Monday, December 4, 2023


CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University’s Forensics (speech and debate) hosted their Earl Wells Virtual Speakeasy forensics tournament on December 2-3, 2023. The tournament also served as the regional qualifier for the American Forensics Association’s National Speech Tournament (NST).

Junior Rachel Woods, a Biology major from Portland, was fifth best speaker and took a bronze medal in Open IPDA Debate. She also competed in Open Impromptu Speaking. Senior Emerson Pearson, a Political Science major from Beaverton, was best speaker and a gold medalist in Novice IPDA Debate and took fourth place in Open Impromptu Speaking. Freshman Eileen Miller, an Exploratory Studies major from Redmond, Wash., took second place in Novice Impromptu Speaking and also competed in Open IPDA Debate. Senior Megan Baus, an Ecological Engineering major from Salem, took second place in Open Poetry Interpretation and competed in Open Program Oral Interpretation.

“It was nice to see our students doing so well at our own tournament,” said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team. “It is also great to host some quality competitors, even virtually.”
The tournament featured schools from across the Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC) and beyond, including Carroll College, Helena, Mont.; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Utah State University, Logan; and Modesto Junior College, Calif.

Also attending were Junior Rayna Voltin, a Biology major from Silverton, who competed in Novice Impromptu Speaking and Novice IPDA Debate; and Freshman Cole Bartuska, an Oceanography major from Shingle Springs, Calif., who competed in Novice Impromptu Speaking and Novice IPDA Debate.

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.

“We are ending this term on a real high note,” continued Porrovecchio.  “I think we are well-positioned for the second half of the season in 2024.”

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): Rayna Voltin, Megan Baus, Rachel Woods, Eileen Miller, Emerson Pearson, and Cole Bartuska take a break from the tournament in front of Shepard Hall.