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ScotSpeak! hires new coach

September 26, 2014

Kelsi Ford / The Courier - ScotSpeak! member Lydia Parillas polishes her event.

ScotSpeak!, Monmouth College’s Speech and Debate Team, is preparing for another exciting year with their new members and a new coach.

Rebecca Buel is the team’s new coach and is also a new assistant professor to the communication studies department. With a new coach comes a new direction for the group.

Via email, Buel said, “I have several goals for the team that differ from past year. First, weekly individual coaching sessions are a new thing for the team. I’m hoping this will help students hone their craft and become better critical thinkers, writers, researchers, and performers. Second, my goal is to achieve stronger team cohesion and identity.”

This year the plan is for the team to attend its first national tournament in the hopes that they qualify for the National Forensics Association’s National Championship tournament hosted at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Sophomore Ellen Johnson is gearing up for the team’s first Mid-American Forensic League (MAFL) tournament at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana this weekend. She loves acting and being a part of the team, despite her hectic schedule this semester.

“The speech team ultimately helps us grow as performers and public speakers; we all do it because we enjoy the experience,” said Johnson.

The group is also attempting to rebrand their team to fit this year’s more competitive focus. Senior Aimee Miller, the president of ScotSpeak! for four years in a row, said, “We hope to emphasize the forensics aspect of it, to make sure the campus community knows how serious and competitive we are. We’re also using more social media and other avenues to communicate with alumni and other interested parties.” Miller also said, “Hopefully, we’ll be putting on showcases towards the end of the year to show other students what exactly it is we do.”

Miller has participated in multiple events over the years, but she does have her favorites. Impromptu speaking is one event that she singled out. Impromptu speaking teaches different skills, including thinking on your feet, communication skills, and comfort with public speaking.

Miller said, “I’m very happy to be competing this year. It’s hard work, but I’m always happy to be competing with the team.”

Al Walker
Contributing Writer

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