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The Department of Communication Studies held its fifth Public Speaking Excellence Competition this past Thursday. The best students from the Spring 2016 public speaking classes were invited to deliver speeches in front of an audience of about one hundred students.

The five finalists Joely Barrios, Camille Franklin, Deirdre Carson, Ramiro Gonzalez, and Laura Shannon reinterpreted speeches by Aung San Suu Kyi, Anna Quindlen, Steven Spielberg, and Michelle Obama. The rules of the competition stipulate that students can choose their speech freely, alter it in any way they see fit as long as they preserve the original aim, and must deliver without the help of any manuscripts or speech aids.

Once again this year, all students did a marvelous job engaging the audience and showing their public speaking accomplishments that got them to this stage. In the end, the jury and the audience where in agreement in awarding both the jury price ($300) and the audience price ($100) to Laura Shannon for her outstanding performance of Michelle Obama’s most recent speech against Donald Trump. This year’s students set a very high bar and we are looking forward to seeing the representatives of the Fall 2016 class challenge that standard in the Spring 2017 competition.