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Talking Mules Travel to National Forensics Competition

By Mike Greife, May 2, 2018

WARRENSBURG, MO – The University of Central Missouri Talking Mules speech and debate squad recently returned from the National Forensics Association National Finals Tournament April 18-23 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.


Nine UCM students and four graduate assistants traveled to the tournament, where they competed with students from 76 colleges and universities from across the nation.. Team captain Samantha Calloway, a junior early elementary education major, and Gavin DePaul, a senior computer information systems major, advanced to the octo-finals, losing on split decisions. Matthew Briggs, a freshman speech and theatre major, placed 4th in the nation in Novice Prose Interpretation, and the team placed 8th overall in Overall Debate Sweepstakes and 12th in Overall Sweepstakes, President’s Division III.


In addition to Calloway, DePaul, and Briggs, team members attending the national completion were Tyler Slinkard, senior political science major; Manny Reyes, freshman political science major; Trenton Hawes, freshman political science major; Madison Marquardt, junior criminal justice major; Ally Laytham, sophomore performance studies major; and Jaggard Williams, freshman performance studies major.


The Talking Mules is a comprehensive program that travels regionally, nationally and internationally to represent UCM in individual forensics events and different debate formats. The team traces its roots back to 1884 at UCM and is one of the oldest, continuously organized intercollegiate competitive teams on campus.


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