RIT communication department sponsors 25th annual public speaking contest

Finalists were selected from a variety of disciplines

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A. Sue Weisler

Andrew Quagliata, lecturer in RIT’s communication department and co-organizer of this quarter’s public speaking contest, far right, discusses the competition with finalists, from left, Laura Schiller, Wesley Musgrove and Josaphat Valdivia. Valdivia won first place for his speech “Why People Don’t Vote.”

RIT’s Department of Communication hosted its 25th annual Public Speaking Contest finals Oct. 19. The themes for this quarter’s contest were elections and politics. Josaphat Valdivia, a fourth-year computer engineering major from Santa Ana, Calif., took first place for his speech, “Why People Don’t Vote.”

Wesley Musgrove, a first-year advertising and public relations major from Pilot Mountain, N.C., won second place for “The Tinfoil Hat Revolution,” and Laura Schiller, a fourth-year packaging science major from Athens, Pa., earned third place for “Perception.”

The contest, which is open to all RIT undergraduates and held fall, winter and spring quarters, drew 30 participants for the fall quarter competition. A panel of faculty from the College of Liberal Arts served as judges.

“The Department of Communication is committed to improving the communication skills of all students and to developing their ability to think rationally, to read critically and to speak clearly,” says Andrew Quagliata, communication department lecturer and contest co-organizer. “Through RIT’s annual public speaking contest, we aim to increase campus awareness of public speaking and to actively involve students in its practice during the academic year.”

In addition to Quagliata, the contest was jointly organized by Keri Barone, lecturer, communication department; Kelly Norris Martin, assistant professor of communication; and Elizabeth Reeves O’Connor, senior lecturer in communication.

For more information, go to www.rit.edu/cla/communication/publicspeaking.