FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      Date: April 7, 2003

Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716


UIS Forensics Team among winners at national tournament


SPRINGFIELD – For the second year in a row, the Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team at the University of Illinois at Springfield ended the year with national honors as members placed among the top competitors at the Pi Kappa Delta National Forensics Tournament, held March 27-29 at Morgan State University in Baltimore. UIS was one of 57 colleges and universities to take part in the tournament.

The team, comprised of one senior and nine Capital Scholars, earned an overall rating of  “excellent” in both debate and speech events, and members received a number of individual awards as well, headed by first-year student Nicholas Roman, who won first place in after dinner (humorous) speaking. “Excellent” awards went to Gabrielle Wiegand and Nanette Turner for dramatic duo interpretation and to Turner in the broadcast journalism category.

Roman and Chris Wyant received “good” rankings in broadcast journalism, as did Alisabeth Manzoeillo and Saira Malik in prose interpretation, and Jason Kennedy in group discussion. “Good” ratings also went to Manzoeillo, Malik, Wyant, and Nicole Overcash in dramatic duo interpretation.

Malik and senior Dusty McEwen advanced to the semifinal round in novice parliamentary debate, while Nels Dale, Roman, Wyant, and Turner also earned points for the team’s placing in debate.

Sue Weber, director of UIS’ forensics program, was enthusiastic about her team’s


accomplishments in bringing home awards from each of the five tournaments they attended during the spring semester. “What these students achieved in open national competition with so little experience is very impressive,” she observed. “Their success demonstrates their talent and teamwork.”

This is UIS’ second year of competition and second round of national honors – last year team members Chris Wyant and Liz Moran won the national novice title in dramatic duo interpretation.

Members of UIS’ forensics team can compete in a variety of events grouped into three broad areas – oral interpretation of literature, public speaking, and parliamentary debate. Individual events include Dramatic Duo Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, Program Oral Interpretation, Impromptu Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, Informative Speaking, Persuasive Speaking, After-Dinner Speaking, Communication Analysis, and Parliamentary Debate.

For more information, contact Weber at or visit