Spotlights

Freshman Spotlight: Blake Bergeron

 

 

Meet our 2014-2015 Freshman Class!

Blake Freshman Spotlight

 Name: Blake Bergeron

Hometown: Magnolia, TX

High school: Magnolia High School

Major Concentration: Unspecified Business–Considering Accounting

Events you are doing this year: Prose, Persuasion, and Informative

 

How long have you been doing speech?

I’ve been doing speech for 5 years now.

What is your favorite thing about forensics?

My favorite thing about speech is that it allows for a bunch of different people from completely different upbringings and backgrounds to come together and share what they are passionate about. Whether it be stories, arguments, gadgets, or ideas, speech allows us to share what we truly care about to an audience that will listen…..at least for 10 minutes.

What is your favorite thing about UT?

My favorite thing about UT is the fact that everyone here, from what I’ve seen genuinely has a sense of drive and initiative.  When the people around you constantly strive to get better, you want to as well.   

The coaches are…

Insightful. If any of us are ever having a problem with a cutting, a draft, or life, they are the first to help us improve and get better.

Best advice you’ve ever received:

“Fake it till you make it because if you don’t give at least the illusion of confidence, you will never get what you want.”

Describe yourself in three words:

Light-hearted, ambitious, goofy

What is your spirit animal?

Dolphin

Favorite Color:

Blue

Favorite Food:

Fried Shrimp

In 15 minutes…

I see myself sitting in this Starbucks in New Orleans watching the Once Upon A Time I missed last week because of exams.

In 15 years…

I see myself doing something in the business world.

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Team

Freshman Spotlight: Macy Bayern

 

 

Meet our 2014-2015 Freshman Class!

MACY

Name: Macy Bayern

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

High school: Saint Mary’s Hall

Major Concentration: Liberal Arts Honors-English

Events you are doing this year: Prose and Duo.

How long have you been doing speech?

This is my 6th year doing speech.

What is your favorite thing about forensics?

I love speech because it enables me to be a catalyst for thought–to make an impact.

What is your favorite thing about UT?

The environment: UT facilitates individuality, while still fostering a sense of community.  

The coaches are…

Incredible. They are some of, if not the most, selfless people I’ve ever met. They give so much coaching time and genuinely want to help us be the best versions of ourselves. I am so thankful for them.

Best advice you’ve ever received:

“Stressing out doesn’t relieve stress…but ice cream does.”

Describe yourself in three words:

Driven, Altruistic, Reliable

What is your spirit animal?

Chipmunk

Favorite Color:

Blue

Favorite Food:

Sour Skittles

In 15 minutes…

I see myself meeting up with a friend to walk to class.

In 15 years…

I see myself as an English professor, hoping to sufficiently help and educate others.

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Spotlights

Freshman Spotlight: Arel Rende

 

 

 

Meet our 2014-2015 Freshman Class!

IMG_1875

Name: Arel Rende

Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma

High school: Booker T. Washington High School

Major Concentration: Plan II Honors and Finance

Events you are doing this year: Extemp, Impromptu, and Communication Analysis.

How long have you been doing speech?

This year is my fourth year in the activity.

What is your favorite thing about forensics?

That it creates an environment for me to openly express my interest in politics and current events.

What is your favorite thing about UT?

There is so much going on all the time. It’s impossible to be bored; whether it be school, speech, greek life, or other organizations. But it’s mostly speech.

The coaches are…

Amazing in every way. We have access to so many different perspectives when it comes to our events. Plus they’re all really good looking. And smart.

Best advice you’ve ever received:

“Never think you’re the smartest guy in the room…unless you’re the smartest guy in the room.”

Describe yourself in three words:

Competitive, Confident, Charismatic

What is your spirit animal?

The Serengeti Lion

Favorite Color:

Blue

Favorite Food:

Tacos

In 15 Minutes, I see myself….

Eating a sandwich, I haven’t had lunch yet.

In 15 years, I see myself…

In a suit. I don’t know what I’m doing but I will be in a suit.

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Team

Freshman Spotlight: Abigail Onwunali

 

 

Meet our 2014-2015 Freshman Class!

Name: Abigail Chinazam Onwunali

Hometown: Houston, Texas

High school: Alief Hastings High School

Major Concentration: Chemistry

Events you are doing this year: Dramatic Interpretation, POI, Prose, Duo

How long have you been doing speech?

I have been doing speech for 3 and a half years.

What is your favorite thing about forensics?

The beauty of creating your pieces and making them come to life.

What is your favorite thing about UT?

