Rice University Speech and Debate, the George R. Brown Forensic Society

This is the official page for the George R. Brown Forensic Society, Rice University’s competitive intercollegiate speech and debate team. The George R.

Brown Forensic Society is Rice University’s competitive intercollegiate speech and debate team. Founded in 1984, the society replaced the original Rice Forensic Society, which existed from 1954 to 1964. The team represents Rice by competing in speech and debate tournaments throughout the United States.

Operating as usual

Photos from Rice University Speech and Debate, the George R. Brown Forensic Society's post 05/06/2024

Rice Speech and Debate Celebrates Another Year of Excellence

After a year of hard work, rhetorical excellence, and tremendous success, Rice Speech and Debate closed out its year with one last tournament and the team banquet featuring its own internal awards. Results are listed below.

American Forensic Association National Speech Tournament, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, April 5-8
Rice qualified multiple events for this prestigious tournament. Kevin Barry reached Quarterfinals in Communication Analysis, making him one of the top 24 speakers in the nation in this challenging event. Congratulations, Kevin!


Kevin Barry

Jarvis Sam (’13) was awarded the 2024 NST Distinguished Alumni Award. This award recognizes significant presence or achievement in the arts or entertainment, achievements or contributions to the advancement of a field of study, significant writing as evidenced by media or awards, and significant achievement as a global citizen. Jarvis was the national champion in Communication Analysis in 2013. To read more about Jarvis’ amazing career so far see https://www.rainbowdisruption.com/about

Internal Team Awards
On April 23rd, the team celebrated the end of the year with internal awards at the annual banquet. Most of these awards have a long history and recognize various kinds of excellence over the course of the year. Below are this year’s winners.

Lifetime Membership Award: Max Renteria
Speaker of the Year-Speech: Kevin Barry
Speaker of the Year-Debate: Max Renteria
Most Improved Speech Competitor: Kevin Barry
Most Improved Debater: Nikki Stancik
Newcomer of the Year-Speech: Daijah Wilson
Newcomer of the Year-Debate: Rohan Gupta
Team Player-Speech: Chloe Pesqueira
Team Player-Debate: Kyle Sanderfer
Dan Henning Award: Given in memory of Dan Henning, this award recognizes competitors who excel in both speech and debate. This year’s winner is Pranav Nagajothi.

J. Newton Rayzor Prize in Forensics
This is the second year of the J. Newton Rayzor Prize for Forensics, an endowed cash prize for recognizing demonstrated excellence and outstanding contributions to forensics at Rice. The award memorializes J. Newton Rayzor and his achievements in forensics during Rice’s formative years. One prize is awarded in Speech and one in Debate each year.

Manna Trevino is the winner in Debate for 2023-24. Manna started her collegiate debate career during the challenging era of virtual competition and quickly established herself as a very hard worker focused on growth as a competitor. Manna has become a very successful debater, regularly appearing in elimination rounds. She is known around the nation for her unique and intelligent approach to arguments, especially in scientific areas. Manna does all of this while also meeting the demanding workload of being a Biosciences major. Manna represents the best of what it means to be an academic competitor for Rice.

Maya Adhikari is the winner in Speech for 2023-24. Maya appears regularly in final rounds in multiple events, often bringing home the first-place award. She is known nationally for using her speech events as platforms for advocacy. Maya has served as a district representative to the National Speech Tournament as well, representing her fellow students at other schools with distinction. Majoring in Political Science and English, Maya’s investment in the relationship between language and power brings unique strengths to her rhetorical efforts.

Goodbye to A Senior
Like the rest of his class, Max Renteria started Rice with virtual classes, lockdown measures, and everything that went with the COVID-19 pandemic. Max had the additional challenge of learning to compete in debate at the collegiate level under these conditions. In fact, the first half of his career (two years) occurred in completely virtual conditions. He capped off this half by winning the NPDA national championship with Jacob Tate (’22). The second half of his career featured normal competition, with the challenges of travel and in-person competition. Max finished this period by again reaching the final round at NPDA with Arjun Surya (’26) and finishing second in the nation, making him one of only three Rice competitors and one of the very few people to have been in two final rounds of NPDA. Max Renteria is singular in the history of the team. We will miss him but look forward to his return to future events as an esteemed alumnus. Good Luck, Max!

