webster success was a senior attending his first forensic tournament. Joshua Ritchey, senior speech communication studies major, teamed with Gary Jackson, senior political science major to win the varsity division of Public Forum Debate.

Additionally, Jackson won the Bright Young Scholars award and Ritchey placed fourth. The Bright Young Scholars competition recognized the best students competing in both debate and individual events. Jackson also placed second in poetry interpretation.

Sierra Weber, sophomore speech communication studies major, added to Webster’s success with her fourth place finish in programmed oral interpretation.

The team includes a number of novice students in a year that, according to Scott Jensen, director of Forensics and professor of Speech Communication Studies, “is already characterized by enthusiasm that is a sign of great promise.”

The team will have a busy October, competing in tournaments at Crowder College, University of Central Missouri, and Metropolitan Community College at Longview. They are also working on plans for hosting the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament and Convention during spring break in March. Pi Kappa Delta, the nation’s oldest and largest collegiate forensic honor society, is celebrating its 100thbirthday this year. Gina Jensen, assistant director of Forensics and adjunct professor of speech communication studies is the current Pi Kappa Delta national president and head of organizing for the national event.

Students interested in becoming part of the forensic program should contact Scott Jensen at


Category: St. Louis Campus News, Student Affairs and News

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  1. jennifer gammage says:

    Big congrats!!!!!!