NOVA Forensics Team Hits the Jackpot in Reno

Members of the NOVA Forensics Team traveled to Reno to compete at the 2019 Phi Rho Pi National Tournament. Students on the NOVA Forensics team competed valiantly in several of the different public speaking, competitive acting and debate events at the prestigious tournament. In total, there were 56 different community colleges and over seven hundred participants. To attend the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament, students had to qualify for their events based on performance at regional tournaments in the Fall and Spring semesters.

For the NOVA Forensics Team, Sarah Allen competed in singular parliamentary debate and team parliamentary debate. Afreen Gillani competed in informative speaking, individual parliamentary debate and team parliamentary debate. Harry Centeno competed in single parliamentary debate, prose performance, mixed literature performance, and interpretive theater. Eunice Mobula competed in prose interpretation and interpretive theatre and Stacy Becenti competed in poetry interpretation and interpretive theater. This year, NOVA’s 25-minute dramatic interpretive theater was entitled “The End of The End.” Directed by Dr. Nathan Carter, the show focused on showing the challenges with end-of-life cases in hospital settings. Interpretive theater is dynamic event that includes acting, singing and staged blocking. It is featured at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament based on invitation only requirements. In total, NOVA had 10 different forensic events in competition at the tournament.

At the end of competition, Centeno emerged with a bronze medal in single parliamentary debate. The feat makes him one of the top 30 community college debaters in the country. Additionally, Mobula earned a bronze medal for her Prose Performance, making her a national finalist in a literature performance event in just her first season on the team. Several of the other events came close to advancing but only these two students earned medals.

The success of this year’s team was in no small part due to the amazing coaching staff that works with students all throughout the year to perfect their speeches, debate skills, and acting performances. This year, the NOVA coaching staff included Professor Amy Hileman, Professor Jeremy Hodgson, and NOVA alumnus Brigitte Chavez. The NOVA Forensics Team is directed by Dr. Nathan Cater. This concludes NOVA’s seventh competitive season of intercollegiate forensics. The team looks forward to next year and will now shift attention to recruiting and training new team members for the 2019-2020 season. If you would like more information about the NOVA Forensics Team or if you have students who are interested in competing in public speaking, debate, or acting, please contact Dr. Nathan Carter at or 704.845.6573.

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