Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau (SSB) speech and debate team hosted the Heart of Texas Swing Tournament recently on campus. In addition to HPU, universities that competed were The University of Texas at Austin, Abilene Christian University, Texas Christian University, Texas State University, West Texas A&M University, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Kansas Wesleyan University and Wayland Baptist University.

 

“We were thrilled to be able to host an invitational tournament for our collegiate forensics community,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of HPU’s Department of Communication and professor of communication. “With some of the best universities in Texas competing, we had very strong competition.”

 

HPU SSB students competed well at their first tournament of the year and each student on the team earned an award.

 

Parker Brown, freshman Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and Jurisprudence major from Springfield, Virginia, received first place in impromptu speaking.

 

Haylee Maddox, senior strategic communication major from Bellville, was a quarterfinalist in IPDA debate. She and Alek Mendoza also received first place in dramatic duo interpretation.

 

Esmeralda Maldonado, junior strategic communication and jurisprudence major from Whitney, received sixth place in IPDA debate and a speaker award.

 

Alek Mendoza, sophomore theatre major from Bangs, received fourth place in dramatic interpretation. He and Haylee Maddox also received first place in dramatic duo interpretation.

 

Madi Neal, senior strategic communication major from Chandler, was a semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking.

 

Rishona Raub, freshman Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, social work and strategic communication major from Celina, was a semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking.

 

Devin Schurman, freshman Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, social work and strategic communication major from San Antonio, was a semifinalist in impromptu speaking and received sixth place in NPDA debate and a speaker award.

 

Dr. Welker expressed how impressed she was with everyone’s performance.

 

“I am so proud of the hard work and dedication this team is putting in this year,” she said. “I’m excited to see what the rest of the year holds for the team.”