Linfield students attend competitive speech tournament

Samantha Sigler

Two students from Linfield College were the only women in Oregon to qualify for a speech tournament in Boston, Mass. Coached by Dr. Jackson Miller, associate professor of communication arts and director of forensics, sophomores Clara Martinez and Stephanie Stovall competed
against students from all across the country.

“The tournament provided me with an amazing learning experience,” Martinez said. “I feel like I have a better idea of what it takes to win first place at a persuasive speech tournament.”

The finals round took place at the Boston Public Library. Every contestant at the tournament also had his or her speech published in Winning Orations, and the book will be available in most college and university libraries soon.

“If students get the chance I highly encourage them to check out the speeches contestants write,” Martinez said.

Martinez said she plans on returning to the Linfield Forensics Program because it has helped shaped her Linfield experience.

“Forensics has become an important part of my college career,” Martinez said. “I plan to stay active in forensics until the end of my senior year.”

The biggest challenge Martinez faced was having to catch up with classes after missing days at a time and being off-campus during most weekends throughout the year for speech and debate tournaments, she said.

“I actually find it a bit odd to spend a weekend on campus during the breaks we get throughout the semester because I’m always at tournaments,” Martinez said. “On the plus side, I have time management down to an art.”

Through forensics, students are able to learn valuable skills that they use after their time at Linfield, Martinez said.

“I love feeling a part of a team,” Martinez said. “I spend time with students who love talking about current events and debating philosophical concepts, basically being nerdy. I work with talented students and we have a great coach; it’s like icing on a cake.”

Samantha Sigler/
News editor