NOVA Forensics Team Begins Spring Semester With Big Wins

Colleges and universities from across the country recently gathered at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus for an exciting intercollegiate forensics tournament featuring competition in informative public speaking events, educational debates, and exciting and emotional literature performances.

The 8th annual Richard J. Ernst Invitational was a roaring success. In addition to NOVA, forensic teams from the following schools were in attendance: George Mason University, James Madison University, Seton Hall University, Saint Joseph’s University, Nassau Community College, University of the Cumberlands, Cleveland State Community College (TN) and Liberty University.

Forensics competition (also known as speech and debate) requires students work with coaches on a regular basis to sharpen skills in critical thinking, public speaking and acting in order to deliver memorable and moving performances. At the conclusion of the tournament, the NOVA Forensics Team won 4th place in Overall Team Sweepstakes. Eunice Mobula received 3rd place for her prose performance, Harold Centro received 3rd place in Informative Speech and 5th in Programmed Oral Interpretation Performance, Abby Rosario received 4th place in Poetry Performance, and Sarah Allen and Afreen Giillani competed in Debate finishing the tournament with winning records but just missed advancing to the semi-finals. Overall, it was a great start to the spring semester for the NOVA Forensics Team.

Special thanks to the dedicated NOVA faculty members and administrators who volunteered their time to serve as judges for the competition. NOVA judges included: Dr. Pam Hilbert, Provost Annandale Campus; Dr. Sheri Robertson, Associate Vice President of Academic and Student Services, Dr. Willie Pomeroy, Director of Academic and Student Services, Policy Compliance, Brian Annweiler, Director of College-Wide Student Activities, Dr. Jack Lechelt, Associate Dean (AL); Professor Saleha Bholat, Associate Dean (LO); Professor Shonette Grant, Associate Dean (AL); Dr. Lynette Garrett (AL), Dr. Charles Korn (MA), Dr. Ivan Castaneda (AL), Professor Janice Hornyak (AL), Professor Lisa Ekstein (AL), Professor Lucy Gerbe-Egziabher (AL); Dr. Nadeer Chabban (AL); Professor Amy Hileman (LO); Dr. Nakul Kumar (AL); and Professor Michael Heslop (AN).

The NOVA Forensics Team would not be possible without the hard work of its dedicated coaching staff. Special thanks to Professor Amy Hileman (LO), alumni coach Brigitte Chavez, and Professor Jeremy Hodgson (AL) for their assistance with the team. Additional thanks to the Liberal Arts Division on the Alexandria campus, Dean of the Liberal Arts Division, Dr. Jimmie McClellan (AL), NOVA’s Institute for Public Service, the Office of College-wide Student Activities, and all the hard working individuals on the Alexandria Campus.

Finally, thank you to Jessica Gardner (AL) and the students in the ceramics program at the Alexandria Campus for providing commemorative awards for the event.

The NOVA Forensics Team is in the midst of its 8th season of intercollegiate competition. Students auditioned for the team in September and began preparation for tournaments in the Fall. As the Spring semester continues, the team will compete at other tournaments and march towards the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in April!

For more information about the tournament, student recruitment or the rest of our exciting season please contact the Director of the NOVA Forensics Team, Dr. Nathan Carter.

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