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Miller wins state oratory crown, qualifies maximum events to nationals

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College senior Jacob Miller, Westmoreland, came home Feb. 18 from the Kansas State Individual Events Tournament (KASIE) with a couple more laurels in his forensics crown.

At the tournament, held on the campus of Ottawa University, Miller earned the state championship in Persuasive Speaking.

The top two speakers from each state in qualify to compete at the Interstate Oratorical (IO) Association national tournament.

“IO is the oldest oratorical competition in the nation,” said Bethel head forensics coach Mallory Marsh. “This year it will be held on the University of Louisiana-Lafayette campus in late April. Jacob will be joined by a Kansas State University student who placed second in the final round.”

In addition to qualifying his speech to IO, earning first place at KASIE also qualified Miller in Persuasive Speaking at the American Forensic Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET).

This was Miller’s sixth qualification for AFA-NIET, which is the maximum number of events one student can take to nationals.

The Threshers have now qualified four students in 11 events to AFA-NIET, which takes place April 1-3 at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

Marsh, Bethel assistant professor of communication arts, is director of forensics, assisted by Gail Stucky, Bethel co-director of libraries.

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.