UNO’s competitive orators notched two first places in state competition Feb. 15-16. UNO hosted the annual Nebraska Intercollegiate Forensics Association (NIFA) state tournament at Arts and Sciences Hall. This competitive speech and debate tournament brought nine Nebraska schools to the UNO campus. After three days of hearty competition, UNO Forensics earned third place in Individual Events.
Buey Ruet and Matt Eledge are state champs!
Buey Ruet, junior political science major, was the champion of Oratory – a unique event at this tournament, as six speakers advance from preliminary rounds to be judged by a panel of five community leaders. Ruet and runner-up Cassy Blakely from Doane College, advance to Interstate Oratory (ISO), the oldest public speaking competition in the nation to be held in Madison, WI, April 24-26. Ruet claimed the oratory crown for the third straight year.
Meantime, Matt Eledge, a junior education major, was the champion of Prose Interpretation and the Runner-up in Program of Oral Interpretation.
Teresa Oberdorfer, a senior education major, and Laurie Welch, sophomore speech communication major, were runners-up in Drama and Duo Interpretation.
Cameron Logsdon, a freshman speech communication major, earned fifth place in Poetry and sixth place in Prose Interpretation.
UNO was also honored to have Matt Eledge win the Spirit of NIFA Award – selected by the coaches across the state for leadership, good sportsmanship and peer mentoring.
Jeremy Lipschultz, School of Communication director, delivered a closing address to the students and coaches. Gail F. Baker, Dean of the College of Communication, Fine Arts & Media, served on the oratory judging panel with four community members.
Meantime, Coach Abbie Syrek received the 2008 Joe Black Distinguished Service Award Jan. 27. Craig Brown, Director of Forensics at K-State, and Aaron Duncan, Director of Forensics at UNL, presented Syrek with the award to celebrate the growth of UNO’s program and Syrek’s service to the forensics community. Brown cited Syrek’s amazing work of building the program in a short time. It is common to receive the service award after 20 or more years. Brown said the UNO team is blessed to have a young coach who has made personal sacrifices to field a good team, and to do it the right way. UNO Forensics finished in third place in recent state competition.