Department of Communication Studies

Team History

UNI Forensics is one of the oldest student reported activities on campus, maintaining a strong presence since the university was founded as the Iowa State Normal School in 1876. Below you will find our past team directors and recent national tournament results for both speech and debate.

[Click here and be directed to the Rod Library Index Search Site for past Northern Iowan articles (1909-present) about UNI Forensics.]

[Click here and be directed to the early 1900's UNI Virtual Squadroom.]

The Iowa State Normal School is reported to have had many forensic exercises offered through the English department, such as elocution, oratory, and debate. Particular oratory contests that attracted great attention were the debates between the "pedagogy" of Cedar Falls and the "farms" of Iowa State College. These debates were so entertaining and popular that they became a regular feature in the campus newspaper. In 1909 the name of the university was changed to the Iowa State Teachers College. Research indicates that from 1911 to 1917, the Iowa State Teachers College won first place in the Interstate Normal Oratory League Contest. Debate was considered to be an activity for men only until 1915 when debate leagues were created for women competitors. In 1961 the name was changed again to the State College of Iowa until 1967 when it was changed one final time to the University of Northern Iowa.

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Team Directors:

Directors of Forensics

2013-present John Fritch (interim administrator)

2008-2013 Kate Lavelle

2006-2008 Cate Palczewski (interim)

2004-2006 Jacob Thompson

2003-2004 Cate Palczewski (interim)

1998-2003 Leah White

1997-1998 Arnie Madsen

1978-1997 Bill Henderson

Pre-1978 Forrest Conklin

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Directors of Individual Events

2014-present Sadé Barfield and Joshua Hamzehee

2008-2014 Rebecca Buel

2005-2008 Voiza Greene

2004-2005 Jennifer Struve (Graduate student)

Spring 2004 Jennifer Struve and Nicole Tremel (Graduate students)

2002-2003 Will Major

2000-2002 Margaret Kaszonyi, Bruce Wickelgren, Celeste Matheson, Bruce Wickelgren and Celeste Devore

1989-1991 Penny Geurink and Bruce Wickelgren

1988-1989 Rich West and Penny Geurink

1980-1988 Mary Ann Renz and Rich West

1976-1980 Phyllis Carlin

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Directors of Debate

2008-present Rich Tews

1994-2008 Catherine Palczewski

1989-1992 Walter Ulrich

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Recent Individual Events National Tournament History:


National Champions

Harrison Postler: Impromptu Speaking, 2013 AFA

Todd Prins: Persuasive Speaking, 1992 NFA

Ryan Siskow: Persuasive Speaking, 1991 AFA

Shelly Schnathorst: Persuasion, 1988 AFA

Deanna Gunderson: Communication Analysis, 1988 AFA

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National Tournament Results (2014-1985)

2014

American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament at Arizona State University

10th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

Semi-Finalists:

Ryan Courtney - After Dinner Speaking

Maddison Jansen - After Dinner Speaking

Maddison Jansen - Communication Analysis

Ryan Courtney & Anthony Peavy - Duo Interpretation

Zoe Russell - Extemporaneous Speaking

Maddison Jansen - Impromptu Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Zoe Russell - Impromptu Speaking

Ryan Courtney - Program Oral Interpretation

National Forensics Association National Tournament at Eastern Michigan Univeristy

5th in President's Division III

Semi-Finalist:

Zoe Russell - Impromptu Speaking

Quarter-Finalist:

Zoe Russell - Informative Speaking

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2013

AFA at Hutchinson Community College

10th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

6th in Individual Sweepstakes: Harrison Postler

National Champion: Harrison Postler - Impromptu Speaking

2nd Place: Harrison Postler - Dramatic Interpretation

Semi-Finalists:

Harrison Postler - After Dinner Speaking

Michael Taylor & Ryan Courtney -  Duo Interpretation

Quarter-Finalists:

