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The University of Alabama

UA Forensics Team Wins 15th National Title

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama Forensics Council at The University of Alabama won its 15th team national championship at this year’s Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha National Forensics Tournament. The UA team won the title on its home turf, as the tournament was held on the UA campus March 12-14.

The UA forensics team, composed of individual events and debate competitors, beat out 24 other teams for the top award. UA topped competition from the University of Florida, Louisiana State, Florida State, the University of South Carolina, California State University-Fresno, Colorado College, the University of Mississippi and other universities nationwide.

In addition to the overall national award, the UA team claimed the national champion policy debate team and seven individual event national champions. UA student Kimberly Crosby was selected as the National DSR-TKA Student Speaker for 2004.

UA won the tournament by an impressive margin, amassing 458 total points. The University of Florida took second place with 78 points, followed by LSU in third place with 73 points. Numerical points are assigned for each placement won. A first-place showing is worth 18 points, second-place is worth 15 points, etc.

“This team national championship represents a wonderful effort by both components of our program – debate and individual events did an outstanding job,” said Dr. Frank Thompson, associate professor and director of forensics. “This team has more depth of talent than I have seen on one team in the past 23 years.

“The success of this team reflects on the total student body at UA and speaks volumes about the quality of students we have at the Capstone,” he said.

The UA team of Abi Smith and Bryan Grayson took the national champion policy debate team title. UA team members winning national championships in individual events were Allie Moscarelli, prose interpretation and pentathlon; Kristen Anderson, poetry interpretation; Laura Ashley, persuasive speaking; Zack Nobinger, communication analysis; Chas Womelsdorf, dramatic interpretation; and Crosby and Moscarelli, duo interpretation.

Other finalists’ positions included:

  • Kristen Anderson, 6th, dramatic interpretation
  • Laura Ashley, 2nd communication analysis; 3rd, extemporaneous speaking; superior speaking, Student Congress
  • Melissa Buckner, 3rd, dramatic interpretation; 3rd, pentathlon; 6th, prose interpretation; 6th, informative speaking; semifinalist, poetry interpretation
  • Kimberly Crosby, 2nd, pentathlon; 3rd, informative speaking; 5th prose interpretation; 5th, dramatic interpretation
  • Bryan Grayson, 3rd, policy debate speaker
  • David Greer, 2nd after dinner speaking; 3rd, communication analysis; 6th, persuasive speaking
  • Buddy Handey, superior speaking, Student Congress
  • Jackson Hataway, 2nd, impromptu speaking; 5th, persuasive speaking; 5th informative speaking
  • Marella Lathan, 2nd, poetry interpretation; 2nd, dramatic interpretation; 4th, pentathlon; 6th program oral interpretation
  • Hal Mooty, 4th, communication analysis
  • Allie Moscarelli, 2nd, program oral interpretation; semifinalist, poetry interpretation
  • Zack Nobinger, 4th, impromptu speaking
  • Abi Smith, 2nd, policy debate speaker
  • Anna Ruth Williams, 6th poetry interpretation
  • Stephen Williams, 3rd, poetry interpretation; 3rd, prose interpretation; 4th, program oral interpretation
  • Chas Womelsdorf, 2nd, informative speaking; 5th after dinner speaking; 5th, pentathlon
  • Stephen Williams and Marella Lathan, 2nd, duo interpretation
  • Melissa Buckner and Chas Womelsdorf, 6th, duo interpretation
  • Heather Wyatt and Whitney Owens, semifinalists, policy debate

In addition to the student winners, Dr. E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the UA College of Communication and Information Sciences, was named DSR-TKA National Speaker of the Year. This national award goes to an individual who has distinguished himself or herself on a national level. Clark was selected for his research and publications on the issue of civil rights. He is the author of “The Schoolhouse Door: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama” (Oxford University Press, 1993).

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.