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Bethel qualifies all team members to national forensics tournament

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Small but mighty, the Bethel College forensics team will see all its members compete at the national tournament in April.

Team members solidified their events at the District 3 Qualifying Tournament in Norman, Oklahoma, March 3-4.

In that tournament, Candy Dao, junior from Salina, finished 1st in Prose Interpretation, giving her three total events for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET): Program Oral Interpretation (POI) and Dramatic Interpretation, in addition to Prose.

Emily Kondziola, junior from North Newton, doubled her events from two to four at the Qualifying Tournament, where she took 4th in Informative Speaking and 3rd in Communication Analysis, qualifying both to nationals. She will also compete in Impromptu Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking.

Akiyaa Hagen-Depusoir, sophomore from Salina, will go to AFA-NIET with two events, POI and Poetry Interpretation.

Highlights from February tournaments include the Border Wars Swing at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Feb. 3-4, where Dao was 1st in POI on Day 1, and she and Kondziola competing together over the two days earned a 4th-place Team Sweepstakes finish.

Dao finished 1st in Prose and Hagen-Depusoir 1st in POI and 2nd in Poetry at the Kansas Individual Events (KASIE) State Tournament, Feb. 10 at Sterling College.

Michael Taylor is in his first year as Bethel head forensics coach. “The team has exceeded my expectations this year,” he said. “Bethel College forensics has advanced to finals at every single tournament we have traveled to this year.

“I am eager to see how we transition regular-season success and experience to the post-season.”

The team will travel to Colorado College in Colorado Springs April 4-7 for AFA-NIET.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2016–17. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.