Forensics Team Takes First in Competition


The Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team won the First Place Sweepstakes Award at the Collegiate Forensic Association's Annual Winter Tournament held at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Clearwater Beach, Fla., over the weekend of Jan. 19-20. 

Bloomsburg finished ahead of Wilkes University, the University of Richmond, and the University of Lynchburg. This was the team's first tournament of the 2024 Spring semester. Fourteen students competed for the Huskies, collectively winning more than 50 speech and debate awards. The following students won awards:

  • Brandon Boothe: 2nd Lincoln-Douglas Debate; 2nd Pentathlon; 5th Persuasive Speaking; 5th After-Dinner Speaking.
  • Keith Boyd: 6th Communication Analysis.
  • David Cooper: 1st After-Dinner Speaking; 3rd Persuasive Speaking; 3rd Informative; 3rd Best Speaker Parliamentary Debate.
  • Jondi Harley: 1st Pentathlon; 1st Lincoln-Douglas Debate; 1st Parliamentary Debate with Erik Weibel; 2nd Dramatic Duo with Gabrielle Stewart; 2nd Persuasive Speaking; 3rd Extemporaneous Speaking; 3rd Impromptu Speaking; 2nd Best Speaker Parliamentary Debate.
  • Chris Mercedes: 4th Persuasive Speaking; 3rd Communication Analysis. 
  • Eric Nock: 3rd Parliamentary Debate with David Cooper; 5th Communication Analysis; 6th Prose; 6th Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Alex Rohland: 2nd Communication Analysis; 4th Declamation; 4th Dramatic Interpretation; 4th Lincoln-Douglas Debate; 4th Pentathlon.
  • Carson Rush: 4th Dramatic Duo with Dylan Smith; 5th Best Speaker Parliamentary Debate; 5th Extemporaneous Speaking; 6th After-Dinner Speaking; 5th Parliamentary Debate with Dylan Smith.
  • Zachariah Shultz: 1st Extemporaneous Speaking; 4th Communication Analysis; 4th Prose; 6th Impromptu Speaking.
  • Dylan Smith: 3rd After-Dinner Speaking; 4th Dramatic Duo with Carson Rush; 5th Impromptu Speaking; 5th Parliamentary Debate with Carson Rush; 5th Lincoln-Douglas Debate; 5th Pentathlon.
  • Gabrielle Stewart: 2nd Dramatic Duo with Jondi Harley; 2nd Informative; 5th Poetry.
  • Hunter Ter Horst: 1st Persuasive Speaking; 1st Impromptu Speaking; 2nd Declamation.
  • Erik Weibel: 1st Prose; 1st Parliamentary Debate with Jondi Harley; 3rd Lincoln-Douglas Debate; 3rd Pentathlon; 4th Extemporaneous Speaking; 6th Informative.

Seth Kamienski also competed for Bloomsburg University, contributing towards the team's success. Dr. Michael Martin, English, and several BU Alumni, including Dani Strine, Jared Garrison, Emel Rasim, and Lissy Dombek served as judges at the tournament. Dr. Neil Strine, Director of Forensics at Bloomsburg, served as the Tournament Director.

The Forensics Team is supported by the Community Government Association and the Bloomsburg University Foundation. The team meets on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 p.m. in Bakeless Center, rooms 305 and 306. All students are welcome to join. No prior experience is necessary to join. All interested students should contact Dr. Strine at