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March 14, 2023

SVSU students shine in novice speaking competition

group of students in black suits holding trophies and awards

Seven members of Saginaw Valley State University’s Competitive Speech team made a strong showing at the Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League (MISL) Novice State Championship at Northwood University in February. Each of the SVSU students performed well in their individual events, driving the team to a second-place ranking in the tournament. The tournament was a qualifying event for the MISL State Championship, which was held March 4. [LINK TO RELEASE]

Novice competitors are students who are in their first two semesters of competition. All but one of SVSU’s eight-member Competitive Speech team are novices.

Despite their relative lack of experience, the team members have performed well at competitions this year.

  • Nimnan Wuyep an international studies and communication major from Nigeria, claimed 3rdplace overall at the tournament. To qualify for this award, students had to be entered in at least three events that spanned two different genres (limited preparation, public address or interpretation). Wuyep also took 2nd place in Dramatic Interpretation, 2nd place in Poetry and 4th place in Persuasion.
  • Maia Clynick, a dual-enrolled student from Freeland, placed 2ndin Impromptu.
  • Shaina Clynick, a dual-enrolled high school student from Freeland, joined with Sammyra Nieves-Rivera, political science major from Dearborn, to earn 3rdplace in Duo Interpretation.
  • Rylee Pickoff, a teacher education major from Clinton Township, placed 5thin Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Harold Rodriguez Pupo, a pre-health professions major from Cuba, took 3rdplace in Prose.
  • Nicole (Nikki) Rooseboom, a teacher education major from Plainwell, claimed 3rdplace in Persuasion.

“I am very impressed with the work ethic of the students on the team this year,” said Ryan Rigda, SVSU lecturer of communication who coaches the team alongside Amy Pierce, associate professor of communication. “Competitive speech is about finding your voice and building confidence in your abilities. Students select a topic they are passionate about, and they advocate for it, either by writing a speech or preparing a performance. Every single one of these students has something important to say and they make sure it is heard.”

While the first-year members of the team participated in the MISL Novice State Championship, Evangeline Cruz, the team’s only varsity member, demonstrated her skills at the No Coast Championship hosted by South Dakota State University. Competing virtually, Cruz placed 1st in Poetry and 5th in Prose. [LINK TO RELEASE]

Several members of the team will travel to Ball State University for the National Speech Championship March 18-19.