WT Forensics takes second place international win


Jasmin Ruiz, Reporter

West Texas A&M University’s Forensics Team competed in the International Forensics Association Competition in Barcelona, Spain after meeting their fundraising goal for travel. The team came in second place overall in the competition.


“Most of the money was through private donations,” Connie McKee, Instructor of Speech Communication and Director of Forensics, said. “And hosting and judging of area speech tournaments.”


This is the first time the team has traveled internationally.


McKee compared the competitions to a track meet. There are different events that each student can enter individually, but they are all counted into a team total.


“It was the most amazing experience,” Heather Goheen, senior Communication Studies major, said. “Culturally, educationally and personally.”


Goheen won in the Persuasive Speaking event, while another WT student placed fourth in the same category. Goheen’s persuasive speech was about disability rights in America. She was happy to be able to get her message across to people internationally.


She chose this particular topic because her grandfather is disabled, and when she found out about a law in the U.S. that allows companies not to pay minimum wage to disabled citizens, it angered her. She felt that it was her duty to get the word out about such a law in hopes of making a change.


“You have to be passionate about what you do, and if you’re not passionate about it, then why do it,” Goheen said.


Goheen also placed sixth in Communication Analysis and fifth in Prose.


“WT really made their presence known,” Eric Hernandez, senior General Studies major, said. “It was our first time at this competition, and people didn’t really know what to expect from us. I think they were pleasantly surprised.”


Hernandez placed third in Prose and, like Goheen, was passionate about competing in Prose because it is what he feels he is best at. In his competition, he talked about his grandparents due to his close relationship with his grandmother.


Wes Alexander was a semi-finalist in Prose, Kimberly Garcia placed fourth in Persuasive and Chey Shifflett placed first in Programmed Oral Interpretation and was semi-finalist in Prose.

the team will travel to Portland, Ore. for the American Forensics Association National Individual Events tournament this month.


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