At the Fall meeting of the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association, UNT Debate championed every single debate format to win overall best debate program. The competition was held in Corpus Christi on November 3-4, 2017. Schools attending included the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, Texas A&M, Wiley College, Prairie View A&M, Louisiana State University, Univ. of Mary Hardin Baylor and others from across Texas.
Abe Hester, senior Political Science major from Harker Heights, Texas, and Matthew Hernandez, first year Journalism major from Athens, Texas, won the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) division. Abe Hester also won the International Public Debate Association's (IPDA) division at the tournament. Emily Jackson, junior Ecology major from Plano, Texas, won the Lincoln and Douglas Debate division.
The team won other awards as well with Matthew Ellis, sophomore Geography major from Spokane, Washington, and Ta'Corian Tilley, first Year Communication Studies major from Tyler, Texas, finishing in the quarterfinals (top 8) of the NPDA division. Matthew Hernandez was the NPDA division's sixth best speaker. Abron Hester was the fourth best speaker in the NPDA division. The tournament also recognized the best first year debaters in each division. Michael Pulver, first year Accounting major from Athens, Texas, was the IPDA division's "Top Novice." Ta'Corian Tilley was the Extemporaneous speaking division's "Top Novice."
Abron Hester commented, "I've never been prouder than to be able to bring home two championships for UNT debate, and to be able to do that with a freshman partner means that he'll be able to continue our legacy forward. Furthermore, seeing so many novices shine at this tournament gives me hope that the team will continue to bring credit to our University."
Winning all debate divisions, UNT Debate students were the clear champions of the tournament. This marks the second year in a row UNT has won the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association debate competition. Next week the team heads to Washburn University in Topeka, KS. Cheer them on at Facebook and Twitter @UNTDebate!
- Photo and story courtesy of Dr. Brian Lain