Monday, February 19, 2018

19 February 2018 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Forensics (speech and debate) Team hosted the 12th Annual Earl Wells Memorial Speakeasy tournament on the OSU campus on February 17-18, 2018.

The tournament drew over a dozen schools from inside and outside the Northwest, including: Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.; the College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls; and Colorado Christian University, Lakewood. It serves as the final full-service tournament of the Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC) season before teams head to national and international competition.

“It is always an honor to host tournaments on our campus,” said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team. “Schools come back year after year because they love the environment and the competition.”

Senior Taryn Sokoloski, a Speech Communication major from Pendleton, took third best speaker in Novice Impromptu Speaking and competed in Novice IPDA Debate. Junior Kaden Meyers, a Political Science major from Sandy, was fourth best speaker in Open IPDA Debate and competed in Open Impromptu Speaking and Open Extemporaneous Speaking. Also competing in Junior Impromptu Speaking, Junior Extemporaneous Speaking, and Junior IPDA Debate was Sophomore Uwe Keist, a Political Science major from Corvallis.

“Sokoloski’s and Meyers’s successes are a tribute to their dedication,” offered Porrovecchio.  “But they and the rest of the team were really focused on helping to make this a great tournament for our guests.”

Team members who also helped out at the tournament were Sophomore Victoria Elligsen, a History/Anthropology major from Nehalem; and Junior Jocelyn Conroy, a Chemistry major from Omaha, Neb. The team was coached by graduate assistant Evan Steele of Concord, Calif. Steele is a MAIS student in the Speech Communication area of the School of Arts and Communication. Team alumni Forest Ledbetter of Albany and Stephanie Saracco-Gibbons of Pullman, Wash., also helped out at the tournament.

Celebrating its 125th 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`


Pictured (l-r): Evan Steele, Kaden Meyers, Uwe Keist, and Taryn Sokoloski.