October 27, 2014

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team Wins UNG’s Chicken and Egg Tournament

Valdosta State University’s Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team won more than a dozen awards, including first place overall, at the University of North Georgia’s sixth annual Chicken and Egg Tournament Sept. 26-28. (Photo by Paul E. Leavy, university photographer)

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team won more than a dozen awards, including first place overall, at the University of North Georgia’s sixth annual Chicken and Egg Tournament Sept. 26-28.

The Chicken and Egg Tournament featured parliamentary debate sanctioned by the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) Friday and Saturday. This was followed by a competition sanctioned by the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) Saturday and Sunday.

VSU won first place overall for its performance throughout the three-day Chicken and Egg Tournament.

VSU also won first place overall in IPDA, which sponsors a Lincoln-Douglass or one-on-one format. The team won second place overall in NPDA, which sponsors two-on-two debate.

Mercy Dahn won second place in IPDA’s Open Division. Kyle Denslow won second place in IPDA’s Novice Division.

Seven team members won individual speaker awards:

• Mercy Dahn, fourth place, IPDA Open Division

• Allante Fairley, fifth place, IPDA Open Division

• Hannah Tabrizi, 10th place, IPDA Open Division

• Ashilee Thomas, fourth place, IPDA Novice Division

• Kyle Denslow, ninth place, IPDA Novice Division

• Nolan Ripple, 10th place, IPDA Novice Division

• Marina Giordano, first place, NPDA Novice Division and Debut

VSU also collected awards for individuals and teams that advanced to elimination rounds:

• Allante Fairley and Hannah Tabrizi, quarterfinalist, NPDA Varsity Division

• Marina Giordano and Alexis Outlaw, quarterfinalist, NPDA Novice Division

• Alexis Outlaw, quarterfinalist, IPDA Novice Division

• Nolan Ripple, semifinalist, IPDA Novice Division

• Allante Fairley, semifinalist, IPDA Open Division

Keven Rudrow, assistant coach, said 11 members of VSU’s Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team, many of them newcomers, participated in the annual Chicken and Egg Tournament, the first of four tournaments planned for the fall semester. He said it was an opportunity for him and Dr. Michael Eaves, director of forensics at VSU, to see the novice debaters in competition — and he was impressed with their overall performance.

Rudrow and his teammate, J.B. Desselle, who graduated from VSU in May, were the last two debaters standing after the final round of the 2014 Georgia Parliamentary Debate Association state debate championship tournament earlier this year. He will graduate in December and plans to continue coaching the university’s next winning debate team while pursuing a master’s degree in speech communications.

“This was an awesome way to start our new season, especially since we now have a new assistant coach, Keven Rudrow,” said Eaves. “He was integral in VSU’s success.”

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, such as impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, poetry interpretation, informative speaking, persuasion, dramatic interpretation, dramatic duo, and more.

Contact Dr. Michael Eaves at (229) 259-5116 or meaves@valdosta.edu for more information.

On the Web:


Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The winning Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team's participation in the University of North Georgia tournament meets the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.