Speech, debate team gets awards

 The Vocal Vikings grew in size and confidence after winning Top Novices in Poetry at their most recent tournament. 

Del Mar College’s speech and debate team competed at the Fall TIFA (Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association) competition against Texas universities and other schools throughout the country that was held virtually Nov. 5-6. 

Vocal Vikings Emily Rivas, a freshman majoring in paramedic and speech, and sophomore Gabrielle Vela, a speech major, tied as Top Novices in Poetry. 

“I felt more comfortable and confident when going into this competition compared to the first one and I felt the growth I had since the first competition,” Rivas said. 

The team competed in Prose, Poetry, Impromptu and Informative Speaking against the University of North Texas, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of North Carolina Charlotte. 

“It felt rewarding knowing I continue to improve my work and myself,” Vela said. “I learned to be patient with myself and realized the real competition was against myself. I won this past weekend and I’m proud.” 

Alden Sparrow, a freshman majoring in network administration and cyber systems, competed for his first time in Impromptu Speaking, and sophomore public relations and advertising major Nichaela Shaheen took third place in Poetry. 

The next tournament, Off Broadway Swing, will be held Dec. 4 in Long Island, New York, where students will compete in person against other schools across the nation. 

“I think it would be a better opportunity to compete in person. It doesn’t allow for technical difficulties like video lagging and allows for more human interaction,” Sparrow said. 

The team is led by Director of Forensics Sarah Contreras, a professor of speech communication. 

For more information on how to join the Vocal Vikings team, contact Contreras at 361-698-1566 or slcontrer@ delmar.edu, or stop by Suite D206 in the General Academic and Music Building on Heritage Campus. 

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