My favorite thing about UT is that I feel like I am part of a beautiful family that truly cares about me. It is a loving environment filled with talenedt and ambitious young people.

The team is…. 

My shelter. They have been a shield of protection since the minute I stepped foot on campus.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

 “Have fun Abigail, and don’t let anything stand in your way.”

Describe yourself in three words.

Ambitious, Caring, and Hardworking

What is your spirit animal?

Tiger

What is your favorite color?

Purple

What is your favorite food?

Rice Crispy Treat

In 15 minutes… I see myself 

Going to my statistics class.

In 15 years… I see myself

Making a difference in the world by finding a cure for major diseases.

 

 

 

 

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Feature

Join the Legacy Project!

Donate to the Texas Speech Endowment for Excellence!

Established in 2007 with seed money from a group of alumni including the current director, the Endowment provides continuing support for the team’s travel and scholarship needs. Our goal is to create a $1,000,000 endowment that will insure the continuing legacy of Texas Speech. You can donate online or download a contribution form.

Make your single or recurring pledge and help to make sure that the Texas Speech Legacy continues to make a difference!

Legacy

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Results, Team

NFA 2012 National Results!

The University of Texas Speech Team travelled to Athens, Ohio, for the National Forensics Association national contest, hosted by Ohio University from April 19-23, 2012. Following up on a phenomenal AFA performance, the team also had its best performance to date at the NFA contest.

While historically, the University of Texas has been primarily associated with the American Forensic Association, Texas Speech first attended the NFA tournament in 2004, with student Ben Robin representing the University of Texas there for the first time in honor of the late Eddie Myers, previously the tournament director for the NFA and a great friend of the UT Speech Program. Attending the tournament by himself, Ben was recognized by winning first place in the President’s Division III small schools sweepstakes. Since that first visit, UT students have been awarded national titles 7 times at the contest, with UT Senior William Igbokwe as the recipient of the 2012 national title in Persuasive Speaking.

A complete list of awards for 2012 is included below:

3rd place Open Division Sweepstakes

National Champion, Persuasive Speaking: William Igbokwe

12th place Pentath (Overall Speaker): Christy Liu

National Finalists:

6th place, Prose Interpretation: Melissa Lamb

4th place, Editorial Impromptu: Kevin Chiu

5th place, After Dinner Speaking: William Igbokwe

3rd place, Rhetorical Criticism: Christy Liu

6th place, Informative Speaking: Kile Akerman

 

National Semi-Finalists (top 12 nationally):

Kile Akerman, Prose Interpretation

William Igbokwe, Extemporaneous Speaking

Christy Liu, Extemporaneous Speaking

Nathan Rarick, After Dinner Speaking

Kevin Giffin, Dramatic Interpretation

Kile Akerman, Persuasive Speaking

Christy Liu, Informative Speaking

Christy Liu, Impromptu Speaking

 

National Quarter-Finalists (top 24 nationally):

William Igbokwe, Impromptu Speaking

Matt King, Informative Speaking

Kile Akerman, Dramatic Interpretation

Taylor Adams, Prose Interpretation

Austin Witherspoon, Prose Interpretation

David Wang, Extemporaneous Speaking

Jaime Garcia, Extemporaneous Speaking

Daniel Hatoum, Extemporaneous Speaking

Nathan Rarick, Informative Speaking

Jaime Garcia, Impromptu Speaking

Alex Hatoum, Impromptu Speaking

Melissa Lamb & Jeremy Vandermause, Duo Interpretation

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Results, Team

AFA 2012 National Results!

Congratulations to the UT Speech Team and its performance at the 2012 American Forensic Association -National Individual Events Tournament, hosted this year at Texas State University – San Marcos. The team advanced 35 entries to the elimination rounds. Though it was not enough to overtop eventual team champions Bradley University, it was the best performance ever by a UT squad at the AFA contest. This was a very complete team effort. Of the 23 students entered at the tournament, 19 received individual awards (detail below), while senior Christy Liu was also recognized as an All-American and 8th overall speaker. Seniors Christy Liu (Extemp) and William Igbokwe (Persuasion) were awarded UT’s 35th and 36th individual national titles, while Igbokwe also completed his tenure as the 2011-12 National Student Representative to the NIET Executive Council.

A huge thanks goes to the team’s coaches for 2011-12, director Randy Cox, graduate assistants Leah Lefevbre and Brandon Anderson, and alumni Aviva Pinchas, Mary Kate Raffetto, Brendan Chan, Nance Riffe, Bryan Gray, Christopher Mendez, Kevin Chiu, and many others who have provided time and attention throughout the entire year.