Please join us in congratulating these academic competitors! This concludes competition for the year. The team will next compete in the Fall 2024 semester.

Rice Speech and Debate is housed in the School of Humanities and is coached by David Worth and Shannon LaBove. For more information, please visit humanities.rice.edu/speech-and-debate.

Photos from Rice University Speech and Debate, the George R. Brown Forensic Society's post 04/12/2024

Full PR later, but congratulations to Kevin Barry for reaching quarterfinals in Communication Analysis at the NST and congratulation to alumnus Jarvis Sam ('13), recipient of the 2024 AFA-NST Distinguished Alumni Award!

24-Hour Challenge 04/11/2024

If you are following this page you know how important funding is to speech and debate programs. If you would like to donate today for the 24 Hour Challenge, head to the link below and select “other (Please notify in special instructions)” in the drop down menu for designation. The next page will then allow you to specify in the field that you would like your gift to benefit the George R. Brown Forensics Society (Speech and Debate Team). If you are following this page you know how important funding is to speech and debate programs. Every bit helps!

24-Hour Challenge Join me in supporting Rice University and make a gift to 24-Hour Challenge!

Rice’s national champion Speech and Debate team racks up more than 60 awards this semester 04/08/2024

https://news.rice.edu/news/2024/rices-national-champion-speech-and-debate-team-racks-more-60-awards-semester?utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--C5T4F-2T20HyvvAPaUEw6wRGtOsrkFpkIKJZ4nIyQ4tfvVjQ58mTYLmnWwZRo2SRcVOecWsVHN3oDVqQ9gEIvhxuX9w&_hsmi=301745615&utm_content=301745615&utm_source=hs_email

Rice’s national champion Speech and Debate team racks up more than 60 awards this semester March marked a busy and successful month for Rice Speech and Debate, which clinched the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) National Championship Sweepstakes and achieved an unprecedented feat at the International Forensics Association (IFA) in Dublin, Ireland.

Photos from Rice University Speech and Debate, the George R. Brown Forensic Society's post 03/22/2024

Rice Speech and Debate Wins Sweepstakes National Championship and Places High in International Competition, bringing home 62 awards so far this semester!

In the last two weeks, Rice Speech and Debate has won the NPDA National Championship Sweepstakes and made an unprecedented showing at the International Forensics Association in Dublin, Ireland. These incredible achievements show the hard work and dedication of these undergraduate academic competitors. So far this semester, Rice has brought home 62 awards.

Sharpening their advocacy skills this semester, Rice’s competitors have appeared at regional, national, and international tournaments, competing and learning along with college and university students from all levels of higher education. This press release will first cover two recent significant tournaments and then the rest of the spring tournaments so far in chronological order.

National Parliamentary Debate Association National Championship Tournament, March 15-18, Hosted by University of Utah

Overall Tournament Sweepstakes: 1st Place National Champions

Open Varsity Division Season Sweepstakes: 1st Place National Champions

Overall Season Sweepstakes: 5th Place

Senior Max Renteria and Sophomore Arjun Surya are runner-up national champions, taking 2nd place after an outstanding final-round debate against the University of California, Berkeley!

This was Renteria’s second appearance in the final round, placing him among a very small number of debaters who have reached finals twice in their careers. He won the national championship in 2022 with Jacob Tate. For Surya, this appearance is an incredible feat for a sophomore, foreshadowing additional success in the coming years!

Kyle Sanderfer and William Wang: Quarterfinalists
Anna Phan and Rohan Gupta: Octafinalists
Nikki Stancik and Rija Naqvi: Octafinalists

Individual Speaker Awards:
Max Renteria 6th
Arjun Surya 8th
William Wang 20th

Rice won 31 separate debates.

Four out of five Rice teams reached elimination rounds, with the remaining team of Manna Trevino and Kelly Yang taking the “next out” position, coming closer than any other remaining team to making the cut.

Max Renteria was selected for the NPDA All-American Squad, recognizing his commitment to community service, academic excellence, and competitive success.

Shannon LaBove was awarded the Brent Northup Distinguished Service Award for more than two decades of service to the debate community. She is only the third recipient of this award.

