WT Communication Department Determines Best Speaker with Contest

Dec. 9, 2019

CONTACT: Dr. Trudy Hanson, 806-651-2800, thanson@wtamu.edu

WT Communication Department Hosts Best Speaker Contest

CANYON, Texas—West Texas A&M University’s Department of Communication hosted the Best Speaker contest on Dec. 2 in the Fine Arts Complex, Recital Hall. Students enrolled in the basic public speaking course competed within their classes to be nominated for the final competition. Six teams vied for the title of Best Speaker by giving a group persuasive speech connected with a service learning project they completed during the course of the semester.

The winning team comprised of ShyAnne Peterson (Amarillo), Jaclyn Kaler (Springtown), Brantley Bristow (Canyon), Ashlyn Millican (Hockley) and Amanda Schoenhals (Follett) coached by instructor Paola Albarran claimed first place in the competition with their speech about the Amarillo Little Theatre.

first place

*Photo left to right: Amanda Schoenhals, Ashlyn Millican, Jaclyn Kaler, ShyAnne Peterson and Brantley Bristow.

The second place winners coached by associate lecturer Paula Schlegel included Conner Unwin (Amarillo), McKenna Ward (Amarillo), Abigail Avitia-Lopez (Seminole), Hannah Jaramillo (Amarillo), and Candice Brown (Amarillo) and spoke on the topic of mental health education.

second place

*Photo left to right: Abigail Avitia-Lopez, Hannah Jaramillo, McKenna Ward, Conner Unwin and Candice Brown.

Coming in at third place was the team coached by instructor Audry Palmer-Williams, which included Reganne Boyd (White Deer), Sergio Gonzales (Mesquite), Abigail House (Ft. Worth), Katelyn Penn (Amarillo) and Niraj Suresh (Potomac, MD) who spoke about the Ronald McDonald House.

third place

*Photo left to right: Abigail House, Reganne Boud, Katelyn Penn, Niraj Suresh and Sergio Gonzales.

Students based their speeches on the service learning hours completed at area non-profits. Using the skills they developed in the basic public speaking class, each group explained the need that existed, how to satisfy that need and how to visualize the results of helping the organization in their 10- to 12-minute group speech.

Judges for the Best Speaker contest were alumni of the communication department, which included Amanda Brookhart, MA in communication, Jeremy Tarango, BA in communication studies, and Marissa Rivera, BA in advertising/public relations. Cash prizes were awarded to the winning teams.

For more information about public speaking or the Department of Communication, contact Dr. Trudy Hanson, 806-651-2800 or thanson@wtamu.edu.