Monday, February 13, 2023


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Forensics (speech and debate) Team hosted the 2nd Annual Earl Wells Virtual Speakeasy on February 11-12, 2023. This was the second year that the team hosted a virtual event.

Senior Megan Baus, an Ecological Engineering major from Salem, was third place in Open Poetry Interpretation. She also competed in Open Program Oral Interpretation and Open Prose Interpretation. Sophomore Rayna Voltin, a Biology major from Silverton, was sixth place in Novice Impromptu Speaking. She also competed in Novice IPDA Debate.

“It nice to see an experienced competitor like Megan and talented newcomers like Rayna and Joshua do so well,” said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team. “Moreover, it was great to watch their teammates pitch in to help them.”

The tournament featured nearly thirty schools from across the United States, including Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.; Mississippi State University, Starkville; University of Central Florida, Orlando; and regional colleagues such as Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.; and Lower Columbia College, Longview, Wash.

Also attending the tournament was Junior Anna Heslinga, an Environmental Sciences major from Salem, who competed in Open Impromptu Speaking and Open IPDA Debate; and freshman Sydnie McCarty, a Psychology Major from Coos Bay, who came to support her teammates.

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.

“It was humbling to have so many schools from inside and outside the region attend our tournament,” continued Porrovecchio.  “Even better, my students did well against some of the top competition in the nation.”

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): : (back, from left to right) Joshua Giacomini, Tasha Robinson, and Megan Baus; (front, from left to right) Sydnie McCarty, Rayna Voltin, and Anna Heslinga.