February 23, 2018  

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Southern Miss Speech and Debate Team Places at National Competition

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The Speech and Debate team of The University of Southern Mississippi competed at the 100th anniversary tournament and convention of Pi Kappa Delta National Honor Society, March 13-17 on the campus of Webster University in St. Louis. The field of competition included 86 colleges and universities from across the U.S., with seven students representing Southern Miss at the tournament. 

Southern Miss was presented with a Charter Certificate, marking the establishment of a new Pi Kappa Delta chapter and ranked 26th in Overall Sweepstakes, finishing ahead of the University of Kentucky, Central Michigan University, Ohio University, Texas A&M, University of Oklahoma and Utah State University, among others.

In individual events competition Southern Miss placed 23rd, and in debate competition the team placed 31st, with both rankings designated as “good.” Trophies for “superior” were awarded for the top 10 percent, trophies for “excellent” were awarded for the next 20 percent, and ratings designated as “good” were awarded for the next 20 percent of the student competition in each event and overall.

Austin Allen, a freshman political science major from Pascagoula, Miss., received awards of excellence in Broadcast Journalism and in the Program of Oral Interpretation and was rated as “good” in Communication Analysis, Dramatic Interpretation and Discussion. Allen was also elected to one of two student positions on the National Council. 

Sara Bell, a senior communications studies major from Petal, Miss. was rated good in Discussion. 

Also rated “good” in Prose Interpretation was Lyeneal Griffin, a sophomore pre-theater major and native of Hattiesburg. 

Brandon Hersey of Hattiesburg received an award of excellence in Broadcast Journalism and was rated as “good” in both Extemporaneous Speaking and Impromptu Speaking.  Hersey placed fourth and received the rating of “superior” in Legislative Debate, received a presiding officer award and the Top Legislator Award.  He is a sophomore double majoring in political science and communication studies.

Meredith McPhail of Mobile, Ala. is a freshman double majoring in Spanish and English, and was rated “good” in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Kianna Mitchell, a broadcast journalism major from Mobile, Ala., received an award for excellence in Legislative Debate.  Mitchell also was rated “good” in Broadcast Journalism and Impromptu Speaking.

Sam Rayborn, a senior political science and Spanish double major from Hattiesburg, was rated “good” in Extemporaneous Speaking.