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April 3, 2008

ULM Speech and Debate Team wins National Championship

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Speech and Debate Team members are national champions. ULM was one of 125 contenders and 20 universities—including Harvard University and California State—competing at the International Public Debate Association’s National Championship Tournament, hosted by Lee College in Baytown, Texas, March 28-30. ULM captured its first individual national championship and its first team national championship in debate.

Head coach Bob Alexander said, “ULM continued to enhance its national reputation through the efforts of our students.”

Overall, the team members earned a total of 18 awards, finishing first in the novice division. Last year, the ULM team earned national championship titles in team and individual speech competitions.

Alexander continued, “This is by far the most talented group of students that I have worked with in my coaching career. To earn a national championship in either speech or debate competitions is an honor and places a group in a unique place in history. However, no program has ever earned both a speech national championship and an IPDA debate national championship – and for this group to achieve this goal in back to back years is truly an amazing feat. The combination of the work ethic of these students and the coaching efforts of Michelli McKnight and Megan Smith has accomplished something for ULM to be proud of. I simply feel honored just to be associated with this group.”

The team was led by senior Kady Mitchel of Pineville, who won the national championship in the novice division of the tournament. Sophomores Mallory Bonnette, of Effie, and Tim Herrington, of Deridder, both advanced to the final-four in individual competition. Junior Lamar Franklin of St. Francisville, and freshman Joe Millhouse of San Antonio, Texas, advanced to the elite eight, and junior Zach Wilkes of Farmerville advanced to the sweet sixteen. Senior Chinedu Akunne of Nigeria, sophomore Alycia Hodges, of Tallulah, and senior Rob Redding of Fayetteville, Ga., also contributed to the team’s overall performance.

The ULM Speech and Debate Forum is open to any student, and no prior experience is required. If you are interested in finding out more about the team, you are encouraged to contact Bob Alexander at (318) 342-1462 or e-mail him at:

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