Monday, December 7, 2020

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Forensics (speech and debate) Team attended the 48th Annual Mike Dugaw Smelt Classic on December 4-6, 2020. This year the tournament also served as the American Forensics Association’s (AFA) qualifier for the National Speech Tournament (NST). The competition, held virtually due to Covid-19, was hosted by Lower Columbia College, Longview, Wash.

The tournament drew schools from inside and outside the Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC), including Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.; Pacific University, Forest Grove; and William Carey University, Hattiesburg, Miss.

Sophomore Tasha Robinson, a public health major from Hillsboro, took first place in Open Impromptu Speaking. She was also fourth best speaker in Open IPDA Debate.

“I am so proud of Robinson,” said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team. “This is our first virtual tournament. She is an excellent representative for our team and OSU.”

Also attending the tournament were Sophomore Milan Donhowe, a Computer Science major from Portland, who competed in Open Impromptu Speaking and Open IPDA Debate; Junior Kaitlyn Blake, a Management major from Walnut Creek, Calif., who competed in Open Impromptu Speaking; Junior Brandy Quach, a Civil Engineering Major, who competed in Open Impromptu Speaking and Junior IPDA Debate; and Junior Theresa Mai, a Psychology Major from Portland, who helped her peers prepare for events.

The team was coached by graduate assistant Kaden Meyers of Sandy. Meyers, a former student competitor for OSU, is now a MAIS student in the speech communication area of the School of Arts and Communication.

“This term has been a mixed blessing,” said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team.  “It has been unfortunate that we can’t practice together or compete in face-to-face tournaments. On the other hand, the team has been incredibly supportive and proactive during our twice weekly Zoom meetings. I am trying to offer students as many opportunities as are possible given the circumstances.”

Celebrating its 127th season, OSU Forensics is one of the oldest clubs on campus and a member of the Performing Arts Board in the School of Arts and Communication.  The team is open to all students in good academic standing regardless of experience or academic background.  If you are a student interested in participating, or a member of the community who would like to support the team, please contact Porrovecchio at


Mark Porrovecchio
205 Shepard Hall