This finish marks the team’s second Sweepstakes NPDA National Championship, its fifth straight year with a top-four finish, and its fourth appearance in a debate national final round in the last six years!

International Forensics Association, March 11-12, Dublin, Ireland

Three students represented Rice at this global event for the first time. This tournament featured competitors from many nations and had an unusually difficult standard for reaching elimination rounds. All three students represented Rice with distinction.

Junior Pranav Nagajothi finished 5th Place in Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking and was a Double-Octafinalist in Varsity International Parliamentary Debate!

Below this point, the remaining tournaments so far this semester are listed in chronological order.

Mound High Swing Co-hosted by McKendree University and University of Texas at Tyler in Lebanon, IL, January 6-9.

Rice’s competitors returned early from Winter Break to represent Rice at this important two-tournament event. The tournament name references the Cahokia Mounds, the remains of the largest pre-Columbian city north of Mexico. The site is located very near the host campus.

First tournament
Max Renteria and Arjun Surya: Semifinalists, Varsity Debate
Nikki Stancik and Kyle Sanderfer: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Debate
Manna Trevino and Kelly Yang: Octafinalists, Varsity Debate

Second tournament
Max Renteria and Arjun Surya: Semifinalists, Varsity Debate
Nikki Stancik and Kyle Sanderfer: Semifinalists, Varsity Debate
Manna Trevino and Kelly Yang: Octafinalists, Varsity Debate

Individual Speaker Awards (calculated at this event by combining the two tournaments):
Kyle Sanderfer: 3rd
Nikki Stancik: 7th
Arjun Surya: 8th

Rice won 24 separate debates at this event.

In addition, two teams were announced at Mound High as first-round bids to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, placing them in the top 8 teams in the nation as of January. These teams are Max Renteria/Arjun Surya and Nikki Stancik/Rija Naqvi. Unfortunately, the tournament is scheduled during Rice’s finals period so they will be unable to attend. The team looks forward to attending the NPTE next year.

Rice currently has two teams ranked in the top ten and five in the top twenty on the NPTE rankings. The rankings are based on win/loss records.

3x3 Winter Blast Virtual Tournament
Kevin Barry:
2nd Communication Analysis
5th Persuasive Speaking

Maya Adhikari:
2nd Extemporaneous Speaking

Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted by the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, January 27-28

4th Place Overall Sweepstakes

Shay Olaifa:
1st Programmed Oral Interpretation
4th After Dinner Speaking
4th Prose Interpretation

Daijah Wilson:
1st Poetry Interpretation
4th Programmed Oral Interpretation

Maya Adhikari:
5th Extemporaneous Speaking
3rd Informative Speaking

Texas Intercollegiate Forensic Association, Hosted by Texas State University at San Marcos, February 2-4
Pranav Nagajothi:
3rd Impromptu Speaking

Kevin Barry:
2nd Informative Speaking
5th Communication Analysis

San Diego State University, February 3-4

Anna Phan and Rohan Gupta: Semifinalists, Varsity Debate
Max Renteria and Arjun Surya: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Debate
Nikki Stancik and Rija Naqvi: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Debate

Individual Speaker Awards:
Max Renteria: 2nd
Nikki Stancik: 4th
Anna Phan: 7th
Rohan Gupta: 8th
Kyle Sanderfer: 9th

Rice won 10 separate debates at this event.

Speech on the Beach Swing, Hosted by Del Mar College and Lone Star College North Harris, Corpus Christi, TX, February 9-11

First tournament
Daijah Wilson:
1st Programmed Oral Interpretation

Maya Adhikari:
6th Extemporaneous Speaking

Chloe Pesqueira:
6th Impromptu Speaking

Second Tournament
4th Place Overall Sweepstakes

Daijah Wilson:
2nd Programmed Oral Interpretation

Maya Adhikari:
3rd Extemporaneous Speaking

Chloe Pesqueira:
6th Impromptu Speaking
3rd Informative Speaking

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, February 17
Chloe Pesqueira
5th Informative Speaking

AFA-NST District III Qualifier Tournament, Tyler JC, Tyler, TX, March 2
Kevin Barry:
1st After Dinner Speaking
1st Communication Analysis

Maya Adhikari:
1st Persuasive Speaking
3rd After Dinner Speaking

Pranav Nagajothi:
1st Impromptu Speaking

Chloe Pesqueira:
1st Informative Speaking
2nd Impromptu Speaking
2nd Persuasive Speaking

Shay Olaifa:
3rd Programmed Oral Interpretation

Please join us in congratulating these academic competitors! The team will next compete at the American Forensic Association National Speech Tournament, hosted by the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire.

