Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Oregon State University’s Forensics (speech and debate) Team attended the annual Scheller Forensics Invitational at Pacific University in Forest Grove on Jan. 23-26, 2020.

The tournament, which draws national-level competition to the Northwest, featured more than a dozen schools, including: Boise State University, Idaho; Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.; and Western Washington University, Bellingham.. The competition, the third official tournament of the season for the Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC), featured hundreds of individual event and debate entries.

“This team continues to impress me,” said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team.  “They came back after the holidays and, with little time to prepare, logged one of the team’s best performances in nearly a decade.”

Senior Ethan Liu, a Psychology major from Corvallis, took first place and was sixth best speaker in Novice IPDA Debate and also competed in Novice Impromptu Speaking. This was his first time competing in debate and second time participating in impromptu. Junior Mikayla Heston, a Kinesiology major from Boring, took first place in Junior Persuasive Speaking and also competed in Junior Impromptu Speaking

Other winners included Freshman Tasha Robinson, a Public Health major from Hillsboro, who was ninth best speaker in Open IPDA Debate and competed in Open Prose Interpretation; Sophomore Anna Heslinga, an environmental science major from Salem, who was ninth best speaker in Novice IPDA Debate and also competed in Novice Impromptu Speaking; Freshman Megan Baus, a General Engineering student from Salem, who placed fifth in Open Dramatic Interpretation and competed in Open Program Oral Interpretation; and Sophomore Theresa Mai, a Psychology Major from Portland, who took fifth place in Novice Impromptu Speaking and also competed in Novice IPDA Debate.

Also attending the tournament were Sophomore Kaitlyn Blake, a Management major from Concord, Calif., who competed in Junior Impromptu Speaking and Junior IPDA Debate; Sophomore Simon Millsap, a Business Information Systems major from Portland, who participated in Junior IPDA Debate and Junior Impromptu Speaking; Sophomore Brandy Quach, a Sociology and Civil Engineering major from Portland, who competed in Open Impromptu Speaking and Open IPDA Debate; Junior Sachin Betrabet, a Computer Science major from Corvallis, who participated in Open IPDA Debate and Open Impromptu Speaking; and Senior Uwe Keist, a Political Science major from Corvallis, who competed in Open IPDA Debate and Open Impromptu Speaking.

The team’s efforts resulted in them taking the third place in the overall sweepstakes award.

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.

“These results are a win for the entire team,” said Porrovecchio. “I am so lucky to work with such an engaged and mature group of students. OSU should be proud.”

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

Pictured (l-r): back row: Sachin Betrabet, Simon Millsap, Kaden Meyers, Tasha Robinson, Ethan Liu; front row: Uwe Keist, Brandy Quach, Teresa Mai, Mikayla Heston, Kaitlyn Blake; Anna Heslinga, and Megan Baus.