2nd place, Overall Team: University of Texas at Austin

National Champion, Extemporaneous Speaking: Christy Liu

National Champion, Persuasive Speaking: William Igbokwe

AFA All-American: Christy Liu

8th place, Overall Speaker: Christy Liu

 

National Finalists:

National Runner-Up, Impromptu Speaking: Rahul Sangal

3rd place, Persuasive Speaking: Kyle Akerman

3rd place, Extemporaneous Speaking: Daniel Hatoum

4th place, Extemporaneous Speaking: Rahul Sangal

6th place, Extemporaneous Speaking: David Wang

 

National Semi-Finalists (Top 12 nationally):

Daniel Hatoum, Impromptu Speaking

Christy Liu, Impromptu Speaking

Jaime Garcia, Extemporaneous Speaking

Lario Albarran & Fernando Morales, Duo Interpretation

Jeremy Vandermause & Kevin Giffin, Duo Interpretation

Matt King, Program Oral Interpretation

Chelsea Rodriguez, Program Oral Interpretation

Chelsea Sandlin, Prose Interpretation

Christy Liu, After Dinner Speaking

Taylor Adams, After Dinner Speaking

Alex Hatoum, Informative Speaking

 

National Quarter-Finalists (Top 24 nationally):

Alex Hatoum, Impromptu Speaking

Jaime Garcia, Impromptu Speaking

William Igbokwe, Extemporaneous Speaking

Jeremy Vandermause & Melissa Lamb, Duo Interpretation

Kyle Akerman, Dramatic Interpretation

Melissa Lamb, Dramatic Interpretation

Nathan Rarick, Dramatic Interpretation

Jeremy Vandermause, Dramatic Interpretation

Kyle Akerman, Poetry Interpretation

Melissa Lamb, Prose Interpretation

Kevin Giffin, Prose Interpretation

William Igbokwe, After Dinner Speaking

Daniel Hatoum, After Dinner Speaking

Rahul Sangal, Communication Analysis

Colin Malinak, Communication Analysis

Kyle Akerman, Informative Speaking

Nathan Rarick, Informative Speaking

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Feature, Team, UTNIF IE

From camper to performer

Reflections by Brendan Chan

Brendan with Nicole Kreisberg, who would later become his teammate, and John Michael Guavara

As a recent graduate and new alum of the UT Speech Team, I can say that the four years I spent as a competitor, officer, and Captain on the team had a deep and profound impact on my life. I would not be the same person that I am today without my time in UT Speech, and I know that I wouldn’t have ever been on the team without attending UTNIF.

To be honest, I went to UTNIF by accident. I had intended on going to a local camp in my hometown of San Antonio but that fell through, so I applied to UTNIF at the last minute. It seemed like something that would be fun (and it was) but I had no idea that it would change my life forever. I attended UTNIF the summer before my senior year of high school back in 2006 and it was the experience that sparked my dedication to speech and debate.

Former team captains and duo partners Joe and Brendan during their time at UTNIF

On almost every night of UTNIF, there is a Performance Hour where campers get to watch 3-4 performances put on by various counselors and Texas Speech Team members. As an excited 17-year-old camper, I thought Performance Hour was the best thing ever. I got to see amazing performers doing things I had never even imagined were possible in performance. The whole experience really just opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that existed in speech and helped me fall in love with the activity.

Fast forward two years to right after I had just completed my freshman year at UT and I’m sitting in a suit in an auditorium waiting to perform at Performance Hour during UTNIF. I remember that it felt so weird to be on the other side of things—I could vividly remember sitting in the audience and almost worshipping anyone who graced the stage at Performance Hour. How could I be one of those performers now? Would the students at UTNIF like my performance? What if I messed up?

I performed my heart out that night and have continued to do so every summer since then. Getting to return to UTNIF and share what I’ve learned as a member of the Texas Speech Team is almost a surreal experience, but it is one that I am truly thankful for.

5 years later, Brendan and Joe shared their final performance in speech together

This past weekend, I got to perform two different Duos from my senior year. Both of them were alongside two of my best friends, one of whom I attended UTNIF with, started and ended my time at UT with, and experienced my last performance in competitive speech with.

I can only hope that one day, there will be more students who sit where I sat three summers ago, nervously preparing to step on that stage and having never thought that it was possible to be a performer at UTNIF. UT Speech helped dramatically change the course of my life and is so tightly intertwined with my college experience. Sometimes, I am still in disbelief as to how many amazing things had to fall into place to lead me where I am now, but I am thankful every single day for my time on the Texas Speech Team, and I know that everything started at UTNIF.

 

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