Monday, February 12, 2024


CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University’s Forensics (speech and debate) Team attended the 51st Annual Michael Dugaw Smelt Classic at Lower Columbia College, Longview, Wash., on Feb. 10-11, 2024.

Senior Megan Baus, an Ecological Engineering major from Salem, took sixth place in Open Program Oral Interpretation and was fourth place in Open Poetry Interpretation. Senior Emerson Pearson, a Political Science major from Beaverton, placed fourth in Open Impromptu Speaking, was fourth best speaker and a semifinalist in Open IPDA Debate. Sophomore Joshua Giacomini, a Microbiology major from Coos Bay, was seventh best speaker and a quarterfinalist in Open IPDA Debate and competed in Open Impromptu Speaking. Sophomore Sydnie McCarty, a Human Development and Family Science major from Coos Bay, took second in Junior Prose Interpretation and competed in Open Poetry Interpretation. First-year students Veronica Robinson, a Psychology major from Portland, placed first in Novice Impromptu Speaking, was third best speaker and second place in Novice IPDA Debate. First-year Isabelle Bare, a Public Policy/Political Science major from Nebraska City, took second place in Novice Impromptu Speaking and competed in Open Extemporaneous Speaking. As a result of their impressive showing, the team was recognized with the third place overall sweepstakes award.

“The team did exceptionally well this past weekend,” said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team. “We had students ranging from seasoned veterans to first-timers recognized for their efforts at Lower Columbia College.”

The tournament featured schools from across the Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC), including Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.; Linfield University, McMinnville; Lewis and Clark College, Portland; and Pacific University, Forest Grove.

Also attending the tournament was Junior Rayna Voltin, a Biology major from Silverton, who competed in Junior IPDA Debate and Open Impromptu Speaking. The team was coached by Tasha Robinson, who is from Hillsboro. Robinson is a former student competitor for OSU and a current MAIS graduate student in the Speech Communication area of the School of Communication.
“It’s hard to believe the season is nearly over,” continued Porrovecchio.  “But we still have tournaments ahead of us in Reno, Nev., Portland, and Dublin, Ireland.”

Celebrating its 131st season, OSU Forensics is one of the oldest clubs on campus and a member of the Performing Arts Board in the School of 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

Photo (from left to right): Veronica Robinson, Isabelle Bare, Emerson Pearson, Sydnie McCarty, Megan Baus, Rayna Voltin, and Joshua Giacomini taking a break at the squirrel statue next to Longview’s famous Nutty Narrows Bridge.