CU forensics students take first in debate sweepstakes

Cameron University's speech and debate team emerged victorious at last weekend's OKIE Roundup, the Oklahoma state collegiate championship tournament. The CU team faced off against competitors from eight other colleges and universities during the annual tournament, hosted by Oklahoma City University on February 21-22.

"Everyone on the Cameron team is in their first year of collegiate competition," says Dan Schabot, CU Director of Forensics. "Placing this high in the state championship is a great accomplishment for us."

The CU debate team of Matt Penick, a junior from Lawton and Lamod McFadden, a sophomore from Lawton, defeated a team from Tulsa Community College in the semi-finals. CU's other debate team, seniors Pierre Liburd of St. Kitts & Nevis and Katie Duffy of Lawton, were victorious against a team from the University of Oklahoma in the semi-finals. The CU teams were co-champions for the state of Oklahoma in parliamentary style debate. By winning the top two spots in team debate, CU was the first place overall school in that event.  Penick also finished as the top overall speaker in parliamentary debate.  Other CU debaters were freshman Tabetha Kautzman of Marlow, freshman Jordan Howell of Central High, and senior Cremoy Agard, senior Nicole Griffin, and junior Felicia Manners, all of St. Kitts & Nevis.

CU's Speech and Debate Team of 2009
CU's Speech and Debate team celebrates its success at the OKIE Roundup, the Oklahoma state collegiate championship tournament. Pictured are (back, l to r) Dan Schabot, Cremoy Agard, Lamod McFadden, Katie Duffy, Felicia Manners, Pierre Liburd; (front l to r) Nicole Griffin, Matt Penick, Tabetha Kautzman, Bhupendra Acharya, Jordan Scribner, Tai Bowles and Jordan Howell.

CU competitors freshman Jordan Scribner of Jenks, senior Tai Bowles of Lawton, and sophomore Bhupendra Acharya of Pokhara, Nepal teamed together to win the state championship in Reader's Theatre.  They defeated performances from Northeastern State University and Tulsa Community College. 

CU competitors also fared well in individual events, resulting in an overall third place finish in the school sweepstakes. Scribner placed third in persuasive speaking, thereby qualifying to participate in the Interstate Oratorical Association National Tournament later this year. Only two competitors from each state qualify. Scribner earned second place in informative speaking and fourth place in communication analysis. She partnered with McFadden for duo dramatic Interpretation; the duo placed fifth in the event.

Acharya earned a third place finish in informative speaking.  Howell took third in impromptu speaking. Members of the CU team placed in extemporaneous speaking, with Howell earning third place honors, Liburd taking fourth and Penick coming in fifth.  Bowles finished third in dramatic interpretation.  Kautzman rounded out the awards by finishing fourth in after dinner speaking and fifth in prose interpretation.

The team will travel to Houston, TX from March 6-8 to compete at the Novice National Forensics Tournament, which is open to all first-year collegiate competitors. 

For more information about Cameron University Forensics, contact Director Dan Schabot at 580-581-2555 or


February 25, 2009