Speech and Debate Team Closes Season with Top Honors

Photo of Speech and Debate Team some with medals around their necks

The Compton College Speech and Debate Team had an impressive showing during the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association's annual Cool-Off Tournament held in late April at Rio Hondo College. Compton College students competed in both individual and team events, taking home a total of eight awards. Compton College's six debate teams were among the 45 teams that participated, representing 20 different two- and four-year colleges from California and Arizona.

Prior to four of Compton College's parliamentary debate teams advancing to the final round, they debated first in four rounds each covering a different social issue. In the final rankings, two teams earned gold—Ivan De La Cruz/Larissa Diggins and Anthony Woods/Jose Naranjo. The teams of Alexandria Goldman/Khalil Teixeira and Inara Jackson/Ariyah Hammonds took silver. In addition, Khalil Teixeira was recognized as Top Eloquent Speaker, which is a cumulative ranking of the students' debate skills during the entire tournament.

"As someone who has struggled most of my life with a speech impediment, receiving an Eloquent Speaker award means quite a lot," says Khalil Teixeira, a psychology major who plans to graduate with an associate degree in 2018. "I have only been involved in speech and debate since the beginning of this current semester and have already learned so much about listening as well as thinking critically in order to coherently respond to arguments posed against me. I believe that strong language and reasoning skills will serve me well in all of my future endeavors."

Four public speaking honors students went on to compete in the individual speaking events. Ilse Guerrero won the Gold Cultural Artifact award, and Himali Patel took home the Silver Cultural Artifact award. The Compton College Speech and Debate Team closed out the tournament and season with a Second Place Sweepstakes award in the two-year school category. Now in the program's fourth year, this is the first time the college has won an overall team award which recognizes teams who accumulate the most points overall throughout the tournament.

"Winning the Sweepstakes award is a great accomplishment and speaks to the skills and techniques these students are learning through speech and debate to help them win competitions as well as excel in all of their coursework," says Liza Rios, coach and Professor of Communication Studies. "Although other two-year colleges had many more competitors participating in a variety of events, this title demonstrates that our students are a force to be reckoned with."

Students who competed include: Matthew Carias, Chris Cavanaugh, Ivan De La Cruz, Larissa Diggins, Adrian Flores, Alexandria Goldman, Maria Gonzalez-Valdovinos, Ilse Guerrero, Ariyah Hammonds, Inara Jackson, Jose Naranjo, Himali Patel, Alexys Quiero, Khalil Teixeira, Cindy Ramirez and Anthony Woods.

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