Rice Speech and Debate is coached by David Worth and Shannon LaBove. For more information, please visit humanities.rice.edu/speech-and-debate.

03/18/2024

Details later, but Rice Speech and Debate are the 2024 National Parliamantary Debate Association Tournament and Varsity Season Sweepstakes National Champions and Max Renteria and Arjun Surya are the Runner-up National Champions of the tournament bracket!

William Marsh Rice University 11/28/2023

If you are following this page you know how important funding is to speech and debate programs. If you would like to donate today for Giving Tuesday, head to riceconnect.rice.edu/givingtuesday and select “other (Please notify in special instructions)” in the drop down menu for designation. The next page will then allow you to specify in the “special instructions” field that you would like your gift to benefit the George R. Brown Forensics Society (Speech and Debate Team). If you are following this page you know how important funding is to speech and debate programs. Every bit helps!

William Marsh Rice University 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005-1827 Mailing Address: Development and Alumni Relations - MS 81, P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251-1892

Photos from Rice University Speech and Debate, the George R. Brown Forensic Society's post 11/17/2023

Rice Speech and Debate Closes Out Fall ’23 With 56 Awards

Rice’s academic competitors have had an exciting and successful Fall semester! Combining established rhetorical practices with new and innovative ideas, these students continue to challenge convention, speak to empower, and, as always, represent Rice with excellence. Results from October and November are detailed below.

Lewis & Clark College, October 14-15, Portland, OR

3rd Overall Debate Sweepstakes

Max Renteria and Arjun Surya: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Manna Trevino and Kelly Yang: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Kyle Sanderfer and Claire Wang: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Nikki Stancik and Rija Naqvi: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Anna Phan and William Wang: Octafinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate

Rohan Gupta and Rahul Shah: 1st place JV Parliamentary Debate

Speaker Awards
Kelly Yang: Top Speaker Varsity Parliamentary Debate

Rahul Shah: 4th Speaker JV Parliamentary Debate
Rohan Gupta: 2nd JV Speaker JV Parliamentary Debate

Seton Hall, October 22
5th Place Sweepstakes

Michelle Abiero
1st After Dinner Speaking

Maya Adhikari
2nd Communication Analysis
5th Informative Speaking

Kevin Barry
3rd Informative Speaking

Mercer University, October 22-23, Macon, GA

1st Place Sweepstakes

Kyle Sanderfer and Arjun Surya: Semifinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Nikki Stancik and Rija Naqvia: Semifinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Manna Trevino and Anna Phan: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate

Debate Speaker Awards
Kyle Sanderfer: 2nd Speaker Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Arjun Surya: 4th Speaker Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Nikki Stancik: 5th Speaker Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Rija Naqvi: 6th Speaker Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Anna Phan: 7th Speaker Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Manna Trevino: 10th Speaker Varsity Parliamentary Debate

Colorado College, October 28-29, Colorado Springs, CO
Part 1
Michelle Abiero
2nd After Dinner Speaking
Daijah Wilson
3rd Poetry Interpretation

Part 2
Michelle Abiero
2nd After Dinner Speaking

University of the Pacific and SJDCC November 4-5, Stockton, CA

Overall Award for the Event: 2nd Swing Sweepstakes (combined Part 1 and 2 points)

Part 1
Shay Olaifa
2nd After Dinner Speaking
5th Prose Interpretation

Chloe Pesqueira
6th Impromptu
5th Persuasive Speaking
5th Informative Speaking

Maya Adhikari
4th Informative Speaking
1st Communication Analysis

Daijah Wilson
2nd Poetry Interpretation

Part 2
1st Place Overall Sweepstakes (4 year)
3rd Place Overall Sweepstakes (2 and 4 year)

