19 May 2010
By Brian Klosa, Speech Instructor
This past weekend the tiny South Central College Speech traveled to Eau Claire, Wisconsin and the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire to compete in the annual American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET).
I am exceedingly happy to report that after a very long three days of competition, South Central College took second place in the community college division at this very prestigious and difficult tournament.
Only one student, Anna Kelley, earned the right to compete at this tournament and represent SCC. Anna competed in Prose Interpretation, Program Oral Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation and Drama Interpretation. Anna held her own against some of the best programs and students in the country. In each round, there are two judges. In one of her events, Prose, Anna received first place from both judges in one of her rounds. While this is outstanding in its own right, making it even more incredible is that the eventual national champion was in that round with her.
While Anna did not receive a national quarter finalist award, she was incredibly close. Her best event was prose and out of 146 people entered, she tied for 34th place. The top 24 students, after three preliminary rounds and six judges scores advance to the national quarter final round. Had Anna gotten one rank higher from just one of her judges, SCC would have had its first national quarter finalist.
So when our school name was called for second place in community college division we were shocked to say the least. Without the quarter finalist spot, I didn’t think we could pull it off. But Anna had earned enough points to make this happen. I am very proud of Anna and her work. While I wish more of the team could have qualified for the tournament, Anna represented us with the utmost professionalism.
On Thursday, April 18, Anna will be performing her prose piece at the Liberal Arts SCC Foundation Extravaganza. Needless to say, our guests are in for a special treat!! Later this month, the speech team will be presenting our annual showcase of events to the public and potential high school recruits to our team.
I have said this before but thank you to the all the faculty, administrators and staff who have helped us out over this year. Anna’s performance is just another example of the talented students who walk our halls. I know other student organizations have also had success at their state, regional and national competitions. SCC is not just some rinky dink little school tucked away in Southern Minnesota. We are a force to be reckoned with in our various competitions.
Speech and Debate Team Director
South Central College