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I love the community here at Bethel. I knew I’d have great classes, but I never thought I would stumble upon a whole new family when I came to college. You can count on everyone to lend a helping hand.
Taylor McCabe-Juhnke ’12

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Bethel will take large squad to national forensics tournament

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Following the regional qualifying tournament in Oklahoma over the weekend, Bethel College will be sending one of the largest squads in recent memory to the American Forensic Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) next month.

At the American Forensic Association District III National Individual Events Qualifying Tournament, held March 5-6 on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Bethel competed with 10 other schools from a region that comprises, in addition to Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Five Bethel students qualified for nationals, including Natasha Orpin, freshman from Moundridge, in Informative Speaking, in which she took second place, and Aaron Rudeen, freshman from Osage City, who finished second in Duo Interpretation (with Dana Daugharthy, senior from Iola) and qualified in that event. With Orpin and Rudeen qualifying, all five freshmen on the Thresher squad will be going to nationals.

Daugharthy, already qualified in Duo Interpretation (with Taylor McCabe-Juhnke, sophomore from North Newton), will go to nationals in a third event, with a third-place finish in After Dinner Speaking. Julia Huxman, sophomore from Wichita, took second in Communication Analysis, qualifying her second event for nationals. Brandon Schwager, junior from Lawrence, did the same in Impromptu Speaking – second-place finish, second event qualified.

Daugharthy also finished fourth in Program of Oral Interpretation, making him first alternate in that event; Rudeen was fifth in After Dinner Speaking (second alternate); Schwager took fifth in Informative Speaking (second alternate); and Natalie Stucky, freshman from Moundridge, finished sixth in Communication Analysis (second alternate).

Sarah Unruh, sophomore from Raytown, Mo., was sixth in Informative Speaking. Alex Stucky, junior from Moundridge, also competed for the Threshers.

Bethel’s final roster for nationals includes 11 students in 15 events: Dana Daugharthy in After Dinner Speaking, Duo Interpretation (with Taylor McCabe-Juhnke and with Aaron Rudeen); Julia Huxman in Communication Analysis and Persuasive Speaking; Taylor McCabe-Juhnke in Duo Interpretation (with Dana Daugharthy); Audra Miller, freshman from Hesston, in After Dinner Speaking; Julia Miller, freshman from Hesston, in Program of Oral Interpretation; Natasha Orpin in Informative Speaking; Aaron Rudeen in Duo Interpretation (with Dana Daugharthy); Brandon Schwager in Extemporaneous Speaking and Impromptu Speaking; Alex Stucky in Extemporaneous Speaking; Matthew Stucky, senior from Moundridge, in After Dinner Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking and Impromptu Speaking; and Natalie Stucky in Informative Speaking

“It’s notable that 11 out of 13 members on the squad have qualified,” said head coach John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts. “All five freshmen are qualified, as well as Brandon Schwager, who is new to college forensics this year.”

AFA-NIET will be held April 2-4 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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