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Public Speaking Contest


Public -Speaking Contest – March 2012

By Karen Son

On March 22, 2012, Political Science faculty and students gathered for the Third Annual Political Science Public-Speaking Contest in the GCB. As in the past, in 2012 the Political Science Department hosted its contest as part of the larger Brigham Young University-Hawaii Empower Your Dreams Conference on Undergraduate Achievement which generates activities all over campus. The Public Speaking Contest has grown. In 2012 over thirty contestants participated in four different groups: Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen. As usual, each of the four groups was judged by political science faculty, including Jon Jonassen, Brian Houghton, Gregory Gibson, Michael Murdock, Rand Blimes, Troy Smith, Christina Akanoa, and Jennifer Kajiyama. Given the major impact that Middle East conflicts have had on contemporary international relations, Dr. Greg Gibson selected this year’s topic: “Has the U.S.A. been an effective force for peace in the Middle East?” Four rooms simultaneously hosted speeches as the contestants of each of the four groups proceeded one after another. After presenting each of their respective arguments, all participants gathered for a light snacks of breads and fruit while the judges deliberated. While the judges debated behind closed doors, Dr. Troy Smith addressed the awaiting students, offering advice about how to construct an effective argument, including points on audience, persona, structure, road maps, and evidence. Shortly afterward the judges reentered GCB 185 to announce the winners of the first round selected from each group. At 12:00 noon the finalists readied themselves for Round Two. By 1:15 the judges were again deliberating while the audience got to select their particular favorites. After a long meeting, the final winners were announced as Top Argument: Chester Yow; Top Oralist: Siaosi Hala’ufia; Audience Choice Top Argument: Brittany McFarland, and Audience Choice Top Oralist: Easter Niko. Congratulations to the winners. After an awards ceremony that presented winners with certificates, all participants and attendees gathered for cool refreshments. Special appreciation should be offered to all staff, Political Science Department faculty, contest participants, and audience participants for extended an effort to make this event successful. Final Round Winners Overall Top Argument: Chester Yow Overall Top Oralist: Siaosi Hala’ufia Audience Top Argument: Brittany McFarland Audience Top Oralist: Easter Niko Round 1 – Top 9 Winners Freshman: Brittany McFarland, Aaron Ng’ambi Sophomore: Karen Son, Amanda Oswald Junior: Siaosi Hala’ufia, Easter Niko Senior: Chester Yow, Hironui Johnston, Pheobe Pacis