NOVA Forensics Team Wins Big at Nationals

Members of the NOVA Forensics Team traveled to Daytona Beach Florida to compete at the 2018 Phi Rho Pi National Tournament. The Phi Rho Pi National Tournament represents the strongest community college competition in memorized public speaking, debate, impromptu speaking, and a variety of acting and literature performance events.

Students on the national team had to qualify by preparing at least three events that perform highly at the regional and state level before being selected to attend nationals. This year, NOVA qualified more events than ever before and took a team of hard-working students to the toughest tournament of the season. In total, over 800 students and 65 different community colleges traveled to Daytona Beach for a week of spirited competition. NOVA emerged as one of the top five community colleges in the country!

NOVA’s success included three national gold medal champions in Dramatic Duo Performance, Poetry Performance and Prose! In addition, based on the team’s overall performance, NOVA came home with the bronze medal in Team Sweepstakes in the Wheeler Division. The Wheeler Division is for community colleges that bring no more than 10 students and 30 events. This honor solidified NOVA’s Forensics Program as one of the best at the tournament and represents the highest national team sweepstakes award in our six years of intercollegiate competition on a national scale! Leadership at Phi Rho Pi commented that to their knowledge no school in their history has risen to a national caliber faster than NOVA.

NOVA student national medal winners included: Kouamy Brown (AL) and Tilford Clark (AL) gold medal national champions in dramatic duo; Kouamy Brown (AL) gold medal, national champion in poetry interpretation; Tilford Clark (AL) silver medal prose interpretation; Rachel Clark (AL) gold medal, national champion in prose interpretation; Kouamy Brown and Tilford Clark (AL) bronze medal in programmed oral interpretation.

NOVA’s debate teams also did well finishing the tournament with an even number of wins and losses. NOVA’s dynamic theatre performance entitled Eudaimonia, was a 25- minute mixed literature piece about the dangers of greed and consumerism also finished the national tournament in a strong position and was just one win away from advancing to medal rounds!

The theatre was coordinated and directed by Professor Jeremy Hodgson and Dr. Nathan Carter. NOVA had many other students who came very close to advancing including: Kevin Lin (LO) After Dinner Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation; Denny Martinez (LO) Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Duo Interpretation Sofia De La Pena (AN) Communication Analysis, Persuasive Speaking, Impromptu Speaking Omir Yousuf (LO) Persuasive Speaking, Team and Single Debate Alec Scheller (LO) After Dinner Speaking, Prose Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, and Rachel Clark (AL) Dramatic Interpretation & Duo Interpretation.

The success of this year’s team was in no small part due to the amazing coaching staff who worked with students all throughout the year to perfect their performances. This year, the NOVA coaching staff consisted of Professor Jeremy Hodgson (AL) and Professor Saleha Bholat (LO). The NOVA Forensics Team is directed by Dr. Nathan Carter (AL). The team looks forward to next year and now shifts attention for recruiting new team members for the 2018-2019 competitive season. If you would like more information about the NOVA Forensics Team please contact Dr. Nathan Carter at or 704-845-6573.

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