David DePino of Wheaton was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Student in Forensics Award during Honors Day May 15 at North Central College.
DePino is a senior with majors in history and political science at North Central College. He is the son of Mark and Davida DePino and is a 2009 graduate of Wheaton North High School.
He competes on the College’s speech and debate team and has consistently placed among the top competitors at national, state and regional tournaments. In April at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament—one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year—DePino claimed second among a field of 146 in Persuasive Speaking. In an earlier contest at the Illinois Intercollegiate Forensic Association State Tournament he took second place in Extemporaneous Speaking and Persuasive Speaking, which earned him a spot in the 143rd Interstate Oratorical Association National Tournament. And, as an individual competitor at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, DePino was national champion in Informative Speaking, among a field of 84 competitors.
At the 143rd Interstate Oratorical Association National Tournament at Emerson College in Boston in April, DePino advanced to the finals and took fourth place. Only the top two in Persuasive Speaking in each state proceeded to this national competition. DePino’s finish is the first time in the history of the College’s forensics program that a North Central student placed in the final round and only the second time a student has qualified for this national competition. DePino advanced through three preliminary rounds of competition and made it to the national semi-final round, which consisted of the top 12. A panel of five judges advanced him to the finals, which was judged by community members from Boston, including faculty from Harvard University and the president of the National Communication Association.
At North Central’s 2012 Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research, he presented both poster and oral presentations about recent research. His poster was titled “Black Space, Black Race: Frederick Douglass and Racial Incongruity in the Chicago Tribune (1854-1874)” and his oral presentation was titled “Dance Monsters Dance: The Empowerment Anthem of Lady Gaga as Feminist Rhetoric.”