Nikki Stancik and Rija Naqvi: 1st Place Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Max Renteria and Arjun Surya: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Manna Trevino and Kyle Sanderfer: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate
William Wang and Anna Phan: Quarterfinalists, Varsity Parliamentary Debate

Debate Speaker Awards
William Wang: 3rd Speaker Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Rija Naqvi: 4th Speaker Varsity Parliamentary Debate

Shay Olaifa
1st After Dinner Speaking
1st Prose Interpretation

Michelle Abiero
5th After Dinner Speaking

Maya Adhikari
2nd Informative Speaking

Dajaih Wilson
3rd Poetry Interpretation

Jewell Moore-Young
4th Programmed Oral Interpretation

AFA-NST District III Fall Tournament November 11, Virtual
Maya Adhikari
2nd Informative Speaking
Kevin Barry
4th Informative Speaking
4th Persuasive

Pranav Nagajothi
2nd Extemporaneous Speaking

Shay Olaifa
5th Prose Interpretation

Please join us in congratulating these academic competitors! This concludes competition for the Fall semester. The team will next compete in January at multiple events.

Rice Speech and Debate is coached by David Worth and Shannon LaBove. For more information, please visit humanities.rice.edu/speech-and-debate.

10/06/2023

Rice Speech and Debate Hosts Season Opener, Wins 20 Awards

Rice Speech and Debate kicked off the season by hosting the 10th annual Rice University Classic (RUC) on campus. Twenty colleges and universities from across the nation attended the tournament, which has become the traditional season opener for intercollegiate NPDA/NPTE parliamentary debate and is often the first or second tournament for intercollegiate speech competition. The tournament was attended by multiple Rice alumni who filled judging roles and helped out in many other ways as well. RUC continues to be a great point of contact between current students and alumni as well as a chance for alumni to give back.

Results are listed below.

Rice placed second overall for the combined sweepstakes, a measure of performance in both tournaments.

Rice University Classic Part 1 Results

1st Overall Part 1 Sweepstakes

1st Place Debate Sweepstakes

Shay Olaifa
4th After Dinner Speaking (Speech to Entertain)
Maya Adhikari
4th Communication Analysis
Kevin Barry
4th Informative Speaking
Chloe Pesqueira
6th Persuasive Speaking

Debate Results

Nikki Stancik and Rija Naqvi
Semifinalists
Max Renteria and Arjun Surya:
Quarterfinalists

Kyle Sanderfer and Claire Wang:
Quarterfinalists

Manna Trevino Kelly Yang:
Quarterfinalists

Anna Phan and William Wang:
Octafinalists

Rahul Shah and Rohan Gupta:
Octafinalists

Debate Speaker Awards

Kyle Sanderfer
1st Place Top Speaker

Claire Wang
5th Place

Rice University Classic Part 2 Results

2nd Overall Sweepstakes
Shay Olaifa
1st After Dinner Speaking (Speech to Entertain)
Maya Adhikari
3rd Communication Analysis

Pranav Nagajothi
3rd Extemporaneous Speaking

Chloe Pesqueria
4th Persuasive Speaking

Team Building Through BBQ
The key to the team’s success lies in the strong ties built between members. Earlier in the month, the team celebrated the beginning of the season and enjoyed some time together with a team cookout at the home of David and Marie Worth on September 17.

Please join us in congratulating these academic competitors! Rice will next compete at the Steve Hunt Classic in Portland, OR.

Rice Speech and Debate is coached by David Worth and Shannon LaBove. For more information, please visit humanities.rice.edu/speech-and-debate.

--
David S. Worth, Ph.D.
Director of Forensics/Sr. Lecturer
School of Humanities
Rice University
phone: 713-348-2482
fax: 713-348-5471
Web: http://humanities.rice.edu/forensics

Photos from Rice University Speech and Debate, the George R. Brown Forensic Society's post 05/01/2023

Rice Speech and Debate Ends Spring with 62 awards and Divisional National Championship in Speech, 2nd in Nation in Debate

The Spring 2023 semester was busy and successful for Rice’s undergraduate forensics competitors. The team wrapped up its first full year of normal in-person completion with a President’s Division III National Win at the National Forensic Association Championship Tournament! While the team did compete at a couple of virtual tournaments, the mostly in-person 2022-23 season was a welcome change from the pandemic years. The students represented Rice with distinction as usual and coach Shannon LaBove was awarded The National Speech Tournament’s highest honor. Results from multiple events are listed below as well as internal team awards presented last week at the team’s end-of-year banquet.

