MHCC is the First Community College to Host Pi Kappa Delta National Speech Tournament

Posted March 9, 2011 

900 People Expected On Campus March 24 – 26

Saving the earth’s oceans, increasing border security, protecting civil rights – these are just a handful of the many topics that will be debated in a national intercollegiate speech tournament, March 24 – 26 at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC).

Plain or peanut? Leno or Letterman? Light-hearted topics such as these may also find their way onto the speaking agenda. Depending on the category, some competitors will not know their assigned topic until just a few minutes before they take the stage, while others have devoted untold hours to researching and perfecting their presentation.

“You can expect a true marketplace of ideas during this tournament,” says Shannon Valdivia, MHCC instructor of speech communication and director of the College’s forensics team.

The event is sponsored by Pi Kappa Delta, a 100-year-old honorary society for forensics competitors. The organization will hold its annual convention in Portland on March 23. “This is the first time a community college has been selected to host this prestigious event,” says Valdivia. Students from more than 80 universities and colleges all over the country will compete in dozens of categories, including prose interpretation, persuasive speaking and extemporaneous speaking.

“This event is expected to draw about 900 people to campus, including students, coaches, family members and other guests. It will be spring break at MHCC, so almost the entire campus will be available to us,” says Valdivia. “We will have competitions taking place simultaneously in about a hundred rooms.” MHCC employees and volunteers from the competing colleges and universities will serve as judges.

Valdivia says the tournament will feature the very best of intercollegiate forensics competitors in a full range of individual and team events.  “And, they will meet their match if they go up against the MHCC team,” says Valdivia. “Our team is the current International Public Debate Association (IPDA) two-year national season sweepstakes leader and we finished in the top 10 of all major tournaments we attended this year.”

The public is welcome to observe all events, free of charge, which will take place from about 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at MHCC’s Gresham Campus, 26000 SE Stark Street. For more information, please call Valdivia at 503 491-7634 or e-mail or contact Pi Kappa Delta at

Individuals requiring accommodations due to a disability may contact the MHCC Disability Services Office at 503-491-6923 or 503-491-7670 (TDD). Please call at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure availability.

© 2014 Mt. Hood Community College | 26000 SE Stark St. | Gresham, OR 97030 | 503-491-6422
 Last Modified: 3/23/2011 11:36:38 AM