Monday, January 30, 2023


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Forensics (speech and debate) Team attended the 50th Annual Mike Dugaw Smelt Classic Forensics Tournament at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash., on January 27-29, 2023. This was the third and final designated Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC) tournament of the season. 

Senior Megan Baus, an Ecological Engineering major from Salem, took fifth place in Open Program Oral Interpretation. She also competed in Open Prose Interpretation and Open Poetry Interpretation. Sophomore Rachel Woods, a Biology major from Portland, was third best speaker and took semi-finalist in Junior IPDA Debate. She also competed in Junior Impromptu Speaking. Freshman Joshua Giacomini, an Education Major from Coos Bay, was seventh best speaker in Junior IPDA Debate. He also competed in Junior Impromptu Speaking. The team received a Bronze award from the NFC for their overall performance thus far this season.

“I am so proud of Megan, Rachel, and Joshua,” said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team. “They were successful against some of the top competition in the nation, not just the region. And the Bronze award just underscores that this is a team effort.”

The tournament featured schools from across the NFC, including Boise State University, Idaho; Carroll College, Helena, Mont.; and Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.
Also at the tournament were Junior Anna Heslinga, an Environmental Sciences major from Salem, who competed in Junior Impromptu Speaking and Junior IPDA Debate; Sophomore Rayna Voltin, a Biology major from Silverton, who competed in Novice Impromptu Speaking and Novice IPDA Debate; and Freshman Sydnie McCarty, a Psychology Major from Coos Bay, who competed in Junior Program Oral Interpretation and Junior Dramatic Interpretation.

The team was coached by assistant coach Tasha Robinson 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.

“This tournament sets us up well for the rest of the season,” continued Porrovecchio.  “We are hosting our own tournament in a few weeks. Then we go to the national qualifier in Portland and the international tournament in Tokyo.”

Celebrating its 130th 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): Josh Giacomini, Tasha Robinson, Sydnie McCarty, Rachel Woods, Rayna Voltin, Megan Baus, and Anna Heslinga taking a break near Longview’s world-famous squirrel bridge, “Nutty Narrows.”