FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Date: February 10, 2003

  Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716


UIS forensics team successful at Webster tournament


SPRINGFIELD – Members of the Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team at the University of Illinois at Springfield brought home several awards from a tournament held January 31-February 2 at Webster University in St. Louis. UIS was one of 22 universities and colleges taking part in the tournament. The UIS team is in only its second year of competition.

A group of seven Capital Scholars represented UIS. In dramatic duo interpretation, Gabrielle Wiegand and Nanette Turner won first place while Saira Malik and Chris Wyant placed sixth.  Malik also took third place in prose interpretation and she and Wiegand placed second in the duo improvisation category. Nick Roman placed sixth in after-dinner speaking.  In junior division parliamentary debate Roman and Nels Dale advanced to quarterfinals, with Dale winning a sixth place speaker award. Roman is a freshman; the other six students are sophomores.

Sue Weber, director of UIS’ forensics program, is proud but not surprised with the young team’s success. “They work hard to compete with the nationally ranked programs,” she said.  Weber noted that what the team lacks in experience, they make up for in energy and ambition.

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.

The Capital Scholars program at UIS is open to students entering their first year of college who have demonstrated high academic achievement and potential for creativity and leadership. A four-year baccalaureate program, Capital Scholars combines an integrated core of general education courses with study of a foreign language and any of UIS’ 20 undergraduate majors.

For more information about the Forensics/Speech and Debate program at UIS, e-mail Weber at or visit the team website at