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2012.04.10 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO Forensics Places Fifth, Earns First All-American Selection at National Tournament

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Forensics Team is once again ranked as one of the top five teams in the nation after competing in this year’s American Forensics Association Tournament at Texas State University – San Marcos.

While the team, lead by Coach Abbie Syrek, matched its placement last year, they earned more overall points and surpassed last year’s record of four national finalists and earned its first-ever All-American.

After four days of competition the UNO Forensics team secured seven national finalists, which means that the speakers competed among the top six in the country. Finalists included:

- Trae Graham and Cole Evans, dramatic duo, finished third overall.
- Stephanie Henderson and Lauren Ackerman, dramatic duo, finished fourth overall.
- Lauren Ackerman, program of oral interpretation, second overall.
- Tessie Stednitz, program of oral interpretation, third overall.
- Trae Graham, poetry, third overall.
- Tessie Stednitz, poetry, sixth overall.
- Niveditha Rajagopalan, after dinner speaking, fourth overall.

Rajagopalan, a senior, was also selected as UNO’s first-ever forensics All-American for her competitive success, academics and community service. During her four years at UNO, she has logged more than 1,000 volunteer hours as a research lab assists and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

UNO also managed to place two competitors as the top 10 individual speakers in the nation. Stephanie Henderson secured fifth place while Stednitz secured ninth.

In addition to UNO’s seven finalists, the team placed in 16 quarter-final events, 12 of which advanced to semi-final competition, the most semi-finalists in UNO history.

The top 10 standings for this year’s tournament were:

First – Bradley University
Second – University of Texas – Austin
Third – Western Kentucky University
Fourth – George Mason University
Fifth – University of Nebraska at Omaha
Sixth – Iowa State University
Seventh – University of Alabama
Eighth – University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Ninth – St. Gustavus Adolphus University
10th – Northern Iowa University

Two other universities from Nebraska, Hastings College and Doane College, placed 16th and 18th respectively. A full list of results can be found at http://www.afa-niet.org.

For more information on UNO Forensics, contact Abbie Syrek at 402.554.2520.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urB.A.sn, regional, national and gloB.A.sl life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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