Students take home additional individual awards in tournament held at Hofstra University

MURRAY, Ky. — The Murray State University Speech and Debate Union Travel Team took home the first place title in the novice category of the National Parliamentary Debate Association team debate as well as several other debate and individual event awards in this year’s Pi Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate tournament.

Held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, the tournament features schools from across the country that demonstrate their skills each year. The Murray State team emerged as the overall novice category winner against a field of over 1500 entries and 75 universities that included Colorado Christian University, the University of Kentucky, California State at Chico and the University of Texas. In the championship competition, Murray State’s Kaylea Wilson (Memphis, Tennessee) of Regents Residential College and Kyle Heideman (Louisville, Kentucky) of Clark Residential College defeated former national champion Morehouse College, which Murray State had bested in a regional tournament earlier this year.

The Murray State Speech and Debate Union also earned an Excellence Team Sweepstakes Award. Graduate assistant and head debate coach Ryan Goke was named the 2019 Kentucky Forensics Association Coach of the Year. Joshua Sanders (San Antonio, Texas) of Springer-Franklin Residential College took home 5th place in Junior International Public Debate Association competition and was recognized as a finalist for the National Council.

Victoria “Yoshi” Lindsey (Hardinsburg, Kentucky) of Regents Residential College and Shirley Ransdell (Paducah, Kentucky) of Regents Residential College won the Excellence Award with a top 10 in novice National Parliamentary Debate Association debate. Eli Fenwick (Evansville, Indiana) of Hester Residential College won the Excellence Award in radio broadcasting with a top 20 finish.

Adding to the Team Sweepstakes awards were Brennan Hughes (Russellville, Kentucky) who earned a top three ranking in preliminary rounds in job interviewing and broadcasting, along with Brayden Borrell (Evansville, Indiana) for novice International Public Debate Association debate and Emily Caitlyn Short (Greenville, Kentucky) for impromptu and informative speaking. Zachary Harris (Paducah, Kentucky) and Elizabeth Moss (Maysville, Kentucky) served as individual event coaches. SDU award-winning members who were unable to attend nationals were president Christopher Stewart II, 1st VP Michaela Molnar, 2nd VP Tournament Director Rachel Fischer and Callie Anderson. The SDU has won over 100 awards this year, including this national title.

“To beat teams from Morehouse, the University of Kentucky, Boise State, Hofstra University, North Texas, Kansas and Cal State is an accomplishment,” said Dr. Crystal Rae Coel, director of the Murray State Speech and Debate Union. “I am so proud of these dedicated and talented students. I am appreciative that Organizational Communication Department Chair Dr. R. Michael Bokeno and Dr. Tim Todd, Dean of the Bauernfeind College of Business, allowed me to hire Ryan Goke as a graduate assistant director for the SDU. Ryan has been a blessing for me and for the program. Dean Todd and Provost Dr. Mark Arant are key financial contributors.

“We are thrilled to bring home a 1st place win and multiple awards to validate and honor their support for this program. We are also grateful for administrators Tradae Moore and Brian Canerdy from the Office of Development for assisting with our fundraising efforts. We hope to defend our title next year at nationals at San Diego State University.”

Photo : Pictured is the Murray State University Speech and Debate Union Travel Team with their awards from this year’s Pi Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate tournament held at Hofstra University in New York. The team won first place in the novice category of the National Parliamentary Debate Association team debate, with several students earning individual awards.


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