November 6, 2012

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team Wins Berry College Tournament

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team won the varsity division of the Berry College debate tournament and received first overall in debate sweepstakes Oct. 25-27. Fifty-four debaters representing schools from Georgia, Tennessee, and Michigan participated in the event.

The varsity team of Yannick Gill, a senior, and J.B. Desselle, a junior, took top honors, not dropping a single debate for the entire weekend. The team of Erin Taliaferro, a freshman, and Keven Rudrow, a sophomore, came in third.

The novice team of Allante Fairley, a sophomore, and Hannah Tabrizi, a freshman, advanced and took fifth-place honors.

VSU also secured individual speaker awards in both divisions of debate — Yannick Gill, third-place speaker, varsity; J.B. Desselle, fifth-place speaker, varsity; Chesley McNeil, second-place speaker, novice; and Hannah Tabrizi, fourth-place speaker, novice.

“I’m so proud of my team at Berry,” said Dr. Michael Eaves, director of forensics at VSU.

Kevin Bryant, assistant coach and a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in the Department of Communication Arts, accompanied the team to Berry College.

“It’s nice to know that VSU is in such capable hands with Kevin helping to coach our team this year,” Eaves added.

The VSU Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team is open to all majors on campus and does not require previous experience, Eaves noted. The team competes in regional and national level competitions and participates in parliamentary debate as well as individual events, including impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, informative speaking, persuasion, dramatic interpretation, dramatic duo, poetry interpretation, and more.

Please contact Dr. Michael Eaves at (229) 259-5116 or for more information.