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WCU Forensics Achieves Excellence at National Tournament

March 21, 2013

The WCU Forensics Speech and Debate Team earned national recognition in St. Louis, MO at the Pi Kappa Delta Biannual National Speech and Debate Tournament, where  over 500 students from 86 different schools competed.

west chester university forensics and debate team

Pi Kappa Delta, a Forensics honor society for undergraduate university students and a professional organization for graduates,  awards the top ten percent of teams and individual competitors a Superior designation and the next thirty percent an Excellent designation; the team earned fifth place (Superior) in individual events sweepstakes and an Excellent award in overall team sweepstakes.

West Chester seniors Lanie Presswood and Dan Hinderliter earned special recognition- Presswood was named Top Superior (national champion) in Impromptu Speaking and Hinderliter was named a PKD All-American for leadership, service, and competitive success. Presswood and Hinderliter, along with senior Jake Markiewicz, also earned showcase performances, indicating excellence respectively in Impromptu Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, and Informative Speaking.
Individual awards were as follows:
Lanie Presswood, senior Honors communication studies major (Bloomsburg, PA) and team president – Top Superior in Impromptu Speaking (showcase); Superior in Persuasive Speaking; Excellent in Communication Analysis and Broadcast Journalism
Dan Hinderliter, senior Honors middle grades education/communication studies (Allentown, PA)– Superior in Dramatic Interpretation (showcase), Persuasive Speaking, Broadcast Journalism; PKD All-American
Jake Markiewicz, senior Honors communication studies major (Avondale, PA) – Superior in Informative Speaking (showcase), Impromptu Speaking; Excellent in Dramatic Duo with Carl Sandberg
Joseph Tetreault, senior history education major (Southampton, NJ) – Excellent in Poetry Interpretation
Ashley Murphy, junior Honors English education/special education major (Lake Ariel, PA) – Excellent in Extemporaneous Speaking
Carl-Fredrick Sandberg, junior Honors philosophy major (international student, Norway) – Excellent in Dramatic Duo with Jake Markiewicz, After Dinner Speaking
Jillian Heagerty, sophomore Honors English major (Glen Mills, PA) – Superior in Informative Speaking; Excellent in Broadcast Journalism, Communication Analysis, Persuasive Speaking
Rebecca Makar, freshman computer science major (Wilkes-Barre, PA) – Excellent in Informative Speaking
Other team members provided valuable team points in both individual events and debate that led to such success. WCU’s Director of Forensics Mark Hickman and graduate assistant Kelsey Hockenberger eagerly look towards the culmination of the team’s incredibly successful 2012-2013 competitive season. The team is next headed to Marshall University in April for the National Forensics Association Championships.

For more information on WCU Forensics, visit