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CSU-Pueblo debate team prepares for national tournament

Release Date: March 02, 2015

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo

(719) 549-2810

CSU-Pueblo debate team prepares for national tournament

PUEBLO - Colorado State University-Pueblo's newly revived forensics team has completed a successful regular season and is heading to several national competitions later this spring.

Forensics Team President Dami Ogunbayode, A junior engineering major from Lagos, Nigeria, qualified for nationals in poetic interpretation so will travel to the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament at Lewis and Clark College the first weekend of April, while the entire team will vie for a national championship at Kansas City Community College in Kansas City, Missouri on March 14 at the National Parliamentary Debate Association National Championship.

"I am incredibly proud of the team's performances and drive to master this activity, said Director of Forensics Kathryn Starkey. "Their determination is insurmountable and has been evident by their successes thus far this semester."

In November at the Northwest Trapper Rendezvous in Powell, Wyo., CSU-Pueblo competed against teams from across Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. Team Secretary Nalene Ayala, a sophomore pre-nursing major from Colorado Springs, placed sixth in Persuasive Speaking with a speech about designer babies and their impact on society.

"It's exhilarating to think I was able to place at my very first tournament and start to bring awareness to such a complex and controversial issue," said Ayala.

At the end of January, the team attended the Lambda Pi Eta Invitational at Metro State University Denver, where Ogunbayode placed third in Poetry with a collection featuring Langston Hughes and Robert Duncan, which analyzed the African heart accepting the norms of American society and the difficulties in completing that process. This Same poetry program led him to qualify to the National Invitational Events Tournament.

"I can honestly say Forensics this year has been an incredible experience. The team cooperation and spirit remains unrivaled," said Ogunbayode. "Coach Kathryn Starkey and the Forensics community have given us the support that helps us to keep striving to improve ourselves as debaters, performers, and humans."

The team earned wins against University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, and Abilene Christian University at the Red Raider/Wildcat Swing held in February at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, where Zeta Poulin, a junior mass communications major from Colorado City, in her first EVER collegiate debate tournament took 18th speaker overall in Open Parliamentary Debate and Ogunbayode placed 20th.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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