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Thundering Word to compete in Tokyo event

The Marshall University speech and debate team, Thundering Word, will compete this month at the International Forensic Association Tournament in Tokyo, Japan.

The Thundering Word competes in the National Forensic Association throughout the country, competing in four basic areas:

  1. Oral Interpretation of literature (prose, poetry, duo, programmed oral interpretation)
  2. Prepared speeches (informative, persuasive, after dinner, rhetorical criticism)
  3. Limited preparation speeches (impromptu, extemporaneous)
  4. Debate

The team is led by the director of forensics for the Department of Communication Studies, Clara Adkins. Adkins says they’re excited for the opportunity.

“When I received the invitation from the organization, I immediately went to Dr. Bookwalter, dean of the College of Liberal Arts; he looked at me and said let’s see what we can do,” Adkins said. “Sixty days later, I got an answer that through donations from supporters and the Maier Foundation, this once-in-a-lifetime-experience was going to happen.”

The program is looking for additional help as they put together their plan to compete in Tokyo. They’re accepting monetary donations through the Marshall University Foundation (COLA-Debate Program). Adkins says the team appreciates the support they’ve received thus far from the Marshall University community.

Seventeen members of the team qualified for the trip to Tokyo:

  • Ben Chambers, Athens, West Virginia
  • George Urling, Midkiff, West Virginia
  • Matthew Lebo, Vienna, West Virginia
  • Gabe Corbin, Point Pleasant, West Virginia
  • Bryson Connolly, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Mason Pomeroy, Nettie, West Virginia
  • Olivia Hindman, St. Albans, West Virginia
  • Liv Stockwin, Homer, New York
  • Kia Booth, Proctorville, Ohio
  • Adley Fry, Proctorville, Ohio
  • Lily Mays, Martinsburg, West Virginia
  • Ella Hiles, Sharonville, Ohio
  • Aaryn Bonyak, Huntington, West Virginia
  • Grace Stowers, Huntington, West Virginia
  • Zoe Davin, Huntington, West Virginia
  • Frances Harper, Huntington, West Virginia
  • Aayush Damai, Huntington West Virginia

The team is coached and judged by Denise Parks (administrative assistant), Austin Fry (graduate assistant), Michael Shirzadian (debate instructor), Nancy Jackson (assistant director of forensics/instructor) and Adkins. The team will be flying from Columbus to Tokyo March 9 and returning March 16.