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UWF Forensics Team Excels at National Tournament

April 22, 2019 | Susanna Rogers, with contributions by Hannah Gainer |

UWF Speech and Debate competitors received awards and recognition at at the 2019 Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention and Tournament.

On March 20-25, the University of West Florida Speech and Debate team competed at the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention and Tournament, hosted by Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York.

Communication major and junior Nicole Allen received an excellence award in Broadcast Journalism, a superior award in Prose, and represented UWF in the national showcase event. Olivia Gardner, Communication Arts major and junior, received excellence awards in Discussion and Interviewing.

Pi Kappa Delta is a national forensics honorary organization that is dedicated to promoting excellence in speech and debate. Each year, Pi Kappa Delta hosts a comprehensive national tournament that is often among the largest tournaments in the country. The National Comprehensive Tournament is designed to provide a traditional tournament experience featuring elimination rounds in both speech and debate events. Pi Kappa Delta’s excellence awards recognize competitors who finish the tournament in the top 30 percent of competitors and the superior award recognizes competitors who finish in the top 10 percent.

The 2019 Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention and Tournament featured decorated and talented teams from across the country. UWF competitors Allen and Gardner exhibited an outstanding talent, which allowed for them to compete with the brightest collegiate forensics competitors in the nation. A total of 77 colleges also competed at the Pi Kappa Delta tournament and the UWF Forensics team performed with excellence in multiple events across the five-day championship.

Allen and Gardner are both thrilled with their recent wins.

“I felt extremely honored to be recognized as one of the top competitors. Being able to share my story, touch the hearts of others, and represent UWF was one of the most amazing experiences in my life,” says Allen.

Gardner says her success comes from the support from her fellow teammates and coaches of the UWF Forensics team.

“It really is exciting to say I won an award at Pi Kappa Delta, but it is even more amazing to say I connect with individuals who will sculpt the future of our world, including the members of our team. The energy and support we have within our team are unrivaled,” says Gardner.

For more information contact the Department of Communication, 850.474.2874 or