April 12, 2011—Following the forensics team’s success at the State Championship Tournament in March, North Central’s team took students to the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in Kearney, Neb., April 1-5. The students competed against undergraduates from colleges and universities of all sizes across the nation.
Three students had successful outcomes at the national level:
• Senior Nicole Autry placed seventh (of 137 students) in persuasive speaking. A resident of Joplin, Mo., Autry is majoring in speech communication.
• Junior William Miller placed 13th (of 124) in extemporaneous speaking. A resident of Pearl City, Ill., Miller is majoring in history and political science.
• Sophomore David Depino placed 30th (of 146) in informative speaking. A resident of Wheaton, Ill., Depino is majoring in social science/history.
In addition, Autry was chosen one of 14 students from across the country as part of the AFA-NIET All-American Team. These students represent not only excellence in forensics, but excellence in academics and community service. The selection process is very rigorous. Nominations are sent to the district chair where they are voted upon. Those who make it past the district vote are sent to the national committee, which reviews the nominations and makes the final decision and selection to the All-American Team.
Autry is the sixth person in the College’s history to receive the prestigious AFA-NIET All-American award, which was first implemented in 2001. A North Central student has been chosen for this award six of the past 10 years. Previous North Central All-American Team members include Laura Fancher ’01 Bower, Lisa Barber ’03, Gillian Owens ’06 Gunnink, Megan Orcholski ’05 and Sarah Brady ’08.
North Central’s final forensics contest of the year is the National Forensic Association (NFA) National Tournament at Illinois State University in mid-April.
The team is coached by Richard Paine, professor of speech communication/theatre, director of forensics and director of debate; and John Stanley, assistant professor of speech communication, assistant director of forensics and director of individual events.