Mile High Swing January 6-8, UT-Tyler, Tyler, TX
Part 1
Max Renteria/Arjun Surya
Quarterfinalists, Varsity Debate

Manna Trevino/Kelly Yang
Quarterfinalists, Varsity Debate

Liana Awe/Nikki Stancik
Octafinalists, Varsity Debate

Anna Phan/Kyle Sanderfer
Octafinalists, Varsity Debate

Max Renteria
4th Overall Debate Speaker

Arjun Surya
7th Overall Debate Speaker

Part 2
Max Renteria/Arjun Surya
1st Place Varsity Debate

Max Renteria
10th Overall Debate Speaker

Anna Phan/Kyle Sanderfer
Octafinalists, Varsity Debate

UNCC Charlotte Motor Speedway, January 28-29, Charlotte, NC


Part 1
2nd Overall Sweepstakes

Taylor Gilliam
1st Program Oral Interpretation
3rd Poetry Interpretation
5th Persuasive Speaking

Maya Adhikari
2nd Communication Analysis
4th Persuasive Speaking

Shay Olaifa
1st Dramatic Interpretation

Chloe Pesqueira
3rd Persuasive Speaking

Part 2
4th Overall Sweepstakes

Chloe Pesqueira
1st Persuasive Speaking

Maya Adhikari
2nd Persuasive Speaking
3rd Informative Speaking

Shay Olaifa
2nd Dramatic Interpretation

Concordia University Irvine, Irvine, CA January 28-29
Kyle Sanderfer/Anna Phan
Quarterfinalists, Varsity Debate

William Wang/Arjun Surya
Octafinalists, Varsity Debate

Arjun Surya
9th Overall Debate Speaker

Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association/Bobcat Classic February 3-5, San Marcos, TX
Part 1
Maya Adhikari
2nd Communication Analysis
5th Persuasive Speaking

Kevin Barry
6th Informative Speaking

Part 2
Kevin Barry
2nd Persuasive Speaking
5th Informative Speaking

Maya Adhikari
3rd Informative Speaking

Cornell University February 18, Ithaca, NY
Taylor Gilliam
1st Persuasive Speaking
2nd Informative Speaking

Bowling Green State University Pirate Swing (Virtual)
Part 1
Maya Adhikari
1st Informative Speaking

Part 2
Taylor Gilliam
2nd After Dinner Speaking

Jazmine Castillo
5th Poetry Interpretation
5th Prose Interpretation

Kevin Barry
6th Informative Speaking

AFA-NST District III Tournament (Virtual)
Kevin Barry
1st Informative Speaking

Maya Adhikari
1st Persuasive Speaking

Taylor Gilliam
2nd After Dinner Speaking

Maya Adhikari was elected by her fellow competitors from other schools as District III Student Representative

98th Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest, San Antonio, TX, February 24
This is the oldest college and university-level speaking contest in Texas.

Jazmine Castillo 2nd Place

National Parliamentary Debate Association National Championship Tournament, University of the Pacific, March 24-27

Team Awards

2nd Open Season Sweepstakes
2nd Tournament Sweepstakes
3rd Varsity Season Sweepstakes
4th JV Season Sweepstakes

Anna Phan/Kyle Sanderfer
Quarterfinalists, Varsity Debate

Max Renteria/Arjun Surya
Octafinalists, Varsity Debate

Max Renteria
5th Overall Debate Speaker

Kelly Yang
7th Overall Debate Speaker

Kyle Sanderfer
10th Overall Debate Speaker

Anna Phan
11th Overall Debate Speaker

Arjun Surya was elected by his fellow competitors from other schools as National Student Representative

American Forensic Association National Speech Tournament, Santa Ana, CA April 1-3

Overall Sweepstakes: 17th

Taylor Gilliam
Selected for 2023 All-American Team
3rd Persuasive Speaking
Semifinalist, Prose Interpretation
Quarterfinalist, Program Oral Interpretation
Quarterfinalist, After Dinner Speaking

Pranav Nagajothi
Quarterfinalist, Extemporaneous Speaking

Associate Director of Forensics Shannon LaBove was selected for the 2023 Distinguished Service Award, The NST’s highest award, it recognizes her decades of service and leadership in the forensics community.