Keegan Bosch - Dramatic Interpretation

Ryan Courtney - Dramatic Interpretation

Mandy Paris & Harrison Postler - Duo Interpretation

Harrison Postler & Ryan Courtney - Duo Interpretation

Zoe Russell - Impromptu Speaking

Michael Taylor - Program Oral Interpretation

NFA at Marshall University

10th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

1st in President's Division III

9th in Individual Sweepstakes: Harrison Postler

2nd Place: Harrison Postler - Impromptu Speaking

4th Place: Harrison Postler - After Dinner Speaking

Semi-Finalist:

Harrison Postler - Dramatic Interpretation

Quarter-Finalists:

Michael Taylor - Dramatic Interpretation

Mandy Paris & Harrison Postler - Duo Interpretation

Mandy Paris - Prose Interpretation

Harrison Postler - Prose Interpretation

Michael Taylor - Prose Interpretation

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2012

AFA at Texas State University, San Marcos

10th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

11th in Individual Sweepstakes: Harrison Postler

2nd Place: Harrison Postler & Ryan Courtney - Duo Interpretation

5th Place: Harrison Postler - After Dinner Speaking

6th Place: Harrison Postler - Impromptu Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Jordan Lukehart - After Dinner Speaking

Mandy Paris - After Dinner Speaking

Zoe Russell - After Dinner Speaking

Michael Taylor - Program Oral Interpretation

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2011

AFA at University of Nebraska-Kearney

13th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

11th in Individual Sweepstakes: Yaw Kyeremateng

2nd Place: Yaw Kyeremateng - Poetry Interpretation

3rd Place: Harrison Postler - After Dinner Speaking

Semi-Finalists:

Yaw Kyeremateng - Program Oral Interpretation

Yaw Kyeremateng & Harrison Postler - Duo Interpretation

Quarter-Finalists:

Chris Outzen - After Dinner Speaking

NFA at Illinois State University

5th in President's Division III

5th Place: Yaw Kyeremateng - Poetry Interpretation

Yaw Kyeremateng - Informative Speaking

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2010

AFA at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Semi-Finalist:

Yaw Kyeremateng - Program Oral Interpretation

Quarter-Finalists:

Ashley Lopez - Program Oral Interpretation

Michael Taylor - Persuasive Speaking

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2009

AFA at University of Akron

Semi-Finalist:

Ali Horsted & Anna McDermott - Duo Interpretation

NFA at Missouri State University

7th in President's Division III

Quarter-Finalists:

Ali Horsted - Poetry Interpretation

Ashley Lopez - Dramatic Interpretation

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2008

NFA at Tennessee State University

Awarded Founder's Trophy

Quarter-Finalist:

Ali Horsted - Dramatic Interpretation

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2007

AFA at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Semi-Finalist:

Ali Horsted - Dramatic Interpretation

Quarter-Finalist:

Jessica Sauer - Communication Analysis

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2006

AFA at University of Florida

Quarter-Finalist:

Coltrane Carlson - Program Oral Interpretation

NFA at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

3rd in President's Division III

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2005

AFA at Kansas State University

Quarter-Finalist:

Jesse Ohl - Persuasive Speaking

NFA at University of Akron

3rd in President's Division I

Quarter-Finalists:

Jesse Ohl - Extemporaneous Speaking

Jesse Ohl - Persuasive Speaking

Mike Hilkin - Impromptu Speaking

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2004

AFA at California State University, Long Beach

Quarter-Finalist:

Danielle Dick - Prose Interpretation

NFA at Western Illinois University

7th in President's Division II

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2003

AFA at University of Mississippi

5th Place: Sara Gronstal - After Dinner Speaking

NFA at Ball State University

7th in President's Division I

4th Place: Amy Larsen - Communication Analysis

Quarter-Finalist:

Sara Gronstal - After Dinner Speaking

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2002

AFA at Bradley University

Quarter-Finalist:

Nikki Vap - After Dinner Speaking

NFA at Berry College

9th in President's Division I

Semi-Finalist:

Amy Larsen - Communication Analysis

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2001

AFA at George Mason University

Quarter-Finalist:

Amy Larsen - Communication Analysis

NFA at Western Kentucky University

10th in President's Division I

Semi-Finalist:

Lucas Messer - Poetry Interpretation

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2000

NFA at Ohio University

Quarter-Finalist:

