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OHIO’s Speaking Bobcats honored on Ohio Senate floor

Three members of the Ohio Speaking Bobcats brought home five national titles and a slew of other awards last month at the Public Communications Speech and Debate League National Championship. On Wednesday, April 26, they brought home another honor; a congratulatory resolution from the Ohio Senate.

The team normally competes in a variety of traditional debate competitions, but attended the Public Communications Speech and Debate League National Championship for a more practical speaking experience. Team leader Dan West, the John A. Cassese Director of Forensics and an assistant professor in the school of communication studies in the Scripps College of Communication, said 90 to 100 universities competed in the early stages, with 10 schools participating in the national championship. Three of Ohio University’s seven team members qualified for the championships.

The Speaking Bobcats competed in 14 categories in Division II as well as an overall award, and members placed in 13 of the categories. The team won the Speech Sweepstakes category and took second in the Debate Sweepstakes and Overall Team Sweepstakes.

Cassie Wirtz, of Austintown, Ohio, brought home four national titles, in the Audition Monologue, Table Topics, Great Speeches and Stand-up Comedy categories. She also took second in Individual Sweepstakes and Research Paper, third in Interviewing, and fifth in Radio News Broadcasting.

Tessa Polen, of Massillon, Ohio, took second in Audition Monologue and Interviewing, fourth in Slam Poetry, fifth in Individual Sweepstakes and Great Speeches, and seventh in Stand-up Comedy.

Logan Pasqual, of Austintown, Ohio, took second in Radio News Broadcasting, fourth in Great Speeches, and sixth in Interviewing.

Polen and Pasqual teamed up to take seventh in Duet Improv Acting.

West said some of the students also received Senate Presidential Commendation Letters for their performances.