National Forensics Association, National Championship Tournament, Bradley University, Peoria, IL April 13-17

1st Place President’s Division III Sweepstakes, National Champion

Taylor Gilliam
Semifinalist, Informative Speaking
Quarterfinalist, Persuasive Speaking
Quarterfinalist, Program Oral Interpretation
Octafinalist, After Dinner Speaking
Octafinalist, Prose Interpretation

Internal Team Awards
The team celebrated the end of the year with internal awards at the annual banquet. Most of these awards have a long history and recognize various kinds of excellence over the course of the year. Below are this year’s winners.

Lifetime Membership Award: Jazmine Castillo

Lifetime Membership Award: Taylor Gilliam

Speaker of the Year-Speech: Taylor Gilliam
Speaker of the Year-Debate: Max Renteria
Most Improved Speech Competitor: Maya Adhikari
Most Improved Debater: Anna Phan
Newcomer of the Year in Speech: Chloe Pesquiera
Newcomer of the Year in Debate: Kelly Yang
Team Player-Speech: Kevin Barry
Team Player-Debate: Nikki Stancik

J. Newton Rayzor Prize in Forensics
Two new prizes were given at this year’s banquet. This is the inaugural year of the J. Newton Rayzor Prize for Forensics, an endowed cash prize for recognizing demonstrated excellence and outstanding contributions to forensics at Rice. The award memorializes J. Newton Rayzor and his achievements in forensics during Rice’s formative years. One prize is awarded in Speech and one in Debate each year.

This year’s winner in Speech is senior Taylor Gilliam, 3rd in the nation in Persuasive Speaking at the NST and the driving force behind Rice’s President’s Division III National Championship at NFA. Taylor is respected throughout the nation for her talent and use of competition speeches as forums for genuine advocacy. Her mentoring work with younger competitors on the team, competitive success, and commitment to the power of rhetoric and performance to challenge, change, and heal represent Rice Speech and Debate with true excellence.

Max Renteria, a junior, is the Debate winner for 2023. Max was half of the national championship team as a sophomore in debate in 2022 and is this year’s 5th overall debate speaker at the national championship. Max is known throughout the nation for his talent and tremendous work ethic. His leadership, commitment to learning, and competitive success make him a true representation of the what Rice Speech and Debate strives to be.

Saying Goodbye to Seniors
Taylor Gilliam and Jazmine Castillo will graduate this year, after successful careers with the team. We wish them all the best in the future and look forward to their return to events as esteemed alumni!

Please join us in congratulating these academic competitors! This concludes competition for the year. The team will next compete in the Fall 2023 semester.

Rice Speech and Debate is housed in the School of Humanities and is coached by David Worth and Shannon LaBove. For more information, please visit humanities.rice.edu/speech-and-debate.

Timeline photos 12/06/2022

On the heels of a national championship, Rice’s George R. Brown Forensics Society, the university’s award-winning student speech and debate team, keeps raking in wins. The team has won two national championships in as many years and 90 awards just this fall. https://bit.ly/3Bb6S6c

Photos from Rice University Speech and Debate, the George R. Brown Forensic Society's post 11/23/2022

Rice Speech and Debate Finishes Out Fall with 69 Awards!

Rice Speech and Debate continued its successful return to primarily in-person competition in October and November, representing Rice with distinction around the nation. The team features a mix of seasoned veterans and hard-working newcomers who are building meaningful relationships, continuing the team’s culture of excellence, and empowering individuals to find their voices as advocates. The team’s accomplishments this semester show that, indeed, we are stronger together.

Results from multiple events are listed below.

