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Freshman qualifies for forensics nationals

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College now has another forensics team member qualified for nationals, as well as additional events by a previous qualifier.

Freshman Emily Kondziola, North Newton, in her first semester competing for the Threshers, qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking on Day 2 of the Green Country Swing, hosted by Tulsa Community College and Northeast Oklahoma University on the TCC campus Nov. 7-8.

Kondziola’s 1st-place finish in the event put her over the top for Bethel. She will go to the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in April.

The Bethel squad has been busy with tournaments over the past several weekends.

Oct. 17-18, the team was in Mankato, Minnesota. On Day 1, the Larry Schnoor Invitational, Bethel placed 9th out of 20 schools. Tournament hosts were Minnesota State University-Mankato and Southwest Minnesota State University.

Jacob Miller, junior from Westmoreland, was 5th in After Dinner Speaking (ADS), Impromptu Speaking and Informative Speaking. Sophomore Shekhinah Jones, Salina, placed 6th in Persuasive Speaking.

Also competing and contributing points to the team total were juniors Autumn Masters and Clinton Unruh, both from Newton, and freshmen Candy Dao, Salina, and Kondziola.

At the Mustang Stampede, Day 2 of the tournament, there were 17 schools competing, with Bethel placing 8th.

Miller qualified his second event to nationals (he is already qualified in ADS) after finishing 2nd in Informative Speaking. He also took 6th in ADS.

Unruh finished 5th in Informative Speaking. Jones was 2nd in Persuasive Speaking and the top non-advancing novice in Prose Interpretation. Kondziola was the top non-advancing novice in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Masters and Dao also competed, adding points to the team total.

Oct. 24-25, Bethel co-hosted the Sunflower Swing Tournament with Kansas State University on the Bethel campus. Nine schools competed both days.

On Day 1, Unruh placed 1st in Impromptu Speaking, Masters 5th in Program of Oral Interpretation (POI) and Jones 3rd in Persuasive Speaking.

Dao and Kendra Gonzalez, sophomore from Minneapolis, also competed.

On Day 2, Miller qualified his third event for nationals with a 2nd-place finish in Impromptu Speaking.

Also competing were Dao and Heather Chaney, freshman from Erie.

At the Green Country Swing, Nov. 7-8, Bethel placed 7th out of 15 schools on Day 1.

Unruh was 5th in Informative Speaking and “next out” in Extemporaneous Speaking, while Masters took 4th in POI and was “next out” in Poetry interpretation.

Kondziola also competed on Day 1. She qualified for nationals in her event the next day.

At Green Country Swing Day 2, Bethel was 5th of 10 schools in the tournament.

Unruh took 6th in Informative Speaking and Masters 6th in Poetry Interpretation.

In addition to her 1st-place finish in Extemporaneous Speaking, Kondziola was 5th in both Informative Speaking and Impromptu Speaking.

AFA-NIET will be held April 2-4, 2016, at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015'16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015'16. 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.