“The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue, the articulatory tools,” the Marian University Speech Team repeats together, warming up at the start of the Alumni Work Day on February 9—a mock competition the team hosts in preparation for the Indiana Forensic Association State Speech Tournament.
The annual work day, where alumni return for fellowship and the opportunity to give feedback on speeches, has always been an important part of the speech team’s culture and success. On February 17, the team will be sending 13 students and 52 events to the state tournament.
“I told the team, ‘Let’s create a winning culture.’ That’s what we are doing this season, and we’re putting down results,” Kyle Kellam, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication and director of forensics, said.
This year, the team brought home more trophies than ever before, placing in the top three at multiple tournaments and winning competitions held at the University of Kentucky and Butler University. This was also the first year the team competed in parliamentary debate.
“That’s opened up a lot of opportunities for the team,” Kellam said. “It makes a student smarter. They can’t be a one-trick pony when they do debate.”
Maresa Kelly ’20 is one of the students who decided to add debate to the list of her events. Kelly also competed in prose interpretation, poetry interpretation, duo interpretation, after dinner speaking, and impromptu.
“Competing is one of the best parts. I am definitely one of the most, if not the most, competitive people on the team,” Kelly said. “This year, though, I’ve especially enjoyed the family aspect of the team.”
That family aspect was clearly demonstrated at the Alumni Work Day, with over 20 alumni returning to campus to coach current team members’ events in hopes of bringing home state championships.
“Speech allows me to not only find my voice, but give a voice to the voiceless. That’s something I’ve always been really passionate about, but I didn’t have an outlet for that until I joined the speech team,” Kelly said.
To learn more about the Marian University Speech Team, contact Dr. Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.955.6048.