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TJC debaters win big at national tournaments

TYLER, May 2, 2013--Tyler Junior College’s intrepid speech and debate team earned awards across the country this semester.

In early April, the group competed in the American Forensic Association's national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. TJC was named 3rd Top Overall Community College, and Theresa Boyd of Tyler was a quarter-finalist in the Speech to Entertain category. Boyd is the first TJC student ever to advance this far at this national tournament.

A couple weeks later, the group went west to Los Angeles, Calif., for the Phi Rho Pi national tournament for community colleges. “We took students in a total of 14 events,” said M’Liss Hindman, TJC speech professor and team director. “Eight of their events made it to the semi-final round, six of those made it to the final round of competition, then all six of those won gold.

“To have a 100-percent success rate in the final round is simply amazing. We could not be prouder of this talented group of students.”

TJC individual winners included:

  • Tom Hill of Lindale - bronze in Impromptu
  • Mae Rose Hill of Tyler - gold in Dramatic Interpretation and Gold in Duo Interpretation
  • Demetries Coad of South Grand Prairie - gold in Dramatic Interpretation
  • Julia Bodiford of Lindale - bronze in Program Oral Interpretation and gold in Prose Interpretation
  • Deshawn Weston of Grand Prairie - gold in Duo Interpretation, gold in Program Oral Interpretation and gold in Poetry Interpretation

Weston was also recognized as the 3rd Top Speaker Overall, and TJC was awarded silver medals in Individual Events Sweepstakes and Overall Sweepstakes.

The team is led by Hindman and Joan Andrews, TJC speech professor and assistant director.

The TJC team will showcase some of its best performances of the season during a demonstration 2 p.m., on Friday, May 3, in Jean Browne Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

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