North Central College forensics found tremendous success at two national tournaments. The team finished highly, both as individuals and as a group, at the Pi Kappa Delta national competition in Nashville, Tenn. in March. Ellie Venchus ’19 was the top speaker in junior parliamentary debate and won a national championship in the event with her partner Gabbi Gruver ’19—the seventh national championship for North Central at Pi Kappa Delta.
Davonte Sanders-Funches ’18 and Nicole Smith ’18 placed second in the nation in duo speaking. The team took third place in debate division II, eighth place in open individual events and ninth place overall.
Smith made the 2018 American Forensic Association National All-American Team. She is the 10th North Central student to make the team since it was first announced in 2000.
In April at the National Forensics Association tournament in Oshkosh, Wis., the Cardinals earned national championships in novice prose reading from Emily Barham ’18 and novice extemporaneous speaking from Jessica Wycha ’21. Norah Flaherty ’18 was third in the nation in persuasive speaking with a speech about sexual violence against those within the cognitively disabled community. The team took fourth place in presidents division I and was 14th in the nation as a team.
John Stanley, associate professor of communication and co-director of forensics, spoke on Flaherty and the team’s success. “Forensics gives our students the opportunity to have their voices heard about a number of significant issues. I couldn’t be more proud of Norah’s hard work, determination and advocacy for such an important topic.”