Potter College News
13th Annual John Lyne Speech Contest a great success
- Department of Communication
- Thursday, May 12th, 2022
From left: PCAL Dean Terrance Brown, Bowling Green City Commissioner Dana Beasley Brown, Seth Williams, Karileigh Harris, Heather Forney, President Timothy C. Caboni
The 13th annual John Lyne Speech Contest, hosted by WKU’s Department of Communication, was back in-person this semester after two years of online competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The contest featured students nominated by their faculty from the Fundamentals of Public Speaking course from the Fall and Spring semesters to present their persuasive speeches from their COMM 145 class in a public forum.
Nineteen students came bright and early to the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center on April 30 to compete for the top prize of $200. All students competed in the first two rounds of speeches that were judged by coaches from the WKU Forensics team (Ben Robin, Sean Diaz, Chad Meadows, Anthony Survance) and then, following lunch, three finalists presented before a panel of celebrity judges that included President Timothy C. Caboni, PCAL Dean Terrance Brown, and City Commissioner Dana Beasley Brown. President Caboni and Commissioner Brown are graduates of the WKU Department of Communication.
In addition, online students and those who could not present their speeches in person last Fall due to COVID competed in a recorded speech contest judged previously by Communication Department faculty (Professor Charlotte Elder, Professor Patricia Witcher, Professor Heather Strode, graduate instructor Julie Sisler).
Seth Williams, student of Professor Clint Haynes and an accounting student at WKU, won first place in the live speech contest for his presentation on the dangers of the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and took home the $200 top prize. The second-place winner was Karileigh Harris, a student of Professor Donna Schiess; and third place went to Heather Forney, student of Professor Bruce Crawley. Harris and Forney took home $100 and $50, respectively.
For the recorded speech contest, first place went to Janessa Unseld, a student of Clint Haynes, whose recorded video on the costs of homelessness was presented at the end of the contest. Second place was awarded to Kayla Srinivasan, a student of Donna Schiess, and third place was taken by Ragan Harrington, a student of Julie Sisler.
The event was sponsored by Professor John Lyne and PCAL. Lyne, Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, is a WKU graduate who has supported this contest for many years as a way to promote the development of students’ informed citizenship skills and the idea that communication needs to be about active engagement.
Contact: Dr. Anthony Harkins, (270) 745-3957