Lucas Messer - After Dinner Speaking

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1999

NFA at Eastern Michigan University

10th in President's Division I

Quarter-Finalist:

Danny Wagener - Communication Analysis

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1998

NFA at Western Illinois University

10th in President's Division I

Semi-Finalist:

Anastasia Lee - Prose Interpretation

Quarter-Finalist:

Cami Tylor - Informative Speaking

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1997

AFA at University of Texas at Arlington

Quarter-Finalists:

Alli Nuckels - After Dinner Speaking

Anastasia Lee - Dramatic Interpretation

Anastasia Lee - Poetry Interpretation

NFA at Ball State University

4th in President's Division I

3rd Place: Kristin Michael - Informative Speaking

Semi-Finalist:

Kristin Michael - Persuasive Speaking

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1996

NFA at Western Illinois University

9th in President's Division I

Quarter-Finalist:

Anastasia Lee - Persuasive Speaking

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1995

NFA at Eastern Michigan University

[Records Incomplete]

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1994

NFA at Western Kentucky University

[Records Incomplete]

Quarter-Finalist:

Jen Tuder - Prose Interpretation

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1993

NFA at Bloomsburg University

3rd in President's Division I

Semi-Finalists:

Todd Prins - Communication Analysis

Todd Prins - Extemporaneous Speaking

Steve Backhaus - Persuasive Speaking

Pam Critz - Persuasive Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Greta Truman & Steve Backhaus - Duo Interpretation

Pam Critz - Informative Speaking

Sheila Payne - Poetry Interpretation

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1992

AFA at University of Missouri, St. Louis

[Records Incomplete]

3rd Place: Greta Truman - Dramatic Interpretation

NFA at Minnesota State University, Mankato

8th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

3rd in President's Division I

11th in Individual Sweepstakes: Todd Prins

1st Place: Todd Prins - Persuasive Speaking

Semi-Finalist:

Todd Prins - Extemporaneous Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Steve Backhaus - After Dinner Speaking

Steve Backhaus - Communication Analysis

Darin Wipperman - Extemporaneous Speaking

Todd Prins - Informative Speaking

Steve Backhaus - Persuasive Speaking

Elizabeth Sharpe - Poetry Interpretation

Greta Truman - Poetry Interpretation

Sheila Payne - Prose Interpretation

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1991

AFA at Pacific Lutheran University

11th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

3rd in Individual Sweepstakes: Ryan Siskow

National Champion: Ryan Siskow - Persuasive Speaking

5th Place: Ryan Siskow - Informative Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Ryan Siskow - After Dinner Speaking

Elizabeth Sharpe - Dramatic Interpretation

Kevin Gilberston - Poetry Interpretation

NFA at Marshall University

7th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

2nd in President's Division II

10th in Individual Sweepstakes: Ryan Siskow

2nd Place: Ryan Siskow - Communication Analysis

4th Place: Sheila Payne - Prose Interpretation

Semi-Finalists:

Kevin Gilberston - Persuasive Speaking

Ryan Siskow - Persuasive Speaking

Kevin Gilberston - Prose Interpretation

Quarter-Finalists:

Ryan Siskow - After Dinner Speaking

Mindy Brewer - Impromptu Speaking

Ryan Siskow - Informative Speaking

Greta Truman - Prose Interpretation

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1990

NFA at Minnesota State University, Mankato

7th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

3rd in President's Division I

2nd Place: Doug Wehage - After Dinner Speaking

Semi-Finalists:

Kevin Gilberston - After Dinner Speaking

Ryan Siskow - Persuasive Speaking

Susan Staudt - Persuasive Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Ryan Siskow - After Dinner Speaking

Marty Crabbs - Communication Analysis

Doug Staudt - Persuasive Speaking

Doug Wehage - Persuasive Speaking

Kevin Gilberston - Poetry Interpretation

Ryan Siskow - Prose Interpretation

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1989

AFA at North Dakota State University

13th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

13th in Individual Sweepstakes: Vanessa Kuhlmann

6th Place: Brenton Williams - After Dinner Speaking

Semi-Finalists:

