Speech and Debate
The UWF Speech and Debate team not only participates in various state, regional, and national events, but also hosts competitions on campus.
About the Team
The UWF Forensics Program allows undergraduates the opportunity to develop their communication skills through participation in regional and national tournaments. Students travel several weekends each semester to intercollegiate speech or debate tournaments where they have the opportunity to compete against peers from across the nation and receive feedback from members of the academic community all while acting as ambassadors for UWF.
Students may also choose to participate in campus speech and debate activities throughout the school year, ranging from public performances to competitive campus events.
The team meets weekly during the fall and spring semesters. Students also meet with coaches for individual sessions at their convenience.
The University of West Florida has been a premier spot for tournaments. The Speech and Debate team hosts the annual Marks Invitational Tournament where colleges from all over the country join the team for a weekend of warm weather and stimulating competition. The team also repeatedly hosted the Florida Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Championship as well as the Interstate Oratory Competition and the Novice National Championship Tournament.
Dr. Chris Fenner, Director of Speech and Debate
Chris Fenner, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of communication and Director of the UWF Speech & Debate program. He holds a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in Organizational Communication & Public Relations, and an M.A. and B.S. from Suffolk University. Dr. Fenner teaches courses within the public relations sequence and oversees the nationally ranked competitive speech and debate program. He conducts research primarily in the areas of public relations & forensic pedagogy, and the links between computer-mediated communication and persuasion. Prior to arriving at UWF, Dr. Fenner established a competitive speech team at Florida Southern College, where he coached students to 32 national titles. He also serves as the Vice President of the Florida Intercollegiate Forensic Association, and is an executive council member of the Novice National Forensic Association.
Haley Revette, Graduate Assistant
Haley Revette received a B.A in broadcast journalism from UWF in 2015. Currently, she is interested in research and speech strategies as she pursues a graduate degree in Strategic Communications and Leadership. Her duties, as a graduate assistant, are coaching undergraduate team members, managing national/regional tournaments, judging various speaking events, and coordinating travel itinerary for the team. She is unbelievable proud of the team's accomplishments this year, and she is excited to continue working with the team throughout her graduate career.