Concordia University, Nebraska will host the Nebraska Intercollegiate Forensics Association state tournament on Saturday, Feb. 14. Five leaders from the Seward community will serve as judges for the Interstate Oratory final at 5:30 p.m. in the Weller Hall auditorium.
“I am excited for the opportunity to share with the campus what the world of forensics is all about, particularly the different events and parliamentary debate, as well as the quality of speaking skills present among Nebraska speech teams,” said Concordia’s Director of Forensics Joy Johnson.
The oratory final will feature six college students who will perform a persuasive speech on an issue such as justice, diversity, culture, sociology, race or gender. The five-judge panel of Seward community members will rank the final round, and the top two students will advance to nationals.
Concordia invited the following Seward community members to judge the final round:
Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich: Friedrich is the current president of Concordia University, Nebraska.
Mrs. Ellen Beck: Beck is the former editor of the Washington Examiner. She has worked as a reporter, desk editor, state editor and policy analyst/editor for United Press International. Ellen has been a journalist for more than 30 years, specializing in health care policy. She represents the First Ward on the Seward City Council and is president of the Seward County League of Women Voters.
Mr. Mark Kolterman: Kolterman is a Nebraska state senator for the 24th District. He is also the president and owner of the insurance company Kolterman Agency, Inc.
Ms. Jeanne Wiemer: Wiemer is an author, artist, sculptor and clothing designer. She is the owner and director of the Red Path Gallery & Tasting Room in Seward and the president of the Seward Area Artisans & Craftsmen Guild.
Mr. Pat Runyan: Runyan is the business development manager of Global Solutions Group at Pen-Link Ltd., an international travel organization. Runyan also serves as the director of the Goehner Centennial Players. Runyan is an actor and is also on the board of directors for the Olde Glory Theatre in Seward.
The tournament will feature nine Nebraska collegiate forensics teams, including Concordia’s seven speakers. One of the Concordia speeches performed at the meet will be a duo by Emily Kollbaum and Melonie Kotschwar called “Poof!” by Lynn Nottage. The short play details the lives of two women after surviving domestic violence.
Other student presentations include Marol Feickert performing a piece on caregiving, Michael Duffy performing “The Obsolete Man” by Rod Serling, Louvell Rodgers performing a dramatic interpretation on the Scott Peterson trial, Sean Carpenter performing a prose piece called “The Crooner” and Sarah Scamehorn performing a piece called “Watch it Burn” about a girl falling in love with the power of fire.
Concordia students performing include:
- Emily Kollbaum, sophomore, Concordia, Mo.
- Sean Carpenter, junior, Hollis, N.H.
- Marol Feickert, sophomore, Lawrenceville, N.J.
- Melonie Kotschwar, junior, Seward, Neb.
- Michael Duffy, freshman, Kenesaw, Neb.
- Sarah Scamehorn, freshman, Sterling, Neb.
- Louvell Rogers, freshman, Lincoln, Neb.