Doug Wehage - After Dinner Speaking

Vanessa Kuhlmann - Communication Analysis

Vanessa Kuhlmann - Impromptu Speaking

Vanessa Kuhlmann - Persuasive Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Vanessa Kuhlmann - After Dinner Speaking

James O'Connor - Informative Speaking

NFA at Upsala College

11th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

5th in President's Division I

10th in Individual Sweepstakes: Vanessa Kuhlmann

2nd Place: Vanessa Kuhlmann - After Dinner Speaking

6th Place: James O'Connor - Informative Speaking

Semi-Finalist:

Vanessa Kuhlmann - Persuasive Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

James O'Connor - Persuasive Speaking

Ryan Siskow - Persuasive Speaking

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1988

AFA at Bradley University

4th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

[Records Incomplete]

6th in Individual Sweepstakes - Shelley Schnathorst

National Champion: Deanna Gunderson - Communication Analysis

National Champion - Shelley Schnathorst - Persuasive Speaking

3rd Place: Shelley Schnathorst - Informative Speaking

NFA at Arizona State University

6th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

7th in Individual Sweepstakes - Shelley Schnathorst

2nd Place: Shelley Schnathorst - Persuasive Speaking

4th Place: Michael Hirsch - Persuasive Speaking

5th Place: Shelley Schnathorst - Informative Speaking

Semi-Finalists:

Brenton Williams - After Dinner Speaking

Shelley Schnathorst - Communication Analysis

Kendra Schweer - Persuasive Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Shelley Schnathorst - Poetry Interpretation

Kathy Sharpe - Poetry Interpretation

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1987

AFA at San Diego State University

4th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

[Records Incomplete]

3rd in Individual Sweepstakes - Shelley Schnathorst

11th in Individual Sweepstakes - Penny Geurink

NFA at Minnesota State University, Mankato

8th in Overall Team Sweepstakes

[Records Incomplete]

4th Place: Penny Geurink - After Dinner Speaking

6th Place: Michael Hirsch - Persuasive Speaking

Semi-Finalists:

Shelley Schnathorst - Informative Speaking

Beth Pottratz - Prose Interpretation

Quarter-Finalists:

Shelley Schnathorst - Communication Analysis

Shelley Schnathorst - Persuasive Speaking

___ Stark - Prose Interpretation

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1986

AFA at University of Texas at Arlington

[Records Incomplete]

6th Place: Penny Geurink - After Dinner Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Cory Hundley - After Dinner Speaking

Sue Leonard-Myatt - Communication Analysis

Tammy Paulsen - Communication Analysis

NFA at Bloomsburg University

[Records Incomplete]

Semi-Finalist:

Shelley Schnathorst - Persuasive Speaking

Quarter-Finalists:

Sue Leonard-Myatt - Communication Analysis

Tammy Paulsen - Communication Analysis

Sue Leonard-Myatt - Poetry Interpretation

Julie Weeks - Poetry Interpretation

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1985

NFA at Marshall University

[Records Incomplete]

Quarter-Finalist:

___ Kester - Communication Analysis

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[If you can help fill in any of our missing results, please contact joshua.hamzehee@uni.edu]

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Recent Debate National Tournament History:


2013 - Idaho State University - March 23-26, 2013

Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA)

Triple Octafinalists: Zach Simonson & Abbie Shew

2011 - University of Texas-Dallas- March 25-28, 2011

National Debate Tournament

Qualifiers: Al Hiland & Zach Simonson

2007 - University of Texas-Dallas - March 28-April 2, 2007

Qualifiers: Michael Pham & Ian Beier

2003 - Emory University (GA) - March 28-31, 2003

Qualifiers: Melanie Johnson & Mark Langgin

1999 - Wayne State University (MI) March 25-27, 1999

Qualifiers: Jennifer Rawe & Adam Briddell

1997 - Liberty University (VA) March 21-24, 1997

Qualifiers: Jeffrey Grant & Jennifer Rawe

1990 - West Georgia College

First Round At-Large

Aaron Hawbaker & Ken Schuler (2nd overall)

4th Speaker - Aaron Hawbaker

6th Speaker - Ken Schuler

Octafinalists:  Schuler & Hawbaker