Sign In

News Release

Santiago Canyon College Forensics Team Wins Award at Phi Rho Pi National Speech and Debate Tournament in Washington D.C.


(Orange, CA) - Recently, Santiago Canyon College (SCC) Forensics team won an award at Phi Rho Pi National Speech and Debate Tournament in Washington D.C. Seven members of the forensics team attended the national tournament to represent SCC.

At the tournament, over 60 community colleges participated in the speech and debate competition in 11 individual events, three forms of debate, and interpreters’ theatre. The SCC team competed in team parliamentary debate, individual parliamentary debate, poetry interpretation, dramatic interpretation, prose interpretation, impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, and informative speaking.

The SCC forensics team included Anaheim resident Kena M. Lira Amaro, Anaheim Hills residents Matthew Barsky, Brenden Bartunek, and Xeneb Shah; Corona residents Adrian Garcia and Jessica Khalili; Orange residents Natallie Herrmann, Hannah Lindmeier, Aaron Rodriguez, and Zoe-Raven Stevens; Newport Coast resident Sydney Johnston; Placentia resident Hugo Moroyoqui; Yorba Linda resident Lila Zamani-Morfin; and Brea resident Haley Jones.

Every year, students are given the opportunity to choose what they speak about in the competition with the help and guidance of the professors who coach them. Colleges do not need to qualify in order to attend, but because schools can only bring 14 students to the competition most schools have their students qualify to attend. For SCC, only the seven students who were second-year competitors traveled to Washington. The seven students who attend the tournament were Barsky, Garcia, Khalili, Shah, Jones, Rodriguez, and Stevens. Garcia won the bronze medal in impromptu speaking at the national competition.

One of the students who traveled to the national tournament was Barsky, a second-year studio art major, who joined the forensics team while taking argumentation and debate, but stayed for the people he met and the fact that he likes arguing. Barsky won a medal in debate at this year’s state championships. "When I came home with the medal from state, it seemed like a physical manifestation of the work that I put into practicing and it was nice to have that," Barsky said. "All of the lessons that I had from my coaches all went towards gaining that sense of pride and accomplishment."

Third-year communication studies major Haley, who traveled to Washington D.C. for the national tournament, knew that she had a natural talent for public speaking. When communication instructor, Jared Kubicka-Miller told her that she needed to compete, that was the push she needed to get started. Jones not only appreciates what she has learned through this team, but she is also so thankful for the teammates who she has had the joy of meeting over her two years on the team. "A moment I will always hold close to my heart is viewing the monuments and museums with my teammates," said Jones.

Phi Rho Pi commits to increasing the knowledge and appreciation of forensics arts at junior and community colleges. They do this by fostering growth, development, and participation in forensic activities. Phi Rho Pi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1929.

About Santiago Canyon College

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves about 17,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult - and seniors - in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

# # #