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Westminster brings home awards from national forensics tournament

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Posted on Monday, April 27, 2020

The Westminster College Speech & Debate Society competed in the Novice National Forensics Tournament held March 6-8 at Berry College in Rome, Ga., bringing home several national individual awards and a sixth-place overall team finish.

Six Westminster students participated in the tournament, which featured 27 colleges and universities from across the nation.

A four-person Westminster team placed second in the Readers’ Theater competition with its “In Praise of Mediocrity,” a 25-minute performance of essays, poetry, cuttings from a novel and excerpts from plays praising various aspects of marginalized performances, also-rans and the human characteristic of not being unique.

The team featured first-year students Iris Davis Hall and Kiana Miles, a criminal justice studies major from Smethport, Pa., and sophomores Evan Brochinsky and Izayah Bojanac.

Hall of Niles, Ohio, also placed sixth in Rhetorical Criticism for her analysis of rhetorical strategies of White House Spiritual Adviser Paula White and her unique approach to argumentation. Hall also earned semi-finalist finishes in the Impromptu and Impromptu Sales categories.

Brochinsky, an education major from Bridgewater, N.J., also placed fourth in Impromptu Sales and earned a semi-finalist finish in Impromptu.

Bojanac, a sophomore biochemistry major from Harrisburg, Pa., was a semi-finalist in Impromptu Sales

Peyton Mackinlay, a sophomore history major from Rimersburg, Pa., placed fifth in the Public Narrative category for his story about his grandfather’s service in Vietnam and how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from that war compares with the drone-induced PTSD plaguing our today’s soldiers. Mackinlay also was a semi-finalist in Impromptu Sales.

Freshman history major Teddy Curcio of Mt. Jewett, Pa., also competed in three individual events and added to the team's overall score, while senior English major Julie Yesko of Greenville, Pa., traveled with the team and served as a judge and assistant coach at the competition.

For more information about the competition, please contact Dr. Randy Richardson, adviser to the Westminster College Speech & Debate Society, at 724-946-7348 or

Pictured above from left are Teddy Curcio, Evan Brochinsky, Peyton Mackinlay, Izayah Bojanac, Kiana Miles and Iris Davis Hall.