Representing UIC well in regular season, ready for nationals

The UIC Forensics Program/Speech Team completed its regular competitive season March 10 at Illinois State University.

The 2018-2019 regular season was an amazing journey for the team traveling throughout the Midwest from September to March to tournaments hosted by 11 different universities.

Since its inception only three years ago, the speech team has fostered an environment where students can promote activism nationwide utilizing the power of public speaking. Through different vehicles such as poetry interpretation, prose interpretation, informative speaking, persuasive speaking and limited preparation speaking, students utilize their voices to explore issues surrounding advocacy, allyship, and identity.

Throughout the season, the speech team competed in 23 tournaments and broke multiple competitive records along the way. UIC Speech placed in the top five amongst competitive teams a record of 11 times, with the team’s first tournament championship in history being earned at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater on Dec. 1, 2018. UIC was well-represented by its students, sending a record-breaking 141 students to final rounds (a final round in speech is earned when you are in the top 6 speakers at the tournament in your category). Additionally, the team successfully hosted its second annual Chicago Swing tournament in October, which welcomed a dozen schools onto UIC’s campus.

The team traveled to Northern Illinois University Feb. 1-3 to compete in the Illinois Intercollegiate Forensics Association (IIFA) State Championship Tournament. Jacob Krol, a junior from Plainfield, Illinois, placed 2nd in Extemporaneous Speaking and 5th in Impromptu Speaking. In addition, Michael Martinez, a senior from Bartlett, Illinois, placed 3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking and 4th in Impromptu Speaking. making Jacob and Michael UIC’s first-ever state finalists. Also at the State Tournament, the team’s Director of Forensics, Vance Pierce, was awarded the Dennis-Ross Award, which is voted on by student competitors from every team in Illinois to recognize a coach who is dedicated to forensics excellence and service.

UIC Speech was founded as a student-run program in the Spring of 2016. The 2018-2019 record-breaking regular season would not have been possible without the support of Provost Susan Poser and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Rex Tolliver. This support allowed for UIC Speech to hire their first-ever Director of Forensics, Vance Pierce, and three assistant coaches, Hananiah Wiggins, Richie Hartz and Sami White to help support student development. UIC Speech has already garnered notable national attention. With its two national tournaments approaching in April, every member of UIC Speech is gearing up for another amazing showcase of hard work and advocacy on the national stage.

For more information about the team, visit us at our Nationals Showcase at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16th in Student Center East 605. Also, please visit or email to follow the team’s national success.

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