Eastern Michigan University’s forensics team placed second in the nation while competing in the National Championship Tournament of the National Forensics Association, which was hosted at the Bradley University campus in Peoria, Illinois, on April 13-17.
“Achieving such an ambitious goal as second in the nation challenges you mentally, emotionally, and physically, but above it all, it challenges your belief in yourself,“ said EMU forensics team member Anne-Dominique Cruz. “I’m sincerely so grateful to be surrounded by teammates who continuously believe in me and push me to accomplish more than I’d ever initially give myself credit for.”
One of those teammates is Gavin Millard, who was the only EMU student to take first place, becoming the 2023 National Champion in Dramatic Interpretation, EMU’s first national champion in the event.
Cedrick Charles gathered a handful of awards including second in the nation in persuasive speaking, third in the nation in Duo Interpretation with Diontae Threats, fourth in the nation in Program Oral Interpretation, and fourth in the nation in Individual Pentathlon.
Louise Engohang placed second in the nation in Rhetorical Criticism, Diontae Threats placed third in the nation in Duo Interpretation with Cedrick Charles, and AbdurRahman Elder placed fifth in the nation in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking.
“Stepping out into Bradley University’s courtyard after the first day’s last round and just getting to talk to people and listen to their stories, while feeling heard myself [was memorable],“ Elder said. “Forensics is an outlet of storytelling like no other, but what it also taught me was the stories we tell outside of the round are just as, if not more, important than the ones we tell inside.”
Sarah Dubinsky and Geoff Gauthier are graduating seniors this semester, but the other five of the seven winners will be returning to the EMU Forensic program next year. Dubinsky racked up multiple wins including fourth in the nation in Dramatic Interpretation, fifth in the nation in Poetry Interpretation, and eighth in the nation in Individual Pentathlon, and Gauthier placed fifth in the nation in Extemporaneous Speaking.
“NFA was such an incredible experience to see people coming together from across the country to put their hopes and dreams on the line and do so through wonderful performances. I am very proud of my team and the people on it for our historic finish,“ Gauthier said. “As a senior on this team, it’s been a great experience to see ourclimb through the ranks after coming out of COVID stronger than ever,“ Gauthier said. “I cannot wait to see what EMU Forensics has in store next year!”
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