Wilkes University

Speech & Debate Team

The Wilkes University Forensics Experience offers both seasoned and new competitors a chance to participate in Policy Debate or a wide variety of Speech and Interpretative Events.

The team also hosts two Forensics Tournaments each year, so we are always looking for people interested in learning about marketing, public relations, and special event management.

The Speech Team meets Tuesdays during club hours from 11 a.m. to 12 noon in Capin 103.
The Debate Team meets Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 p.m.in Fenner Hall.

Learn more about our upcoming High School Tournament:

The Wilkes University campus will play host to more than 25 Pennsylvania High Schools when Wilkes continues a long standing tradition of speech and debate tournaments during the Wilkes Invitational Forensics Competition on Saturday, October 25th, 2014. (Read more)

2014 - 2015 Award Winning Season

  • February 2015 -– Pennsylvania State Champions, Penn State University
    • Amber Dietrich -- Fifth Place in Persuasive Speaking
    • Taillon Staudenmeier -- Seventh Place in After-Dinner Speaking

  • February 2015 – Pennsylvania State Champions, Penn State University
    • Fifth Place for Persuasive Speaking -- Amber Dietrich
    • Seventh Place for After-Dinner Speaking -- Taillon Staudenmeier
  • February 7, 2015 -- The Wilkes University Speech and Debate Tournament
    • First Place for After-Dinner Speaking -- Taillon Staudenmeier
    • Fifth Place for Prose -- Jeanne Cannon

  • January 2015 -- Collegiate Forensics Tournament, Montreal, Canada
    • First Place for Persuasive Speaking -- Amber Dietrich
    • Fifth Place for After-Dinner Speaking -- Taillon Staudenmeier

  • November 2014 -- Collegiate Forensic Association Holiday Tournament, Middletown, VA
    • After Dinner Speaking: Fourth Place -- Taillon Staudenmeier

  • November 22 to 23, 2014 -- Gotham Debate Scrimmage in New York City
    • Third Place Speaker Award -- Daniel McLean

2013-2014 Award Winning Season

  • November 2013 - Jersey Shore Invitational at Monmouth, NJ
    • Quarter Finals Participant - Tom Schmidt

2012 -2013 Award Winning Season

  • January 2013 - C.F.A International Forensics Tournament Awards
    • Informative Speaking: First Place - Nipa Parikh | Third Place -- Brad Moore
    • Duo Interpretation of Literature: Fourth Place - Rachel Zomerfeld and Brenton Shaffer
    • Impromptu Speaking: Fifth Place - Sam Brand
    • Poetry Interpretation:Sixth Place - Bryana Darbenzio

  • November 2012 - Morgan State Forensics Tournament
    • Informative Speaking: Sixth Place - Nipa Parikh
  • October 2012 - Southern/Northern Atlantic Forensic Union's Tournament at Cedar Crest University
    • Persuasive Speaking: Sixth Place - Melissa Caprio 
    • Duo Interpretation: Seventh Place - Brenton Shaffer and Rachel Zomerfeld
  • September 2012 - N.E. Regional Opener hosted by Binghamton University
    • Policy Debate Team of Stephanie Wogan and David Benway - OCTO-Final Round with a preliminary record of 4-2

2010-2011 Award Winning Season

  • The Speech Team had an amazing victory at the Ursinus College Forensics Competition on November 19th and 20th.  A FIRST PLACE AWARD went to a Duo Interpretation by Rachel Zomerfeld and Brenton Shaffer.  The SECOND PLACE AWARD in Persuasive Speaking was won by Melissa Caprio.  In Prose Interpretation, Brenton Shaffer took home THIRD PLACE.  A FIFTH PLACE AWARD was also won by Nina Vazquez in Persuasive Speaking and a SIXTH PLACE AWARD in Poetry Interpretation went to Rachel Zomerfeld.
  • The Debate Team had a winning tournament at Monmouth University, November 12-14!  David Cook won the FOURTH PLACE SPEAKER AWARD in the Junior Varisty Division from a field of 46 competitors.  The novice team of Sarah Mitrotz and Brandon Wesneski captured an OCTO-FINAL title in the novice division after a 5-2 win record in six preliminary rounds.
  • The Debate Team was in the octo-final junior varsity round at the Las Vegas Classic Debate Tournament, October 14-18.  After seven preliminary rounds, Wilkes University was the 8th team out of 26 in the JV Division capturing 5 out of 7 rounds.  The JV Team of David Cook and Casim Gomez lost the elimination round with a very close 2-1 decision.
  • The novice debate team of Sarah Seman and Sarah Mitrotz climbed to the quarter final round at the Northeast Debate Opener at Binhamton University, September 17-19th!  After 6 preliminary rounds, this team won the octo-final round with a 3-0 decision and met the West Point Military Academy in the Quarter final round.  They finished in the top ten novice team rankings out of 44 teams.