BGSU Falcon Classic, Virtual, 10/15-16
Part 1
Kevin Barry:
Communication Analysis 2nd
Mehek Jain:
Extemporaneous Speaking 3rd

Part 2
Overall Sweepstakes: 2nd
Kevin Barry:
Communication Analysis 1st
Persuasive Speaking 1st
Taylor Gilliam:
Program Oral Interpretation 1st
Prose Interpretation 1st
E’Kiijah Turner:
Poetry Interpretation 3rd
Pranav Nagajothi:
Extemporaneous Speaking 3rd
Impromptu Speaking 3rd
Shay Olaifa:
Dramatic Interpretation 3rd

PLNU Sunset Cliffs Invitational, San Diego, CA 10/21-22

Debate Sweepstakes: 4th

Max Renteria and Arjun Surya: 1st Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Manna Trevino and Kelly Yang: 2nd Junior Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Nikki Stancik and William Wang: Semifinalists, Junior Varsity Parliamentary Debate
Anna Phan and Kyle Sanderfer: Semifinalists, Junior Varsity Parliamentary Debate (walkover to Trevino/Yang in a Rice vs. Rice Quarterfinal)

Max Renteria:
Overall Varsity Debate Speaker 1st
Arjun Surya:
Co-Champion (gold) Individual Parliamentary Debate
Overall Varsity Debate Speaker 9th
Manna Trevino:
Overall Junior Varsity Debate Speaker 2nd
Anna Phan:
Overall Junior Varsity Debate Speaker 6th
Kelly Yang:
Overall Junior Varsity Debate Speaker 10th

Battle at the Alamo, San Antonio, TX 10/21-23
Part 1
Overall Sweepstakes: 2nd

Maya Adhikari:
Communication Analysis 1st
Taylor Gilliam:
Program Oral Interpretation 1st
Mehek Jain:
Impromptu Speaking 2nd
Persuasive Speaking 2nd

Part 2
Overall Sweepstakes: 2nd

Maya Adhikari:
Communication Analysis 2nd
Taylor Gilliam:
Prose Interpretation 1st
Poetry Interpretation 4th
Mehek Jain:
Persuasive Speaking 1st
Impromptu Speaking 3rd

University of the Pacific/SJDC, Stockton, CA 11/4-6

Swing Sweepstakes (both halves combined): 1st

Part 1
Overall Sweepstakes: 1st

Taylor Gilliam:
Poetry Interpretation 1st
Program Oral Interpretation: 1st
Prose Interpretation 1st
Britney Hsu:
Informative Speaking 2nd
E’Kiijah Turner:
Poetry Interpretation 2nd
Maya Adhikari:
Communication Analysis 2nd
Communication Analysis 4th
Shay Olaifa:
Dramatic Interpretation 2nd
Kevin Barry:
Communication analysis 3rd
Persuasive Speaking 4th
Pranav Nagajothi:
Extemporaneous Speaking 3rd
Impromptu Speaking 4th
After Dinner Speaking 4th

Part 2
Overall Sweepstakes: 1st

Max Renteria and Arjun Surya:
Tie for 1st (closed out finals with Phan/Sanderfer)
Anna Phan and Kyle Snderfer:
Tie for 1st (closed out finals with Renteria/Surya)

Pranav Nagajothi:
Extemporaneous Speaking 1st
Shay Olaifa:
Dramatic Interpretation: 1st
Taylor Gilliam:
Poetry Interpretation 1st
Program Oral Interpretation 1st
Prose Interpretation 1st
Britney Hsu: Informative Speaking 2nd
Kevin Barry:
Communication Analysis 2nd
E’Kiijah Turner: Poetry Interpretation 4th
Liana Awe:
Individual Parliamentary Debate 4th
Overall IPDA speaker: 9th
Max Renteria:
Overall Debate Speaker 4th
Arjun Surya:
Overall Debate Speaker 6th
William Wang:
Overall Debate Speaker 7th
Manna Trevino:
Overall Debate Speaker 8th

AFA-NST District III Fall Qualifier, Virtual, 11/13
Pranav Nagajothi:
After Dinner Speaking 3rd
Britney Hsu:
Informative Speaking 3rd
Persuasive Speaking 3rd
Maya Adhikari:
Communication Analysis 5th

Please join us in congratulating these academic competitors!

This concludes competition for the Fall semester. The team will next compete in January at multiple events.

Rice Speech and Debate is coached by David Worth and Shannon LaBove. For more information, please visit humanities.rice.edu/speech-and-debate.

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