Speaking Bearcats win individual and team awards at national tournament

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PKD Awards: Left to right, Alicia Johnson, Ve’Shawn Dixon, Nick Van Ross and Emily Meyers. Photo courtesy Northwest Missouri State University.

PKD Awards: Left to right, Alicia Johnson, Ve’Shawn Dixon, Nick Van Ross and Emily Meyers. Photo courtesy Northwest Missouri State University.

MARYVILLE, Mo. – The Speaking Bearcats returned home with one individual national championship and an all-American honor at a National Tournament.

The Northwest Missouri State University forensics team, known as the Speaking Bearcats, completed their 2016-2017 season March 21-25 at the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial National Tournament and Convention, hosted by Boise State University in Idaho.

Northwest Director of Forensics Brian Swafford stands with Speaking Bearcats member Emily Meyers. Photo courtesy Northwest Missouri State University.

Northwest Director of Forensics Brian Swafford stands with Speaking Bearcats member Emily Meyers. Photo courtesy Northwest Missouri State University.

Ve’Shawn Dixon, a senior political science major from Kansas City, Kansas, competed in Student Congress and finished as Top Superior, making him this year’s national champion in the event. He also was voted by his chamber as Top Legislator.

Emily Meyers, a senior public relations major from Maryville, was named a Pi Kappa Delta All-American. The award is given to 10 student members of the organization based on citizenship, competition success and team commitment.

Northwest earned an Excellent rating in the Individual Events Team Sweepstakes.

“It was very impressive for the students that competed at Pi Kappa Delta this year to earn a team sweepstakes award considering we only brought four students in fewer than 20 entries,” Northwest Director of Forensics Brian Swafford said. “That just shows how talented this group of students really is to earn points in all of their events.”

The Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention awards competitors based on percentages, whereas the top 10 percent earn “Superior” awards, the next 20 percent earn “Excellent” ratings, and the next 30 percent are rated “Good.” Awards are presented to competitors ranking “Superior” or “Excellent,” and the “Top Superior” competitor in each event is declared the national champion.

The convention also capped another successful season for the Speaking Bearcats, which began with the Northwest team hosting a tournament last September. The Speaking Bearcats also hosted the Public Communication Speech and Debate League (PCSDL) National Tournament, where they earned team and individual sweepstakes titles March 11-12.

The Speaking Bearcats are now winners of 27 individual and team national titles since 2009.

A complete list of Northwest results at the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention is provided below.

  •         Ve’Shawn Dixon (senior political science major, Kansas City, Kansas): Top Superior and Top Legislator in Student Congress; Excellent in Impromptu Speaking; Excellent in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  •         Alicia Johnson (senior chemistry major with a biochemistry emphasis, Kansas City, Kansas): Excellent in Persuasive Speaking; Excellent in Poetry Interpretation
  •         Emily Meyers (senior, public relations major, Maryville): Pi Kappa Delta All-American; second place and Superior in Public Forum Debate (with Nick Van Ross); quarterfinalist in Public Forum Showcase (with Van Ross); Superior in Impromptu Speaking; Excellent in Persuasive Speaking; Excellent in After Dinner Speaking.
  •         Nick Van Ross (senior, marketing major, Lee’s Summit, Missouri): second place and Superior in Public Forum Debate (with Emily Meyers); quarterfinalist in Public Forum Showcase (with Meyers); Excellent in Impromptu Speaking; Superior in Informative Speaking; Superior in Extemporaneous Speaking; Excellent in After Dinner Speaking.