There’s no argument the Moraine Valley Community College Forensics team is one of the top speech teams in the country. The team secured third place and six individuals won medals at the 2012 Phi Rho Pi National Tournament held April 9-14 at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg. Moraine Valley also hosted this year’s tournament.
The Phi Rho Pi National Tournament is the oldest and largest forensics tournament in the United States. Moraine Valley competed against more than 600 participants from 60 teams. In the last eight years, the team has earned either a gold, silver, or bronze medal seven times.
Forensics team member Veronica Popp, of Oak Lawn, was awarded a gold medal in the Communication Analysis event. Silver medals were awarded to Nicky Lucio, of Tinley Park, in Prose Interpretation; Michelle Moyer, of Oak Lawn, in both Program of Oral Interpretation and Impromptu Speaking events; Tommy Lucio, of Tinley Park, in Poetry Interpretation; and Tom Murphy, of Oak Lawn, in Program of Oral Interpretation. Bronze medal winners were Nicky Lucio in Program of Oral Interpretation, Popp in Prose Interpretation, and Bart Kirchner, of Palos Hills, in Persuasive Speaking.
Moraine Valley’s 2011-12 Forensics team was the largest in the program’s history with 20 students competing in six tournaments throughout the year. They won first place awards at the Kishwaukee College and McHenry County Tournaments. They took second place at the Harper College and College of DuPage Tournaments and won third place at the Illinois Central College and College of Lake County Tournaments. The team also won a gold medal at the Region IV Phi Rho Pi Regional Speech and Debate Tournament and hosted a speech tournament on its campus in October.
“I feel the team had a successful year for two reasons. First, they worked extremely hard and committed to accomplishing their goals. Secondly, they became more than teammates. They became a family. I am very proud of the team’s accomplishments both competitively and personally,” said John Nash, director of Forensics and associate professor of Speech/Communications. “The team was thrilled to have several Moraine Valley administrators and staff attend the national tournament opening banquet. The tournament went off without a hitch thanks to support from Moraine Valley. The Phi Ro Pi Executive Board has even asked us to consider hosting again in four or five years.”