• The Gift of Golden Tongue

  • MHCC Forensics Team Wins Northwest Conference Gold Medal

    Some of Mt. Hood Community College’s top orators were lauded this week for their speech and debate performances over the last few months.

    The Northwest Forensics Conference awarded the MHCC Forensics (speech and debate) Team the Division III Gold Medal, distinguishing the Saints as the top community college program in the conference for the 2016-2017 season. The NFC also awarded the team the Larry Dawkins Cup, for the top Division III debate program, and the Orv Iverson Cup, for the best individual events program.

    The NFC bestows Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to the top three teams in three divisions. Medals are awarded based on team performance and the cumulative team score, derived from the points that members acquired ranking in debate and individual speech competitions at NFC tournaments held in October, November and January.

    MHCC earned 107.37 points during the regular season. Silver medalist Snow College (Utah) earned 80.66 and Bronze medalist College of Western Idaho earned 30.72. More than 40 colleges and universities – including 11 community colleges – from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Northern California participate in the NFC.

    The Orv Iverson Cup, named after the late Clark College speech instructor, distinguishes the team with the best overall performance in individual speech competitions (also known as Individual Events or IE). There are 11 different types of IEs, including impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, prose, poetry, and informative and persuasive speaking.

    The Larry Dawkins Cup, named after MHCC speech instructor and former Director of Forensics Larry Dawkins, is awarded to the best debate team. There are two debate styles: National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) team debate and International Public Debate Association (IPDA) Lincoln-Douglas, or LD, debate. LD debate is performed one on one, whereas as NPDA debates consist of two-person teams going head-to-head.

    The MHCC Forensics Team consistently ranks in the top three of Division III schools. During the 2015-2016 season the team earned a Silver Medal, and the season before a Bronze. However, the team hasn’t achieved a Gold Medal in a few years, and to earn a Gold and the Iverson and Dawkins cups is a major accomplishment, said MHCC speech instructor and team coach Shannon Valdivia.

    “This definitely gives our students a boost in morale and gets those competitive juices flowing as they prepare for the ultimate prize: a shot at a national title in debate or individual events,” Valdivia said.

    Nationals season starts in March. Members of the MHCC Forensics Team will attend the Phi Kappa Delta Convention and National Tournament at Boise State University, March 21-25, and the Phi Rho Pi Community College National Championships in Washington D.C., held April 9-15. The Phi Kappa Delta tournament will pit the MHCC Team against teams from both two- and four-year schools. Only the four highest scorers will attend the Phi Rho Pi championships in Washington D.C.

    On Feb. 11, the Forensics Team hosts the 17th Annual Saints High School Invitational Tournament at MHCC. More than 30 Oregon high schools will send teams. The MHCC Forensics Team will compete next at the Earl Wells Invitational at Oregon State University on Feb. 18-19.

    Linfield Team
    Members of the MHCC Forensics Team at Linfield College last November for The Roy Mahaffey Memorial Collegiate Forensics Tournament. From left to right, Coach Shannon Valdivia, Danner Marshall, Basil Hawley (purple shirt), Tyler Garcia, Karasalla Fale (seated), Sara Cass, Hannah Olson, Jo Cunningham, and Kevin Henderson.