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Debate coach brings team to fourth place in national competition

ORU's Debate TeamThe Oral Roberts University debate team won fourth place in the National Christian College Forensics Invitational at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark. Several individual competitors also took home awards for their feats in the March 8-10 tournament.

Among those that placed at John Brown was sophomore communication and government major, Rosina Albanese. Albanese placed first in her division in IPDA, which is an individual-based debate, as well as first in the speaking section of NPDA, a debate composed of two-person teams.

This being her first semester on debate, Albanese credits much of her success to debate coach and ORU adjunct professor Molly Brown.

“She’s always encouraging, teaching everyone from where we’re at because of all of her experience. All of us love her. She’s really great,” said Albanese.

Brown teaches debate and an oral communication class at ORU. She also brings professional background as a lawyer to her role as debate advisor.

“She’s been through law school, so she’s really wise in that way,” Albanese said. “She’s very personable, easy to talk to and easy to relate with.”

Others that did well in the competition include Albanese’s partner, senior pre-law government major Aba Hammond. Hammond earned second place in her NPDA division.

Hammond and Albanese also made it to the semifinals in the tournament. Junior Angela Dance received second in the IDPA section.

Senior Josh Wagoner, the sole ORU student to compete in the “varsity” category, earned third place in his IPDA division.

Freshman communication major Amir Curry was very pleased with his experience with the debate team and is excited for the future.

“The amount of competition that comes from all over the United States was phenomenal. I had never seen anything like it before,” said Curry.

“We got to travel, and I got to get know my teammates a lot better,” said Curry.

Albanese also enjoyed getting to know her teammates via debate.

“We really bond as a group from going on trips on different weekends and stuff. There are people on the team I wouldn’t typically get to end up bonding with or talking to otherwise, but it happens through debate,” she said. “It’s definitely full of team spirit, even though it’s not really an athletic thing.”

Though the program has recently grown, both Curry and Albanese would like to see it continue to do so, bringing more success to the ORU debate team.

“It’s a great program,” Curry said. “I would really encourage other people to join.”

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