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Forensics team to give nationals showcase April 10

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College forensics team, just returned from the national tournament, will give a showcase of qualifying events April 10 on campus.

The entire team qualified for the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET), held April 1-3 on the campus of Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois.

“Night Before Nationals” will be at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center, and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Although the final program has not been set, it will come from the following nationals-qualifying students and events:

? Heather Chaney, sophomore from Erie – Communication Analysis, Informative Speaking

? Akiyaa Hagen, freshman from Salina – Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation

? Shekhinah Jones, junior from Salina – Poetry Interpretation

? Emily Kondziola, sophomore from North Newton – Extemporaneous Speaking , Impromptu Speaking, Informative Speaking

? Jacob Miller, senior from Westmoreland – After Dinner Speaking, Communication Analysis, Impromptu Speaking, Informative Speaking, Persuasive Speaking, Program Oral Interpretation

? Clinton Unruh, senior from Newton – Extemporaneous Speaking

In addition, Candy Dao, sophomore from Salina, will be presenting one of her events – Dramatic Interpretation, Program Oral Interpretation or Prose Interpretation. Dao is a member of the team and qualified to AFA-NIET but chose to withdraw from competition because of other responsibilities.

Mallory Marsh, Bethel head forensics coach, noted that the program will be rated “for mature audiences, due to language and graphic content.”

“We will offer content warning prior to each speech, so people can decide if they need to leave the room,” she said.

At AFA-NIET, Bethel placed 31st in the nation with 35.5 points earned – just .5 points away from a three-way tie for 28th, “so close to breaking the Top 30!” Marsh said.

“This is the highest number of points Bethel has earned, and the highest team placement, for at least 10 years, possibly more – 10 years is as far back as the records go showing point totals and placements for teams not in the Top 20.”

In addition, on the opening day of AFA-NIET, Miller was named to the 2017 AFA All-American team, the first time a Bethel student has earned the honor. Only 15 seniors from across the nation are designated All-Americans each year.

Miller made it to the quarter-final round in Impromptu Speaking, meaning he finished in the top 24 out of 131 contenders.

Marsh received the AFA District III Carroll and Barbara Hickey Achievement Award, granted to one District III coach each year from student voting. District III comprises Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. This is Bethel’s second time to win the award, presented to John McCabe-Juhnke in 2008.

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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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.